What is necessary for spiritual practice
When I think of what the term spiritual practice means, I think of doing something to discover my true essence (Spirit), explore it, understand, and allow it to be my guide rather than my Ego Personality.
Spiritual practice takes a level of discipline considering what it is and its purpose. Sebai Maa in this video, provides teachings on what a spiritual practice/discipline entails. Below are two terms discussed in this audio that stood out. They were Shedti/Shedy and Shed.
Shedti – this term means to penetrate the mystery teachings; doing things that allow you to gain insight on the teachings. When I reflect on the word “penetrate” what comes to mind is being intensely focused on something. One of the things I have learned regarding Shedy is that it must be integral and done in a formal and informal manner. So an aspirant can benefit from seeing every moment in their life as an opportunity to engage in Shedy, hence having to focus ones attention on what is going on within one self at all times.
Shed – corps; SM further explained that it means: that which is going to be transformed/resurrected/resurrecting, come to life, have spiritual self-discovery. Human beings not on an authentic spiritual path is worse than an animal. After I heard this statement, I reflected on it for a few weeks. As a result I was able to understand its meaning more deeply. I believe he was referring to the animalistic nature of an animal being comparable to a person who is not in control of themselves, who is unaware of their true self and how to operate in it, this causes the human being to operate at a very low level. However, if I live properly, using Ma’at’s Philosophy as a guide, I can be greater than animals, operate at a high level; to a degree humans are a form of animal which causes them to have, animalistic ways (reactive, wanting to meet ones desires despite); hence the importance of understanding that a process is necessary in order to discover that one is more than just an animal, but a special/Great Being, one who is one with the Divine, a projection/expression of the Divine in time and space, and with this awareness and if believed to be true, moves one to begin making changes within self to allow the Divine to manifest through ones being. So, without a spiritual path, one is a corps; dead, meaning unaware/asleep to one’s true nature, therefore a Spiritual path can provide one with salvation from this.
Moreover, it is imperative to be equipped to undergo this process. SM went onto elaborating on what it takes/what understanding one will need to be equipped with to undergo this transformation. SM explains this in this audio as well by outlining three principles to understand and follow and this truly stood out:
Cultivate virtue, Maat’s virtues, bring virtuous in day to day life, Continue spiritual practice of the Ma’at virtues.
Nothing obtained through egoism is abiding – matter, physical; not because you have things means you will be happy.
Truthfulness: Do not close your ears to the words of truth. Truth a year from now is different due to gaining deeper understanding. This path, Egyptian Yoga seeks proof and truth, it’s a path that goes beyond faith and concepts, but instead seeks the highest truth of Self.
So, what does this mean?
It means that is not an automatic process to understand high truths. Truth is something you learn to understand, and there is a process in doing this – obtain purity of heart (virtues purify you) each virtue has a counter vice. Vices cloud intellect and does not allow you to see high truth. Hence why aligning oneself with the virtues of Maat will allow one to purify and counter vices manifesting throughout one’s life due to one’s deeds; this change in actions allows for purification to take place and is what is considered as the process. So, it’s not just to be able to say things differently from an intellectual perspective but ones has to do things (think, feel and behave) differently and this is what Spiritual Evolution entails.
Moreover, once levels of purification takes place and continues to take place, over time one will be able to notice that all needing to be done is to hear something once and it will be understood easily and if one does not practice Shedy (in its total capacity as it is to be understood and practiced), purification may not occur.
SM further expounded on what is to be done when various levels of truths within the teachings are understood. Once you receive a new a deeper truth than before the less truth must be left behind because the new one is deeper than the first and it is ones purification that allows them to see the depths and this is done by combating ones egoism that wants to hold on and remain attached to the lesser truth of one’s Self.
Another very significant point that was made was given via this example: God has spoken to me through this child vs who are you little child telling me anything. One must develop a sense of humbleness and understand that God is and within everything even a child. We don’t want to be like the woman who shut the door on Aset in the Asarian Resurrection Myth, when she was seeking shelter with her baby Heru because of her status and perception of Aset, she did not assist her and Heru; we do not want to shut Intuitional Wisdom out as one of Maat precepts indicates, “I have not closed my ears to hear right and wrong.” Furthermore, it is important to understand that one has to be ready to hear truth – humility, such as not seeing self as some high personality over another being, but instead seeing oneself to be one with all. “Should be ever humble even in the greatest high.” (One of the Three Remembrances).
Another very interesting point in this audio was, iF you have true spiritual anchoring, insanity will not happen. Indulging in vices, seeking pleasure lead to a degraded state of mind + depression, psychosis, degrading nervous system/personality.
A few other strong teachings about Spiritual practice were:
• Shedy, should be steady, balanced, living a life of virtue helps to do this; it is important to keep balance in the mind, treating others and self in a virtuous manner, maintain mental and emotional balance, no mood swings.
• It is important to be mindful of mental agitation, when something needs to be on or one engaged in doing something to occupy mental space, not being able to tolerate peace in the mind.
• One can benefit greatly on this path if flexible; being able to adapt to different situation. The idea is that you have to be flexible and be able to overcome the adversity in life, no matter the adversity, as long as you made the effort to overcome and resolve the impact of the adversity, spiritualize life – bringing virtues in every aspect of one’s life.
• Seeing self as conduit of divine actions, God working through me in everything I do. God is doing things through me. Reflecting on these teachings, further dissolved the idea of “me or I” because if something is working through me or manifesting through, the power that is permeating allowing me to think feel, tastes, smells, move, that is ME, hence the teaching, “I am one with God,” the first great truth, Pa Neter ua ua Nebedjer m Neter.
• Chapter 125 in PMH talks about selfless service, Maat Ari is the greatest way to put down the ego and bring humility. Humility opens up with purity of heart.
• Spirituality refers to being able to adjust the mind and concepts one has been conditioned to, one learns how to forgive more easily after this.
• Present actions engender purity for the future. This was a powerful teaching, as when reflected upon, I had to think what type of actions can create purity for the future: pure and righteous actions. Shedy is the tool used for purification, hence when one practices Shedy one is creating purity for the future. Another reason why it is so important and I appreciate the scientific nature of the teachings.
• The mind gives negative ideas, must be counteracted with more positive ideas, and as this process goes on, one will be able to notice more and more purification, which in return leads one to Nehast. Hence, to conclude, Shedy is the tool/formula that allows for the transformation of one’s mind and actions to take place. I have an even greater appreciation for Ab Setna’s “More Shedy” call to actions in our Whats App group. Indeed more Shedy it is. Dua Sebai Maa and Seba Dja for these teachings as it helps me as a Shems to know what is necessary as it pertains to the intensity of practice in order to be successful on this spiritual path to Nehast.