Lesson 13 Audio Assignment Part 2A How to be a Successful Student
1) What are the main teachings brought out in the audio lecture recording? Explain in your own words
This lesson addresses the question of “how to be a successful students”? I find that this question has much relevance to me at this particular time since in relation to this course, the evidence would suggest that I have not achieved the success that I desired. In my last assignment which was submitted in December, six months ago I ended that assignment by saying the following: “I intend to improve my practice of the teachings by first being mindful of the following formula
Purity of heartAspirationWillpowerSustained Effort
This will require me being more disciplined in terms of the consistency of my practice even if this means doing each for a short period each day, having a dispassionate stance in relation to worldly endeavors, trying to sustain a witnessing consciousness. I intend to make a special effort to be more engaged in my classes in a consistent manner.”
Here it is six months later and I am just now doing the next assignment. Before I attempt to explain this I would first like to thank you Seba Maa for being patient with me. As a teacher of the lower mysteries when I have a student who have not been attending class, I either have them withdraw or give them a lower grade than what they would ordinarily receive. I would also like to apologize for my lack of engagement and let you know, even though I am sure that you are very much aware, that my poor performance has nothing to do with you as a teacher and everything to do with me and where I am at in my journey. I have the highest level of faith in you as a teacher as well as in the teachings. Apparently, I am lacking faith in my own self.
And so I would like apply your teachings in this lesson to try to understand and explain my performance or lack thereof. You started of the lesson by saying that the s is a specialized endeavor that is designed to examine the higher mysteries, that is, creation and the nature of our existence. As you pointed out, this type of study transcends any discipline in time and space since it is concerned with knowledge of oneself (higher mysteries) rather than knowledge of the world (lower mysteries). To penetrate the mysteries is to fulfil our life’s purpose which is that of striving for the ultimate goal which is transcendence (enlightenment).
The paradox which I find myself in is that I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be able to study the higher mysteries and to have an authentic teacher to assist me in doing so. There is nothing that I would rather do than to be engaged in this endeavor. Having been a teacher of psychology (lower mysteries) for the past 30 years and being cognizant of its limitations and shortcomings and like Goddess Aset, being quite disillusioned with what this type of worldly knowledge has to offer, it is however the case that I still need to be engaged with it as a teacher, given that this is what sustains me as far as being able to provide food and shelter for me and my family. It appears that I have not been successful at creating a balance between fulfilling my worldly obligations while trying to be a successful student. I realized based on what I have been taught that what is required is Khak ab—dispassion and detachment which I apparently have not been able to do successfully. Upon reflecting on this after last Thursday’s, Goddess Aset Devotional, I concluded that my work as a teacher feeds my ego and serves to hinder me from my spiritual endeavors. My ego “I” deludes me in believing that as a teacher I am able to do my work with a certain level of Maat Ari which then justifies my neglect of the obligations that I have as a student of the teachings. I also realize that it also has to do with the choices that I make. For instance, I had the choice this evening of either taking the test for my previous lesson and working on the present lesson OR preparing for the classes that I have to teach tomorrow. Based on my Ariu I choose the former.
Within the Neterian tradition, the method by which we attain our goal of enlightenment is through the Shedy practices which includes a) Rech-Ab—study of the wisdom teachings b)Devotion to God—Uashu c)Acting with righteousness—Maat and d) meditation—Uaa. The question that was asked was, “How can we be successful at Shedy? The answer comprised of keeping in mind particular principles the first having to do with the principle of Sebai, Sebait, and Sebat which was also discussed in lesson 12. 1) the Sebai refers to the authentic teacher—one who knows the teaching and able to impart it in an effective manner 2)Sebait which is the name of the teaching, specifically the higher mysteries which places emphasis on self-knowledge, that is, exploring such fundamental questions as Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I come from? 3)Sebat is the student who receives the teaching. Here the relation between teacher and student, on a metaphysical and metaphorical level, may be said to be dictated by gender whereby the teacher assumes the role of the male and in so doing impregnates the student with the seeds of the teaching. In assuming this female centered posture, the student receives the teaching and is fertilized by it.
As I said previously, I have the highest level of faith in the teaching and in the teacher. What is lacking, it appears, is faith in myself. As an aspirant I believe that I understand the higher purpose of life and is committed in working towards achieving it. That is, I am very much invested in knowing myself and achieving greatness in spirit as this relates to that which is transcendent. What then is the obstacle?. Again based on what I have been taught by you Seba Maa, I would say that it has to do with my ego-centeredness and the delusion that it causes—a false sense of what I know or what I think I know as far as the teachings are concerned; thinking that I am smart but in fact being quite ignorant. This is confirmed by the fact that even though I think that I know the truth, I do not live truthfully. “I” lie to myself and feel quite ashamed in knowing that I do. I also feel quite ashamed for the impurities that exists in my intellect and more importantly in my heart which serves to keep me in bondage by and within my own self. I yearn to experience the open heartedness and light-heartedness of Amun and Maat and the peace that ensues.
As you said in your lecture Seba Maa, “when we turn towards virtue, then our worldly distractions will abate. When we are being distracted then we are being complicit in this.” I very much agree that the first step in correcting myself is by first acknowledging my responsibility for my complicitness. Changing however may be quite difficult given the depth of the Ariu that is ingrained on my soul. Throughout my life I have sacrificed much for my career and have associated with it things that were both righteous as well as unrighteous. It is however through my career that I found myself on a spiritual path for the purpose of redeeming my soul which at the time I felt that I desperately needed to do. How one purifies all this Ariu while still being engaged in the activity that created it I am not sure. As Bob Marley says, total destruction is the only solution—referring to Babylon (unrighteous world) and the Babylonian (worldly) consciousness. As Seba Dja discussed in a recent lecture how does one extricate oneself from ones ego. As one participant said at the end of the presentation…”more and more Shedy”. It was also said that no soul is irredeemable and that we all having the divine within. As we see in the Asarian myth, even Set can be purified this being a prerequisite for one’s resurrection. And so I have hope.
The story you told about the King and the little girl Seba Maa, resonates with my own predicament. Like the King I believe I am deserving of the throne, just as Set believed he was also. Yet like the King as you pointed out, one needs to come to the realization that one cannot attain enlightenment unless one lets go of the world and surrender oneself to the divine. Only then will one attain the majestic and magnanimous heights that one aspires towards achieving. As the Christian precept goes, “Give unto Cesar what belongs to Cesar and Give unto the Lord what belongs to the Lord”. Perhaps more appropriate in this context is the chant, “Amma su en pa neter sauu-k su emment en pa neter au tuanu ma queti pa haru” (Give thyself to God; keep thyself daily for God; and let tomorrow be as today).
As you said Seba Maa, you can impart the teaching but the responsibility for one’s salvation is based on each one’s level of volition. I will try my best to live true to your teachings as it relates to what you said towards the end of your lecture which is “We must have faith in our ability to know that God is in us. We must know that we can do anything we want to achieve. We have to be stable and secure in our understanding. If we cleanse ourselves we will discover our internal power within ourselves. We need to be careful not to let our ego lead us astray making us believe that we know the teaching but we don’t. We must keep an awareness of the “I AM.” As you suggested at the end your presentation, “do a little Shedy every day and before you know it you will be surprised at what you have achieved”.
I appreciate your teachings Seba Maa and I appreciate you as my teacher.