“What to Pray For”
While each lecture from the lecture series of Sage Amenhotep provides multiple morsels of information that when consumed, digested and assimilated further ones’ awakening process, one of them from Lesson 9 stood out to me and is the title of this piece.
Sage Amenhotep says that we should pray for those things which will make us strong spiritually. This begs the question “what are the things that make us strong spiritually?”
As students of the teachings we immediately know that things which reduce egoism make us stronger spiritually. We also know that actions that promote correct thinking do so as well. So, these are things that we know from our practice of the teachings.
But to say that we should pray to be stronger spiritually is an outer teaching. It is the inner teaching of this lesson that was profound for me.
I didn’t begin to “innerstand” what Sage Amenhotep was saying until Sebai Maa gave the analogy of a person who doesn’t smoke cigarettes being in a room of people who are smoking. Even though this person doesn’t smoke he/she leaves the room smelling like cigarette smoke. The non-smoker is still tainted by the experience. Interestingly once leaving the room this person doesn’t always realize they have been tainted, i.e. smells like smoke. This is because they become accustomed to the experience/smell. In fact, this person may feel good about the fact that because they didn’t smoke, that they acted in accordance with the truth of health of the body by not doing so. And even if this person never smokes a cigarette if he/she continues to interact with people who smoke, the taint of the cigarette smoke smell on this person will grow stronger and stronger often without his/her knowledge.
And this brings me to the realization from this lesson about what Sage Amenhotep was saying that we are to pray for.
Consider that the society today conditions its members to desire wealth. Everything one sees or hears in this culture is a glorification of wealth. And while few directly pray for money, what most people in this society “desire” is money and all the things it can buy.
This wealth desire is the room full of cigarette smokers that all of us nonsmoking initiates/spiritual seekers have been in for all this lifetime. It is also the room we have been in for the eons of previous lifetimes we’ve had also. And while I intellectually have known for some time that money can’t buy me love, I didn’t realize until this lesson the extent to which being in this room has tainted me with the smell of this awful idea.
I didn’t realize how deep of an impression was made on me unconsciously by being in an environment that values wealth and riches above all other things. The impression is LARGE! The impression takes up a lot of mental space. And we know that when one has a limited amount of space for anything, the larger one object is in that space limits the amount of space for other things. And because of the size of the space that this tainted smell awful idea occupies, there is far less room for entertaining an intermittent, let alone perennial, mindset of that which is to be prayed for. That which is abiding, real and true.
I noticed that even today depending on the conversation, I use language that affirms this tainted perspective and that while I still “say” that money can’t buy me love, deep down I have yearned for wealth.
The wonderful part about this lesson is that I now realize that I have smelled like smoke (wealth desire). Now I can leave the room (egoism), never return to it, discard the smoke tainted clothing I had (pleasure seeking), and purchase brand new clothing! (Sheti Practices-Perennial Mindset on the Divine!)
And this is one of the things Sage Amenhotep was talking about. Realizing the things, we give our “attention” to and the amount of mental space we give to them. Until we allow ourselves to see what we give our attention to, we won’t realize what we’re attached to. Praying for those things which make us strong spiritually is a prayer that we first recognize where our “attention” lies. Then shift it from the transient illusory objects/concepts/ideas of the world to that aspect of ourselves which was true yesterday, is true today and will be true tomorrow. The Divine!
And now as a result of this lesson I am better able to act in accordance with the following Kemetic Proverb.
“Labor not after riches first and think you afterwards will enjoy them. He who neglects the present moment throws away all that he hath. As the arrow passes through the heart, while the warrior knew not that it was coming; so shall his life be taken away before he knows that he hath it.”
-Ancient Kemetic Proverb
Thus, what we are to pray for is awareness of the present moment and the will power and desire to be attuned with the Divine during each moment.
Blessings and Peace!