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There are three main African philosophies: Maat, Shetaut Neter and Sema Tawi. The word sema is synonymous with the word Yoga and the word tawi means Egypt.
Yoga is a part of Hinduism, Sema is a part of Shetaut Neter. Shetaut neter is the hidden divinity or the practice of discovering the hidden divinity in life. The word yoga first appeared in the Rig- Veda around 1500 BCE. The word yoga takes on its mystical terminology however- the uniting of the higher and lower selves- in the Upanishads’ texts around 800- 600 BCE. Yoga is the universal term for any kind of discipline that allows us to evolve spiritually. Yoga is an integral aspect of mysticism. Basic disciplines of Yogic culture include the Yoga of Wisdom (that enlightens our mind) the Yoga of Devotional Love (that enlightens our emotions and feelings), the Yoga of Meditation (that wills us to discover higher consciousness) and the Yoga of Selfless Action. Encompassed in these disciplines are the practice of physical postures, selfless action, tantric yoga, and serpent power yoga.
The Great Truths of the Shetaut Neter and the sema or shedy disciplines make up the heart of the Kametic religion. They are what make the religion effective. The great truths are pursued through the 4 disciplines in 3 steps.
1. Pa Neter ua ua Neberdjer m Neteru corresponds to the Sedjem Shedy. The Sedjem shedy corresponds to the Yoga of Wisdom. It involves listening to myths and wisdom teachings from authentic teachers. This shedy was practiced throughout all time periods of the Kametic civilization and is found in every discipline. More on this can be found in Dr. Ashby’s book ‘Mysteries of Isis’.
2. An- Maat swy Saui Set S- Khemn corresponds to Aru Shedy. Aru shedy corresponds to the Yoga of Selfless Action. It involves living by truth and acting righteously. These teachings are found in the temple of Aset/ Maat. Aru discipline teaches actions should be done in such a way as to lead to purity of heart and freedom from the ego personality and vices. Ari Akhu (glorious deeds) and Maat Aru (true rituals) are important practices in Aru Shedy. Daily, monthly, and annual rituals are practiced in Maat Aru; following the 42 principles of Maat in daily life is also an important practice of Maat Aru. More on this topic can be found in Dr. Ashby’s book ‘Wisdom of Maat’.
3. S-Uashu s-Nafu n saiu Set corresponds to the Ushet Shedy. Ushet shedy corresponds to the Yoga of Devotional Love. This discipline is found throughout all time periods of Kametic civilization. In devotional practices we are concerned with offerings. Tjef Sema Paut Neteru involves postures (similar to Indian Hatha Yoga) for devotional and health purposes. Divine singing (shmai) is a form of Ushet shedy. Divine (neter arit) and peace (neter hotep) offerings are also aspects of devotional yoga. Dr. Ashby’s book ‘Path to Divine Love’ expounds upon this shedy.
4. Ari Shedy rekh ab m Maakheru corresponds to Uaa Shedy and the Yoga of Meditation. Also found in all Kametic time periods King Seti 1 is responsible for the first formal meditation practice in known history. Uaa shedy involves meditating on the subtle life force (Arat Sekhem), on righteous action (Ari Sma Maat), on the I am (Nuk Pu Zeshet) and on the glorious light (Nuk Ra Akhu).
Sema Tawi was practiced in Egypt thousands of years before the introduction of yoga in India. Most modern scholars refuse to link Sema Tawi with Indian yogic practices today. Yet some do, for example Swami Sivananda Radha. Yogic symbols can be found in Egyptian culture and Egyptian Kings for example Senusert 1 are credited with having extended the borders of Egypt all the way to China, influenced all the cultures of the east. Egyptian pictography is either stylized for spiritual and political purposes or is realistic. The reddish-brown paint used in Egyptian hieroglyphics represents (in general) Egyptians and pharaohs. Today yoga is the west is not practiced in the way it was intended. Its’ true meaning is lost to many westerners. Most of the world are not ready to grow via yoga disciplines. Modern hatha yoga schools are not effective at disseminating the original teachings of sema/ yoga. One Indian yogi commented
“when I see what yoga has become in the west, I wish my father had left it with the hermits in the caves, back in India”
Wholistic Yoga involves engaging our emotions, reason, action and will. Emotions are controlled via the Sema disciplines of Devotional love and lead to contentment. Reason is controlled via the sema disciplines of wisdom and lead to understanding. Action is controlled via self control and righteous virtue. Right actions lead to peace. Will is controlled via the sema of meditation and leads to fulfilment. Fulfillment, peace, understanding and contentment lead to the goal of all religions- transcending culture and gaining self-knowledge. The practice of yoga can exist without a complete religion, but a complete religion cannot exist with yoga/sema disciplines. The 4 disciplines are pursued in 3 steps. These three steps include initial aspiration, striving and established practice.
Learning about the different paths towards self-realization was the most important aspect of this lesson for me. I am beginning to realize a little now, what paths resonate with me.
1. Why is most of the world not interested in the deeper teachings of Sema Tawi? Is it because most of the manifestations can be considered young souls? And are therefore dull? Why is the world this way? What has happened to enlightened government?