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Hemu Clergy Post 22907 pg. 169-175
In post 22907 pg. 169-175 Dr. Ashby begins discussing the practice of divine worship. Among acts of divine worship practiced by the “Rekhyt” meaning “common folks” (ordinary followers of the tradition who are lay persons and who are not priests and priestesses) is the “Dua” posture. The Dua posture is done with the arms upraised and the palms facing outwards to signal adoration to the Divine. For the masses of people seeking to offer adorations to the neteru and learn esoteric teachings (including myths, chants, devotional singing, religious festivals, and meditations) and Maat philosophy they are imparted by the clergy and only given in the outer section of the temple. Once individuals have an orderly life of virtue, devotion, and respect for the clergy they study inside the temple. There are three types of scriptures, Mythical, Mystical and Wisdom (inclusive of the genre of Harper’s song/music). Of all the practices of the clergy, to dwell with the Divine (listen, reflect, and meditate on the divine) in silence and contemplation is the foundation. This practice illumes (Sha) the aspirant and leads to nehast (i.e., being spiritually awakened-enlightened). Aspirants discover the sources of Spirit within, whereby a special peace (Hetep) emerges transcending all problems and surpassing all worldly attainments. Moreover, there is a realization that silence is the answer to all things whereby the thinking of the mind gives way to a thoughtless form as in meditation.
Special Meditation Discipline of the Priests and Priestesses of Shetaut Neter
In Chapter XVIII of the book On the Mysteries, the priest Imblichus discusses a special form of meditation practiced by the priesthood. The highest form of these practices allows one to be “removed from nature” and “become superior to the physical powers” that control “the things subordinate.” These practices take one beyond the senses and duality. However, before instruction in the meditation disciplines (i.e., postures, visualizations, breathwork, subtle energy manipulation)) can occur, one must have training in Shetaut Neter philosophy (e.g., Hapers’ song, Prt em Hru) and the discipline of Maat and be properly prepared for vegetarianism, virtuous living, and right worship. When these conditions are met, one may have the experience where the senses are withdrawn, yet subtle senses are possible and must be transcended. Experiences can be had on the astral plane (Duat) that are more intense than in the physical world. For those who are prepared the experiences can be enlightening, but for the unprepared and uninitiated they can be frightening, so proper initiation to the process is important. Going beyond the Duat is a special realm where all sense perceptions can be transcended (Yanrutf). Herein one is completely removed from nature and a special effulgent light more powerful than any other can be discovered. The individual self is merged in that light like a wave within the ocean. This is the goal that all Neterian clergy must pursue without stopping. Although some come to the Duat and have visions and intense sensory experiences, even the subtle experiences are part of the realm of generation “things subordinate” beyond which one needs to transcend to no conscious awareness of time and space. The person who is fully integrated and illuminated enters into this experience many times until becoming one with it perennially. In this enlightened state, one is open to the awareness of the ‘Higher Self” which is the “undifferentiated” and “immortal” Spirit.
To conclude this section, Dr. Ashby discussed the “Duty of Offering,” “Neter Hetepu – divine offerings – articles and instruments,” which is intimately linked to divine worship. Making offerings is the “key to propitiating divine grace.” Divine grace is that which assists aspirants in developing along the spiritual path. Of the three main offerings is offering the Maat icon to a Divine god or goddess. It means becoming “virtuous, balanced, just, and pure.” The next offering is arit. The offering is the udjait or eye of Heru in the form of concentrated food offerings (e.g., wine, bread, beer, cakes) and it represents the “essence of Asar, and Heru that makes the consciousness whole again.” The other form of offering is the Hetep, in the form of the “Hetep Slab” offering table. It is an offering of duality, one’s individuality merges with the Divine and dissolves the separation between individual consciousness and the Divine Self. Although hetep slabs come in many shapes and sizes they typically have the same objects incised on them: “stone slab with male, thigh, and female, duck symbols carved into the top, along with the symbol of Supreme Peace, Hetep, which consists of a loaf of bread, and an offering mat, which was composed of woven reeds (Pre-dynastic times), and two libation vessels. In addition, they all are used in a ritualistic fashion with libations and special prayers. Hetep ultimately means peace and pacification of the gods and goddesses.
Dua Sebai Maa
Dua Seba Dja