Maat Philosophy and its Influence on Present Day Social Ethics
Since ancient times, beginning before 4,000 BCE, the ancient Egyptian civilization based its systems of social order and justice on Maat philosophy which has influenced present day African culture as well as present day societies and religious systems outside of Africa.
African religion is universally accepted as a distinct and legitimate form of spirituality and continues to be practiced by a substantial number of people in and outside of Africa. African religion in a sense is a conglomeration of seemingly different religious traditions which upon closer examination exhibit certain common fundamental tenets that reveal their common origin and spiritual ideal.
One reason for the persistence of African religion is the quality of Humanism which characterizes it. The African term Ubuntu means humanism which is a fundamental concern for the human condition, a caring for fellow human beings with respect to their well-being. It is also a kind of openness, hospitality, and compassion for those in need. It is also a kind of empathy and sympathy for others and a desire to share with others. Maat and Ubuntu are antithetical to the notions of egoistic hoarding, property ownership and wealth accumulation. When compared to the concept of Ubuntu Maat Ari is found to be in every way compatible with this concept of humanism or social awareness and caring.
Selfless Service is the Mainstay of the Life of the Neterian Clergy
Service is an important ingredient in the development of spiritual life. In selfless service one adopts the attitude of seeing and serving the Divine in everyone and everything and one is to feel as an instrument of the Divine, working to help the less able.
Having controlled the body, speech and thoughts, a person who lives by Maat should see him/her self as an instrument of the Divine being used to bring harmony, peace, and help to the world. All human beings and nature are expressions of the Divine. Serving human beings and nature is serving the Supreme Self/God.
The Lifestyle of Priests and Priestesses and their Service to God and Society
The philosophy of service to humanity as opposed to leaving humanity and dwelling in isolation is one of the hallmarks of Kamitan culture. The clergy were required to serve the laity in various capacities, ministerial, medical, legal etc and at the same time their duties to the Temple were maintained in a balanced manner. At some point if he/she chose after a life of service the clergy member could follow the path of the monastic order.
The character of the clergy could be described with one word. Reserved. They are not extroverted in mixed company with the worldly. They do not seek attention to stand out in a crowd. They are not vain or conceited but humble and unassuming. Any glory they achieve in their work is ascribed to God.
Shaved Hair, Baldness and the Philosophy of Nothingness of the Ancient Priests and Priestesses
One important feature of Kamitan culture is the practice of shaving off the hair of the body. Personal hygiene is a peculiar and highly important feature of the Neterian clergy. It was to this feature of the lifestyle that Ancient Egyptian culture owed a great deal for its renowned health and longevity. It was a long-standing practice of the Egyptian clergy to bathe three times daily. Their hygiene was legendary in the ancient world.
The concept of baldness is related to the concept of voidness or absence of created things. The notion of nothingness refers to the area of consciousness that is devoid of mental concepts and thoughts. When there are no thoughts or forms in the mind, it becomes calm, expansive and peaceful. If it eradicates its desires, cravings and illusions, then it becomes aware of the innermost reality and realizes its connection to the entire cosmos.
Marriage, Sexuality and Celibacy for Neterian Priests and Priestesses
The main objective of marriage from the perspective of society is to engender the continuation of humanity. From the perspective of the ignorant soul, its purpose is to provide a framework through which the soul can have certain experiences in time and space within a marital context.
Marriage is a means to achieve peace in a well ordered and mentally balanced society. Marriage allows the desires for companionship and procreation to be expressed in an orderly manner in such a way that these endeavors lead to eventual sublimation of those desires into fulfillment in insight and love of the transcendental Divine.
The ideal of marriage in Neterian culture is not the same as the modern culture. Partners are not forced to stay together if they do not want to be married, nor are they forced or coerced to marry in a Temple. They unite by choice, and they can separate by choice. Also, unions are not arranged by the parents. However, their relationships are not based on externalities such as sex or unnatural pleasure seeking. Marriage is to be based on Maat, righteousness. Any relation that is based on truth will be fruitful and lead to the evolution of all concerned. In such a relationship there is a greater capacity to grow and greater capacity for forgiveness and selflessness. So, if a Neterian follower wishes to marry in order to experience the householder life they may do so but that should not interfere with the work at the Temple and the practice of control of the sex urge. For priests and priestesses that choose to marry they should keep in mind that the marriage should be used to grow in patience, forbearance, nonviolence, self-control, detachment, cosmic love and love beyond family community and country.
Dua Sebai Maa
Dua Seba Dja