Reply To: Level 1 Book Reading Assignment Discussions

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AvatarANTHONYBAHLIBI
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Level 1 Lesson 2, Course Workbook, Pages 21-22

Personal Assessment Questions:

1. How would you describe your knowledge of religion and philosophy?

I have read and studied many religious texts including Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, Kebra Negast, One Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Tibetan book of the Dead, etc. As for Kemetic texts I have read Sebai Maa’s translations of the Prt M Hru, Harpers Songs, Wisdom Texts. I have also read the writings on Egypt by Manetho, various Greek texts on Egypt, A Hermetica translation, I have electronic copies of a number of translated hymns, The Region of Night and Thick Darkness, 12 Divisions of the Duat, The Book of Gates, online copy of a section of the Pyramid Texts. When I began practicing Smai Tawi I would use the analytical and philosophical analysis and apply it to my readings/reflections on cryptic texts like the Pyramid Texts, and much more understanding and realization came from that study then studying any intellectual analysis of Egyptian scripture by other so-called Egyptian spiritual practitioners of other systems that did not have an integral yogic application.

I understand that religion is originally and in its true essence a yoga system for spiritual enlightenment and because the mystical is not experience or pursued by many so-called followers of religion it has been able to become a cause of dogma, oppressive propaganda, cultural destruction, violence and war. I have always been driven to religion since childhood by an internal inspiration, I have always admired and highly esteemed a person who displayed a level of existential wisdom and renunciation. I resisted the religious side of yoga teachings until I experienced the mystical through Smai Tawi and then began to understand.

As for philosophy I am not especially well versed in the philosophical literature tradition or the education or academic level analysis of philosophy. I understand that the solely intellectual form of philosophy is a misguided tradition, true philosophy is born out of inquiry, meditation, and mystical experiences in order to describe the levels of existence and experiences of awareness, the problem of existence, and how to return our nature to its purest form.

2. What do you see as the greatest obstacle to your happiness and fulfillment in life?

My deep ignorance and intense attachment. Attachment to my mental conditioning and how it plays out in scenarios of sensory experience. Not being able to appreciate good things in the present without holding on to them, not being able to detest unrighteous things and let go of them, indiscipline to moving away from my patterns of egoism whether it be uncontrolled speech (venting, gossiping), pleasure seeking, dull or agitated mindset. My attachment to people, objects, experiences, and thoughts takes concentration away from the teaching and awareness formally and informally. The attachment is born out of a much deeper ignorance and its very apparent. The deeper ignorance is beyond my conscious awareness much of the time and I will be compelled to think or act in a certain engraved manner and there is a lack of understanding on why the limited experience is all I know or have knowledge of at any given time and also why making a change from that pattern or waking up beyond the patterns requires the yogic work and kemetic philosophy.

3. What do you see as the most important need that you have?

Mystical Experience. The space externally and internally to dedicate myself unmolested and get over some humps into a cleaner spiritual state of body mind spirit.

4. What is your previous religious affiliation or faith and how do you think that relates to what you are following now?

There is a long heritage of liberal christian pastors on my European mother’s side of the family, but most of them I did not meet. On my Eritrean father’s side they are Tawhedo Coptic Christians and I also heard there have been a number of priests or monks in the family in the past. I was raised in a household that respected the altruistic type of experience talked about in christianity, but we only went to church for a short time( fine with me!) and many of my family members are also intellectuals who take a more atheistic materialist approach to life. As a child I openly asked about god and religion. At 13 I considered myself a Wiccan after hearing they believed trees had souls. Then at 16-17 considered myself a type of Rastafari. Then at 17+ got into meditation, yoga, buddhist ideas of enlightenment, etc. At 21 came across the integral system of Smai Tawi and practiced consistently for three years and the profound experiences that I was seeking in any of the other religious concepts I explored. Up until now I never truly dedicated myself wholeheartedly to a single teaching and studied many religious/spiritual ideas, texts, etc no matter what particular form I was interested in at that time. I now feel that I am making a rational decision after many years of seeking to use the Kemetic Spiritual System through the Lens of Sebai Maas analysis and teachings of the myth, scripture, and goal.

5. What role do you feel religion or spirituality plays in your life?

Religion and Spirituality play a main role in my life. It plays an instructive and guidance role, and provides a platform for me to enter a deep contemplation of life, the deeper problems and solutions, and it provides techniques for having experiences which guide my consciousness to a sharper reasoning and contemplation. Like an unending circle of contemplation> Experience Contemplation > Experience. I would like to attain something in which all levels of awakening would be attained and a supreme goal is reached.

6. Have you had any previous yoga instruction? If so where and what was (is) your experience?

On a serious level only from the books of the Sema Institute beginning in 2009. My earlier practice of yoga and meditation came first from Pema Chodron’s book Things Fall Apart where I learned a meditation technique which I applied for years, I also have studied various works by people such as Yogananda and B.K.S. Iyengar.

7. Have you received any advanced religious instruction?

No.

8. How do you see your life?

My life is as yet a deeper mystery. Some things are apparent like sensory experiences and gross thoughts, but the subtle and sublime comes and goes depending on my state of mind. The most fundamental thing I think I can deduce is that the purpose of my life is to cleanse and eliminate waste, baggage, fetters. Everything else of life whether it’s wealth, family, fame, comfort, even negative experiences like pain suffering or disease; these things come and go but they never define the true essence of a person’s life; the true essence is really have we done cleansing work and gone down the path that it reveals, transitionally letting go of instead of continually consuming thoughts and old-pleasures that are simply waste products, obstructions, and fetters. My life is a journey to get clean and be a pure and righteous being and vibrational state.

9. What do you think of your own potential to succeed in life?

I know that my highest intention and vision for myself is possible when it’s not based on the world of duality but the inner journey. I have faith optimism and a fairly consistent inspiration that true enlightenment or Nehast is a real possibility, a complete perfection. Sometimes it’s like 1 day will be very lucid and wise but then the next day may involve major fetters, selfishness, childish emotional reactions. Sometimes I am willing to go through the fire of looking at myself and other times its like i’m running from it and trying to get myself to return to Self. For that purpose the techniques especially Tef Neteru, breath work, combined with meditation; really help cut through the agitation and allow me to return to the path with clarity. Sometimes even days will pass without me using those techniques to help me get into a clear state. Issues with work, school, familar relations, etc sometimes are not fettering and other times are very base and uncomfortable. I have optimism but I see serious and long-term challenge ahead.

10. If you could, what would you like to do with your life?

I would like to wake up completely beyond the awake, dream, and deep sleep state and realms. Materially I am in grad school studying history and would like to be a professor at a community college or potentially university but would like to situate my life so I have the least and necessary interaction with society in order to do some good works and make income to support a sacred space for using my life for spirituality and culture of a higher order.