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Udja Aset Course Aspirants,
Re:October 13, 2015 #3712
Post by GraceWatkins-Wright (Shems Heryt)
Dua Shems Heryt for such extensive reflections. I wanted to focus on these statements for a bit more insight from a mythic metaphorical philosophical reference:
Re: Shems Heryt’s statements: “Heru and Set fought, it seemed, endlessly with one having the upper hand over the other, only to have the tables turned. Set took the form of fierce animals, such as a hippo, to defeat Heru. But Heru took aim and struck Set with His harpoon. During this battle Aset assisted Heru by striking Set with Her own harpoon. Set cried out to Aset to have mercy and, in Her compassion, Aset withdrew Her harpoon. This act of mercy enraged Heru and, in His insanity, He cut off His Mother Aset’s head. Heru’s action left Him vulnerable, and when He was at rest Set plucked out His eye and threw it far away until it shattered into pieces.”
Commentary by S. Dja:
This is an interesting aspect of this myth…Aset spearing the ego, Set, and then letting it go…as an act of compassion. It highlights many important teachings and insights that an aspirant must have awareness of, to move forward on the spiritual path.
An aspirant must keep in mind that this myth is unfolding in the consciousness of an aspirant…where Aset, Set & Heru are; so these divinities are aspects of one’s own consciousness, and the battle is taking place there, as will the victory.
Coming into the teachings, the aspirant firmly asserts, I want Nehast now! I have Shemsu Udja…burning aspiration for attaining Nehast, Enlightenment. The aspirant’s intuitive intellect (Aset) says, wonderful…let’s go! I will be your foremost advocate on this path.
The Intuitive intellect, Aset, pulls out her various weapons, and starts to attack the ego. But in the early stage of spiritual evolution, the egoism (Set) and aspiration (Heru) are intertwined as one ego-personality, like Siamese twins. This is represented in the Pert M Heru scripture as he who has 2 heads:
The glyph for the harpoon is an arrow and the transliteration of that glyph is “Ua” which means ONE!
Thus, when the goddess wields her harpoon of spiritual wisdom at the aspirant, the aspirant will experience that pain of the ego suffering instead of the Oneness of the Goddess.
So when the aspirant has not developed deep insight into her/his true Self which leads to identification with the True Self (Aset), that is born of intensive and consistent practice of Shedy, and consequently, detachment from ego-identification, then when the Intuitive intellect launches the sharp harpoon of intuitive intellect of self knowledge, of Oneness, to cut down egoism, the ego-personality cries out…Enough…Stop…Have Mercy On Me!
So the harpoon that Aset launches pierces the Heru-Set ego personality with ONENESS and the ego-personality cannot take that losing itself and duality…and begs Aset to stop it, to remove the ONENESS…because the degree of revelation is too much. There is a similar reference in the Hindu-Yoga scripture, the Bhagavad Gita where the Divine in the form of Krishna bestows on his disciple Arjuna, cosmic vision, and though being absorbed in it initially, it became too much for him and he asked Krishna to stop it. So, intuitive revelation of the Self, although the goal of spiritual practice, if it happens too fast, without proper preparation and purification of the personality, the ego-personality is unable to hold on to it and accept it. There are aspirants who for various reasons, including imbalanced or improper spiritual practices & understanding, triggered a premature release of the Serpent Power Energy (acute experience of the higher cosmic energies), for which they were not physically and mentally prepared, and became mentally ill, and some also mentally and physically ill.
So, this capacity of the Goddess to withdraw her harpoon of Oneness, but yet not abandon the aspirant, but continue to work with her/him in different ways, using different means, and allowing time for further spiritual evolution, can be seen as an act of divine understanding and compassion.
At this point, the Goddess as Intuitive Intellect withdraws her weapons and lets the impure ego (Set) go, because the aspirant is not yet able to handle life without that level of egoism, because of the continued erroneous identification with the impure ego as Self. If she continues to forge ahead, relentlessly (antet begag) spearing the impure with with her knowledge of the Self, the aspirant also will suffer, because the aspirant is identified with the impure ego, ignorance of Self.
Yet, at the same time, the aspirant, just like Heru in this scene when Aset lets Set go, becomes frustrated that the negative qualities based on egoism and ignorance of Self continue to persist in her/his personality, and that the process is taking so long.
Yet Nehast occurs over time and in degrees. One spiritual saying describes the process in this way: the spiritual path is poison in the beginning, and nectar in the end. So, just like Heru, the aspirant is going to experience pain on the spiritual path. It’s part of the process. It is the aspirant’s own ariu (level of spiritual attainment & egoism) that determines how fast the process will be.
So, one’s frustration with oneself because of one’s continued attachment to the impure ego, level of ego impurity, succumbing to the pain of the impure ego when one is unable to accept the higher truths of the spiritual teachings cause the intuitive intellect to withdraw its ego piercing intuitive wisdom. So it is in fact the aspirant who chooses to withdraw the harpoon of intuitive intellect (the higher spiritual truths) and continue to live on with the impure ego, albeit through her/his incapacity to do otherwise because of her/his level of spiritual immaturity (egoism and ego-attachment).
But also being frustrated at this incapacity to overcome one’s egoism…feeling defeated that one cannot act without egoism and to experience the intuitive intellect, and feeling the pain that comes from being presented with a higher truth (Set/ego being harpooned by Aset), but then not being able to accept it (Aset withdrawing harpoon)…will be experienced on the spiritual path.
But this myth cautions what will happen if one is not able to accept one’s gradual spiritual evolution as part of the process. One’s frustration with oneself can emerge as anger, and this anger will further impede the flow of intuitive knowledge, as if cuts it off, expressed in the myth by Heru cutting off Aset’s head. It can further develop into a blinding rage which is depicted in the myth as Set gauging out Heru’s eyes.
But as the myth shows, all is not lost, even at times when this does occur…if one continues to practice intense Shedy.
Heru did this, intensified his Shedy and he was able to burn up the impurities (Hetheru, the fire spitting Serpent restored his right eye) and gain deep insight into his true essence (Dejhuty, cosmic mind, restored his left eye), which rendered his vision whole and led him to the intuitive experience of his true essence (Aset) which led him to become King, that is, attain Nehast.
So, the actions of the intuitive intellect at times also reveal to the aspirant the depth of egoism that still remains in the personality…showing that more purification of the the ego is needed in order to attain Nehast. This is depicted in the myth by Heru’s very egoistic reactions when Aset let Set go. Heru thought that he was on the verge of attaining Nehast because Aset was assisting him. But when this did not occur, when his desires and expectations were thwarted, his still strong egoism emerged. He blamed Aset for his predicament, but what was really being revealed, to himself, was that he was not yet worthy of the throne…that he had not yet reached the height of spiritual evolution he thought he had…that he still had more work to do.
Once he was able to calm down and become reflective about his egoistic outburst that was triggered by Aset letting Set go, Heru was able to realize that he still had more spiritual work to do, that he was not ready to become King (attain Nehast) because he still had impurities that needed to be cleansed (egoism – anger, rage, frustration when desires and expectations are thwarted). What did he have to do? There is a saying, whatever the question, the answer is, More Yoga, in our case, more Sema Tawi, which means more Shedy, and that is what he did
While the above occurs in the microcosm of the aspirant’s consciousness with her/his relationship to his/her Higher Self, it also occurs in the macrocosm with the relationship between the aspirant and the teacher, in this case, as symbolized also by Goddess Aset. The spiritual preceptors/teachers like Aset in this myth & Lord Djehuty in the Glorious Light Meditation myth, are constantly, through the teachings they impart and by their living example, wielding harpoons at the aspirant’s ego.
But also, it must be tempered with patience…allowing the aspirant to come and go, to and from the teachings and or intensity of the teachings, according to how much their ego cries out that it’s all too much when presented with certain truths they cannot yet accept.
Sometimes aspirants become frustrated at or angry with the teachings and or the teacher/preceptor, metaphorically wanting to eat the teacher, as in the Glorious Light Meditation when Hetheru initially could not accept what her preceptor Lord Djehuty was telling her about her true nature and could only think about eating him, or to chop off the teacher/preceptor’s head, as in this Asarian myth.
So, these myths let aspirants know…this is part of the process…part of the experiences you will have on the path, and that you can still come back from these experiences, through humility in the teachings and towards the teacher/preceptor, and continued self effort on the path, with the guidance of the preceptor (Aset helped Heru to achieve his final goal even after he chopped off her head, and Lord Djehuty in the GLM myth also helped Heteru to achieve her final goal even after she tried to kill and eat him).
So, microcosmically or macrocosmically, the intuitive intellect is ever ready to reveal to you your true essence. But this is tempered/limited by one’s own egoism. The aspirant will experience frustration with the process, with the persistence of the egoism in his/her personality. It seems as though the Intuitive Intellect or teacher is okay with the continued egoism. But really the force of the spiritual teachings and experience is to reveal to you your true essence, but this cannot occur when egoism is still in the personality. Identification with the ego personality as one’s true essence causes the aspirant to experience the pain of the ego, and this blocks the harpoon of intuition from penetrating deep into one’s consciousness to destroy the egoism that lurks there. But with continued Shedy, patience with one’s self, understanding the process and that it is a gradual process, being able to “sit” with one’s egoistic actions and practice detachment from them: I’m am the sky like Self and the egoistic actions and thoughts and feelings are like the clouds, which are not me, which are separate from me, and which cannot affect my true skylike essence, even though they seem to condition my true skylike essence, they don’t, they can’t, because I am the sky-like Self! This type of reflection allows the aspirant to accept with humility one’s egoism, AND also, to sublimate the egoistic sentiments, recognizing that they still there, that you are working to remove them and that they don’t define You.
Macrocosmically spiritual teachers/preceptors do this; they must accept the student as the student presents him/herself…which is usually with a high level of egoism…and see beyond the egoism to the essence, the Self, and assist that student/aspirant to realize that Self. So, when aspirants serve at spiritual centers and yoga ashrams, the spiritual teachers seemingly are also accepting the egoism that is present in the aspirants. It is through that service…over time…sometimes even a long time, sometimes not even in this lifetime, that ego effacement occurs.
Therefore, it is also important for students/aspirants to be able to not only accept their own seeming failures (continued egoism) on the path, but also accept the egoistic level of other students/aspirants who are on the path as well, realizing that there is really little the teacher or anyone, even the aspirant, can do in the moment to overcome her/his egoism…that it is a process for them also…just as it is for you. It’s a process for all aspirants. And just as Aset is removing the harpoon of oneness from one’s own ego, to allow your ego to continue on longer, realizing if she does not it will be too much for the personality, so too she is allowing that same process for other aspirants.
So, in spiritual centers and yoga ashrams, sometimes aspirants will feel that teachers overlook the egoism of some aspirants instead of making them stop being egoistic. This can lead to frustration, especially if the egoism of other aspirants is being directed at oneself. It is a common occurrence to have aspirants leave the spiritual center or ashram never to return again, or stay away from the center and the spiritual teachings a long time, because of some egoistic encounter with a fellow aspirant.
But the teacher understands the process, he/she can do nothing in the moment to suddenly make any aspirant stop being egoistic, that it’s a process of understanding, listening to the teachings repeatedly, studying the teachings, reflecting on the teachings, meditating on the teachings, practice of applying the teachings to various life experiences that will be presented to one in practical life, that will allow one to see the situation from different perspectives, and apply the teaching, and gain insight, and gain glimpses of the Divine, and spiritually evolve.
When aspirants also understand and accept this process, not only for themselves, but for all aspirants, then the aspirant can use the egoism of other aspirants to further themselves in their own spiritual evolution, taking the opportunity to, like Aset, act with compassion and patience towards those who are less spiritually mature, and also, to practice detachment (turning the mind away from focusing on ego…one’s own and others, and attaching the mind instead to the Divine Essence, reflecting on the divine essence of everyone and everything (intense practice of Sema Uashu, Devotional Shedy). This can then also extend to worldly interactions with those personalities that are not on any formal authentic spiritual path…to everyone one encounters.
“If you are angered by a misdeed, then lean toward a man on account of his rightness.
Pass over the misdeed and don’t remember it,
since GOD was silent to you on the first day of your misdeed.”
There is also the spiritual joke about pointing a finger at someone, that when one points a finger, there are 3 fingers pointing back at oneself. So what one is reacting to in others…what one sees that one does not like in others…that should become a trigger for introspection to be sure that one does not possess those same qualities, perhaps in a different environment or in a different circumstance, and remove it from oneself. In this way, less spiritually mature personalities serve to enhance and promote one’s spiritual evolution; they are like a spiritual check list of things you should no longer be doing yourself and or a spiritual mirror reflecting for you what you need to work on within yourself.
Also, because what one focuses on grows, it is a good habit to find the expression of the Divine Light within each person, no matter how dull the personality and focus on that, and highlight that about the person (“… lean toward a man on account of his rightness”). In this way, you will be cultivating Djehuty like vision, in the GLM as he encountered Hetheru in her degraded state, but instead of calling her a murderous egoistic beast, he focused on her LIGHT…on her Ra Akhu (divine light) even as he dealt with the practice reality of her murderous beastly egoistic nature by jumping away from her as she tried to catch him to eat him. This will promote your practice of Shedy Uashu and Shedy Maat Ari, seeing and serving the Self in others, and ongoing flow of your mind to the Divine (rather than to your ego by being annoyed by the egoism of others).
This process is referred to as “INTEGRATING” the personality, and is why we refer to the Shedy path as Integral Shedy. It refers to integrating all 4 main aspects of the personality (Will through Meditation, Intellect through Wisdom, Action through Righteousness, Emotion through Devotion), and also the back and forth movement (from and to the higher truth) that takes place on the spiritual path, just as occurred in the fight between Heru & Set in the Asarian myth.
So an aspirant must not only develop compassion and patience towards oneself…and acceptance of one’s continued expression of egoism even as one is striving to rid oneself of the impure ego, but also compassion and patience with other aspirants, and people in the world in general who are not even formally on an authentic mystical spiritual path. This is where the Shedy discipline of Devotion comes in, striving to see with the spiritual eye, and as Lord Djehuty saw in Hetheru, even in her most degraded state when he greeted her, “Oh Beautiful daughter of the Sun! Everyone is that beautiful daughter of the Sun, including yourself!”
“Strive to see with the inner eye, the heart.
It sees the reality not subject to emotional or personal error; it sees the essence.
Intuition then is the most important quality to develop.”
Accepting the nature of the path…the integral process…that transformation occurs in degrees and over time…will allow you to accept your divine nature, even as you continue to battle egoism in your personality that the Goddess will make more evident, so that you can face it, and eventually…in degrees, over time…sublimate it and achieve victory over it.
Thus, you will be able to express patience and compassion towards your own spiritual process, even while the impure ego is still intertwined with the aspiration (Heru with the two head). This patience and compassion towards oneself will also express in patience and compassion towards others, those on the formal spiritual path like you, and people in the world in general, when they are suffering at the hands of their ego and their intuitive insight is not developed enough to help them overcome the egoism in that moment.
I will share a poem to Goddess Aset that I wrote about this topic in 1998
Aset, the Great Goddess, The Universal Mother … so divine
Just thinking of her fill me with thoughts and feelings most sublime
Who could resist a mother with her arms and heart always opened wide
Ever waiting to embrace me and in whom I can always abide
Like every mother she does not permit her children to do everything they want to do
Because she knows when the outcomes will be disastrous for you
When out of egoism to her will you, like good children, do not surrender
You’ll experience pain and sorrow … and then go on to blame her
You scream at her, if you loved me you would not have let this happen to me
Where were you when I needed you? How could just let me be?
You may place yourself in a corner and sit and stew
Sometimes out of your ignorance, anger and frustration, you may even say “I hate you”
During all your trials, like any good mother … it hurts her to see her children suffer pain and sorrow
But she knows that it must be … that you’ll be better off for it tomorrow
So patiently she waits for the flames of egoism to die down
To approach her child, her face radiant, yet showing concern in the form of a frown
She extends her arm and places her index finger under your chin
And gently raises your head up … until your eyes meet again
In the wave of love and compassion she sends through her stare
You feel pangs of guilt for the things you said to her in your rage, but about this you know she does not care
She’d already forgiven you, even before you said the harsh things you did
She knows they are not the real you, but the ego of which you are working to get rid
You know it is not her fault that you experienced discomfort, sorrow and pain
She tried to tell you what to do … but you rejected her wisdom again and again
She says “Though at many times you may feel you are alone and apart
Know that I am always with you, I am your very heart”
From her lips flow the words, “I love you … for you are my very soul”
In that moment she embraces you, and you become completely whole
Copyright 1998, Sema Institute of Yoga
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Seba Dja.