Level 1 – Lesson 15– Video Assignment – Intro to Shetaut Neter 104-105 Part 3 and 4
1. List the important themes presented
A. Maat Philosophy – Maat Philosophy has a cosmic as well as a practical aspect, both leads to purity of heart, maakheru and redemption of the soul. The judgement scene from the papyrus, The Pert M Heru shows a balance scale where the heart is weighed against the feather of Maat. The result is the consequence of living by Maat (righteousness) or living unMaat (unrighteousness). After death the heart, a vessel which contains ones thoughts, feelings and desires is weighed against the feather of Maat in front of Asar Seker (The God), the King of the Netherworld and Djeuty. Three things can occur as a result of this weighing;
1. The heart can be found to be heavier than the feather of Maat (filled with desires, worries, lies, unrighteousness etc.) which means the soul is unrighteous and will suffer hellish consequences in the netherworld.
2. The heart can be found to be even with the feather of Maat, which means the soul is good but not perfected and will be made to serve Asar.
3. The heart can be lighter than the feather of Maat, which means you are subtle and light enough for the soul to merge and become one with Asar. This merging occurs in the inner shrine. In the papyrus of Ani – Heru, after found to be a righteous soul against the scale of Maat, leads the initiate Ani by the hand into the inner shrine to meet Asar. This is a ritual to be carried out by three personalities, a priest and two priestesses, representing the trinity. This is where the righteous initiate is being anointed, become enlightened, becoming an Akhu – glorious spirit.
So to become a qualified Aspirant, the Key is to follow the path of Maat Philosophy perennially. Maat philosophy teaches that you are Divine and have a Divine purpose. Adopting the path of Maat will lead you to this truth through the study of the wisdom of the Neteru. You will discover God, your purpose in life, become pure of heart, righteous, achieve immortality, abiding peace and prosperity. Living by Maat is done through your daily actions. When an action is done the residue (memory engrams) stays in your unconscious mind, which holds the sum total of all actions termed ariyu. Unrighteous actions cause agitation in the mind, weighing down of the heart, preventing the reception of subtleness from the teachings, hence preventing lightness of the heart required to enter he inner shrine, the abode of Asar, enlightenment.
In addition, another practical example found in the precepts of Maat is that a Maatian society engenders that everyone’s basic needs is to be taken care of but a unMaatian society, such as western society promotes unrighteousness, injustices and unequal distribution of wealth and resources causing unjust state of wellbeing and degraded living for one group in society while the other group lives well with wealth from unjust means because the wealth is acquired through the stealing of other countries resources, such as countries that steal natural resources from Africa to build nuclear power etc. or exploitation of other countries citizens through cheap labor to fuel materialism and capitalism.
B. Devotion (Uashu) and Freedom (Nafu) – Devotion to the Divine means living by Maat. Devotion is a path to lead us out of ignorance and unrighteousness, which is found in the teachings. The teaching must be studied with the guidance of a spiritual preceptor because at the higher and more subtle levels, spiritual philosophy is harder than rocket science, medical sciences and engineering. However everyone has the capacity to succeed since we are all sparks of the Divine. There are two aspects of devotional practice, personal (home) and community worship (festival time lead by clergy in ancient times).
C. Shedy and Maakheru – Shedy is study of the spiritual teachings, it means to penetrate the mysteries through the spiritual disciplines. The disciplines includes 1. Wisdom teachings (Rech Ab) – Wisdom is represented by the Goddess Aset, who suckles Heru. This suckling is a metaphor for the wisdom given to Heru by Aset in the same way the wisdom is given to the aspirant (female, receptive) by the spiritual preceptor (Sba) this wisdom enriches the mind and soul. The preceptor, represents the male aspect and gives through speaking (the mouth is the penis that goes into the ear to fertilize the soil of the mind to give birth to spiritual enlightenment) 2. Action (Maat Ari) 3. Devotion (Uashu) 4. Meditation (Uaa)
In summary, The Four Great Truths of Neterianism are to be realized through the practice of the Four disciplines of Shedy which is practiced in three steps: 1. Listening to the Teachings (listen, act, heed) 2. Reflection (practice ritual and reflect on meaning) and 3. Meditation.
D. Basic Requirement of Shemsu – First there has to be spiritual aspiration then there are two paths that can be chosen from, the path of religion or the path of the yogic disciplines (philosophy). If either is chosen the shedy disciplines are paramount to the success of the aspirant and they both lead to the same goal, Nehast. To be a Shemsu, a follower of Shetaut Neter, there are daily, monthly and annual rituals to be practiced. The daily ritual (altar ritual, recite great truths, chant daily Hekau, Study of scripture, meditation, offering) is most important, and is to be practiced three times per day, morning, noon and dusk. The three fold worship program follows the Anunian Theology by observing the three aspects of Ra (Khepera, Ra and Ra Tem). The daily ritual includes all the shedy disciplines. The monthly ritual (the moon ritual/moon festival) is observed twice per month by 1 day fasting on New Moon, and 1 Day fasting on the Full Moon, there is a special Uashu, praise of Aset in the form of the Moon. The annual ritual is the summer and winter solstices, the winter solstice celebrates the birth of Heru on December 25th.
E. The Kemetic Diet (Sunu Philosophy) – In order for the teachings to be effective, there has to be purity of the body, mind and soul, which is health of body mind and soul. The source of all disease (ignorance of Self) occurs in the causal plane, the unconscious mind, then manifest in the astral plane before manifesting in the physical body. Imhotep, the first doctor who was also an architect and philosopher is the creator of the Sunu Philosophy of Ancient Kemet, which engender that there is food for body mind and soul that leads to self-knowledge. Food for the body includes a vegetarian diet, supplements, the Tjef Neteru yoga postures, massage therapy, reflexology etc. Food for the mind is virtue, purity of thoughts actions and deeds and food for the soul is the restless motion of cosmos, meditation.
F. How is Higher Vision Attained- The Practice of Meditation – Sage Amunhotep was regarded as one of the greatest Sages- He had a temple dedicated to him, he was a High priest as well, he wrote philosophy and the practice of meditation.
There are 6 major forms of Meditation –
1. Arat Sekhem Uaa (Meditation of the Subtle Life Force) 2. Ari Sma Maat Uaa, (Meditation on the Righteous Action – Maat) 3. Nuk Pu – Ushet Uaa (Meditation on the I am) 4. Nuk Ra Akhu Uaa (Meditation on the Glorious Light) 5. Rekh Amun Uaa (Meditation on the Wisdom Teaching) 6. Khet Ankh Uaa (Meditation on the Tree of Life)
G. Believing in God vs Knowing God – Belief in God means having faith, I know God means a complete experience of God, if you say I am God, this is highest experience because it’s the experience of oneness and in oneness there is nothing else to know. Hence, the physical manifestations of God can be seen, heard felt etc. But God cannot be understood by the senses. Concentration on anything is what leads you to knowing that thing, because all is God and God is all, so concentrating on the Divine will lead you to experience the Divine. The same teaching is found in the temple of Aset – “…No mortal Man has unveiled me”, The transcendental supreme being cannot be known with the physical senses and mind, one must develop a higher mode of sensibility, in order to discern the supreme, one has to become immortal, like sages this means having a dual consciousness, being able to ‘see’ God and ‘know’ God at the same time.
Worship of the lower beings, Gods and Goddesses will lead you to a higher understanding of Oneness, the ALL, the Supreme Being. Ignorance is what leads to the perception that we are separate from the ALL and this is an illusion, People are constantly seeking to unite with objects and people in the physical reality to become complete, but the searching for completeness in the world is an illusion, ALL problems comes from this illusion, the only true happiness comes from knowing you are already complete, you are ALL. To realize this and have the actual experience of this is the practice of the Shedy disciplines.
H. Idolatry – The Universe is Divinity so there can be no idolatry in worshiping ALL in Neterianism unlike western culture that gives followers one idea or one image to worship, excluding others. There is only one Supreme Being and ALL is an emanation of the One Supreme Being. Nothing in creation has an independent existence, we are all connected and sustained by the One Supreme Being. Neterian culture worships images of Gods and Goddesses as enlightened beings that has transcended mortality (Akhu’s) and not just random personalities as in ancestral worshiping (which is a degradation of the culture). Symbols are necessary to understand abstract concepts, which are essential to understanding life. The concept of ALL being One is an abstract concept which means it cannot be understood by the mind and senses so the gods and goddesses helps us to understand and lead us to the One Supreme Being. The images of the Gods and Goddesses are symbols of cosmic principles in creation, so we are not worshiping stone, even though stone is infused with Divinity, because the All is Divine but on a higher philosophical understanding, is that the image represents what is being worshiped. The image, symbols or iconography are support, a crutch which gives the mind something to grasp until one have grown enough in spiritual sensitivity through purification to perform abstract level of worship. You have to creep before you can walk, in the teachings this means growing in more and more purity. This high level of purification needed to practice worship at an abstract level can be measured by one’s meditative state, the ability to cease the mind from all thoughts. The abstract thoughtless experience of consciousness, is the higher transcendental principle that is being referred to in the symbolism of the Gods and Goddesses who exist in a philosophical conceptual form as in the Anunian Theology where they are to be seen as a metaphor in understanding our own consciousness, ex. Asar.
2. Explain what impressed you most in this presentation – The explanation of the Neteru and why we worship them was pretty impressive. I gathered that the understanding and worship of subtle forms of manifestations of the Divine such as the gods and goddesses can lead one to more subtler manifestation and ultimate experience of the Supreme Being who is formless. Also, the iconography of the Gods and Goddesses are important to worship because of what they represent, a reflection and support of the existence of a transcendental reality beyond the physical plane. They themselves is beyond the gross physical reality and forms but still connected to the Divine as all souls are since the Divine is the sustainer of All creation. I was also impressed by the notion that our consciousness have to get subtle and subtler as well to discern and ultimately experience the Divine. In addition, I thought it was profound when Sebai Maa mentioned that no matter how much you know, no matter how much you read etc. without purity of heart nothing is possible, you’re still degraded as any other ignorant personality, devotion helps to purify the heart and helps one to feel the teachings and not just think about it otherwise one has only attained dry intellectualism. So higher and higher level of purification through the shedy disciplines is what leads to purity of heart, lightness of heart, the higher mode of sensitivity needed to realize and experience All as Divine and the gods and goddesses are metaphors to help us in understanding of our own consciousness so we can know ourselves and the Divine.