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TOA Lesson 3
1. a. What is Medtu Neter? – Right there on the cover of the book it says, “Medtu Neter-Divine Words” and in continuing reading we learn further it means “writing the divine words” as another translation.
1. b. How is it different from other writing systems especially the Western writing system? Medtu Neter uses iconography and hieroglyphs to convey layered meanings not just alphabetical writing of words. It was invented prior to 3300 BCE and had been in existence for over 3500 years and changed little during that time. So it was the longest used language and is possible to decipher today. It is not only beautiful to look at but the symbols contain many meanings. It is not just literal. So one has to have the proper background in the philosophy to understand the true meanings by an authentic teacher of the philosophy.
2. a. List the important topics covered in the book readings about Ancient Egyptian writing system: Medtu Neter. First we are to understand what Medtu Neter means – “writing of divine words” which uses “tats” (signs, forms or images) these are referred to as Hieroglyphs. This comes from the Greek terms “hieros” – sacred and “glypho” – inscriptions. So even the Greeks tell us these are sacred writings – Divine Words. These were handed down from Neberdjer to the God Djehuty and Goddess Sesheta (cosmic forces) who fulfill the role of presiding over the function and energy of writing and the power of the thoughts and ideas in the mind, as well as when they are codified into written form. Priests and Priestesses had the most important discipline to transcribe the writings. These writings were inscribed on temple walls, coffins and papyri. But why would they do this? Just to appear as a cultured society who had an acutely artistic flair? Some may just believe this. But the reality is they were teachings which held insights into the spiritual nature of the human being which allows for spiritual awakening, Nehast, freedom from the cycle of birth and death, understandings for the true purpose of life. Sebai Maa gave us the evolution of the alphabet from the Ancient Egyptians, Pro-Siniatic, Phoenicians, Greek, Etruscan, Roman on through the present day. Since the closing of the Temples around 450 A.C.E. the hieroglyphic text was forced into disuse. However the Rosetta Stone which was largely deciphered by Jean François Champollion in the early 19th century was a decree by an Ancient Egyptian King and had three different languages: Hieroglyphic, Demotic and Greek this led to decipherment of the “context” of the images (words) on the slab. Sebai Maa gave us the stages of Ancient Egyptian Writing: Old Kingdom – Hieroglyphic Script; Middle Kingdom to Late Period – Hieratic Script, a shorthand script used by Priests and Priestesses; Late Period Demotic Script – which was used by the general population for non-secular purposes; Coptic Script which is still used in the present by the Coptic Priesthood. We learn there are two different types of Hieroglyphs: 1. Ideographic with objects and determinatives; and 2. Phonetic having uniphonic, (1 sound) biphonic (2 sounds) and triphonic (3 sounds). Ideographic hieroglyphs represent whole words or concepts. Determinatives are visual signs that represent a reference to the word. Phonetic hieroglyphs represent sounds. The direction of the writing can be left to right, right to left and top to bottom this helps determine how to read the glyphs. You read them as the direction in which they are facing, if they are facing right then they are to be read from right to left. If they are facing left then they are to be read left to right. You read “into” the direction in which they are facing.
2. b. Why are they important for understanding Ancient Egyptian writing as well as the philosophy contained in it? For me the understanding that the Medtu Neter is a writing system to support the Divine by conveying language in “Tat” (signs, forms or images), hieroglyphs creating the words, mythology and philosophy is crucial. As Sebai Maa says, “Its purpose is to make live the things it renders” I felt this so deeply. This is not just a language to be deciphered and learned intellectually but as one learns, feels and understands the philosophy contained in it, It assists us in knowing and realizing the Divine! It was also very helpful to understand the history and origins of the Medtu Neter and how it has influenced our language today. I especially appreciated the fact that Medtu Neter uses both the left and right brain making it much more impressionable. Once we can decipher the writings, it is most important to understand why they were written and for whom they were written, not merely for their literal meanings but for their layered and deepest meanings, the true philosophy of the Words of the Divine.
3. What are the main take aways from the Introduction to Hieroglyphs video, the important teachings to remember about the Medtu Neter and how it works in principle? The video and slide presentation reiterated for me the teachings given in the reading assignment and I found these to be a reinforcement via the same principles of the Medtu Neter themselves. Through sight and sound they support the teachings given in the readings, so they are the living Medtu Neter for me, through our Spiritual Preceptor’s voice and inflections, his writings we gain access to his knowledge and how we are to decipher, understand and live the writings of the Divine. It was important to learn the different types of Hieroglyphs, the ideograms, phonetics and determinatives to bring clarity to working with them. I look forward learning the Medtu Neter for the benefits it will bring in understanding the philosophy to put into practice during this lifetime. I enjoyed doing the Practice Lesson 1 and my grandchildren enjoyed testing me!