Udja, below my post about the video assignment – level 2
Level 1 – Lesson 2 Video Assignment
IMPORTANT THEMES PRESENTED
In the second great truth of the Ancient Egyptian religion, devotion to the divine helps the aspirant to be free from the fetters of SET or the egoistic personality. The fetters lead to ignorance of the divine in making us believing we are essentially separate from the rest of the creation. Two types of worship were practiced in Ancient Egypt:
– Public worship leaded by priests and priestesses usually made in the outer part of the template and comprised in part, the reenactment of the myth and possession.
– Personal worship occurring at private house where people manifest their devotion to the gods and goddesses continuing the experience from the public ceremony. The personal practice was very important to ensure the practitioner continues to work on developing essential qualities to attain Nehast.
Worship is a key aspect of the practice of Religion in Ancient Egypt and its purpose was to turn the ego away from egoism and toward serving the aspirant in his quest to experience universal consciousness. In present time, the majority of people are being put in a condition to unconsciously or consciously worship money and material prosperity in general, because the struggle for survival is so strong that people ignore about the existence of a higher sense of life. In practical terms, worship helps the practitioner to become like the object of worship; so there is a sense of communion that is developed over time. It is not as the object of worship is outside of us so we can rely on in case of danger but, it is an ideal we are aspiring to become like. And as we develop this subtle feeling of knowledge, we gradually elevate ourselves to higher consciousness and this brings another dimension in life. Establishing authentic worship to the divine where the practitioner aspires to become like the gods and goddesses is a way out of the current fear based attitude incurred by the dominant civilization. The teaching of Ancient Egypt is more alive than ever and can certainly contribute among other similar philosophies the discovery of new ways of thinking about the issues humanity is dealing with in present time.
2) Origin of Meditation
The art of meditation is a discipline practiced for the purpose of promoting the discovery of one’s Higher Self, the transcendental spirit , in order to attain Nehast, spiritual enlightenment. It is a tool for religious and non-religious, allowing the practitioner to go within, to expand his consciousness from individual to cosmic. When we usually think about meditation, we have an image or practitioners of Yoga in India. However, evidence showed that this practice goes way back in time before yoga was developed and practiced in India. Indeed, instructions for formal meditation were found in Ancient Egypt, in the tomb of Sheti I, second king of the 19th century located at a temple, which completion is estimated around 1306-1290 B.C.E., in the city of Waset (Thebes). The instructions were recorded there for posterity as the practice itself was done before that period and refer to Glorious light (Ra Akhu Uaah) with details about postures, visualizations and chants. The practitioner visualizes itself as the center of a circle as per the symbolism of the God RA and the Sundisk. By this, the practitioner is intending to reconnect to higher Self and through chanting the hekau and the chants will generate the change of vibrations in the mind necessary to progress toward the path of enlightenment. It is also recorded that the myth of Hetheru and Djehuty needs to be read before the practice of this meditation.
3) About maat philosophy
From the Perm m hru text, Asar after his death, resurrected and became king of the underworld. The goddess determines where a human being would be reincarnated based on comparison between balance and the featers of MAAT as follows:
a. Balance heavier than feathers of Maat, this means the heart is heavy with desires, passions, emotions…The person has been unrightfully and will need to suffer and then reincarnate(Uhemankh).
b. Balance equal to feathers of Maat. You are a modernly righteous person, you will live with Asar into the Underworld.
c. Balance lighter than feathers of Maat, this means the person has transcended physicality and has attained NEHAST, ending the cycle of rebirth…He or she will dwell with the gods and goddesses who control and direct the great plan.
That process is happening in astral plane and represents the mystical implication of the philosophy of Maat. Thus, living a righteous life has implication for the progression of Soul in the path of enlightenment. It is not just a moral philosophy about convincing people to do good during their present life because they will be judged after the death and their actions will determine their fate. Actually, the judge is not external to us and the implication of the teaching goes beyond simple morality although when living by maat principle, we transcend the fetters of the personality but, it is not an end for itself but rather a mean to an end, which is the resurrection of the transcendental Spirit within us.
Maat philosophy teaches us to live a virtuous life that requires great effort and guidance. It is the main driving principle of a spiritual life so we do not get caught in delusion of the mind, while living in a manner incoherent to the essence of the philosophy.
4) Physical postures
The Postures represent physical as well as mythological workouts. They help us learning to act and feel like the divinities so we can understand who they are, how they think. A main role of our preceptor is to guide our thinking process, to show us how to reason properly about the teaching. It is not only important to learn about the philosophy, we also need to develop a sense of troubleshooting or the quality of knowing about how things work, how they are going inside. The role of the preceptor is to guide us in understanding how to get inside things, how to think properly, how to feel about them, in essence, how to apply the philosophy in real world. The proper attitude for the aspirants once they accept a preceptor should be to integrate the new way of thinking under his guidance and not have an egocentric desire to follow their own way of doing things that can lead them to failure in the spiritual path.
So, performing the postures has a mystical implication in allowing us to have the proper mindset to think properly about higher realities. This new way of thinking will guide us in other areas of the spiritual path in promoting the development of the subtlety of the mind necessary to perceive the transcendental spiritual reality. The postures offer also possibilities for Meditation in reference to the teaching of ancient Egyptian Shetaut Neter as well as the reenactment of the related drama. The postures are broken down into 5 phases, like a journey:
1) Khepri as creation
2) Movement for the earth phase
3) Movement representing the animal elements
4) Movement describing the Higher Self poses
5) Establishment of our Higher Self
The practice of postures needs to be complimented with ethical practice in order to purify the personality. Physical posture is not practiced primarily for health but, essentially for spiritual evolution.
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE VIDEO PRESENTATION
I am more impressed by the deep meaning of the postures, and in their ability to promote spiritual development and understanding of the Neters. As they reenact the process of creation, they can help the development of higher state of consciousness. This provides a higher dimension to the practice of the postures no longer to be considered as mere physical exercises but, as a methodology to practice meditation and derive insights into higher consciousness. This is a radical shift compared to westerner’s traditional view of yoga as a practice for physical health. I was impressed by the fact that, the postures can be practiced at any age contrary to physical Sports when at a particular age, we are no longer able to practice due to potential physical weaknesses. In that sense, it shows how the postures affect our deeper essence and not only the physical aspect, which is the outer aspect of ours. So, the posture in essence is a door way toward attaining higher consciousness. Their practice becomes like expressing a sacred art. As stated by the Egyptian proverb, Knowledge plus experience equal wisdom, information does not equal wisdom.
In general, I am impressed by the way the teaching is presented simply, and how it works in an integral fashion. The worship of the divine helps redirecting the ego away from individualism in order to develop the subtle qualities to experience transcendental reality. Maat philosophy helps to guide our actions along righteousness as per the essence of the teaching. The meditation allows us to transform the vibration of the mind so it can attain the state of calmness appropriate to perceive and experience the Higher Self. The practice of postures guides us in the process of reenacting creation and the related mystical implication. The integration of all above aspects finally allows us to work on different parts of the personality in order to develop a balanced spiritual life.