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TOA Lesson 3 – Reading Assignment
2. List the important topics in the book readings about Ancient Egyptian writing as well as the philosophy contained in it.
The most important topic covered in the book Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Beginners can be summed up in one singular quote by Sebai Maa:
“If Medtu Neteru is mastered, then the spiritual aspirant becomes Maakheru or true of thought, word and deed, that is purified in body, mind and soul. The symbol Medtu is static while the symbol of Kheru is dynamic.” (Ashby, p.52)
This implies that mastery of Divine speech or Medtu Neteru is purifying and key to understanding the teachings of Shetaut Neter, which leads to Maakheru (true speech). Therefore, mastery of the written language is essential to shedy rech and, ultimately, Nehast (Enlightenment) through the codified ideographic images. When the hieroglyphs are properly translated they lend a deeper meaning to the idea being conveyed beyond mere words. In the text Sebai Maa explains that hieroglyphic writing is a form of pictorial script, but should not be compared to “primitive picture writing” as one might find in a cave, etc.
“It is a complete language with the capacity to transmit basic needs of communication and convey nuances of high philosophy in a way that a strictly syllabic script cannot.” (Ashby, p. 51)
One of the topics covered in the text was the origin of the Kemetic hieroglyphs. According to ancient Kemetic scripture it was the God Djehuty that created the Medtu Neteru writing system and gave it to the world. For centuries it was the African language spoken in ancient Kemet, dating from before 5000 B.C.E. to the 10th century A.C.E. Historically hieroglyphic writing in ancient Kemet can be traced back to 3400 B.C.E., earlier than any writing system including Mesopotamia and Sumeria that were mistakenly credited for predating the hieroglyphic writing of Kemet. The last recorded inscription in hieroglyphs appeared on the gatepost of a Temple on Philae island in 394 A.C.E.
Three different styles of hieroglyphic writing were used namely, the Formal script for inscriptions on temple walls, coffins and tombs; Hieratic scripts for everyday documents, and finally the Demotic script used by the Copts ( Early Egyptian Christians) who also used the spoken language liturgically. A quote from the text states:
“In the late 4th century A.D., the Roman Emperor Theodsius I ordered the closure of all pagan temples within the Roman Empire.” (Ashby, p. 35)
It is the practice of those who conquer to strip the language of the conquered in order to control their speech and, therefore, thoughts for fear of an uprising and overthrow of “power.” The Roman Emperor understood, all too well, that the true power of the ancient Kemetic language was its Divine nature connected to the spiritual culture and lifestyle. Therefore, it was a threat that had to be obliterated. Thus, the Medtu Neteru became obscure and unintelligible for centuries.
This brings us to the topic of decipherment of the hieroglyphs. How does one revive a “dead” language? It was not until the early 19th Century that French scholar and linguist Jean-Francois Champollion was able to actually decode the ancient hieroglyphs by using the so-called “Rosetta Stone,” a fragment of stone from the ruins of the Greek Ptolemyic period in Kemet that had three different types of inscriptions to relay the same message. The inscriptions were Hieroglyphic, Demotic, and Greek which made it possible to crack the code of Medtu Neteru because Champollion was fluent in Greek language and could consult with the practicing Copts on the Demotic script. Dua for the antet begag (unrelenting pursuit) of Champollion which enabled the Medtu Neter to be deciphered once again.
However, as the text points out, merely translating the hieroglyphs to their phonetic value in the modern alphabet is not enough to truly understand the spiritual/cultural meaning within the language itself. Sebai asserts:
“Scholars should ascribe the meaning, which can only be done through the knowledge of the myth and philosophy when it is lived and practiced. Therefore, what western scholars have done is admirable and appreciated, but it will not serve the needs of African people.” (Ashby, p.45)
The question is “What would serve the needs of African people?” In the text Sebai Maa clearly answers this question with the idea of officially reviving Medtu Neter as a spoken language in the modern African community. I am intrigued by this idea and its possibilities. Imagine the diverse African communities, worldwide, speaking a universal language in the ancient Kemetic tongue—Medtu Neteru—the Mother language of the Motherland.
Therefore, reviving the ancient Egyptian language, of which the grammatical rudiments are already known by many scholars around the world and within the African community is certainly possible and advisable. This can be a historic chance to bring back an African language and reshape the consciousness of the African mind, as others have done for their nations.” (Ashby, p. 45)
The above inspirational quote could be one of the answers for the dissected and traumatized African peoples that would effectively move us toward collectively healing.
Finally, the topic in the text under the header “Thinking in Medtu Neter,” is, ultimately, the goal to be achieved, bringing us back to the beginning topic of mastering the Medtu Neter.
“The ultimate goal of learning any language is to skip the transliteration step and the translation into the native language also, and get to the point of understanding the meaning in the new language directly.” (Ashby, p. 62)
It is through the direct understanding of the Medtu Neteru that we can be directly connected to the Divine and in so doing attain Nehast (Enlightenment) in this very lifetime. Therefore, every effort made to study and learn the Medtu Neteru brings us that much closer to the Divine.
In summary, the text Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Beginners is much more than a simple instruction in the hieroglyphic “alphabet,” but a deep insight into the pycho-spiritual language of Medtu Neter, its origins and history, as well as possible revival as a modern language with the ultimate goal of Nehast. Therefore, I would highly recommend this text for the sincere aspirant to aid in their spiritual journey.
Htp, Shems Heryt
- This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Shems Heryt Merri Net.