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Udja Sebai MAA and Seba DJA,
My reading assignment for level 1 – lesson is below.
Reading Assignment: Level 1 – Lesson 3
Question 1: About Shedy
Shedy is the spiritual discipline or program to promote spiritual evolution used in Ancient Egypt.
The word comes from the root Sheta meaning that which is hidden, mysterious. The Seshetat are the secret rituals in the cult of the Egyptian Gods. The shedy is the study of the mystery teachings; it is the process of going deeply into them to attain Nehast, resurrection or spiritual awakening. The body or Shet-t is where the attention is focused to practice the disciplines and if done with perfection, the true SELF shti (hidden in the coffin) is revealed.
The true SELF is hidden to the senses but sustains bodily existence. It has been torn apart by the fetters of the body with the original veil of ignorance based on the perception of the SELF as being a separate, entity from the rest of creation. From that identification, it results suffering and an entanglement in the sensory world as a potential source of abiding peace until such time, the SOUL realizes the futility of the search and decides to look within and initiate the process of cleansing to attain NEHAST. The Shedy disciplines are techniques and rituals to assist the SOUL in the process of reuniting with the source of all things. It is a scientific and authentic path whereby, the aspirants will need to practice techniques of purification of the past impressions of the mind that were based on ignorance of the true essence of the SELF.
The disciplines provide assistance in a difficult and solitary road as, although the teachings are based on guidance of a preceptor, ultimately, the aspirant will have to carry the work himself and the success will depend on his eagerness, his/her seriousness on the path. Granted he has the required qualifications, the aspirant will surely progress along the path. Depending on the circumstances, the aspirant must be ready to being ridiculed and he will need strength and will to advance. The Shedy disciplines practiced in Ancient Egypt are the most ancient ones historically recorded and were the basis of a glorious civilization until now not equaled in the world. For those who are on this path, they will benefit from authentic spiritual teaching that will provide the required perspective to attain enlightenment or the realization of the unity of the SOUL with the universal spirit, hence transcending time and space. As revealed in the fourth great truth of Shetaut Neter: “The practice of the shdey disciples lead to knowing of oneself and the divine and this is called being true of Speech”
Question 2: About Egyptian Yoga and the philosophy behind it
The term SMAI Taui or SMAi Heru-Set are the ancient Egyptian words which are to be translated as Egyptian Yoga.
Smai means Union and Ta means land so when associated, these two terms represent union of the two lands of Egypt. In ancient Egypt, the two lands referred respectively to Lower Egypt represented in mystical philosophy by the divinity SET, manifesting egoism; and higher Egypt represented by Heru, the divinity above temptations, manifesting the good in human heart that is in touch with transcendental SELF. Therefore, “smai taui” represent the terms to mean Egyptian yoga. The philosophy behind it is to help regaining awareness of cosmic unity through the mystical union of lower and higher SELF.
With the individualization of the SOUL, there is the development of awareness of self as a separate entity bound to the world of senses. This process of identification is called ignorance of the divine and causes the SOUL to go through an unconscious cycle of evolution with the purpose of regaining cosmic awareness. However, the SOUL entangled in the identification with the world falsely believes he/she can find abiding peace there.
The many experiences in that sense lead to the conditioning of the mind in seeing himself as being separate or existing individually and apart from the rest of the Universe. This individualization is the source of suffering and to definitely put an end to the suffering and reunite the SOUL with the cosmic consciousness, the Egyptian Yoga provides a set of techniques and practices with historical evidence going as far as more than 3000 years ago. The aim of SMA Taui is to recondition the mind so he can revert the process of worldly identification of the SOUL to ultimately lead to its reunion with the primal unity. The term “Prt m hru” illustrates there is a process, a moving forward towards light; so, the mystery system in Egypt did not conceive the state of enlightenment as being sudden but, as the result of work that must be endured by the practitioner himself.
Question 3: about the qualities of an aspirant
Aspirant must have the primary initiative in advancing spiritually.
Ordinarily, the need to advance starts with a quest based on dissatisfaction about life, leading to a deep desire to search for the true meaning of existence. It is the form of an internal driving force pushing the aspirant toward a path that ordinarily he does not know where it will lead him, a path that is turning him away from the ordinary course of life and the ultimate goal is a mystery for him. Without this drive, the aspirant will not have what is needed to pursue the path that will lead him to look for a preceptor for guidance. The circumstances of life will be organized as such to place the aspirant in the proper context where appropriate association and encounter with a guide will occur. However, the aspirant having realized the internal drive can turn away from it or decide to pursue it. That is why; the initiative needs to come from him so as to create the proper psychological context to evolve. Without that, he will always unconsciously believe that he or she has been put on this path without her or his will and this subtle impression of the mind will obstruct spiritual advancement. In a world of so many confusions, the aspirant will need not only the initiative but, clear discrimination as to not be associated with the wrong teaching and the wrong preceptor that can lead to disenchantment and could affect his confidence about his or her success in the path of finding abiding bliss. He or she could become a non-believer in a sense but, if remained at this stage of consciousness, the person will enter a dangerous cycle of suffering until he is able to find himself in the right path. As so it appears, once the aspiration for spiritual evolution, although always subtle, is manifested, the person can no longer escape and it is a matter of time to find the proper path for him or her based on past Aryu and usually, this is a process that transcends the will of the person until he or she aligns himself with that pursuit.
“Salvation is accomplished through the efforts of the individual. There is no mediator between a person and his/her salvation.” AEP
The aspirant shall be conscious his behavior in practical life needs to be aligned with the teaching. Sometimes, aspirant may think they can continue for example doing business or going about other aspects in life such as marital relationships, friendships and so on, in the same conventional way while doing the practices. At the heart of Egyptian Yoga, we have MAAT representing, order balance and justice as the basic principle of actions so that, in every undertaking in practical life, aspirant should strive to apply them and they are against conventional accepted behavior. This requires courage from the aspirant, not to feel compelled to follow the cloud.
What is the path of nature and in light of that, how should a spiritual aspirant think about their spiritual path.
The path of nature represents the normal course of the SOUL after initially conceiving himself as being separated from the Universe, to return to his origin. This process is called evolution of the SOUL or the natural tendency of the SOUL to regain conscious awareness of the primal unity, the REALITY that is the ground of all existence, following a cycle of experiencing life. In the natural process, the individual goes through a cycle of reincarnations during which he will develop consciousness as being a separate entity not knowing why he or she is being driven towards internal bliss, until the realization of the illusion of turning towards worldly circumstances to attain that abiding bliss. He will then gradually turn away from worldly lives as the potential source of internal happiness to seek within and ultimately reunite with the divine SELF. At the end of evolution as per its purpose, the SOUL will have regained awareness of unity with the transcendental SPIRIT, while still retaining enhanced consciousness he has won during the path of pilgrimage. However, in the normal course of SOUL evolution and based on the current organization of the world, this process can take many million years to complete and could potentially be linked to the destruction of the world.
Besides the natural path, sages in ancient Egypt and in some other parts of the world, have discovered and experienced about the possibility for the SOUL, through guided effort, to regain awareness of transcendental spirit, hence shortcutting the process of normal evolution. In ancient Egypt, they have compiled a set of techniques and practices summarized as Prt m Hru or also known as the spiritual path. The aspirant following this path, should think of it as an authentic and proven way to consciously accelerate the process of enlightenment manifested as the realization and the manifestation of cosmic awareness while living on earth. We can think about it also as a way to promote a more peaceful way to reach the inevitable and ultimate goal of the SOUL evolution process. As the SOUL, having lost transcendental awareness of the primal unity, can be entangled endlessly in individual awareness of himself, the return to the original unity may be brutal and could be associated with destruction of the physical world. So, we can think of the spiritual path as a harmonized way for the SOUL to return to the source with enhanced consciousness while on earth.
Question: about the life of a sage
A sage does not live a life based on sense perceptions nor on the desires of the mind and body.
In ancient Egyptian tradition, a sage has attained enlightenment and therefore has realized unity with the Divine. He has gone through a process of purification whereby, he was able to neutralize the effect of his Aryu and from that perspective he is no longer bound by the effect of sensory perceptions. In general, having conquered the battle with SET, his/her egoistic mind, he/she is able to realize union with cosmic consciousness. The mind, the body and sensory perceptions belong to time and space, which the sage has transcended and therefore no longer lives a life based on them. Having regained awareness of the transcendental unity, his or her perception is based directly from the source of all things and as such is able to see relative reality for what it is and not through his own ego hence not manifesting any desire for it.
Question: about Yoga philosophy
From the perspective of yoga philosophy, much of the accepted “normal” behavior is really insane behavior which has been accepted as “normal”.
Yoga philosophy provides a set of practices to lead the practitioner to realize the transcendental unity of all things that he is inherently looking for by conditioning the mind to the realization that the phenomenal world is transient and that this truth can only be realized by looking within through gradual cleansing of past beliefs and perceptions. Whereas, the commonly accepted normal behavior in society is based on ignorance about that truth, and consequently, about the purpose of life and as such, does not have the capacity to lead the person to the abiding peace he or she is looking for. It is insane from a yoga philosophy standpoint because what is so called normal or accepted behavior is instead reinforcing the eluded perception about the world as well as the ignorance about the transient nature of sense perceptions and their inability to lead the person to permanent bliss. The absence of the knowledge of the truth and the underlining quest for abiding bliss lead to an endless pursuit of happiness for the common individual in society, leading to a cycle of much disenchantment. So, staying unconsciously in this cycle and creating all sorts of psychological processes and perceptions about the world is insane in a sense that those creations of the mind will never lead the person to the goal he is looking for. The delusion can be seen at work where civilizations have been conceived around the concept of mind domination as a source of happiness and bliss for their people. So, it is looking outward for realization of happiness whereas this bliss is already there but, veiled under ignorance that needs to be uncovered.
The insanity is based on the fact that generally, the mind by turning to the phenomenal world to find abiding bliss, will go through a cycle of delusions, repeating the same mistakes and sometimes enhancing them through apparent genius creation based on the same ignorance thinking they would lead to the ultimate goal of finding happiness. A goal that unfortunately will continue to delude them at each apparent successful attempt until the realization of the futility of the process.
Question: about practice of Yoga
The practice of Yoga conditions the mind.
The mind has been conditioned over several cycles of reincarnation as well as the current state of evolution of society he belongs to, in perceiving himself as separate from the Universe. Due to that separation, the mind is conditioned to seek for abiding bliss in the phenomenal world based on sensory experiences, a pursuit that is illusory. The practice of yoga aims primarily to address that original ignorance by reverting the process of individualization through the purification of the personality that would lead ultimately to NEHAST or spiritual enlightenment. At first, the philosophy is looking at transforming the dissatisfaction about the world in a desire to transcend it simply. This is based on providing techniques to help practitioner gradually realize the transient nature of the phenomenal world and about its underlined inability to provide permanent bliss. With this recognition, the practitioner enters a second stage where he or she will be looking to realize that truth using the teachings and techniques of Yoga. This will include a path of purification and in essence a transformation of the mind perception turning towards a desire to realize transcendental unity. When striving enough through this process, the practitioner will attain the realization of that truth. This will lead him or her to the last stage where he becomes the manifestation of that truth on earth. The conditioning is done primarily in Egyptian Yoga, through a technique unfolding in three steps whereby first, the teaching is provided for the practitioner to listen; next, he or she will have to reflect on the teaching and depending on the level of the aspirant, this reflection will carry new insight every time until the complete integration that leads to the final step of meditation where the aspirant becomes the teaching hence the complete transformation of the mind. During these three steps approach, another aspect of this conditioning is the turning away of the mind from worshiping the worldly related principles towards the worship of divine principles so as to gradually reduce and eliminate the egoism view of the world and to develop the detachment necessary for authentic and universal love for Creation and a deep desire for selfless service.