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Udja Sebai MAA and Seba DJA,
Below my post related to Video Assignment for Lesson 3 – Level1.
Level 1 – Lesson 3-Video Assignment
Answer to standing questions’
AFRICAN ORIGIN OF YOGA
Traditionally, Yoga has been recognized as a tradition originating from India. This has been a source of pride for the Indian people and understandably, any attempt to show evidence about the existence of such practice in other parts of the world preceding its use in India is fiercely rejected. Researchers that have shown evidence of equivalent practice in Ancient Egypt have their idea rejected and not commonly accepted. However, in India itself, at least, a foremost sage has recognized it as well as the Indian scholar, Ajit Mookerjee, known as a writer in tantric Yoga, acknowledging existence of Yoga in Egypt. Also, traces of early Buddhism have been found in the city of Memphis corroborating the fact that overall, Indian practices have originated from Egypt. Along with that, there have been other books that traced the commonality of rituals between both civilizations and, important scholars including Joseph Campbell also recognized about the commonality. Despite the evidences and the quality of the scholars having presented the facts about the African origin of Yoga, the overall level of non-acceptation has not reduced and rather people continue to hold firmly to the idea of the Indian origin.
The primary reason is the fear this recognition will diminish the impact and related pride of Indian civilization on the world. While acknowledging the possible existence of a yogi system in other civilizations, there is a pride to recognize Indian as being the perfection of the art, relegating other civilization’s practice as being primitive, uncivilized or meek therefore undermining and demeaning them. Under the same line of thinking, others who practice yoga outside of the Indian framework are actually doing something else other than the Indian concepts and disciplines implying that Indian is the sole authority hence a sense of superiority.
A second reason relates to the existence of a racial mentality between North Indian scholars and racists Europeans and Arabs causing many of them to promote a sort of indigenous “Aryan” world view while rejecting a Dravidian world view or the possibility of any outside influence on the Vedic tradition. They are holding steadfast to this position even after examining evidence presented by African and other Indian scholars. This is a testimony of the relative realization of universality of practice among humanity preferring to hold on egoistic desires instead of recognizing the transcendental unity of the SOUL hence the possibility or necessity for the existence of similar practices in other parts of the world.
There are doubters among African descendants themselves perhaps assimilating this to an attempt to validate African culture by pretending we were also doing Yoga. There is a common trap I think some African scholars get into by denying as possibly African, anything that resembles practices being done in western countries: they in fact assimilate this as a counter effect of colonialism where African are trying to find similarities within their culture with Western practices in order to validate themselves. While there can be some truth in that reasoning, it can’t be an absolute rule and in all things, we should be able to segregate what is true from what belongs to distortion. By being a seeker of wisdom and truth and with the practice of MAAT philosophy, we should be able to have the proper detachment and dispassion in our research to be able to expose the truth as it is and without any bias, guarding ourselves from expressing just opinions while trying to find evidence to back them up. I do not think we need to validate Kamitan or African culture in general: the culture talks by itself and what we need to do is to understand and practice them to elevate ourselves and this would be the best testimony to our culture. We should let the facts talk and not get caught in attachment and passion hence fighting for the wrong cause. If the facts talk about existence of Yoga in African culture as it has been shown so why having a denying attitude under false assumption. We need to remember the riddle of life is about finding enlightenment of the SOUL and not to fight unnecessarily on historical facts to the extent that this fight does not promote our search for truth and enlightenment.
In a concluding note about this standing question, Yoga before anything is a set of practices that transforms the mind from affirmation of individuality to affirmation and realization of cosmic universality. In that sense, it would be incomprehensible that sage from diverse regions did not practice it since it denotes a universal approach to enlightenment. It is important to note there is an innate desire in humankind to experience unbounded peace and joy and the pursuit of self-knowledge. Therefore, yoga regardless of the name and practices it has been given in a particular culture remains a philosophy and science for attaining spiritual enlightenment, the union of lower and higher Self. It can be viewed as a natural and cultural expression of and inherent desire of human to discover the heights of time and space experience and as such, all cultures in their transcendental aspect include some sort of Yoga.
ATTRIBUTES OF SET
SET does not have temples in ancient Egypt and one of the reasons is the association of this divinity with foreign and invaded forces in the late period. In fact, from the beginning, SET represented the Ego of the person that is beset with ignorance of the true essence of life. It represents the lower forces and not necessarily those of evil, a concept per se that does not exist in Kamitan Culture. Lower forces are the ones that affirm our individuality and blind us about the recognition of our true essence. As we can see in the myth of ASAR, during the battle between Set and Heru, the eye of Heru was wounded, affecting his intuitional perception hence his ability to have proper understand of the reality. In the same sense, by putting ASAR in the coffin, it is a way of describing how the SOUL when identified with the body is under the control of the forces of SET and therefore lose the ability to see the truth. When these forces are used to affirm individuality in an unnatural way, they are driving us away from our true essence.
However, these same forces when used to serve our quest to affirm universality, they are being applied according to their natural way. They need to be controlled for the purpose of attaining NEHAST instead of pursuing worldly pleasures. From that perspective, they are not necessary good or bad. To the extent, we are using them to seek pleasure or abiding peace in worldly activities, they control us but to the extent we use them towards affirming and realization of our cosmic unity they become used as per their true nature.
In orthodox religions, generally there is a utilization of the lower forces to promote the worship of the supreme divinity. For example, the fear of God is usually presented as an essential quality for anyone aspiring to follow the sacred teaching. One should not be deluded by such utilization of the forces of SET. In fact, the lower forces are the one that affirm our separation from the transcendental reality in that sense, the fear of God reinforces the idea of separation between us and the transcendental reality. So, it is a deluded way of conducing the mind to the transcendental reality. By using fear, this reinforces the idea of separation and therefore hinders our ability to attain Nehast. However, this use of fear has a greater contribution in reinforcing the adherence of the individual to a belief system that utilizes him to promote mass poverty whereas an oligarchy continues to accumulate wealth under inconceivable measures. In that sense, the lower forces are used not only to promote a pseudo religion but as well as a way to gain blind adherence to a system that does not promote spiritual progression while reducing opportunity to a limited class of the population.
Therefore, it remains important for the aspirant to understand the mind obstruction at play and to use the teaching appropriately not only to develop right understanding of the economic and political system he or she is dealing with but as well as using the pushes as a way to control and master the lower forces and use them in to attain NEHAST.
TRINITY OF AMUN RA PTAH
AMUN RA PTAH is a trinity affirming the self-manifestation of the supreme divinity in time and space. Amun represents the witness consciousness with RA being the intermediary between that witness and the physical reality (PTAH). While RA represents the totality, the all-encompassing mind, Djehuty is the cognizing aspect of it, or the tendency to reflect, to reason by linking several aspects into a comprehensible object for interpretation. In a general note, RA is also the instrument to interact our inner self with Creation that is in a transcendental sense illusory. In fact, we can think of the trinity as the instruments to affirm our awareness of the world; they also represent our conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. If we were for example through meditation to allow one of them to dissolve then, we would have direct experience of existence and that would lead to ultimate wisdom or NEHAST. That is the philosophy behind meditation to be able to have direct experience of life transcending the instruments that we use for that purpose. The direct experience will lead us to wisdom and to be true of Speech.
There is a precursor to the trinity, the all-encompassing reality which is Neberdjer. Our awareness of ourselves as being who we are is our Amun. If we were to get rid of that awareness then what is left is the realization of Oneness or the unity that sustains existence. The SELF would then transcend his awareness of time and space. Most people hold to their illusory identity because of ignorance, fearing beyond that, there is no existence. When we go to sleep, we lose the awareness of ourselves in time and space for a while. But, due to our Aryu, the past impressions on the mind may continue to create realities in the form of dream and when one comes up, another personality emerges that we identify as us. The typical dream consciousness can have a negative experience in reference to the waking state to the extent we are not conscious during the dream. The experience could have been positive if we were to be conscious during our dreams. The same way, in waking state of consciousness, being conscious as opposed to being caught in the experience as if it was abiding is also positive.
If we could develop awareness of the transient nature of the activities in waking state, we would become enlightened and, it would be similar of being conscious of our dreams. For example, in our dream, we identify ourselves with the personality and get caught in the experience: some people may dream they are in a plane going to crash in an unstoppable descent and suddenly start to fear and scream and suddenly wake up; what happens to that fear and the related experience. All of that vanish after they wake up. If we could be conscious of our experience during waking state, we would not be caught in it, thinking it is abiding but rather experience it as transient with dispassion and detachment and then we would attain the state of NEHAST.
There are many people who come in contact with the kemetic teaching with a tendency of refraining that they have seen this before or there are no fundamental differences from their own tradition. This is a reflection denoting a certain attitude of delusion in support of their practice by not having the desire to evaluate objectively the authenticity and relevance of it in reference to the goal of religion. While admitting they have found great insights from the ancient Egyptian teaching, they are not ready to reason about their own teachings and ask the question why they had to go elsewhere to find insights. This attitude of comparison with an underlined attachment to a tradition will blind them regarding the possibility of learning the essential qualities for true aspirants. While the insufficiency of their traditions is being experienced, they do not reflect about the fact it may be a way for their SOUL to identify or point to them an authentic way for spiritual progression. Instead they tend to hold on to egoistic desires delaying in that sense, their spiritual progress. This type of attitude is not going to help them to progress with Kemetic tradition either hence hindering them to attain spiritual heights.
There is also a tendency for some people to combine spiritual practices by taking something here and there and to add them while continuing doing in essence what they were doing. In fact, it is as if they recognize the insufficiency of their practice but continue to hold onto it while looking to complete it with pieces from other traditions that appear to be missing where they are. In that sense, a sort of altruism, ecumenism looks like destructive elements in reference to the attainment of NEHAST. It is important to be careful not to follow with this type of practitioner as he or she is not making use of proper discrimination which is an important quality for an aspirant. The thing is we may get into certain practices without necessarily knowing what we are looking for but, when the insight comes from another teaching and, instead of being attached to the practice, we should analyze with reason the validity of the lessons received so far and use our discrimination to know how to go about pursuing our path. We all came with a certain level of spiritual maturity and in that sense; certain practice will attire us more than others. In the pursuit of the path, dispassion and detachment are to be used constantly so not to be deluded by our own egoistic desires hence, delaying our progress spiritually.
In the same topic, there are traditions like free masons claiming to have been originated from Ancient Egypt but in fact, do not in reality espouse the essence of the teaching. They have adopted the symbols and mixed a lot of western traditions with Egyptian traditions. Once again, when one is looking at these organizations, it is important not to be attached to the appearances but to exercise true discrimination and intuitional insights to avoid being deluded by our egoistic desires. While there is evidence about the origin of some practices from Ancient Egyptian tradition, the teaching of those practices include denigrating statements about kemetic philosophy grossly and sometimes in a very subtle way. We can think about Islamic scripture describing Egyptian practice as polytheism as well as in the Bible old testament where Egypt is being portrayed as a place of debauchery, sin; but yet, at the same time, they recognize their saints, like Abraham, Jesus, Mary and Mohamed went to Egypt for instructions. Most people do not ask the questions why so many of their Saints went to Egypt whereas this location is presented in a denigrated way. True aspirant should always check his own egoistic desire that stops him to ask the correct questions for appropriate reasoning. It is common to follow our own desires while we are in a spiritual path whereas what we’re doing is against our spiritual progression. By not being able to clearly think and ask proper question leading to identification of subtle manipulation of the mind, aspirants can be easily deluded into the contrary of what they are pursuing. In a world dominated by effective use of technology to promote all sorts of theories and beliefs in the superiority of western civilization to the expense of the others, it is more and more important for aspirants to learn how to think along the teaching instead of relying on the belief system generally promoted in support of that theory under pseudo-science and religion. One of the common examples is when Westerners or African scholars within the same line of thinking, tend to present African religions in their own way, without taking the time to understand the underlined culture and this leads to distorted understanding of the teachings hindering their validity and authenticity.
The Kamitan teaching speaks for itself and its ancient origin and relevance over time is the legitimacy. The essential aspect is the emphasis on the goal of the teaching to help the aspirant in his quest to find enlightenment. Those who come to Kemetic philosophy from other teachings, affirming they have heard this before from other places, are in reality excusing themselves from following the teaching. Serious practitioners as opposed to people who have been in church for so many years will not generally make those kinds of statements but rather develop and turn into their own intuition to reflect on the authenticity of a path. Pursuing the teaching is not a matter of pointing out weaknesses of other paths but, rather to actively find wisdom with an understanding that other traditions have different expressions based on spiritual maturity of the people and their leaders. True aspiration requires focusing on the actions and not on words as according to MAAT philosophy, the deeds not the words will be put into balance. Therefore, we need to focus on aligning our actions according to MAAT philosophy and how we can help those who seriously pursue truth without any intention of baring anybody. Evidently, discernment and good discrimination are required so as to ensure readiness of the aspirants to receive the teachings and make use of them appropriately.
One should be careful in a certain view of mysticism considered generally as practice going beyond orthodox religion including meditation and things of that nature. However, mysticism is a growing into awakening of all-encompassing divinity: it is the path of realization of the cosmic unity. Mysticism does not have anything to relate to destroying icons of other traditions. Therefore, true aspirant has a lot of discriminations to do particularly within the realm of current civilization cultivating so many beliefs based on ignorance. As the aspirant grows in dispassion and detachment, he or she will be in better position not to follow own egoistic views but, to more and more rely on the teaching and the intuitional
insights resulting from assiduity in the study and practice to properly pursue the path.