1. Level 1, Lesson #15 Video Assignment: Intro to Shetaut Neter 104-105 parts 3 & 4
2. Lecture Summary
Maat philosophy holds that we have a divine purpose. If we follow the path of truth and righteousness, we will discover peace, prosperity, and immortality. Following the path of Maat involves learning Maat philosophy from a qualified teacher, and practicing the teachings at all times. We cannot be “absolved” from our negative deeds. Aside from causing agitation in the mind and thereby preventing true understanding of the teachings,negative deeds also cause impressions in the unconscious mind that lead to suffering and reincarnation.
The heart contains a person’s thoughts, feelings, and desires. After death, judgment occurs in the form of weighing a person’s heart on one side of a scale, with the feather of Maat on the other side. Negative qualities such as anxiety, deceit, and anger will add weight to the heart, causing it to be heavier than the feather of Maat. Thus, a person whose heart is heavier than the feather of Maat is judged to be unrighteous; the person will suffer and then reincarnate. If the weight of a person’s heart is even with the feather of Maat, the soul is good but not perfected, and the person will reincarnate as a servant of Asar. If the heart is lighter than the feather of Maat, the soul is judged to be worthy of sitting in the throne of Asar, to dissolve into and become one with him.
Maat philosophy also has a practical aspect. In a society, everyone’s basic needs should be met. Those who have more material wealth than is needed should give to others who would otherwise not have enough. There is no peace, internal or external, unless this is done.
The Papyrus of Ani portrays a scene in which an initiate, Ani, is led into the inner shrine by Heru. Ani has been judged to be righteous. Heru is led into the inner shrine, where he is anointed, and becomes Akhu, or an enlightened being. This scene is reenacted as a ritual when an initiate is deemed to be ready.
Great Truth #3 holds that an aspirant finds freedom from unrighteousness through devotion to the Divine and the teachings. Devotional practice should include both personal and communal activities. Also, in order to fully learn the teachings, the aspirant must have an authentic spiritual preceptor, because the subtlety of the teachings make them even more difficult to understand than rocket science.
Great Truth #4 holds that the practice of the Shedy disciplines ultimately leads to enlightenment. Shedy is a term that refers to studying profoundly, and penetrating the mysteries. The four disciplines of Shedy are Wisdom, Maat, Devotion, and Meditation.
Goddess Aset presides over the wisdom aspect. Images that portray Goddess Aset suckling Heru represent the way in which a spiritual teacher disseminates the teachings that nourish the mind and soul of an aspirant.
Enlightenment comes to fruition through the practice of the Shedy disciplines in 3 basic steps:
1) Listening- Myth- Sedjm: This involves listening to the wisdom teachings and acting in accordance with them.
2) Reflection- Ritual- Aru: This involves performance of the daily, monthly, and annual rituals. At a minimum, one who wishes to be Shemsu must practice the 3-fold daily worship in the morning, at noon, in the evening. The 3-fold worship represents the three forms of Ra: Khepri (dawn), Ra (noon) and Tem (dusk.) Monthly rituals include the festivals of new and full moon, while annual festivals include the summer and winter solstices. The aspirant should maintain connections with the lecture system and teachers of the teachings.
3) Meditation- Mysticism- Uaa: This involves attaining higher vision through the practices of meditation on the Subtle life force, Righteous action, I am, Glorious light, Wisdom teaching, and/or Tree of Life. In order to truly understand the Divine, we must become one with it.
The Kemetic Diet & Sunu Philosophy
This philosophy holds that health is of three types: mind, body, and spirit. The true source of disease is in the unconscious mind, and must be cured there. Thus, the mind and heart must be purified of anxiety, anger, and other negative qualities.
The body must also be purified. Thus, the Kemetic Diet book stresses abstinence from the intake of impure substances such as meats and alcohol. Also, the intake of supplements is recommended because the agricultural and food processing techniques of modern society diminish the nutrient content of foods.
The Supreme Being
Since God is everywhere and in all things, God can be seen but not understood until higher consciousness is achieved. Many worldly activities represent misconceived notions of how to achieve divine oneness, which is our true innermost desire. By engaging in sexual activity and the purchase of material objects, people are attempting to unite themselves with those people and objects. However, these actions cannot bring true completion. In order to find completion, we must realize that we already have it.
The Supreme Being is all-encompassing, thus the entire universe is the divine. The gods and goddesses symbolize the principles of creation; they are not realities in themselves, or actual personalities. They are a part of and are controlled by God, just as an extended hand is a part of a person’s body. In the mythic teachings, the gods and goddesses also symbolize aspects of ourselves.
Neberdjer, the Supreme Being, is abstract and beyond the comprehension of all but the most advanced aspirants. The anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations of the divinities allow aspirants to gain increasing understanding of the abstract aspects of the divine. Essentially, by viewing the various portrayals of God, the aspirant begins to achieve a more complete understanding of what God is.
3. What impressed me the most was the discussion about Neberdjer and the iconography in relation to the lower divinities. I liked Seba Dja’s metaphor of getting to know a person by looking at various pictures of that person in different settings and circumstances. I also appreciated Sebai Maa’s comment that, until an aspirant can altogether stop his or her thoughts during meditation, the iconography is still needed.