Udja Sebai Maa and Seba DJA,
Many thanks for your comments related to my last post. I would like to say DUA for the way you are bringing the teaching to us with emphasis on finding proper understanding of religion’s aspiration.
Please see below my post related audio assignment – lesson 3.
Audio Lecture – Lesson 3 – Level 1
Q1- Major Themes of the Lessons
a) Importance of the work of Sebai MAA
The work of Sebai MA is about teaching and research on ancient Egyptian culture and Religion and its dissemination, application and adaptation in current time. In a global level, the importance is about restoring an important aspect of African culture and bringing to light its relation to human culture in general. The essence of the philosophy has been falsified through misinterpretation and its practice neglected by worldliness, lust, greed and other lower aspects of personality.
The work is important from several other perspectives. First, to provide to African descents a link to their traditions whose essential aspect was taught mainly by means of oral tradition where the “Grio” played a central role and through a student-preceptor model of transmission. With the invasion first from the Arabs and the Europeans over the last 500 years or so, the mystical essence of the culture was lost as a direct effect of colonialism followed by the death of the griots and a severe rupture in the traditional learning path. The rituals remain as well as stories and myths but, access to the deepest essence has been lost in most cases. Fortunately, the kemetic society was able to relate about their way of life through several forms including external like pyramids, temples and the GREAT Sphinx are examples; as well through esoteric forms using the medu Neter or the sacred writings called hieroglyphs. From a cultural standpoint, the disconnection with the deeper essence of the teaching among Africans, creates a void leading to experiencing disillusions and psychological complexes and related. People have been denied access to their past with the purpose of facilitating the process of indoctrination to religions and economical system that in effect work against them.
The sages of Kemet understood the importance of conveying their teaching in a way that can be revealed over time. I believe this time is happening and, the appropriation of these teachings can definitely help restoring that missing link to reconstruct African culture to its original essence adapted to the current reality. In that sense, the work of Sebai MAA and Seba Dja provide a philosophical understanding allowing Africans to transcend the trauma of the past and elevate themselves to reach ultimate goal of human being to reach their higher aspect. The kemetic sages also had in my view a universal reason of conveying their teaching the way they did and it was to provide to humanity in general with a higher perspective of life particularly needed in this period dominated by affirmation of appearances and lower aspect of human being.
A third aspect that supports both perspectives is the necessity to reconstruct culture and restore the essential meaning of the teaching which has been distorted either on purpose or through ignorance. The restoration and practice of the deepest meaning of the teaching will support the purpose of the work. This will provide clarification to the essential aspect in order to help not only African descents but, humanity in general for a global transformation. It is our hope that reflecting on the teaching and trying to deeper our understanding and most importantly leaving accordingly will provide the necessary ground to relearning conscious identification from body, race, and nation to the soul essence and build that great brotherhood which we are at the deepest level. In this particular time, such ideals may be considered utopic and, one should not lure himself that this will happen overnight as serious difficulties exist to let go of current level of consciousness constructed over many centuries. But, it is an ideal worth pursuing with persistence and effort in the right way as this is the needed path to promote and effect that change in consciousness allowing human kind to rise in consciousness and achieve higher goal of life.
b) About Egyptian Yoga
Usually, when people think about Yoga, they refer to India. It is so because they have learned to think about the postures and not about the entire mystical philosophy behind it. In fact, Yoga means union of the lower and higher self of the individual: it is a set of mental and physical disciplines that assist the practitioner in the process of remembering his or higher self and finds enlightenment. Taken in that sense, any true mystical philosophy includes aspects of yoga as per its inherent nature. In ancient Egyptian culture, the equivalent term for yoga was Sema meaning Union and associated with the term tawi, expresses the union of the lower and higher land representing respectively Set and Heru, the other denomination for lower and higher self. So, the Sema tawi was the appellation of yoga in ancient Egyptian term. What is the particular aspect of Egyptian Yoga?
For this understanding, it is worth reminding about the religion of Ancient Egypt. According to the teaching, Neter is the Supreme Being manifesting everywhere and from which emerges all creation in the form of Neterus named gods and goddesses, representing cosmic principles of life as well as aspects of human personality. The attunement to Neter is called Shetaut Neter and this means the secret way of the divine or the path to find the divine within and be enlightened, moving from individual consciousness to cosmic consciousness. A follower of Shetaut Neter, called in modern times, Neterians, is pursuing and working in order to think, feel, act as a Neteru and the attainment of that level of consciousness is called Nehast, resurrection or enlightenment: that is the essence of the philosophy of Shetaut Neter, the religion of the Ancient Egypt.
Egyptian Yoga or Sema tawi is what is making the goal of Shetaut Neter possible. It provides practical and integrated ways on how to purify our conscious identification to physical realities in order to attain Nehast. In the Egyptian aspect, it includes four basic philosophies and practices encompassing the entire human personality as follows:
– Wisdom philosophy for the development of intellect towards intuitional wisdom through reading, reflection and mediation on the teaching
– Feeling and Emotion philosophy for the purification of this aspect of our personality through practice of devotion to the divine.
– Maat Philosophy for the purification of our actions turning away from self-gain but, based on justice, truth and balance, with detachment.
– Meditation philosophy for the development of the will through metaphysical meditation to the divine.
Egyptian yoga also includes series of physical postures providing externally a physical workout but, with the deep psychological intention to develop mystical understating of creation and its multiple phases.
Relation of Egyptian and Indian Yoga.
From a philosophical level, the ultimate goal is the same to all yoga systems aiming in essence to elevate the individual from affirmation of duality to universal level of consciousness. The differences in methods and iconography as well as the techniques, specific mythic views are indication of the cultural aspect integration. On a deeper level, close parallels have been revealed between India, Christian and Egyptian Yoga systems as for example: the idea of resurrection tradition, the Great trinity and the absolute, transcendental being, named Brahman in India and Neberdjer in ancient Egypt. With the evidence of practice of Sema Tawi that goes as far as the pre-dynastic period and contacts between Indian, Christian with Egyptian culture in succeeding time, suggest there were adoptions of teachings and logically that some aspects of them had an origin in Ancient Egypt.
c) Creation and its purpose?
Cultures across many generations and civilizations have reflected on questions about the origin of the world. Being able to answer that question was necessary for the people to have understanding about the purpose of life and the role of human kind in it. The mystery of creation has been addressed through a metaphorical form named myth which is a language used to convey metaphysical knowledge in an idealistic form. The myth does not relate the facts in ordinary terms but uses symbolic forms that point to intuitional understanding. In essence, the myth points to the understanding of the mystery it conveys without including a relation of facts and events as ordinarily understood by the mind. Trying to understand a myth through application of ordinary reason usually leads to misunderstanding and confusion. In essence, the myth, in its deepest form is the language of the soul in the sense that it requires transcending the ordinary beliefs, common knowledge so as to require us to go deep inside of us to reveal its meaning. That is why the meaning of the myth is never absolute and as people evolve in cosmic consciousness, more clarity is revealed about its meaning. It is a sacred language and that is why, it is said all societies need a myth to live by, which calls to what is transcendental, what we aspire to.
The myth of creation in all civilizations is the least understood by ordinary people but yet, is the one that reveals in a metaphorical form, the deepest sense of life. In Shetaut Neter, there are several myths related to creation. One of them relates to creation as being brought forth by Kepri, the Lord of creation. He initially lied over NUN, which is called the primeval ocean representing consciousness without forms or the ocean of all possibilities. From that state of unity emerges three aspects of himself: Kepri, RA and Ratem. From the one emerges the three, from three to five and five to ten. Creation brought forth the Pau Neter or the company of gods and goddesses, expressions of ultimate reality in the form of cosmic principles and human personalities.
In a second myth, it is said that creation represents the projection of the supreme essence in time and space in the form of a trinity represented by AMUN, RA and PTAH. Om, the supreme divinity manifests itself in time and space as three pieces of himself: consciousness, mind and physical reality. In essence, the teaching of Shetaut Neter about creation is within the first great truth of Shetaut Neter, implying that Neberdjer is the Supreme Being encompassing everything in the form of gods and goddesses.
What is then the purpose of creation? It is one of those questions that reveal the level of spiritual maturity and have posed serious challenges to many philosophers. For the ordinary mind, there is a necessity to assign a purpose to every object of reality including creation itself. The answer to that question once again is necessary for the agitated mind to derive a meaning of its existence so it can derive a sense from it. That is why, for example, one possible answer is that from nothingness, creation brought up human life to experience existence in order to discover their higher nature in harmony with the rest of the universe. On the same sense, the purpose of creation can be said to allow human kind experiencing unity of consciousness or to be enlightened in order to experience being and find fullness. The questioning in itself if approached solely along above lines, affirms the concept of separation between objects of creation that can lead to development and practice of individualism where one will try to find happiness in the world in the form of amassing worldly knowledge and objects. One can realize the inevitable egoistic aspect of any possible answer that seems to dedicate creation to the necessity of man. For practical reason, I would call best relative answers to the question, the ones that can direct the mind to reflect on universal consciousness. In that sense, the myth plays a central role to lead the mind to reflect on the ultimate reality in a deep sense. As the mind reflects on the ultimate reality and, due to the principle of attraction, he will become what he thinks or he will unite with it. So, it seems that the question in itself is more relevant than the requirement to provide answers to the extent that reflecting on it in the right way can point towards the direction of transcendental reality. If the proposed answer affirms egoism, the mind will remain in duality and enter into a regression ad infinitum, continuously asking questions for the sake of releasing the confusion inherent to the logic of duality itself. While addressing the question may require us to focus on man as a separate object, the way it is turned can lead to reflection on the ultimate unity of all things. In that sense, the question has deep importance and can lead us to think about the transcendental essence and our link to it.
What is creation and what is its purpose are questions that can at best be answered metaphorically in the context of time and space. The symbolic aspect of the answers would suggest relative understanding based on the level of connection and realization of the person with the ultimate reality. As the mind evolves from ignorance of the realization of the true SELF, the understanding also evolves until we reach the point of universal awareness, or NEHAST, where there is unity with Creation and we become one with it and all questions related to purpose and its definition are directly understood. The common way to convey such understanding is through mythology.
Who created creation? Once again, the answer to the question in the way it is asked tends to affirm there is a separate existence of creation and the creator. In kemetic philosophy, there is reinforcement of the unified aspect of the creator, the Supreme Being Neberdjer, and objects of creation; that means it embodies everything in time and space and is the essential reality and there is nothing existing outside of it. The forgetfulness of our true essence has allowed us to believe the idea that creation is something that exists separately as a reality outside from ourselves. As per the Kemetic philosophy, we need to become one with ASAR in consciousness or have spiritual awakening to have direct knowledge or intuitional awareness of the ultimate truth.
d) Importance of myth
A myth is a special language that helps to convey teaching about origin of life, the divine and our relationships with the essential reality. It ultimately teaches us, for those who have been properly trained in understanding its deeper meaning, about the unified aspect of life and the illusory nature of perceiving objects of life as being separate . The myth also transcends time and space and its meaning relevant in any moment of history because the teaching provided relates to the permanent truth about life. The story depicted in the myth becomes the central theme of living in the society and represents the source of meaning for the people and that is why, it is said a Nation needs a myth to live by in a sense that the people need higher ideals to provide them with a sense of purpose in life, a sense that binds them together not only as a nation but as well goes beyond the exoteric aspect of life. Usually, all people need to be schooled in the myth at two levels, the exoteric aspect that sustains morality and ethical behavior and for the more evolved members of the society, special instructions are provided that relate to the esoteric aspect that goes beyond time and space. For the myth to be effective in its purpose to sustain all aspects of living, it needs to be taught, and more importantly lived by with the essential meaning conveyed through transmission between preceptor and aspirants. The myth is the guiding principle of all spiritual experiences and to the extent that the esoteric meaning has not been tempered, it will lead to direct knowledge of the transcendental reality, God. However, to the extent that its deeper essence has been neglected to give precedence to pursuing of historical and factual events to justify the myth, the practitioners of religion will enter in a state of war as the validity of their beliefs is based on finding evidence, and objective justification to the expense of others. That is why practitioners of religion can be in a state of war because of attachment to historical and factual evidence rather than the pursuit to discover and integrate the esoteric aspect. A tendency that is reinforced in present time due to the fact that Religion is no longer considered as the source of ethical meaning and separated from other aspects of life including politics, economy, which are the basis for so called modernity.
In present time, there is a tendency to associate mythic language to stories with no factual and historical evidence and ordinarily, it is used to relate to untruthful events of life. This is an indication of the level of relationship that exists with the transcendental aspect of life. However, while the myth in its deeper aspect seems to be denigrated, the function that it plays has not disappeared whatsoever but has been replaced with ordinary beliefs that provide to people a limited sense of life and in that sense, leading to self-destruction. The central theme of life is no longer based on a need to pursue a relationship with a transcendental reality but, to how people can find their way in life to sustain their material needs in a context characterized with greed, hatred, violence, etc. While there is a general recognition that the current system of living denigrates men and women but, the tendency is for people to master the art of deception, to show more greed than the other and in essence to try to win as an individual sacrificing the collective needs. Among the nations, a group of them have associated themselves with the purpose of subjugating others, taking ownership of resources and more importantly destroying local culture and related myth, replacing them with fear and beliefs that relate to the superiority of those supposedly higher nations in order to support their deeds. So basically, the capacity of human kind to elevate its consciousness to higher purpose has been destroyed systematically and replaced with limited view of life leading to emphasis on how I can take care of my family and have a house, a new car, etc. without thinking about higher aspects of life. Humanity seems to be in a state of war where efforts relate solely to satisfy immediate needs are made to the expense of others and from that stand point, competition takes precedence over solidarity, compassion and when those qualities are expressed, they are used as disguised motives to deceive other people or nations. So, the need to restore mysticism leading to the pursuit of reconnection to a transcendental reality is more than necessary to reverse the present state of affairs generated by people’s aryu based on fear, greed, and hatred. This restoration will ultimately teach on the illusion of considering worldly objects as capable of providing bliss but that they are elements to support our experience and quest to know the ultimate reality.
The ancient Egyptian civilization has been recognized for its technology, its architecture exemplified by the Great Sphinx, the pyramids; however their main force relied on their philosophy of life based essentially on the teaching derived from their myths and the integration of Religion in every aspect of life. In that sense, the myth of ASAR based on the Anunian theology is an essential aspect of the teaching and its deeper essence has transcended time and remains valid up to present day. The myth relates about the journey of human SOUL from ignorance of itself and the process of transformation that leads to awareness and connection with the cosmic SOUL. The ignorance of our true self leads to our identification with worldly objects and this is shown in the myth with ASAR confusing his wife ASET representing divine wisdom with the wife of his brother SETH, Nebethet, has intercourse with her and consequently, had to face his anger. It follows that SETH, representing egoism, the aspect of our self that affirms separation with the rests of the objects of creation kills ASAR and dismantles his body. This act represents how the ignorance of our divine nature metaphorically kills our SOUL and leaves it fragmented: the fragmentation represents the separation that we see in the world as opposed to unity. The dismantled body of ASAR had to be searched by his wife ASET and reconstructed; ASET resurrected ASAR and they give birth to their son Heru, representing the divine aspiration, who will do the battle with SETH in that sense, against egoism to reclaim the throne of his father meaning to attain NEHAST, cosmic awareness of the transcendental unity of all things. The act of reconstructing the body means that we need to develop intuitional wisdom in order to move from awareness of the reality as fragmented to the awareness of its underlining unity. The birth of Heru symbolizes how we should turn away from egoism and develops a new life based on humility and devotion to divine wisdom. It is said further on the myth that ASET instructed his son HERU to do the battle with SETH and guided him until final victory to reclaim the throne of his father ASAR. The victory does not conclude with the elimination of SETH but by putting him in service of the throne. In that sense, it reveals that SETH, representing our lower self is not to be eliminated but to be ruled and used to the service of attaining higher goals. It also illustrates the direction a spiritual aspirant needs to take in the process of transformation. The purpose is the development of intuitional vision transforming dualistic understanding of oneself and creation into vision of unity.
The living of the myth of ASAR was the ideal of the ancient Egyptian and provided the ethical basis that supported the entire society. To the extent that Religion integrate all threes aspects including myth, rituals and mysticism, there is no need for separation between Religion and the rest of activities in the society as the conscious goal of living becomes related to how we can reach our higher nature. To the extent Religion excludes the mysticism aspect; it needs to rely on orthodoxy with rigid application of norms to the expense of development of intuitional wisdom. It will no longer be the source for ethical conscience but rather be a source of strives in the society and in that sense, will tend to be separated from politics, economy, etc. That is what has happened with the birth of western modernity and the fatal consequences that we are currently leaving with the current state of affairs in the world. The re-integration and pursuing of mysticism in western religions represents a must needed step so that their societies can derive a higher sense of living. For people of African descents, the reconstruction of culture requires as its ultimate goal the need to transcend the current web of meanings constructed from centuries of domination and cultural alienation and from that stand point, reliving by the myth of ASAR can provide the path for the resurrection of the SOUL, ultimately leading to transcendence of hatred, greed, inferiority complexes and lower aspects of ourselves, to attaining higher dimension of life.
e) Pert m Hru Western translation Issues
The Western translation is not in high quality from a metaphysical standpoint in a sense that it does not emphasize the aspect of the teaching allowing the individual to practice with the goal of moving or becoming in the form of light. It occults the transformation principle that human needs to go through in order to go beyond death and find enlightenment. It seems to affirm in its connotation a worldly aspect related to things you put in your tube but, not something that you use to transform yourself.
With the Western translation, we lose the identification with ASAR, or the aspect of going through the same path of resurrection that ASAR went through. The dead in that sense relates to the SOUL that has been torn apart by ignorance and the book teaches about how to resurrect the SOUL from worldly identifications to reach higher consciousness. The identification with ASAR means we go through the same path as ASAR and, when we reach the point of intuitional and direct experience with ASAR, we are enlightened. This aspect leads to the understanding that we have all the power within our essential nature but, a power forgotten through ignorance that we can once again become aware of through the teaching of the book.
The issue about the translation of the Egyptian book of the dead is an indication of the limitation of some aspects of Western culture and Religions in general, affirming a certain objectivity of life and relegating its deepest nature as something unknowable. An affirmation that is necessary to have the individual turning away from his essential self and rely on culture, technology, the economic and political system as the main source of happiness and comfort in life. It results that from a religious standpoint, there can only be affirmation of the first two steps of the myth leading the mind to see separation with transcendental reality instead of a focus to go beyond duality and affirm unity of consciousness.
This illustrates the fact that one needs to pay attention to what we are looking for as far as approaching the Egyptian culture. To some extent, we may feel attuned to reclaiming a certain past and refute allegations of inferiority of people from the African region however, what is more important is to go beyond pure affirmation of ancestral identification and develop right understanding of the essential teaching, appropriate it and live by it accordingly. In that sense, one needs to turn away from a tendency of affirming historical facts and the related debate that they force upon us about the origin of the Ancient Egyptians, but to promote universal brotherhood as we are part of one essential nature.
f) ASAR and these two principles: SET – Nebethet – and His deep meaning for the aspirant
In the myth of ASAR, it is related that after returning from spreading the teaching in the world, ASAR confused the wife of his brother SETH, Nebethet with his wife, ASET, and had intercourse with her. What that means is that through ignorance, we come to marry with the physical aspect of life as Nebethet represents the idea of living in the lower world. In that sense, it means that ASAR turned away from intuitional wisdom represented by ASET and from that point, became distracted and trapped by egoism, which is SET, the lower aspect of the personality.
The tree of life based on the concept of Anunian tradition with RA as the Supreme Being describes the ascendant path one needs to follow for conscious transformation from bodily identification to universal consciousness. It relates to creation as bringing fourth the divinities embodying five human personalities and five cosmic principles that need to be mastered in order to attain NEHAST. It emphasizes the idea of human journey in the form of a need to master the two aspects of the tree. On one hand, we need to pursue the goal of becoming master of the earth meaning developing Heru like consciousness and becoming Per aa , master of the physical side; one the other hand of the tree, we also need to become master of the heaven world and become like RA or god like essentially, meaning having universal consciousness. In essence, according to the Anunian teaching, we need to develop dual consciousness by being not only the master of the earth or aspects of human personality but also, to become like RA and having direct experience of the essence of all things.
The final fruit of Religion is to guide the practitioner to have the Nuke Asar experience: I am ASAR. It is said in the teaching that the initiate goes to the shrine to meet ASAR. To the extent that the initiate has transformed his consciousness from worldly identification, he will be able to repeat I am ASAR. This is depicting in medu Neter showing Heru leading ANI to the shrine representing our own spiritual aspiration allowing us to meet face to face with the divine ASAR and be able to repeat Nuk Pu Nuk or I am that I am.
The reality of ASAR is believed by some as a potentiality for human being. But, the truth is that we are already in our pure essence, ASAR, but our awareness of it is clouded by egoism or our view of the world and objects of creation as being separate. Metaphysical Mediation, the practice of maati actions, the devotion and the study of the teaching to attain wisdom, will help us to go beyond egoism within oneself and become like Neterus, the cosmic powers. The limitation that makes us think about ASAR as being a potential to be reached as opposed to an essence to be aware of, comes from our ignorance of the essential aspect of our self. From a certain relative way of speaking, the consideration of human as being a potential ASAR is to be understood within a process of transformation of consciousness: the potential is then to be taken in the context of a movement from ignorance to being aware of our higher SELF.
g) Islam and Kemetic principles
The Egyptian philosophies as well as Hinduism adopt a henotheistic view teaching about the existence of one Supreme Being along with lesser beings, named Neterus or gods and goddesses, as opposed to the monotheistic view of Islam, Judaism and Christianity affirming the existence of one unique God with no lesser gods. Historically, during the Arab invasion of Africa and the spreading of Islam, while this philosophy tolerated Judaism and Christianity, they referred to African religion practitioners as nonbelievers. Integrating Islam and Kemetic religions poses serious challenges not only because of the historic view but also because of the fundamental differences in the philosophy. In general, the practitioners of western religion will be at some point forced to deny other religions as the practice embodies only rituals and myths with affirmation of literalism and historicity. That logic, in order to be true, has to deny the validity of other religions and to the extreme, considers other non practitioners eligible to go to hell. In such context, ethical conscience became secondary as long as the practitioners have faith in the religion; the degree of acceptance of other religions is proportional to the intensity of practice. Those who practice loosely may be able to express more tolerance but will be forced to deny other religions when practicing heavily. For those willing to integrate Islam and Kemetic philosophies, they have to realize the difficulty of harmonization between orthodox religions themselves as indication of the impossibility of the task at that level. One needs to admit mystic religions can’t fully coexist with orthodox religions that are highly exclusive, allowing their people to believe in it while for example enslaving others, developing civilization with the inherent purpose of domination and control of other nations with the support of political, economic systems as well as technology. One other aspect that will affect all integration projects is the need for orthodox religions to convert people from other beliefs to their system and finally, one should not ignore the fact the sacred scriptures of orthodox religions include language that promote exclusivism and superiority to the expense of other practices.
On a higher sense of life, there is no need to integrate kemetic religion to Islam or any other philosophy. But, what is needed is the ability for human being to connect at the highest level and recognize they are from the same source despite the differences. In a sense, the ability to transcend the forms in time and space is truly the goal that we need to pursue. It is important that we understand the necessity to purify our mind, body, and the way we understand philosophy and practice metaphysical disciplines so we can reach the ultimate goal for a person to exist with dual consciousness: that of physical world and at same time, aware of reality that is beyond or transcends it. The pursuit of the mystical path will promote the appropriate understanding that would lead to a large ecumenical movement catalyzing changes in people’s mentality to transform identification to race, nations, ethnic groups to global solidarity, compassion, elimination of racism, hatred in essence, raising one’s consciousness to affirm the higher aspect of the Self.
Q2: ABOUT PRACTICE OF THE TEACHING.
Devotional worship. Three times daily worship. The daily morning chants and meditation are being practiced regularly. The noon and evening worships are less regular. Professional activities pose some challenges in regards to noon and evening but, I need to find a creative way to practice. At least, the acknowledgement of the worship at the designated time is what I do. I have assembled the ALTAR and, this provides a higher dimension to the practice particularly in the morning.
The devotion goes as well beyond the practice as one needs to develop a devotional attitude turning away from ego-centrism, an attitude that will help affirming the divine instead of ourselves. Ultimately, worshiping the divine implies gradual letting go of the ego self so that the divine self can express itself within us so we become an expression of it.
Ua Ua Meditation. My morning meditation is regular and is now done after the morning worship. I continue to use the hekau OM AMUN RA PTH with the fire visualization. I have developed a subtle awareness of the projection in time and space and the return to the primeval ocean. The chanting representing the projection in time and space of the OM in the form of trinity and the period of silence represents the return to the NUN. With the out breathing, I think about the projection in time and space alternating with in breathing and thinking about the connection to the primeval ocean, the point of no thoughts…With this new approach, the mind is calmer as I am alternating between both experiences. Also, prior to practice morning worship, I read a few lines of scriptures just to direct the mind to what I will be doing and I find this very helpful in fixing the attention to meditation itself.
In practical life, acting as per Maat principles can be very intriguing at least from my experience. In the beginning, based on ordinary interpretation, for every action, you tried to think about what is good or not but, realized the references or the standards of evaluation relate essentially to ego perception of the world. It is like being trapped in a spider of meanings based on beliefs inherited from cultural traditions with no awareness of it. It is a relation between tendencies of seeing oneself as an actor as opposed to perceiving us as a channel of expression for the SOUL. But, in the physical plane, despite the illusions of the ego, our acts are conditioned by culture, traditions and related without us being aware of the conditioning. How can we master the precepts and take responsibility for our actions consciously without realizing the SELF? That raises another dimension when we want to relate to right actions, right thinking, etc…Who are the “we” or the “I” doing the action? Is it the conditioned one or the conscious one? From that realization, it becomes a requirement on my end to really meditate on the precepts so they do not become a mere recitation. Let us take for example precepts related to nonviolence. Usually, we think of violence as a choice we have to make when the situation occurs. What needs to be thought of is that violence is often a result or a consequence of actions we’ve done in the past in other words; there is a construction of violence. Underlying to the act of violence are desires, passions and attachments not fulfilled. To the extent, we are still identifying ourselves to our attachments, the Aryu for violence are still there within us. So, it seems to me that what the teaching is saying is to avoid creating Aryu that leads to violence. That brings another dimension in life, inviting us to have constant awareness about our actions and their consequences. How can we act today to avoid having to make the choice of violence which is a result of accumulated Aryu?
So, Maati actions really are about what we do on a daily basis to create Aryu that lead to mastering of the precepts. We are living in a world inviting us to affirm the ego but, in reality; the ego has not constructed anything but is a pure resultant of forces that are directing us one way or the other: I would call that a second layer of illusion from the ego. So, how can we recuperate the process of thinking, acting, etc…and be conscious? That seems to me the essential requirement for maati actions. It becomes in a sense to me that maati actions are essentially revealed from the higher SELF and our awareness of them is to the extent of our connection with our higher SELF. A good checkpoint for me after an action is the light of the heart; if it is heavy I know it is not coming from the SELF.
A good exercise I usually do is to take a pose when pressed by situations. Usually, first thought comes from pure conditioning; second level of thought can be from the intellect and a third level is from the intuitional wisdom and we know when it happens as it enlightens us and every one. Sometimes, the third level is not revealed right away but maybe, sometimes after. The question is not essentially what is good or bad for our actions but, how can we constantly be in touch with our higher self and let our course of actions be guided, and revealed by this intuitional wisdom that we all have.
Whenever there is conflict about situations, it is an indication there is a need for reflection and meditation at the end of which, the course of actions will be revealed: it is not to select between one choice and another. A conflict reveals an ignorance about who we truly are and it is by going to the source that it can be resolved.
In summary, I would say practicing Maat actions has taken a new turn. It becomes that addressing issues like being self- righteous, expressing anger, hatred, etc., can’t be done solely through the intellect with a positive attitude: we may have temporary success with some tricks but, we still carry within us aryu that support them at the subtle level. The practice of detachment supported by the striving with persistence to develop intuitional wisdom are the main guides in our process of purifying our thinking and acting in the right way.
Yoga of Wisdom
I study formally the teaching on a daily basis particularly in the morning. The reflection is something I do continuously throughout the day and usually, I may take a central theme to reflect on daily or during an entire week. More importantly, I am trying to develop a new understanding based on the precepts of kemetic philosophy. Usually, we get caught up in the ordinary understanding and often repeat after others or according to the conditioning of our culture and environment. But, once we try to understand events of life with the guide of the teachings, the perspectives are always different. I usually apply that principle to politics, economy and other aspects of daily life. Once achieved, it usually helps releasing the tension associated with attachment to a particular view of the events that is usually fruit of our ego nature. I also practice the meditation on the teaching either formally meaning setting a particular time to reflect on a specific aspect or more informally whenever the occasion presents itself during the day or during leisure time. I remember in one lecture, Seba Dja mentions about the importance of informal meditation as a support principle to the formal meditation. I understand it and by expansion, it should lead us to a new way of living, a meditative way of life that can help reducing the mental agitation for the attainment of NEHAST.
Q3 – Plan to practice
The area I am looking into is the practice of the Yoga postures. I have purchased the Video and start to learn about the postures, their meaning. But, I understand it is not only about the workout but, the intuitional understanding as well. I have started with the NUN posture and intend to add gradually over time. I hope I can have a session in the Temple when time permits.
Next aspect is regular practice of the worship at noon and dusk. There are some challenges at noon when I am usually at the office and at dusk, returning home from work. I usually acknowledge the time of the worship and on my way back home, I listen to the worship tape in the car. Getting to effectively practice is something I am hoping for.
Also, the main area of continuous practice and improvement is related to proper detachment. I am convinced that our attachment to a certain construction of our self is the biggest obstacle to progress along the path. Our failures to apply the teaching can be traced back somehow to area of attachments that we have for which we usually do not have any awareness until we are trapped. That is one of the biggest challenges facing an aspirant illustrating the degree of effort required. It requires vigilance and to keep our guards up constantly. Sometimes, our attachment will win on us but, one needs to continue the effort until we are able to finally dominate them within us.
SOME GENERAL COMMENTS
In the last lesson, Sebai MAA suggested the reading of the book “The mystical Journey from Jesus to Christ”. I have not yet finished it but, the book is right on purpose as it helps clarifying some aspects of Gnostic Christianity that have been disguised under orthodox philosophy.
The chat meeting series on the essence of the teaching really helped also clarifying the vision and the ultimate goal that an aspirant needs to pursue. It helped identifying areas of conditioning and attachments and the work to be done to progress. These series really provided the path to develop right understanding of the philosophy as well as the proper way to practice. They have been very important in shaping my understanding particularly, with the challenging approach adopted by Sbai MAA, forcing a deep reflection on the teaching.
The pursuing of the path of Shetaut Neter in my environment poses many challenges and I have understood the need to use those obstacles as opportunities for transformation while remaining a fervent student with a commitment to practice. Over time, there is an increase of confidence which fuels the desire to continue on the path. The point is to use obstacles as opportunity for transformation and not as blocking factors. We usually have a desire to change the world but, we forget that the universe is mental. So, our attachment to a particular view is based on our ego-nature. If we want to change the world, it is first a matter of changing our understanding of it from an ego standpoint to universal consciousness and not a matter of changing the external objects and the way they are. And from that realization, the world becomes no longer an object of endless pursuit of happiness based on our disillusion to change things according to our view but, an avenue to express selfless service, solidarity, compassion and understanding that we are all in the same journey only with different levels of maturity; a difference that should not be used for expression of superiority in one sense or the other. Within that mindset, one can contribute to the evolution of human kind.