Level 1, Lesson 18, Video assignment, African Origin Series Class 24 Introduction to Shetaut Neter Philosophy Part 1
Previous course lesson on Maat, questions and summary. The precepts of Maat are listed in the Prt M Hru which translates as “going in the form of light, becoming enlightened.” In the creation story; Ra emerged with Maat sitting in the front of the boat, and as the boat sails it makes waves which Maat brings order to. The waves emerge from and infront of Ra’s movement (creation, existence. ) Ra and the Ntru stand on the pedestal of Maat, which symbolically means Maat sustains creation and creation exists on righteousness order and truth.
Maat Hekau from Berlin Museum papyrus represents a formula for Maat philosophy as well as formula for spiritual realization.
First realization: Maat Akhu; maat is the source of life and sustains creation
Second Realization: Maat is everywhere and in all things – making order in chaos
Third Realization: When you have the previous two realizations you begin to rise with Maat – meaning living righteously. Examples going against precepts with wrong foods and drugs which are against Maat and lead to death-ignorance-mortal consciousness. Fourth Realization: If you have these three realizations and state you unite with Maat – the cosmic order. The ultimate philosophy and teaching of cosmic order is that god and the universe are one.
Shetaut Neter Philosophy
In order to understand what a religion is all about it is necessary to study the philosophy behind that religion. The lesson now moves on from Maat philosophy to the total Shetaut Neter philosophy.
The historic references for Shetaut Neter practice and philosophy is the sphynx dated to 10,000 bc. This is the earliest symbol of religion and shows the origins of religion are in Africa. The sphynx is the earliest spiritual monument and is part of a temple complex. The stones cut out from sphynx were place around it in a temple complex and in between the paws was a shrine to Horumakhet. The origin of Ancient Egyptian civilization is at the source of the nile – Ethiopia, mountain of the moon, and Shetaut Neter goes back to predynastic period.
The natural environment plays a role in the development of civilization and philosophy along with spiritual contemplation and discovery. The dessert, fertility, and in-between environments provide challenges and causes for different forms of human society and potential for spiritual awakening. Through planning and work Ancient Egyptians were able to use the Nile to sustain fertility and this lead to understandings about natural order. The Asiatic region was insecure and the fertile places of Ethiopia produced laziness. The philosophy and sophistication of Kemet was made by the Nile which forced people to reflect on loss and gain, order, and planning. This lead to understanding the role of the divine in creation and the nature of the divine as well as natural sciences and arts. It also led to development of philosophical teachings that were written down in the earliest writing system along with the development of male and female scribes and artisans.
Humans exist and life occurs because of divine design. Along with this we are given free will and can choose our pursuits, either righteous or unrighteous. The purpose of Shetaut Neter is the pursuit of divinity, to become god-like, Nehast, Akhu, one with the divine through cultivation of the spirit through knowledge, practice, and bodily discipline.
Shetaut Neter translated to the mysteries of the one Supreme Being. Shetaut (mystery) is about the search for the underlying reality and nature of existence. The end result and aim of this is knowledge of the first and chief being, the one principle throughout everything. Neter (single divinity) is symbolized by a flag which is place in the coffin. This is symbolic of the mummy, and highlights the underlying philosophical teaching that the mummy-human spirit is the resurrected divinity, meaning the human soul (the vivifying life-force and consciousness of the human) is divine and can become one with the divine. Along with Shetaut Neter, the Shemsu Neter are those who follow the Ntr. This principle of the one transcendental being is the underlying teaching of divinity present in all the teachings of the gods and goddesses (Ntru); the underlying principle of all divinities, beings, and forms is the Ntr, the divine Self.
The all-compassing philosophy of Shetaut Neter is detailed in the Maat Ur; the Great Truths of Shetaut Neter. The great truths is like a program of life which teaches the issue of life, the cause, and the way to resolve it.
First; in the myth of Asar Aset and Heru, Asar sends a scroll telling the gods and goddesses that they will die one day and have to face the divine. This reflects the first great truth that all that exists is only the single divinity. All beings ad all things in time-space are unreal and non-abiding. The Ntr is all that existence and all must return to the divine.
Second: Unrighteousness in the form of anger greed and selfishness lead us to ignorance of the divine and our true nature. This ignorance is the fetter and the unrighteous feelings thoughts and actions arising from the fetter of ignorance are the afflictions (anger, greed, lust, jealousy, covetousness, etc.)
Third: Devotion in the form of practices that transform the personality is Uashu. A giving, surrendering, of oneself to the divine truth which leads to sublimation of the ego, effacement-dissolution of the ego. Internally there is a realization and awakening of ones higher spiritual consciousness. This is not fantastical idol worship. By turning to god in Uashu with devotion and practice one attains freedom from ignorance and afflictions of the personality
Fourth: Shedy is the mystical practice that allows for spiritual pursuits to be effective. The dissolution of the ego through Shedy means not losing oneself but gaining more of oneself, when a river merges with the ocean it loses the small individual ego and gains the whole-self. Heru (higher self), Set (lower self.) Upper and lower Kemet and union of the two lands is an underlying spiritual philosophy of yoga and enlightenment.
Emulation of the myths of Shetaut Neter is a critical part of the spiritual practice and allows for the teachings to become alive in oneself. For example in the myth of goddess Aset an Ra, the teaching is given on how Aset attained enlightenment and direct knowledge of the first and chief being. She then raised and educated Heru (the spiritual aspirant- the resurrected higher self) with the teachings of the world but more importantly teachings of the spirit, Shetaut Neter religion, and Shedy practice (“sex Heru is a thing of bodies not of souls.”) Shedd means to penetrate and dig up the mysteries. The pursuit is to resolve the mystery. Shedt means suckling- being sustained by creation and all spiritual aspirants are children suckling at the breast of the goddess of wisdom-Aset- the enlightened goddess.
The great awakening: Nehast. In one image Asar Ani is shown emerging from the coffin surrounded by the Shemsu Heru – he is pulling himself out of the coffin – this is thousands of years before the resurrection of Jesus. This philosophy of the resurrection, the after-life, and the teachings of the Prt M Hru are an extremely important part of Shetaut Neter philosophy. The understanding and living with death is an integral part of our life and important to the contemplations and realizations of a spiritual initiate. The tombs were temples where families came.
All Six main traditions are covered by the fundamentals of the philosophy of Shetaut Neter.
The Per Ahh (pharaoh.) The Per Ahh is shown holding the crook to lead the flock (Humans), and flail to correct them. The headdress of the Per Ahh (lion mane) is symbolized also in the Sphynx and this ties together all the teachings, philosophy, and religious yogic system of Kemet together within the teachings of spiritual enlightenment. The Per Ahh is symbolic of Heru ( the resurrected divinity) and the last Per Ahh is symbolic of Asar ( the dead divinity) and the per ahh is seen as an intermediary between the divine and the creation and is in fact symbolically the resurrected divinity (thus one with the divine.)
Explain what impressed you most in this presentation
I was very impressed and inspired by the explanation of the Maat Akhu and its accompanying realizations as well as the teachings of the Great Truth and the underlying truth and identification with the divine that covers all the teachings of Kemet.
I am also impressed and inspired by the teachings of the myths and their emulations as very helpful and instructive guides to the spiritual vision, philosophy, pursuit, and practice of Shetaut Neter. The myths allow me to contemplate the stages and experiences of my life and the practice of Shetaut Neter in a way that can be guided by the Kemetic teachings by seeing how the myth deals with challenges in life, spiritual aspiration and pursuits, death, etc.