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Udja Sebai MAA/Seba Dja,
My writing assignment for level 1- Lesson 4 below.
Lesson 4 – Level 1: Writing assignment
Q1 – How should a spiritual aspirant think about good association and what actions should they take to insure they will receive and benefit from it?
There are multiple levels to this answer. First, the spiritual aspirant needs to reflect on what a good association is. In general, a good company is one that allows for spiritual development of the aspirant. This is a way to promote the awareness and reflection necessary to advance on the path. More importantly, this type of environment does not affirm the attachment to worldly objects but rather provide the foundation to have experiences that lead to knowledge of Higher Self. In ancient Egypt, such environment was provided within the Temple where the initiate would go to receive instructions and counseling on the correct application of the teaching. As the plant seed requires a fertile environment to grow, the aspirant needs the company of Sages and wise to advance in the spiritual path.
Therefore, the aspirant needs to think about good association as necessary to promote his or her progress in the path. He or she needs to know that the spiritual path does not happen in a void but requires the proper environment for progression. The aspirant needs to think of himself as a seed having all this potential but needs a context to grow to reach highest spiritual fulfillment. If the environment is not suitable, the aspirant will not progress spiritually and will instead integrate subtle impressions of the mind that are not to promote his advancement.
In terms of actions, in this environment, the aspirant needs to give his or her best to absorb and integrate the teachings at every level including thinking, acting, feeling and willing. There is the outer aspect where the teaching is presented and aspirant needs to concentrate as much as possible to properly receive the information given. There is also the subtle aspect related to how the Sages react to certain situations; how their answer to certain questions, etc. In all companies, you may watch the dynamics at play between positive and negative energy. Usually, you have a person who emits energy, directing the debate while others are in a more passive state receiving the energy. In company of the Sages, aspirant needs to raise their negative aspect so as to receive as much as possible. This is not the time to affirm opinions or making debate if not being asked on the validity of the teaching. There are times where aspirant may ask questions however, it would be with the intention to clarify knowledge and understanding and not to show what they know about the teaching. More importantly, the aspirants in other to benefit fully from the good company needs to observe all the subtle behaviors with a desire to practice, to emulate such behaviors as well in practical life. All an all, the aspirants need to use intellect, feeling to have that type of connection with the Sages so that at the end, he or she does not only intellectually understand the teachings but as well take the time to observe the practical behavior of the Sages so he can have complete understanding.
A final point as well is for the aspirant to use the good company as an opportunity to have feedback on practical aspects of life as this is where he or she will have the occasion to practice. They should not try to play hero when in other environment thinking that they have all that are needed to be a Sage. They should not try to play the roles of Sages prematurely otherwise; they may be crushed by opinion of others. As the aspirants evolve in the path, the mind still carries subtle negative impressions and until these impressions are cleansed, they risk affecting their development. That is why, the aspirants need to pay careful attention when placed in different environment and strive to practice internally what he or she has learned from the good company and ensure that he checks back with the Sages or teacher once he comes back to the good company again to make sure he understands.
In these days, aspirants may not have the opportunity to be in good company all the time, in the sense discussed above however, they need to understand that aspect and the limitation that they have in that sense before embarking in any project of wanting to change others. Until that personal transformation has reached an irreversible path, the aspirants need to focus on striving to find good company and grow there and use other environments as opportunities to learn about mistakes. There will be a time when the aspirants are advanced and will be able to be with the master constantly via subtle level of communication and therefore, will be able to create good company for others not affected by emotions of the moment, which is the ultimate goal of the aspirants. In more advanced path, the aspirant no longer sees situation as good and bad but, with detachment knowing they are opportunities to learn and grow on the path.
Q2- When can you as the aspirant chose those disciplines which suit your personality?
The aspiration process essentially consists in the cleansing of the mind from attachment to worldly objects and consequently leads to preparation for proper understand the teaching. The point is to gradually develop a new way of thinking; acting, feeling and willing generally not in accordance with the general norms but that are guided by idea of devotion to the divine. Without this commitment, the aspirant will not be able to properly understand and benefit from the wisdom teaching. In other words, as per the AEP: “The lips of Wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding”. An indication of spiritual development resides in the ability for the aspirant to recognize spiritually advanced personalities. Attaining this valuable stage usually follows a period of subtle mental transformation by the aspirant that is the expression of his or her desire to stay on the path and be fit to receive the teachings. Without that, there will be mental agitation and more often rebellion against the aspects of the teachings not really conventional.
During this process characterized by self-effort, the aspirant will incrementally be able to integrate the teachings with the purpose of learning the correct method to gradually implement them in practical life. Once the proper methods have been understood then, the aspirant will be able to choose those disciplines that are more aligned to the personality. In that stage, the aspiration path has taken a new turn in a sense that following self-effort, he or she is now in a position to intensify the practice leading to further development on the spiritual path while continuing to carry normal duties of life. If persisting with the practice, the aspirant will gradually experience peace and enjoyment of life until the final stage of enlightenment and this is done in an integral fashion.
Q3-What food does the preceptor provide?
AEP: consume pure food and pure thoughts with pure hands, adore celestial beings, and become associated with wise ones: sages, saints and prophets, make offerings to God”.
During the process of mental transformation, the aspirant needs to develop new ways of thinking and in other words, consume pure thoughts that can help his or development on the path. The preceptor is the one who can provide such mental foods having been able to transform his own mind along the path. In terms of consuming pure foods for the mind, the aspirant will benefit from the wisdom of the preceptor that is based on experience and not on mere intellectual appropriation of the teaching. The mental foods in the form of teaching, example of living will help aspirant integrating new models of thinking from the new subtle impressions derived from the teaching. This type of food will lead to clarity of the mind in order to remove confusion resulting from previous subtle impressions associated with the ignorance about the true self. Besides providing a context for cleaning the mind, the preceptor also helps releasing the Intellect from thinking in an infinite cycle of questions and answers. The preceptor will provide guidance related to proper way of thinking about practical issues of the world in order to put them into context of spiritual evolution.
Q4- The need for a true teacher cannot be overemphasized in the course of spiritual practice.
The goal of spiritual practice, which is enlightenment, a state of realization of our oneness with the rest of the creation, can’t be attained through magic or unnatural means but, by personal hard and non-ordinary work. More often, people on the path rely on books however, while spiritual books can promote spiritual growth, they have limitations by themselves to transform the mind which have accumulated subtle mental misconceptions about the SELF based on ignorance of its true nature. A limitation reinforced by the fact that books only have the potential to affect the intellect and as advised by all mystical teachings, intellect alone cannot realize God because of its inherent nature attached to duality. Put in other words, the books may help one to discourse about spirituality but not to practice it. Practice is required to advance and develop the capacity of seeing beyond duality. From that perspective, the need of a true teacher cannot be overemphasized in the course of spiritual practice. A spiritual teacher is the one who can guide the aspirant in multiple ways through examples, practical life scenarios, to attain final realization of the Higher SELF. The aspirant needs the teacher as source of inspiration and example to follow in order to generate subtle impressions to the mind that will help repointing it to the divine. Without example and inspiration, the mind may stay astray and will not be able to reach a level to find the divine grace as to allow for higher awareness of the SELF. The teacher provides the proper attraction to the mind that will turn it away gradually to higher vibrations.
Without the preceptor, the aspirant in the path is exposed to misunderstanding, confusion about the teaching that can potentially lead to mind agitation. In ordinary worldly activities such as sports for example, a personal trainer is necessary to help the athlete reaching the next level of his potential. Some people talk about the Guru within in order to dismiss the importance of having a spiritual preceptor. But, one can personally see the difference when practicing on his or her own as opposed to having a true teacher. In the second experience, not only, a context is provided to address questions and confusions but, the clarity that is provided helps us doing a large step in the right direction. More often, there is confusion about what it is to pursue a spiritual life and this is the first point of clarity that the preceptor can help conveying to the aspirant. The guru within is a concept that is valid but misunderstood as it is the internal Guru that also guides us to find proper teacher to lead us to wisdom. In fact, once the preceptor has realized him or self, he becomes one with the Guru within and a channel for the guru within to provide wisdom to the aspirant. As in the current stage of development, the aspirant does not have yet the capability to perceive the teachings of his own higher SELF, the internal Guru, and the preceptor will provide guidance for him to reach that stage. Once the self-realization occurs, there is oneness at the highest level and the aspirant will become a clear channel, a living expression of the Higher SELF.
Q5- a true teacher is one who lives by the teaching.
The wisdom teachings are like a song that the aspirant needs to understand the subtleties, rhythms, in order to be able to sing it. In that sense, the purpose is to become the teachings meaning living a life that expresses the deep essence of the teaching in an integral way. That is the stage attained by a true teacher. In that sense, the authentic teacher displays three important qualities: he is advanced in the path of self-control; he or she has showed indifference to either positive or negative facts and not affected by praise because he is free of desire and attachment for objects of the world. In that state, the teacher becomes a true living of the wisdom and brings joy for those in contact with him. Through his presence alone, the aspirant is able to vibrate to the frequency of the higher self and resonate with a glimpse of bliss until over time, the vibration becomes permanent once the higher self becomes known or realized. The true teacher by being an embodiment of selfless love and compassion provides the proper context for the aspirant to evolve in the path.
Emphasis is not usually put on that aspect but, in a similar fashion that we talk about true teacher, we need also to talk about true aspirant. An aspirant may be in the presence of a true teacher and not realizes it given the fact that, he has not yet developed the subtle mental attitude required to fully benefit from the wisdom conveyed. The true benefit does not reside on the external level but on the mental connection the aspirant is able to develop with the teacher. The more this connection, the more the teacher will be able to affect the unconscious level of the aspirant to accelerate the process of cleansing of the mind to be prepared for higher teachings.
Another area of the importance of the true teacher resides in the capacity of providing feedback on the practice. This is highly necessary as to avoid errors that can hamper the spiritual growth. Without the feedback, the aspirant is not able to properly measure progress and know about shortcomings resulting from wrong thinking due to misunderstanding of subtle elements of the teaching.
The true teacher will only guide the aspirant to SELF realization and is not interested in keeping him or her forever as long as it is not necessary. Once the final stage has been reached, the aspirant can continue the path without the physical involvement of the teacher having reached the point of oneness with him.
In definitive, a true teacher is indispensable for spiritual growth and without the preceptor relationship, the aspirant is bound to pain and suffering along the path as well as disappointment as he will not be able to realize the transformation necessary to know the higher self. The aspirant needs help of the preceptor to liberate the Self from a state of “inj-set” developed over time with actions that constrict the natural order of nature based on ignorance of his or her true Nature.
Q6 – The action of a Sage affects incalculable amount of people.
The impact of Sages can be felt in time and space through their physical presence. Indeed, with their spiritual insights, they are the sources of good association and anyone in contact with them will feel the positive energy that emanates from their actions, feelings, and thinking. The positive impact that they have influences directly people in touch with them and, in an indirect manner their associations as well.
Besides their physical presence, the Sages have profound impact as well through their writings about spirituality that convey the teaching in a manner that can direct the mind to thinking the righty way. The writings of Sages transcend generations and civilizations with profound effect of many lives. In that sense, the writings of Ptahotep, Imhotep, Lord Djehuty stand as pure examples of such impacts of Sages over time. The prt m hru book and other writing texts from Kemet are examples of books that carry a message transcending time and generations.
The area where they can be most impactful is at the subtle level. In fact, having realized the SELF, they have the capacity to emit subtle spiritual influences that can affect those who are not in contact but able to be in tune with these energies. These impressions are like waves in the air able to be received by those in tune to their frequency. Some masters provide their teachings through astral projection multiplying their ability to instruct those capable on interacting consciously at that level. The subtle impacts of Sages remain and span over time affecting the lives of multiple generations.
Another area of impact of the Sages is through their many disciples who have received their teachings either directly or indirectly and who in their turn transmit them by their way of leaving or as preceptors, or Sebai. The great influence of Shetaut Neter is incalculable having not only influenced other Religions but continue to impact our lives with a message that transcends past generations and current ones. Because of its universality, the teaching conveyed by the Sages of Kemet will continue surely to constitute a doorway for those ready to embark on the path of spiritual enlightenment for future generations to come.
Q7 –The largest priesthood belonged to the temples of the gods Amun, ASAR, RA and Heru and for the goddesses NET, ASET and Heteru.
The term for priest was Hem or Hemt and priesthood included different ranks. The Keri-Ebb or high priest also called hierophant was described as the one who is the chief of the secrets of heaven. Lower levels of priests had the responsibility for administrative duties including teaching the mysteries, social science studies, management, law and writing. Some other priests had other titles included the treasurer of the God’s house, super intendants, reciter, Meta-en-sa, Scribe of the altar. Judges were also priests belonging mostly to the order of MAAT. Regarding aspirants, there was complementarity in the roles of lower priests and hierophants: the former were responsible to introduce the teachings and the latter responsible to convey deeper aspects and initiate to higher path.
Based on the description of Philo of Alexandria, a priest always had the divine presence with him or her and taught the wisdom path to those with pure ears. An explanation of the divine presence as described by Philo illustrates the contrast between orthodox and gnostic as it relates to the meeting between God and Moses. Orthodox sees this meeting as Moses being conscious of himself looking at God externally whereas gnostic suggests a communion with God. In a more general note, worshipper of orthodox Religion conceives himself/herself mentally as being individually separated from God. This concept may leads to ritualistic experience with heightened emotions, vision and other phenomena with no transcendental vision of absolute and no transcendence of ego self. In gnostic religion based on yoga philosophy and meditation, worshipper is instructed to reach the point of no-mind to experience direct and intuitive knowledge of God. In that sense, the Gnostic path emphasizes on intuition as the most important quality to develop.
In ancient Egypt, the role of the priests was to guide the aspirants to develop intuitional wisdom in a sense to strive to see with the inner eye in order to mentally separate him from mind and ego and be able to perceive the essence of all things.
Q7 – Role of the teacher: the teacher makes himself or herself a conduit, an instrument of the divine through which the Divine may enlighten others when they are ready.
There exists the natural path toward enlightenment through unseen forces of Meskhenet (aryus) to guide the souls who are not yet ready however; it takes long years and deep suffering through many reincarnations. The teaching indicates that Nature plans all the events in life carefully so the SOUL can develop consciousness of higher SELF. The second path offers an alternative way called the wisdom path whereby aspirant may attain NEHAST in his or her current life time following principles established by great Sages. In Ancient Egypt mystical tradition, the prt m herm text describes such path of becoming in the form of light through a process of developing the intuitional capacity that leads to direct knowledge of the divine. This process of spiritual growth requires the establishment of a disciple and teacher relationship to be effective.
The role of the teacher is thus indispensable if one considers the second path of enlightenment and one should be careful to self-proclaim a master when he is not. One may imitate the teacher in a sense to feel, act, will and think like him or her. In that sense, the teacher having attained realization of the SELF becomes a conduit of the divine to help other aspirants in their quest for SELF realization. Usually, authentic master does not proclaim enlightenment and, true aspirants are being drawn toward them based on their teaching and examples of life. The important aspect of the spiritual path is for the aspirant to develop enough intuitive knowledge to identify the teacher who will provide guidance on the path. Prior to that, the effort of the aspirant will be scattered and can lead to more confusion and misunderstanding.
Some important characteristics of the teacher besides being an instrument of the divine is that he avoids sentimental involvement with any aspirant and is free of sorrow or elation for an individual in the path. His purpose is to seek to eliminate pain and suffering through the force of wisdom like the eye of RA burning away ignorance on the path. The teacher will not violate people’s freedom of will and students come to them out of their own will without being forced. The SOUL of the aspirant knows exactly where to place the aspirant to find spiritual growth in the path and it is according to this principle that the aspirant is drawn toward the master.
The teacher is more than anything a conduit for the divine and through the principles of vibrations; aspirants are being attracted to them based on their own development on the spiritual path and their readiness to advance.
Q8 – The key is in the attitude you perform your duties.
One can say that the development of an individual in the path of Wisdom takes a radical turn when he or she realizes that the web of meanings developed by the mind over time to attain happiness in time and space is transitory and is in fact the pursuit of an illusion. The web of meanings is like the fibers woven by the moth that imprisons it. A similar process is described in the Ancient Egyptian teachings whereby the SOUL weaves fibers around the mouth through ignorance of the SELF and its identification with external reality and consequently, is not able to be true of speech. It requires a process of internal transformation similar to what the moth goes through when it becomes a butterfly to be free from own imprisonment, for the SOUL to liberate himself from the self-constructed prison through aryus.
For that process to be effective, the key resides in the internal attitude by which the aspirant performs the duties while he or she follows the path. The most effective way to be free of “inj-set” is for one to become enlightened through the path of wisdom considered to be an armor of protection against miseries of the world. The ancient Egyptian is essentially based on MAAT principles as the engine of this transformation process. It is said in the teaching that RA creates the universe out from chaos and used MAAT representing order, harmony and balance to sustain creation. Therefore, having acted in ways that constrain natural order, the aspirant needs to have devotion to MAAT to be able to restore harmony within the personality though a process of internal and mental cleansing. It is important to note this process starts from inside and implies a fundamental shift in mental perceptions of the world. Usually the call for realization of the SOUL comes from a deep interest to transform the world but, people have the tendency to look for changes externally through political struggle, humanitarian initiatives, etc. Such undertakings are bound to disillusions if the individual is doing them for egoistic reasons as a source of happiness. Until the mental shift has been done to understand that true bliss can only be found when one attains NEHAST through practice for the development of intuitional wisdom leading to SELF realization, the effort of the individual is affecting its development on the path and will not be able to provide the type of help expected. In other worlds, not knowing how to swim, you can’t save others from drowning. We need to overcome ourselves being affected by human existence through yogic sciences before assisting others. Although some values can be found in helping humanity but most effective ways reside in changing ourselves. Once the transformation has been completed inside, the SOUL will attain liberation and be free from fetters of SET, like the butterfly being able to exit its prison.
In current time, so-called modern men and women rely on technological progress, such as cell phones, Internet, face Book, Twitter and various relationships including wife, kids, sports favorite teams and athletes, political affiliation and the likes, in other to be happy. He or she has developed an acceptation of the ups and downs in life and embarks on an endless pursuit of more ups than downs, leading to more disillusions. The seeker of wisdom knows that once he or she attains NEHAST, the whole Universe is available for him to find happiness and in fact, he becomes one with all creation and is able to experience permanent bliss despite struggle of the worlds. In the process, he sacrifices many egoistic pleasures for the ultimate goal of life which is the attainment of permanent bliss according to the following words of Jesus the Christ: “Seek first for the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
2) Post @2652 / reply by Sebai MAA Post #2678.
Keeping company with like-minded implies association with wises. It is important to avoid extremism and always seek proper spiritual balance. It is suggested not to discuss questions of initiatic nature with uninitiated friends. Shetaut Neter does promote devotion to MAAT, which is balance and not extremism associated with cults or fundamentalist religions. The Kemetic teaching does not require reclusion from the world as opposed to other practices. SN promotes balanced spiritual development of feeling and Intellect.