Udja Sebai Maa and Seba Dja,
Please find below my assignment for LEsson 4 – Level 1
Lesson 4 – Level 1
1) What is a sacred space and why we need one?
A sacred space is a place for higher vibration where we can tune the mind to be aware of the divine essence. It is a place where we are able to live the teachings of Wisdom in order to progress spiritually. It can be a fixed physical place like the Temples in Ancient Egypt or personal altar at home. In current time where physical Temples do not exist, a sacred space can be created every time a group unites together for the purpose of genuinely reflecting on the sacred teachings, to chant, do rituals and meditation. The Neterian conference at the end of the year is an example of how a sacred space can be created.
In the myth related to goddess Hetheru, it is said that she forgets her true nature after she has been sent by RA to restore righteousness in the world of time and space. She was so forgetful of her true nature that she wanted to eat her own brother. RA had to send Djehuty to help her regaining awareness of her true nature.
This story in fact relates to us as humans losing consciousness of our higher self with our identification with our body and mind thus, our physical nature. With this identification, we forget we are essentially of divine nature and that our involvement in time and space has a purpose to experience our divinity. This ignorance of our higher SELF leads to suffering as our SOUL is striving to go back to its original essence. In order to be able to regain the lost awareness, a sacred space is needed to help us at first to be aware of existence of higher nature and leads us progressively to the needed internal transformation until final realization of the SELF.
For Lord Dejehuty to restore the divine awareness of goddess Hetheru, he prepared a special portion named Setgert that included blood, beer and mandrake. This food symbolizes the three types of awareness that we have. The blood symbolizes the intoxication with mind and body and is representative of the ego (I am the body. I am the mind, etc…). The beer symbolizes our identification with worldly pleasures and our attachment to their ability to give us happiness. It represents our pursuit of happiness in time and space through objects of creation. The mandrake represents God Stuff or the intoxication resulting from our identification with God or our awareness as being essentially one with objects of creation. The mandrake portion of the food that Djehuty provided to Hetheru will gradually help dissolving the awareness that previously lead her to be conscious of herself as separate as well as dissolving the illusion associated with pursuing bliss with worldly pleasures. In final, the mandrake will lead her to be aware of her divine essence.
In a similar fashion, being in a sacred place with all our intoxication of the ego and the pursuit of worldly pleasures, we will receive mandrake that will gradually help us dissolving our ignorance and have the mind to vibrate and resonate to higher vibration. In the process, we gradually cleanse our mind and become more and more in tune with our higher SELF. The sacred space is allowing us to go through that gradual internal and mental transformation. The sacred space will lead us to elevate ourselves to the intuitional wisdom and realization that we are the eyes of RA.
2) Introduction to Shetaut Neter
In the time of ancient Egypt, Religion was integrated as a way of life and, there was not really a separation between ordinary activities and religious practices: both were intertwined and it was not a necessity to distinguish between them . The philosophy practiced by the Kamitan people was named Shetaut Neter and is considered in modern times as a Religion but globally it encompassed all aspects of life including Economy, politic, mathematic, etc. The philosophy of Shetaut Neter was based essentially on the knowledge that the purpose of life is to realize the divinity within oneself and attain a state of consciousness where we are one with the rest of the Universe. As opposed to the oral tradition in Africa, the sages of Ancient Egypt wrote about their philosophy of life and although denatured by western writers, it is possible to discover the essence of their philosophy, culture and civilization and reclaim their way of life. A task pursued by the Temple of ASET through the directions and research of Sebai Maa and Seba Dja who have founded Neterianism, representing a modern name for Shetaut Neter. Neterianism means those who follow Shetaut Neter which are called Neterians or also Shemsu Neter.
Shetaut Neter means the way to the secret divinity with Shetaut means mystery or that is hidden and Neter relates to divinity. In other words, it is a mystical teaching about the realization of the hidden divinity within us; hidden because of the veil of ignorance of our true self. Examples of word of similar origin are Sheta Keperu or hidden creator of forms; Sheita related to the writings of the teaching. Shetaut Neter is the earliest documented African term equivalent to practice of Religion with evidence time line estimated as far as 7,000 – 10,000BCE validated by the great Sphinx. It includes a universal aspect with influence on other African philosophies like Yoruba, Dogon; research also traces its influences on Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity. A second aspect of Shetaut Neter is cultural in a sense that it provides to people of African origin a link to their culture as well as a Religion they can practice according to their inherent belief systems.
3) Description of Shetaut Neter.
Shetaut includes two types of teaching: one called lower mystery as it relates to intellectual knowledge; the second one is called higher mystery and relates to intuitional realization of the concepts conveyed in the first part. Both are necessary and complementary to realize the human life goal to realize the higher SELF. The essential of the philosophy is found in three different types of sacred scriptures. First, we have the mythical stories recorded as far as the pre-dynastic period: Shetaut ASAR-ASET-HERU or the myth of ASAR ASET Heru related to the asarian resurrection theology; Shetaut Atum-RA relates to Anunian theology; Shetaut NET ASET-Hetheru or the Goddess spirituality; Shetaut Ptah or Memphite theology.
The rituals were practiced in various temples related to the main divinities as well as in practical life. The essence of life was based on MAAT philosophy including essential ethical characters that one had to integrate in daily life in other to realize one’s higher SELF. The essential of MAAT philosophy could be found in the precept texts that encompassed all periods of Ancient Egypt history.
The second type of texts are the Wisdom texts recorded as far as 300BCE and includes the Precepts of Ptahotep, the Instructions of ANI, the Instructions of Amenhotep, etc…
The mystical texts represented more advanced teachings and were part of the higher mystery philosophy and included the Prt m Heru text also called book of the dead in Western terminology which is in realty a book about how to reach a state of enlightenment. Other mystical texts include the Pyramid texts, the Coffin and Papyrus texts
Religion includes three stages: the myth that is about the stories that convey the main teaching and characters we should live by; the rituals including practices that can help us integrating the aspects of the myths; and finally, the highest stage, the mysticism that helps us transcending our consciousness in time and space and realize our oneness with nature and the rest of the Universe.
Most Religions include the first two aspects and in that sense are called orthodox with the mysticism either not practiced or practiced by a separate segments as for example, Sufism for Islam or Gnostic church for Christianity. That is the main difference between what we call orthodox religions and Shetaut neter. As per the texts presented above, Shetaut Neter includes all three aspects and is part of what we call authentic religion as well as others that also follow a similar pattern, like Buddhism, Taoism…
The founder of Neterianism is Lord Khepri who brought fourth creation out of himself (not to be taken in a male/female context). Lord Kephri taught to Lord Djehuty who quantified and transmitted the teaching to ASET, ASAR who taught Hetheru and then spread the mystery to the priests and priestesses and to the rest of the world. Everyone has a link to the divine lineage and therefore able to practice and be a preceptor according to their capacity.
The Paut neteru represents the family tree or company of Gods and Goddesses as well as the multiple interactions between then. The philosophy of Shetaut Neter is characterized by the balance between male and female as there are opposing Gods between male and female for example: ASAR-ASET; Shu-Tefnut, etc…
The Four great truths
The four great truths represent the essential formula to understand the essence of the philosophy of Shetaut Neter as well as the path to realize its purpose. The first one relates to the existence of one and only Supreme being called Neberdjer manifesting itself in all things as Neterus called also Gods and Goddesses, representing cosmic principles as well as essential aspects or qualities of life. The Neterus emanate from the Supreme being, called Neberdjer and as such are doorways to the Supreme divinity. The second one relates to our forgetfulness of the first truth based on ignorance of our true nature. This ignorance leads us to unrighteous acts that are against the natural order of the Universe and leads to suffering. The third truth relates to the essential path to reclaim awareness of the first truth by worshipping the Neterus as doorways to the one and only Supreme being. The worship of the Neterus in essence consists in becoming like them meaning to act, to feel, to think and will like them and once that is attained, we will reach the state of awareness of the divine that we have lost due to unrighteous actions based on ignorance. The last truth relates to practices that can lead us to fully realize our true Self and become MaaKheru meaning being true of speech. It teaches about the importance of actively working to dissolve our ignorance that was clouding our consciousness of the divine within us. This is then a complete philosophy that encompasses all aspects of life with emphasis on the essential goal of attaining a state of oneness with the divine.
The Neterian creed relates to guiding rules for the Shemsu Neter. At first, it is stated that there is one Supreme being manifested as Neteru and since Neteru emanates from Neberdjer, Neberdjer can be worshipped as Gods and Goddesses and we should strive to come into harmony with them. The Divinities, Neterus, are represented in zoomorphic and anthropomorphic in accordance with the teaching being conveyed through them.
Neberjer, the Supreme being established all creation on Maat Principles and that our actions or arii determine the quality of the life one leads. Acting with MAAT or generate positive Arii leads to freedom however, forgetfulness of MAAT principles lead to suffering and pain and is associated with negative Ariu. The creed states at the death of the body, our actions will be evaluated against MAAT. If our actions are found to be aligned with positive Ari, this will lead us to NEHAST, and living with Neberdjer for all eternity; in contrary, if our acting was based on selfishness and greed, we will have negative Arius and the SOUL will be reincarnated and this is called Uhermankh.
Shemsu Neter or a follower of NETER needs to practice the Shedy disciplines, which include: study the Wisdom teachings, Rech Ab; devotion to God (Uashu); Acting with righteousness (Maat) and meditation (UA). Further, the authentic aspirant needs to study the Shetitu inscribed in Medu Neter which are the sacred teachings (hieroglyphs) with the most important ones being the Pert m Hr and the Hessi Amun and the most important myth is the myth of ASAR or ASARIAN resurrection.
The aspirant should not cultivate any doubt that the practice of the shedy disciplines will lead him to knowledge of NETER and purity of heart in other to realize oneness with God before death and find supreme peace, abiding happiness, and fulfilling life purpose and be able to promote peace and harmony for the world.
Goal of Shetaut Neter
The goal of life for everyone is to find happiness and ordinarily, people are seeking it through different actions in the world with relationships, work and so on and so forth. In the times of trouble, people tend to assume this is part of life. The teaching of Shetaut Neter essentially tells us that pursuit of happiness in the world of times and spaces is illusory. The only way to find true happiness is to realize our unity with the divine which is the only abiding reality with everything else, only a projection of that unique reality and therefore bind to cycle of beginning and end.
The goal of Shetaut Neter is to guide anyone to attain the purpose of life which is to attain a consciousness apart from bodily concerns. The teaching says that men and women are to become God like through a life of virtue and the cultivation of the spirit through scientific knowledge, practice and bodily disciplines. Goal of Neterian teaching is to lead us to attain the Great Awakening, called NEHAST
Importance of Integral Yoga
In ancient Egyptian tradition, Yoga was also practiced under the name of Sma tawi, which is the union of the two lands of Egypt representing metaphorically, the lower and higher SELF. The yoga as practiced encompassed all four aspects of personality and provided the path to spiritualize them and attain Nehast. The will power can be spiritualized with the practice of meditation; the emotion can be purified with the devotion to the Neterus as a door way to the supreme divinity; purification of Intellect or Reason is based on the study of Wisdom teachings; our actions need to be guided by MAAT which represents balance, justice and harmony. Engaging in the postures with the right attitude gives us a sense of devotional feeling because of actual emulation of the divine postures; this emulation will create subtle impressions on the mind that can lead to Wisdom, as well as a sense of detachment to help us in acting with MAAT. With continuous practice, we will develop calmness of the mind that would lead to higher practice of meditation.
The Neterianism includes daily worship practices in the morning, at noon and dusk with the purpose of engaging the aspirant in devotion to the divine that will help gradually transforming all aspects of personality so higher mysteries can be understood that will lead to realization of one’s higher SELF.
4) Main standing question of the lesson
The man teaching of this lesson relates to the illusory aspect of seeking happiness from worldly objects, It is said : The pursuit of happiness in time and space is the pursuit of an illusion.
The projection of individual SOUL in time and space results in the perception of duality associated with seeing objects of creation as separated from each other and being attached to them as if they were permanent. In that sense, the SOUL lost knowledge about his or her true nature and enters in a path to reclaim it. But, with ignorance, the SOUL relies on the objects of nature as the source of happiness. Having had a sense of this happiness from particular events in time and space, the SOUL falsely strives to reconstruct the event with the hope to revive the sense of peace he or she was able to find. Doing so, the SOUL finds himself or herself in a delusion due to the impermanence of the objects of the world and has constantly to find new ways to find joy. Ultimately, the SOUL realizes the illusory of such pursuit and decides to follow the proper path to reclaim awareness of the true nature. This is the normal path traced for the SOUL and this is part of the evolution but it leads to suffering and many cycles of reincarnation.
The teaching of Shetaut Neter provides an alternate path that can help the SOUL realizing the true nature and to know himself or herself in current life time by helping the aspirant realizing at first, intellectually the illusory nature of the world with the lower mysteries and with the higher mysteries and practices, guiding him to develop gradually the intuitional understanding that will lead to the realization of the divinity within him or her and attain NEHAST.