KEMET UNIVERSITY HOME › Forums › Egyptian Mysteries Level 1 › Level 1 Book Reading Assignment Discussions Forum #2 › Reply To: Level 1 Book Reading Assignment Discussions Forum #2
Lesson 5 – Level 1 – Reading assignment
Udja Sebai MAA and Seba Dja,
Dua for this lesson that brings clarity to the attitude of aspirant towards the preceptor in a way to avoid delusion and misunderstanding that may lead to failure in the path.
Please find my rendition of the lesson below.
1) Preachers use exciting methods to impress and may sound authentic
The practice of religion in modern times is characterized by separation with other aspects of social life including economics, politics, etc…New orthodox philosophies have emerged whereby the teachings are no longer lived by and understood through a process of listening, reflecting and meditating. Instead, individuals rely on the listening of sermon from preachers most of the time once a week to learn about the sacred texts of their religion. Usually, these preachers use exciting methods to impress the audience with rhetoric and dialectic that can generate high emotions leading to devotional appraisals and attachment to the church. Very often, these emotions may lead to some sort of psychic experience that can be confused with mysticism. In this environment, there is the rule of dogmas and the practitioner often does not have the time to study the teaching intensively and develop own understanding. Often times, understanding is imposed with dogmas and ethical qualities are being discoursed on without real path leading to personality integration. There is a reliance on the capacity of the preachers to affect the audience hence a dependency that does not promote spiritual growth. In an orthodox based type of Church, sincere followers at best, would perhaps develop genuine ethical qualities with no real context for purification that would lead to higher development; the concept of transcending duality is not taught so the followers are not consciously envisioning to purify their actions, thoughts and feelings in order to reach higher consciousness. It is so because in an orthodox environment, the practices remain at the two lower stages of Religion, myth and rituals without integration of mysticism. The initiatic way of transmission of the teaching has been lost and with it, the type of relationship required to emulate the type of divine context for spiritual growth.
People with growing disappointments with orthodox religion practices have been looking for a deeper meaning of life. The development of Eastern religion mainly from India in the Western world informed people about other practices such as Yoga as well as about the existence of the Guru-Student relationship for spiritual development. However, the integration of these religious practices leads to misunderstandings in an environment where Religion is considered a separate activity and not part of everyday life: Yoga for example has been adapted to only health benefits for the practitioner. Another consequence is the emergence of self-taught spiritual teachers who may appear authentic and in that sense, appeal to aspirants who happen to believe in their capacity to enlighten them. Lack of ethics from these teachers will expose their inability to show the path correctly and may lead to derives as we have seen with the development of cults and religious practices based on inflating the ego of the teachers or establishment of servant type of relationships. In such cases, the teachers are not really interested in promoting spiritual growth and look instead to perpetuate the affiliation for economic reasons.
A sincere aspirant needs to be aware of the confusion in order not to be deluded in his sincere desire to find deeper meaning in life through the practice of authentic mystical path. More importantly, the understanding of the final goal of Religion needs to be the guiding principle in his or her quest. Without that understanding, he or she may follow pseudo religion in all honesty thinking about being on the right path or to have found the preceptor that will guide him. Ignorance about how to recognize authenticity of religious practices seriously affects the ability of sincere aspirant to reach the truth. For those who are devoted in attaining spiritual enlightenment, careful vetting is required in order to make the right choice about the preceptor to promote one’s spiritual progress.
2) An Authentic teacher is a precious resource
Preceptor-student relationship is indispensable for spiritual growth. Sages express high recognition and devotion towards their spiritual teachers without whom their development would have stalled. Although there are people who believe they can teach themselves the mystical path, they have not really reached the level of wisdom we know of notorious sages. An authentic teacher is therefore a precious resource more than any other type of resources the aspirant may have in time and space.
In Egyptian mystical practice system, the preceptors are called the Sebais assisted by priests and priestesses. The Sebai is someone who has achieved divine consciousness and made the choice to instruct aspirants who will in their turn develop as preceptors, maintaining in that sense the initiatic tradition established thousands of years ago. This mode of transmission of the mystery teachings ensured that the tradition is conveyed appropriately to the student and also that he or she has the proper context to practice. The teaching is not essentially a philosophy for rhetoric discourses and debate but, points the way to spiritual enlightenment while including the practices to achieve the goal. One may understand intellectually but, the key is to develop intuitional wisdom or direct knowledge that is based on real life experience and struggles. From that context, someone who has successfully traveled the path is the best one to ensure that the aspirant is in the right track of spiritual evolution. There is a natural path of evolution of the SOUL toward enlightenment that leads to great suffering and pain. With the help of the preceptor, the aspirant can be guided to attain divine consciousness in current life time and, in that sense, the Sebai is the most precious resource available to a sincere aspirant. It is the highest duty of the one seeking enlightenment to approach this relationship the right way otherwise, he or she will be lost in the rivers of life while crossing without attaining light.
3) How to approach a Sebai
Having worked to find a preceptor, the aspirant needs to understand the nature and purpose of the relationship in order to approach it correctly otherwise, there won’t be transformation towards enlightenment and he or she may leave the affiliation without attaining the goal. It is not an ordinary relationship like a loving affair or related whereby the benefits are being evaluated egoistically in time and space. It is a relationship that provides a context of learning and practice for complete devotion and appraisal of the divine. Therefore, it can’t be evaluated through regular egoistic qualities such as the level of love and admiration from the preceptor toward the aspirant, for example. In a context where relationships are ordinarily based on perceived benefits in time and space, this represents a whole mental shift. This type of affiliation is a relationship with the divine as the preceptor is acting through his higher Self and not from egoistic desires and perceptions. At first, the aspirant by choosing his or her preceptor recognizes own ignorance and therefore should surrender own free will and be devoted to the path. In that sense, the aspirant needs to show humility, highest respect and avoids insolence as this will block the flow of the enlightenment stream in his or her direction. Gross impurities such as jealousy, anger, hatred, greed, lust, envy are blocking the progress of the aspirant in the spiritual path therefore, one should strive to remove them through practice of MAAT to purify actions. This will pave the way for effective guidance from the preceptor in order to remove subtle impurities of the mind. An important quality is for the aspirant to have faith in the master’s ability to guide him successfully to attain enlightenment: doubt will not promote the adequate attitude to integrate and practice the teaching. It is important to avoid taking the preceptor for granted and believe we can treat him therefore just as regular guy or buddy or someone who has an opinion we can agree or disagree with. There is confusion very often done when people expect absolute perfection from enlightened personalities and therefore tend to harshly judge when there are events or errors in areas outside the teaching. They could enter into gossiping and other eccentricities which will impair their ability to progress.
4) When life humbles the aspirant, it is even more important that they should show trust in the teacher..
The aspirant needs to pay attention to thoughts such as pride, self-importance that will affect his complete allegiance, unreserved, and unconditional acceptance of the preceptor. In case of transgression, the aspirant needs to transcend fear and shame to face the preceptor with sincerity and humility and trust the teacher’s ability to forgive. They should trust the teacher will not turn them away or reciprocate to the offense as he understands the difficulty to address gross impurities of the mind and knows the aspirant may have occasional errances. One should not take the ability of the teacher to forgive and remain dispassionate toward one’s actions for granted in believing one can go from transgressions to transgressions: our best effort to avoid mistakes needs to be permanent and one should be always alert and not think we can relax or let go occasionally on this important principle. Aspirant should have a respectable attitude during conversation avoiding speaking out of turn and testing the patience of the preceptor. The search for a teacher requires patience, discernment, and clarity but once found and one feels secure with the choice, consistence in the relationship is important as jumping from one to the next for egoistic reasons and treating the old with no respect will certainly render the aspirant’s efforts fruitless in the path.
5) You must attempt not to lose your temper in the presence of the preceptor
Losing temper comes from ignorance of our true nature and desire to have things done according to our own egoistic desires. Therefore, expressing anger during the presence of the teacher is a mark that we have not fully integrated the teaching and that we are living the relationship in lower egoistic terms. Aspirant should always try to the best of own ability to treat the teacher righteously and without resentment.
There is only one true ending that is to attain enlightenment but the relation does not end likewise the river does not end when joining the ocean. When the aspirant is enlightened, there is a merging of the aspirant consciousness with that of the teacher with the beginning of conscious experience of transcendental spirit. It is also the beginning of the experience of the aspirant as preceptor perpetuating by then the method of transmission.
6) How should a spiritual aspirant think and feel about humbling themselves to the teaching and teacher
The teaching points to the direction of the light : it is the boat that carries us to cross the river from egoistic desires to realization of the higher SELF. The teacher is someone who has successfully crossed the river and reached the highest spiritual goal to experience cosmic consciousness and attain eternal bliss. The aspirant is on the quest for self-realization and in that sense needs sincere humility to advance on the path. Therefore, he or she should think about being humble as an essential quality for spiritual progress. Affirmation of egoistic desires has obstructed the experience of abiding truth and lead to attachment and identification with objects of the senses that are the sources of suffering and pain. The road to releasing the suffering requires dissolving the ego in its aspect of ignorance and humility provides the ability to achieve that. Our devotion to egoistic desires in time and space lead us to habits of protecting the ego without which we would feel falsely nonexistent or non-valuable in time and space. Spiritual aspiration starts with the recognition of the delusive aspect of that attachment with an ensuing sincere attempt to turn away from it and seek eternal bliss. But this is without measuring the magnitude of the fetters that blocked initially the opening of the mouth and obstructed ability to be true of speech. Humility is the way for the aspirant to develop qualities that help dissolving progressively any identification of the Self with engendered personality in time and space. The aspirant should intellectually think positively about humility but, one should also feel it in one’s heart otherwise, it will only be a belief with and not integrated within the personality . In fact, in a deeper sense, humility becomes a way of living the teaching and relating to the preceptor because the afflictions of Set are always present and will control us at moment one expects the least or when we feel self-righteous about our advancement. In the same perspective, the aspirant should think and feel there are no other alternatives but to be humble and devoted. It is the unique way of turning the ego away of its own delusions and directs it to the abiding reality. If we approach the teaching and teacher otherwise, we will definitely fail as we would be affirming egoistic desires and goals and not surrender to the higher path of evolution. Humility is the way to reverse the effects of the Ariu resulting from many years of affirmation of an individuality that is independent to the rest of creation in time and space.
7) In Kamitan spiritualiy, there was more focus on the divinity as opposed to the personality of the preceptor.
In Ancient Egyptian spirituality, the Sebai represents the illuminer of the mysteries as well as the highest and most important company for the aspirant. One should not hesitate to do what is best to meet with the preceptor even if this requires great sacrifices as the reward at the end surpasses the difficulties. The priests and priestesses were revered as elevated personalities and leaders with the purpose of guiding initiates to meet the divine. However, while Sebai, priests and priestesses were highly regarded, the focus of the teaching has always been on the divinity and not on the personality. This is different from recent development in India where the personality of the Guru itself is revered and often, people lose sight of the emphasis on the divine. This can pave the way for confusion in a sense that if the aspirant is not evolved, he or she may egoistically adore the Guru in getting solely attached to his or her personality in time and space without necessarily referring to the higher Self of the teacher. In other words, the focus of the worship remains the human personality of the teacher but not to the higher Self: from that perspective, jealousy may develop among followers in a manner to attire the favor the Guru not for the purpose of spiritual progression but to satisfy own desires in time and space. In ancient Egypt, the deeper aspect of the teaching was taught within the Temple and was not spread in the same manner as of today. One can understand the wisdom behind such practices when we realize large emergence of charlatans that delude many aspirants who only fall for eloquence and external qualities because of ignorance, mistakenly worshiping the teacher instead of the divine.
It is essential for the aspirant to realize the divine nature of the relationship with the Sebai and the need to cease egoistic desires and develop qualities that promote spiritual evolution instead. Overall, the aspirant needs to remember the myth of ASAR as it relates to the birth of Heru and how he was trained by the Gods and Goddesses including ASET, Djehuty, to develop the strength and related qualities to win the battle with SET. Likewise, spiritual aspiration is a second birth and the development of the child requires the proper context, environment and model to reach the spiritual goal of enlightenment. The teaching and the Sebai provide what is needed for the spiritual child to develop. Therefore, the aspirant needs to be like a child not a rebellious one, to properly advance and not consider that he has made progress from his or her own to the point where he is. Devotion and unconditioned trust like the new born to the mother are the keys for the aspirant. And in doing so, he is emulating the relation to the divine through the higher self of the preceptor and with practices of the Shedy disciplines, one will be able to develop intuitional knowledge to reach the other side of the river where the house of ASAR is located, attaining enlightenment and eternal bliss.
8) Attachment Post: Post No 2781 and feedback from Sebai MAA
What impresses me in the exchanges:
The aspirant needs to avoid being loud and rude: doing so, they reinforce affirmation of external qualities of the Ego and offend the spirit within oneself. A good relationship is necessary to create the adequate context for the teacher to transmit the information that will help the aspirant to progress. The Neterus and the Sages take pleasure in conveying the teaching however, blockage in the transmission results only from the part of the aspirant when he or she becomes shy, rude, and disrespectful of the process. After vetting the teacher, aspirant needs to cultivate ethical conscience and courteousness and offers complete reverence to the preceptor.