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1. Level 1, Lesson 18, Video Assignment: AFRICAN ORIGINS SERIES Class 24 Introduction to Shetaut Neter Philosophy Part 1
2. “Pert M Heru” can be translated as “going in the form of light” or “becoming enlightened.
The goddess Maat sits in the front of the boat of Ra. The boat makes waves that reverberate through creation. Maat, representing righteousness, truth, and order, hits the waves first, and Ra hits them second. Maat is the source of life that sustains all creation, and is the pedestal on which Ra stands.
Shetaut Neter philosophy
Shetaut Neter evolved in ancient Egypt, or Kemet. Kemet was found in the middle region of the area along the Nile river, between the Middle East (Palestine, Jordan, and Israel) in the North and Uganda in the south. With the exception of the Fertile Crescent, the Middle East was a desert land where people struggled to survive. Uganda, on the other hand, was a region of overabundance. History shows that having too little or too much leads to dullness. Kemet, representing the middle region, was a civilization that lived by the motto “If we plan, we are able to survive and thrive.”
Survival required that the people of Kemet live in a balanced manner, and reflect on life and creation. A life of reflection led to the creation of systems of higher meditation, and the knowledge that the divine self is the force behind creation. The result was an entire society that lived on the principles of harmony and righteousness. The King and Queen of Kemet were seen as governmental leaders, spiritual leaders, and divine intermediaries with the responsibility of upholding the principles of Maat.
The spiritual teachings created were recorded as the Mettu Neter, or hieroglyphic texts. These became the foundation of Shetaut Neter, or the Egyptian mysteries. “Shetaut” can be translated as hidden, mysterious, or hard to understand. “Neter” refers to the hidden divinity. All gods and goddesses are referred to as “Neter.” The driving force behind Shetaut Neter is mysticism, or direct experience of the divine.
In contrast with religions that are truly polytheistic, Shetaut Neter is better described as a monotheistic religion in which the supreme being (Neberdjer) is manifest through numerous gods and goddesses. It must be recognized that all things, including the gods and goddesses, have both a beginning and an end. All of creation will one day return to its original state.
Moreover, the cause of all pain and suffering in life is due to unrighteousness and ignorance of the Divine Self. Devotion to the divine leads to freedom. Devotion does not mean fanaticism, but instead is living one’s life in a righteous manner. In this way, devotion to the divine allows a person to become one with God. In doing this, the body and personality are not lost, but an internal revelation occurs in the form of higher spiritual consciousness.
One example of the achievement of Nehast, or spiritual realization is found in the story of Ra and Aset. The goddess Aset came to Earth in bodily form to teach human beings. She began as a human that sought more than the ordinary human existence, and ultimately obtained spiritual enlightenment. Once enlightened, Aset taught her son Heru. Images of Aset suckling Heru, beyond informing such images of Mary and Jesus, represent the spiritual preceptor passing the teachings to the aspirant. Spiritual aspirants are essentially suckling from the breast of the Goddess Aset, who represents wisdom that leads to Nehast.
Another sacred image is Asar Ani pulling himself out of the coffin. Beyond informing the resurrection story of Jesus Christ, this image represents awakening to a higher spiritual teaching.
3. What impressed me the most was learning a little more about the story of Ra and Aset, and the way that with every detail learned, I feel a little more change.