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Udja Sebai MAA,
See below for the rendiiton of LEsson 7 – Level 1 (reading assignment)
Lesson 7 Level 1 – Reading assignment
The Lotus is a symbol of Shetaut Neter, symbolizing the turning of the soul toward the light of truth, peace and transcendental harmony. The true nature of the Self is a mystery for human being, entangled in the illusion of the attachment to physical reality as abiding reality. In the midst of all the suffering and pain, there exists the possibility of turning away from delusion and striving to find the light. In that sense, the lotus symbolizes the work of the aspirant who among all the difficulties in time and space and based on Ariu, resolves to climb the mountain representing the path toward enlightenment. The process leads to gradual control of the process of generation of negative Arius until total purification to attain the ultimate bliss and joy.
A) Symbol of Neter
Symbol of Neter is not an Ankh. Neter is described as that which is placed in the coffin. The symbol includes a wooden staff that was wrapped with strips of fabric, like a mummy, alternating in color with yellow, green and blue. Mummy represents the dead but resurrected divinity symbolizing every human who does not really die but goes to live in a different form. The symbol also relates to the Akhu that is a mystery for human because it is hidden with the veil of ignorance. A veil that needs to be dissolved through the process of internal transformation leading the soul to attain higher consciousness and becoming one with the Akhu, the Universal spirit.
B) Type of text of papyrus Any
There are three categories of scriptures related to the three levels of religion practice. First, the mythic scriptures expose the myths that convey the teaching through the life of the Neterus or the personalities in general used to transmit and disseminate the wisdom message. The mystical and ritualistic philosophy helps leading to a deeper level of understanding of the teachings and concerns more the rituals and practical aspect as a mean to lead the mind to reflect on the message. The third level relates to the Wisdom teaching leading to Saa understanding integrating not only the intellect but feeling of the aspirant as well: that leads the aspirant to become one with the teaching.
The papyrus Any is a very important scripture and is from the category of mystical philosophy literature.
C) Definition of Neterus
Neterus represent a central concept in the belief system of Ancient Egyptian religion. In fact, it is found in all variants of African religion traditions. The concept means Gods and goddesses that emerge from the one and alone Supreme Being. In that sense, they represent the many aspects of Neberdjer and can be considered as its power manifested through creation. In the Kemetic tradition of ancient Egypt, the Supreme Being is worshiped through its manifestations based on the belief system that it is one and alone and encompasses everything that exists. The Neterus represent cosmic forces, virtuous and divine qualities that need to be developed within the personality of the aspirant in order to become closer to Neberdjer. A philosophical view of the emergence of the Neterus from the Supreme Being can be found in the concept of Om Amun Ra Ptah whereby from the one came the rest of the creation manifested as consciousness, mind and feelings symbolized by the astral plane; and the physical plane where ordinary people are mostly aware. Another dimension of the Neterus relates to the aspect of spiritualizing life in general since creation comes from the one and only abiding reality; having a devotional attitude in life is considered to be the path to recognize ourselves in time and space as a servant and not as the principal dower. With such attitude, the human Ego will gradually turn away from selfishness and consider actions not for own benefit but in a context of detachment where righteousness is the principal guide to remain in harmony with the Universe. In a relative sense, particularly in African traditions, the Neterus represent aspects that help to understand the physical reality by relating it to the influences of cosmic forces as the cause of phenomenon in the physical plane. The physical plane represents the resultant or the effects of vibratory influences coming from the energies represented by the cosmic forces. This belief system helps to understand for example illness as not having the cause from the observable realm of physical senses but as caused by unbalance resulting from non-alignment to cosmic forces affecting the individual at a particular time. From that standpoint, it is developed a different approach to medical science based on a holistic view of human being and the interconnection with the Universe through the forces manifested therein. One may also mention the roles of the Neterus in explaining the mechanisms of the Universal laws, including the creation, the role of human being and the involution and evolution plans. In all and all, the Neterus represent the metaphysical basis of the Kemetic view of the world as well for African traditions in general; they can be represented from a multidimensional standpoint including zoomorphic, anthropomorphic or mixed depending on the aspects of the Universe or the personality that need to be explained. Depending on the understanding of the aspirant, the perception and awareness of the Neterus evolve from a relative aspect in time and space toward a transcendence whereby the aspirant becomes one with the Neterus and master from that sense all the cosmic forces, becoming Maakerhu, pure of heart.
D) Teaching of all the Temples will lead to understanding of all the others
In Kemet, the teaching of spirituality was exposed through a temple organization with major divinities assigned to a city who became the patron of the city. Priests and Priestesses of that city were in charge of seeing to the welfare of the people as well as maintaining the tradition expressed through the life of the divinity being worshipped. The theologies of the various traditions represented diverse expressions of the concept of Neter with the goal of meeting the needs of diverse personalities. The interconnection between the system of Temples emphasizes the unity of the many divinities in conveying the message of enlightenment. Ultimately, all divinities are called the Neterus meaning emanation of Neter, the Supreme Being. With that understanding, the teaching in any temple if practiced earnestly will lead to the attainment of Nehast.
E) There are three traditions in Shetaut Neter (false)
The number of traditions in Shetaut Neter are 6: the RA tradition, the Anu; the tradition of Menefer, teachings of the Ptah; the Shetaut Waset or the Amun Tradition; Shetaut Netrit relates to the goddess tradition; Shetaut Asar or the myth of the Asarian tradition; Shetaut Aton relates to the teachings of Aton tradition. All traditions relate to creation, human origin and the path toward spiritual enlightenment from multiple aspects. This is to emphasize the infinite aspect of the Supreme Being by using different personalities within a particular context. All the traditions despite the diversity, have one goal which is to guide the aspirant to attain Nehast, spiritual enlightenment.
The Anunian Tradition
This tradition emphasizes the divinity of RA with his company of Gods and goddesses. Creation, origin of human being and path to spiritual enlightenment are described by means of RA which represents the Supreme Being emerging from primeval ocean, created human beings with his tears. The Neterus are objects of creation and children of RA; they form the elements of nature and cosmic forces that maintain it.
The Memphite tradition
The Memphite tradition relates to the Neterus known as Ptah, Sekhmit, and Nefertem. Through various temples, it is conveyed the teachings of creation, human origins and the path of enlightenment by means of the Supreme Being Ptah and his family. Ptah, the Supreme Being created the Universe from the primeval ocean by his will and the power of thought (mind). The Gods and goddesses who are his thoughts form the elements of nature and cosmic forces that sustain it. This theology is considered to relate to the philosophy of the mind as well as the mental aspect of the Universe. Powerful temple organization was dedicated to the spouse of Ptah, Sekhmit, as well as their son Nefertem.
The Theban Tradition
In what period Theban tradition become important?
Theban tradition became important in the New Kingdom Era. It is also called the Wasetian teaching and related to Neterus known as Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Like the previous traditions, it relates to creation, origin of human being and path toward enlightenment through the exposition of the life of the trinity represented by Amun, Mut and Khomsu managing the Universe with the company of gods and goddesses.
The Goddess tradition
One of the differences of the Kemetic society and so called modern civilizations concerns the perception of women who were not regarded as inferior compared to men. Goddess as well as the female gender were respected and elevated as the male divinities in Kemetic religion.
The goddess tradition relates to the divinity in the form of a goddess; it is an integral part of Neterian traditions and special temples were developed around the worship of particular goddesses, regarded as Supreme Being in their own right. The Creator was depicted in the form of a goddess giving birth in the form of a great cow(mehurt: the mighty full one). We found diverse important forms of goddesses including: Aset, Net, Sekhmit, Mut and Heteru.
The Asarian tradition
The tradition of Asar, Aset and Heru was practiced generally throughout the land of Ancient Kamit. In that teaching, the Creation, human origin and path to enlightenment were exposed through the mysteries of the Supreme Being in the form of the god ASAR. The myth relates to how the trinity of Neterus known as ASAR, ASET and Heru manage the Universe in order to lead human being to enlightenment and resurrection of the SOUL. The importance of the teaching covered a period spanning from the pre-dynastic era down to Christian period. It was practiced generally throughout Egypt and the center of the tradition was the city of Abdu host of the great Temple of Asar; other important cities for the expression of the tradition were Pilak containing the great Temple of Aset and Edfu, containing the temple of Heru.
The Aton Tradition
That teaching related to the Neter Aton and its main exponent was the Sage King Akhenaton
Teachings of Creation, human origins and path to enlightenment were conveyed though the mean of the divinity of Aton and tells how he created and sustained creation as the dynamic life force. Aton was considered the very substratum of all existence and the practice of that tradition was done through particular devotional exercises and rituals. The study of the hymns of Aton contains the Wisdom teaching and explains how he Universe his managed under his lead to guide human being to spiritual enlightenment and eternal life for the Soul. The teaching was very important in the middle new Kingdom and considered a spiritual revolution at that time in the sense that it emphasized the worship of one god in the context of degradation where the multiplicity of the Neterus was understood as abiding reality and not as expressions of the one and only Supreme Being and their role as door ways to reach higher consciousness and spiritual enlightenment. The main exponent of the teaching was the Sage King Akhenaton with his family adoring the great sun disk, symbol of the Aton. The Sage king is incorrectly considered in Western interpretations as founder of monotheism.