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1. Level 1, Lesson 19, Video assignment: African Origins Fiu 2002 Class 25 Part 1 Sema Philosophy
2. The term “Sema” is synonymous with “yoga.” Both can be defined as the disciplines that allow a religion to be effective. “Yoga” refers to the yoking of the higher and lower selves which allows mysticism to occur. Yoga is a universal term and not confined to the disciplines of any one culture. History shows that African Sema predates Indian yoga.
The first steps of Sema philosophy are to breathe and calm down. It is important to achieve a state of relaxation in order to expand one’s consciousness intellectually, emotionally, and physically.
Sema or yoga describes far more than the physical postures. The categories of yoga include Yoga of Wisdom, Yoga of Devotional Love, Yoga of Meditation, Yoga of Selfless Action, Tantric Yoga (which encompasses the others), and Serpent Power Yoga (an aspect of Tantric yoga in which latent power within is awakened through spiritual evolution.) The Great Awakening occurs when all of the Great Truths have been realized.
One representation of Serpent Power or Arat Shekhem is found in the Hor m Akhet (sphinx.) When the lower, lion body is cultivated, the life force energy opens the third eye on the forehead. The aspirant then develops knowledge of both above and below, heaven and earth.
The Shedy disciplines are equivalent to the Sema disciplines. The four Great Truths are realized through these steps: Sedjm Shedy (listening to and heeding the teachings- myth) Aru Shedy (acting righteously- ritual), Ushet Shedy (devotion) and Uaa Shedy (meditation- mysticism.) Uaa Shedy is the final step in the process that leads to the Great Awakening. When the Great Awakening occurs, the aspirant realizes oneness with the divine.
In ancient Kemet, the priests and priestesses wore the garb of the divinities and re-enacted the myths. They developed their devotion, meditative consciousness, righteousness, and wisdom. Initiates would make a divine offering, get into the postures, and meditate on becoming one with the divine.
3. What impressed me the most was the reminder to re-enact the myths in our daily lives. It is easy to slip into a worldly state of thinking and being. But seeing our lives as re-enactment of the myths brings us closer to purity of thought, feeling, and action.