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Level 1: Lesson 10
Intro to meditation and Hekau
Question 1: The kemetic term uaa means meditation
Meditation is a practice involving mental exercises and disciplines with the goal of leading the practitioner to the control of his or her mind for gradual expansion in consciousness until reaching the state of full awareness of the transcendental Self. Due to attachment to unsolicited feelings and emotions, the mind becomes agitated by vibrations which constitute a cloud obstructing the shining of the Higher Self in the conscious realm, a state that leads to suffering and pain. Attachment born out of desires, emotions from past experiences constitute the Arius that condition subconscious and unconscious aspect of the mind; in a cyclic causation relationship, these negative Arius generate actions in time and space which in turn generate new Arius that support the unceasing activities that condition the individual and reinforce the state of mental ignorance about the true nature of the Soul. Meditation when practiced long enough along with other yoga disciplines will break this cyclic causation chain and remove gradually the clouds so that the Self can shine in all its glory and splendor. In the state of ignorance, the flow of energy goes from within to outward leading to loss of energy in the realm of time and space; meditation is gradually reversing the flow of mind energy and directs it toward consciousness itself, the higher Self, so the mind can acts as a mirror revealing the Self in conscious level, leading to enlightenment.
There are three stages of meditation
– Concentration (MAU): It represents the first stage in getting control over mind with the ability to focus on specific objects without distractions. The aim of that step is to reduce the level of agitations as well as the level of automatism in the mind. When the mind is in automatic mode, it goes astray, jumps from one subject to the next like a monkey jumping from trees to trees. In that state of agitation, the mind is caught in the wonders of the illusion of the manifested world taking it as abiding and real.
– Meditation (Uah): based on the capacities gained in the first stage, the mind can now enter into deeper concentration about transcendental subject that will further help reducing mental agitations along with the development of intuitional understanding about the nature of the higher Self.
– Superconsciousness (Syh): that is the ultimate stage whereby, the clouds of ignorance are dissipated in the mind which allows for expansion of consciousness until transcendence of duality and achieving state of enlightenment. That state of superconsciousness can be said to be realized when there is full personality integration derived from parallel practice of other yoga disciplines.
Question 2: How should a spiritual aspirant think about their capacity to control externalized consciousness and their ability to rise above their conditioning of the past?
An externalized consciousness is one that is based on attachment to objects of perception in time and space as source of happiness, abiding and having separate existence within themselves apart from rest of creation. It is characteristic of a mind turned toward the deity of Set. The conditioning of the past is the result of mental impressions derived from externalized consciousness in the subconscious mind that form the essence of the negative Arius that will drive the behavior of the individual in time and space. There is a cyclic causality between externalized consciousness and conditioning in the sense that conditioning determine behaviors which in their turn reinforce impressions of ignorance hence leading to more negative Arius.
A spiritual aspirant is committed to practices and learning the mystery teaching with the goal to achieve Self-realization or state of enlightenment. He or she is striving to purify the mind which is trapped in the ignorance about the transient aspect of objects of perception and how they are having the same source and are manifestations of NUN, the transcendental consciousness; an ignorance that makes him or her to take those objects as abiding and be attached to them. The practices lead to gradual expansion of consciousness with control of externalized consciousness and elevation of the individual above conditioning of past Arius. How should the aspirant think about his or her capacity to achieve the stated goal of a spiritual life?
First of all, he or she needs to have faith in own capacity for Self-realization. Without faith, the practices will not have the impact that is needed to progress. Subjective doubt about the teaching is one of the first obstacles the aspirant needs to overcome in the path with the guidance of a preceptor and study of the teachings in a way to objectively address areas of uncertainty. By learning about the source of the conditioning of the Arius or the ego, the aspirant will be in a position to realize own responsibility in his or her current mental state. Unconsciously, the aspirant has created the current conditioning and the knowledge about underlying causes will provide the background necessary for one to be aware of the fact that he or she is ultimately the one who can alter the course of the conditioning with the support of spiritual teaching and practices. Then, the internal belief in one’s capacity becomes faith supported by knowledge.
However, the faith or the belief about own capacity to transcend current conditioning at that early stage is only intellectual and will need to be aligned with feelings otherwise, the aspirant is still trapped in egoism and will continue to be deluded by the wonders of the mind. Therefore, he or she should think about the capacity as a natural potential that needs to be gradually developed with the practices. The aspirant has the power to turn himself or herself towards the divine by generating new positive Arius which will dissipate the past conditioning. In other words, the process of turning toward the divine means changing the vibration of the mind with new thoughts and actions that reinforce the knowledge about the true nature of the Self; this will have a neutralizing effect on past Arius as well as generating vibrations aligned with the nature of the higher Self hence allowing it to gradually shine upon the personality.
The aspirant in his conscious quest for enlightenment comes to the first realization that what stands between him or her and the divine is the mind constituted with desires, emotions and attachment to worldly objects. In other words, the identity that has emerged out of our own beliefs constitute the obstacles that one needs to overcome: egoism is the principal barrier to enlightenment. The capacity of the aspirant to overcome egoism is within the nature of human being but, not often recognized. In fact, the same qualities that have been used to build egoism need now to be utilized for enlightenment. The aspirant will not be able to be successful if those obstacles are considered to be external. As the teaching says in the myth of Asar, the battle between Heru and Set did not conclude with the annihilation of Set but with Heru controlling the qualities of Set which are now used for the purpose of achieving enlightenment. In the same line, for example, the attachment to forms which is characteristic of egoism can be gradually replaced with other forms like the Gods and Goddesses that will help generate positive Arius and prepare the aspirant to ultimately transcend the idea of forms totally for enlightenment.
In thinking about the capacity, one must remember the core of the work to reach Self-realization is done at the unconscious level by using the same methods that gave rise to the obstacles which are the Arius. Therefore, a transient goal at the beginning of the process is to generate positive Arius that will transform the personality and prepare for the ultimate encounter with the higher Self. The aspirant must be careful about tendency of despising the qualities of the mind that are seen to block progress. One needs dispassion and patience while generating other vibrations which will gradually dissipate previous negative ones, negative in the sense that they are against the universal nature of the Higher Self, which is our true nature. The aspirant needs to pay attention of the mind as it relates to time as so often in the path, people tend to be discouraged in regards to how long they have been practicing and the relative lack of progress.
Until the idea of existence of external and internal as separated entities has been dissolved, the aspirant still dwells in duality. While the understanding that the battle is internal will help progress in the path at the beginning, it will need to be transcended to reach higher levels of achievement. The ridder for the aspirant is to realize that the self-transformation which is the goal of spiritual life must be considered in an intelligent way, knowing every resource that he or she needs is already within him but needs to be activated. After many lives dwelling in externalized consciousness, we will not be able to overcome egoism in just one day as this mental transformation represents a major shift in our vision of life, how we interact with environment, people etc.…A task that is more difficult when we know the rest of the world is living differently and there is no environment that will foster spiritual development. An environment to be developed within the aspirant himself. For that purpose, the teaching and the practices are all at his or disposition but, only him or her can actually make the transformation effective and resolves once for all to end the state of suffering representing the longing of the Soul for enlightenment. If persevered long enough, the aspirant will atain his or her Heruhood, and be the guardian of the rudder, with Djehuti and Maat in both arms.
Another consideration for the aspirant in regards to his or her capacity can be said as per the Kyballion: “Mind, as matter may be transmuted from state to state, degree to degree, condition to condition, pole to pole, vibration to vibration. Transmutation is a mental art”. Such is the aim of the spiritual life to transmute the mind so it can be transcended ultimately and reach state of divine liberation.
Question 3: The practice of meditation allows one to create what?
The practice of meditation allows the practitioner to create higher awareness which affects all aspects of life, but most importantly, it gives the aspirant experiential knowledge of his/her true self. Due to ignorance about our true nature, our consciousness becomes limited and our awareness reflects partially the light of the true Self. To the extent that we are attached to the ego personality and the realities as perceived by the senses, we are wasting our energy from the perspective of the teaching. Meditation gradually helps creating the mental context that will lead to expansion of our consciousness by removing the clouds of ignorance until we become a clear mirror or our higher self and in that state, we become fully aware in any state of consciousness with no gaps and therefore, our experience becomes whole. However, it needs to be said that due to unbalance in the aspects of the personality, meditation, in order to bring about all the benefits aforementioned, needs to be practiced along with other yoga disciplines so that the individual can purify the Arius in an integral fashion otherwise, there will be tips in the balance of Maat which will lead to reincarnation and negatively affect enlightenment in current life cycle.
Question 4: Those who live in this externalized state of mind are not aware of the source of consciousness.
The externalized state of consciousness is characterized by the belief that the objects perceived by our senses and related emotions are abiding. That state of mind leads to experience of pain and suffering and in order to overcome that state, the individual falsely believes that the solution resides in modifying the context of living in time and space to his or her liking by generating pleasant situations. However, no matter how pleasurable the context in time and space may be, the mind deludes the individual as the relief is only temporary with a desire to continue searching for more interesting situations in time and space in the same way. In that case, the individual becomes a slave of own desires and emotions and is caught in the wonders of the mind. There is loss of awareness about the existence of a higher self which transcends duality and its source, ignorance. That is why the Egyptian proverb says: “There is no more darkness that the darkness of ignorance”. Perception of Consciousness in time and space clouds awareness of the Higher Self leaving the mind in restless state of agitation until final realization of its own delusion that will push towards the quest for enlightenment.
Question 5: The normal state of consciousness cannot be considered whole or complete.
Consciousness relates to mental recognition of being alive along with a sense of identity. Expression of consciousness is in three modes: waking, dream sleep and dreamless-sleep. Usually, in the waking state of awareness, most people experience loss of attention during perception and may lose track of the purpose of their actions as their agitated mind leads them astray. A state that we can describe as a partial withdrawal of consciousness whereby the mind is functioning in automatic mode. That automatism is born and fed from desires, emotions accumulated from impressions derived from past experiences. Those desires and emotions lead to attachment and constitute the basis of the person’s identity and actions, controlled up to that point by the negative Arius. The essential characteristic of that attachment is that it sits upon objects of perception with the belief that they are abiding and they exist on their own. This mental attachment creates a cloud that blocks complete awareness of the Higher Self and it is said the consciousness is not complete. In order to have full awareness and experience the full potentiality of human being, the individual needs to dissolve that cloud meaning to gradually transform the desires and emotions associated with those attachments so that the light coming from the higher Self can shine fully in the personality.
The process of dissolving the cloud of egoism relates to disciplines and knowledge that leads to having control of the mind in order to be able to reach highest state of awareness of feeling, thought and emotion without experiencing mental lapses. A mind not controlled means that the person is not fully awake and therefore not able to realize full human potentiality.
Meditation and other Yoga disciplines have a goal to increase human awareness with gradual control of the mind resulting in expansion of consciousness-awareness up to the realization that one is more than individual. The automatic mode of consciousness is being reduced gradually in favor of increasing levels of continuous awareness.
At times, there is a shift of identification from waking personality to dream personality. These two states as well absence of personality in dreamless-sleep state lead philosophers to conclude they are not realities. From philosophical standpoint, only that is abiding and continuous with no change over time can be real. Leaving the personality behind in dread is another proof about the non-real nature of the personalities but, they are expressions of underlying consciousness witnessing the other three and referred as collective consciousness. That is the Fourth state referred to God’s or cosmic consciousness.
Question 6: When your body is motionless and you are thinking and feeling, you are mostly associated with your mind. Other times, when you are in deep dreamless-sleep state, you are associated with the Higher Self but, this connection is veiled by ignorance and therefore, not conscious.
Being associated with the mind means not being in control of our experiences in time and space as they are only guided by the negative Arius generated during past incarnations and current life. The same characteristic is also manifested during both dream states and overall, the individual does not have full awareness during experiences. While the Higher Self-shines at any moment keeping the individual alive however, to the extent that this individual is attached with preoccupations of the mind due to ignorance, the light of the Soul is obstructed by related desires and feelings. The veil represents the illusions of the mind that keep the person attached to ordinary reality and forgets about his or higher Self. That is the state of non-consciousness….
Question 7: When you fall asleep, you believe that the dream world is “real” but upon waking up, you believe it is not real.
That informs us about the relative or illusory aspect of waking and dream states. From a philosophical stand point, what is real is what is abiding and continuous. Due to attachment, the mind comes to believe that the transient modes of expression of consciousness are real particularly during the waking state and struggle to find happiness from the events and experiences at that level.
Upon waking up, you forget about the dream world. From a spiritual standpoint, waking, dream and dream-less states are in fact transient expressions of deeper and hidden consciousness which is Amun, in the context of Amun as the Supreme Being, representing the fourth state where there is realization of the perennuial unity between consciousbess objects of perception. It results cessation of desires to experience pleasures through external objects with continuous state of awareness spanning all relative states as well as elevation of oneself to be a witness of events in time and space instead of being bound to them. Immense joying resulting from the discovery of the eternal source of consciousness that we are linked to: this is called mindfulness or precisely the state where there is continuity of awareness.
Question 8: Do not eat for at least 2 hours before meditation but, preferably 12 hours before.
To be able to meditate freely, there needs to be free flow of energy within us and the process of digestion may occupy lots of energy and affect our ability to concentrate. Another aspect that can facilitate our meditation relates to our mental state prior to our practice: we should as much as possible avoid negative discussions or any ideas that reinforce our attachment to worldly objects. In other words, informal meditation that occurs at times prior to our practice needs to be considered as continuous preparation to the formal meditation itself.
Question 9: When you feel anger and other negative qualities, what should you do?
There are several ways to help with that and one of them relates to recitation of hekau with the visualization of its energy and the deity associated with it with the conscious purpose of destroying the negative Arius within you. One may start repeating the hekau loudly and then gradually with more advanced practices, to recite mentally.
One may also utilize the techniques of mindfulness by simply observing within ourselves the emergence of egoistic feelings and desires without being neither in agreement nor in disagreement until they dissipate by themselves. Watching our mind with dispassion, if practiced systematically is a powerful method to dissipate bad feelings within us.
Question 10: As intuitional wisdom of your all-encompassing nature dawns in your heart, you will be able to look beyond what?
You will be able to look beyond all the different sizes, shapes, texts and color of people and realize your higher Self as the source for the existence of the forms. Based on externalized consciousness, we mentally accept the forms as objects having existence by themselves and within their own separate elements. This becomes feeders that maintain our state of ignorance about our true spiritual nature. Intuitional wisdom derives from the realization of our true nature and the experience that the objects of perception are transient expressions of the same source transcending all forms is therefore only worth of the status of existence.
Question 11: What is the Kemetic world for devotion?
Ushet is the kemetic world for devotion which is expressed with upraised arms facing out toward the divine. Devotion opens the way to the practice of the other disciplines of Yoga which in turn lead to experience of deeper devotion.
Steps in the practice of devotion
1. Myth relates to the step of listening to the stories about the mysteries and the glories of the various divinities.
2. Rituals: practices with the purpose of leading to effacement of the ego through cultivation of love for the divine with praises, chants and songs.
3. Mysticism: it is the culmination of previous steps leading to the realization of one’s unity with the divine.
Devotion relates to effort to consciously direct our loving energy toward the divine. Devotion has been misdirected under conditioning of negative Arius, toward objects of perception. There is the formal practice when the aspirant sits and is actually chanting, praising and saying prayers. There is also the practice throughout the day during interactions with people where we espouse the mental state of serving them by seeing the divinity within them, paving the way to transcending ego based personality and not being impacted by people’s perceived weaknesses and emotions.
Another aspect of devotion relates to calming the intellect ( as the divinity Aset, the lady calming the Storm) which can go astray with dry understanding of the teaching and therefore may look towards people with condescendence or a sense of superiority because he or she is studying the teaching. The practice of devotion will calm any possible negative storm that could affect the intellect and provide guidance in the perspective of the teaching as a path toward universal love and wisdom to transcend physical differences and not for assuming superiority over others. The intellect can also help the devotional practitioner to avoid developing attachment for the practice of devotion itself in an egoistic manner to the expense of the goal of enlightenment including the need to transcend own emotions and feelings to attain it. Devotion can act as a balancer over the scale of Maat for an aspirant who has been entangled in the negative tendencies of the intellect. When there is practice with the right balance with other disciplines, it helps integral development of the aspirant in the path of striving to dwell beyond physicality manifested through different sizes, emotions, as well as bestowing at first mental recognition until final realization that the higher Self is the basis for people’s existence and therefore, the only reality that has existence and can be the real and ultimate source of bliss.