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Lesson 13 – Level 1: Audio assignment
A) Main teachings of the audio recording
The audio recording closes a series related to how to be a successful aspirant. The main teachings include: regularity in the practice – dependency on the teacher – Akhenaton spiritual reform – what aspirants should be careful about – Aton, the essence and source of life.
About the regularity of the practice, the following statement summarizes the essence of the teaching: “Give thyself to God, keep thou thyself daily for God and let tomorrow be as today”. In essence, it refers to the regular daily practices of the Shedy disciplines as the activities that transform the personality from worldly to royal. There are a few technics which when used, will ensure excellence as a student and later on as a teacher and they include: listening to the teaching, reflection and meditation, development of aspiration virtues with good association, developing good memory about what is learned. In the spiritual path and in general life, everything happens for a reason but, it is important that we strive not to let circumstances negatively impact our practices. Indeed, phenomenon currently happening are effects of past Arius that need to be dissolved in time and space and aspirants will not be able to alter them even at best, their net impact can be attenuated through Maat. However, one needs to be conscious that by remaining steady in the practice of the Shedy, he or she will be able to create positive Arius that can help stop the recurrence of same events in life to the extent they relate to own Arius. Therefore, attempting to learn from current events and continue the practice earnestly will help support our progress.
Dependency of the teacher
There is a statement: a good leader leads you to your higher Self and not to himself or herself. That is a summary of the role of the true preceptor in a sense that he or she is not looking into keeping the aspirant in a perpetual dependent relationship; what is being cultivated instead is to provide the proper teaching and training so one can develop and be in a position to do the work required to progress in the spiritual path. Aspirant will attain state of enlightenment through repetitive self-effort and the preceptor provides the teaching, illuminating aspect of them for better clarity, provided examples as well as proper context for the personality to open to consciousness of ASAR, the higher Self. In the beginning, the aspirant relies on the teacher in the same way that HERU was sucking her mother ASET; a symbolism relating to the learning process about the mystical teaching as well as an expression of protection that is provided to aspirant against the misconception of the world. There has to be a protection otherwise, the aspirant will be swamped by the objections or negativity in the word because at that stage he or she does not yet have the required qualities to properly face adversities as per the philosophy. It is the case for example of aspirant who is new to the teaching and with not enough understanding and wisdom and then goes around and challenges people about what is right and wrong. In that context, he or she risks to experience more agitation and confusion as his consciousness is not yet elevated to the level of not needing to have the acceptation of others to remain steady in the practices. He or she may be convinced by others that the spiritual path chosen is not correct which can create frustrations and furthermore delays aspirant’s growth. So, the protection of the teacher expressed in the form of lecture, seminars and clarification on the teaching help the aspirant to develop own personality until such times he or she will be able to have more and more intuitional wisdom that will allow reception and integration of higher form of learnings and practices. Leaving by the teaching, and essentially by Maat can be the best way for the aspirant to go about the challenges of the word and not necessarily to confront them in a way that can have negative impacts on his or her growth.
Akhenaton spiritual reform
The context of the spiritual reform by Akhenaton has been misunderstood in the western scholarship. In essence, his work can be compared to that of Buddha as a reformer of the spiritual practices of their respective era which have been corrupted and misunderstood. Their work essentially aimed at purifying the teaching and restoring their essence although through different paths. Buddha used a more psychological approach that minimizes symbolism of divinity also called path of understanding. Akhenaton used a more devotional approach with reference to divine symbol.
Akhenaton faced resistance in a way due to his approach that was a little bit too abrupt and perhaps needed to be more pragmatic. There have been many misconceptions in the west related to the work of Akhenaton mostly due to a commercialized interest that promotes psycho drama in order to make situations interesting. There is no evidence that atomism was forced by the Sage Akhenaton.
The confusion around Akhenaton is a case among many others about the misinformation disseminated mainly in Western culture concerning Egyptian civilization. Facts are being interpreted for commercial reason and put out of context, with no consideration of the psychological, and philosophical context of Kmt civilization. In regards to monotheism origin that was attributed to the Sage, when we observe the Egyptian philosophy, there was not a philosophical context that would give birth to that concept as the Religion of Ancient Egyptian did not at first place, acknowledge existence a multiplicity of Supreme Beings but instead recognized one and only one Supreme Being manifesting as cosmic forces named gods and goddesses and encompassing all objects of creation. For the concept of monotheism to emerge, there must have been a context whereby a multiplicity of Supreme Beings were adopted which was not the case in Ancient Egypt. Perhaps though, that confusion came from a misunderstanding of the religious system of Kmt or an interpretation through the thinking process of western culture; in any case, such interpretation is not aligned with the first principle of Hermeneutic upon which to derive thought from a language, one needs to understand the thought that gave rise to the language, doing so like in a reversal process. Having an initiate like mind is key to understand Kmt ancient metaphysical teaching.
What ASPIRANT needs to be careful about?
Aspirant needs to reflect on the fact that higher consciousness is within and can only manifest through purification, in a similar way that a clouded sky can be cleared only through dissipation of the clouds. Egoism and related vices born out of ignorance of one’s true self represent the clouds or highest obstacles that obstruct awareness of our higher self. Hence, it is important to recognize what enlightenment means so as not to err in the process. Developing patience in reducing our involvement in time and space as an abiding reality will help developing our capacity towards having a lucid mind. One needs to avoid fantasy but resolve to develop proper understanding of the philosophy otherwise, when the time for testing occurs, one may fail, having been led astray by the ego and consequently, will not be able to develop the spiritual strength and values to overcome adversities in time and space. As one progresses in the path, the teaching will be understood in a context of a mean to an end and not an end it itself. In that sense, the role of the teaching is to point to awareness of ultimate reality, the all-encompassing divinity and our unity with it and once that understanding become intuitional, it will lead to transcendence of all the philosophical concepts for final transformation from state of ignorance to state of awareness of oneness with higher self.
Aton, innermost essence of life.
Aton is the only reality that exists in an abiding way and encompassing all objects in time and space. It is the true source of life; it is spirit operating through matter in time and space which is also its own grosser vibration. In the case of what is called death of a person in time and space, the physical body is no longer animated despite the presence of all organs; therefore, one may ask the following question: where is the life? In the same line, people may have their organs removed and life may still continue to flow so therefore, it makes sense also to question where that part of the body that supports life is? The kemetic teaching informs us life is not in the body but, transcends it. In a mystical sense, life is consciousness meaning more life is manifested as aspirant elevates in consciousness. Amun, the witnessing aspect of ourselves gives air allowing to have life which gives capacity to breathe while lying in the coffin.
B) ABOUT THE PRACTICE: aspects of the teaching applied and plan to apply those that are not.
I understand that the practices are means for the aspirant to develop the capacity to integrate the essence of the philosophy within his/her practical lives in order to gradually transform the personality from a conditioned state to authentic Self, leading to enlightenment.
There are qualities that need to be cultivated in parallel of the Shedy disciplines including dispassion, patience, how to let go (Uha), that strengthen our ability to advance in the path. In that particular lesson, one quality emphasized is the need for an aspirant to be vigilant in a way as not to fall into fantasy and cultivates instead the understanding that higher consciousness resides within and the way to develop it is through purification of all aspects of our personality. This is an important aspect I am striving to cultivate and avoid not to be distracted in trying to justify Kmt philosophy to skeptical person with the understanding that everyone is in the path either consciously or unconsciously and at different stages. That is to be accomplished through the disciplines of Shedy as well as the development of the important qualities of the aspirant.
Overall, the purpose of the Shedy disciplines is to provide the mental capability for the elevation of consciousness to occur within the personality that is transformed from common ignorance of the true Self to a royal personality with conscious awareness of oneness with the divinity within. A transformation process that is manifested through the following statement: “Keep thyself to the divine, Give thou thyself to the divine and let tomorrow be as today”. In order to accomplish that, all aspects of our being need to be purified from egoism derived from ignorance of our true self or the recognition of the physical reality as being abiding. The Shedy disciplines act in a balanced way in order to purify all aspects of our personality so that we may live by the highest purpose of life.
Devotion or Uashu
According to the Wisdom of the third Great truth, devotion to the divine leads to freedom from the fetters of Seth. Thus, through devotional practices, we will be able to develop the capability to no longer be dependent on events and phenomena in time and space as source of happiness but instead turn ourselves more and more to open up to awareness of divinity within. The fetters are qualities we develop by ignorance of our true self keeping us devoted to objects in the physical word. Being devoted to something in time and space implies a certain belief in the object’s capacity to bring true happiness. In ignorance of our true self, we tend to worship representations of happiness as portrayed by culture, political and economic system in place.
In regards to that aspect, as a result of practices, I can observe I have less and less reliance to phenomenon in time and space for happiness or even pleasure. I try to develop instead vigilance about not letting myself go with too much involvement in time and space that may lead potentially to mind agitation. At times, one can feel frustration when dealing with situations in practical life: for example, when one drives in presence of careless drivers, there can be feelings of anger toward the other drivers but once it happens, there are ways to instruct the mind to think differently as opposed to direct frustration on others. One other aspect I use also is to think about the temporary nature of events in time and space and consequently the fact that, the current situation will evolve as nothing in this realm is permanent. This allows myself to let go of the emotions of the moment and be able to direct my thought to rightful outcome and acceptance beyond the situation. From a personality standpoint, I have always looked into worldly life with a certain prudence and vigilance; having realized through experience the transient aspect of pleasure; I have intuitionally developed a simple approach where I try as much as possible to keep things in the balance being not too high, not too low as commonly said. I can say I find joy when discussing about matter related to KMT teaching and, I believe I will find great contentment in being a teacher of KMT philosophy if Arius permit.
From experience and understanding, I also acquired new abilities to deal with fetters of Seth. For example, based on my professional work as computer programmer, I am in position to face angry staff coming at me for system related issues; during those moments, I am able to watch myself sometimes starting to feel annoyed but, at the same time, able to show compassion towards the person having the difficulty and once things are put into such context, I find the calm needed to deal with the situation in a way to reinsure him/her and find common ground to properly address the issue. This represents a big improvement in managing that aspect as other times, I would argue with the person about the illegitimacy of the claim hence creating more frustration. Watching anger when it comes as well as other feelings and being able not to speak accordingly is something now I am able to do in particular situations. Sometimes, I even allow myself to become angry but in a conscious manner just because I realize perhaps this is the right attitude in the context. After that, I do not feel any pressure and able to return to normal activity without carrying any grudge whatsoever. While this is a good step, however, I know there is long way to go before one can transcend the fetters but, it is important to keep growing in understanding and desire to apply the teaching in practical life.
It took me a while to penetrate the depth of Maat teaching as the foundation of life in the mystical sense. To some extent, life in time and space is not real life but a transient aspect of true life which is consciousness. Therefore, living in way that is An-Maat reduces our capacity to live or lowers our consciousness of our higher self. In that sense, we are susceptible to the fetters of Seth or influence of negative Arius meaning the forces that compel us to entertain our ignorance of the divine self. The Shedy disciplines related to our actions in time and space are aiming at first to give us the capacity to generate new Arius that will dissolve the previous ones that kept us until then bound in the garments developed by ignorance of our true Self. But, that stage of purification represents only a transient phase toward living a purely Maatian life whereby every action is an offer to Maat itself and therefore becoming one with Maat.
In regards to that first phase, the emphasis is directed to Arius which are the forces that shape our patterns of life, transcending most of the time our ways of thinking. Any belief that we have will not necessarily manifest if we do not ensure we develop capability to act accordingly; in other words to raise the forces that can guide our actions. Thus, being able to live by the ideal of Maat implies the generation of Arius that support such goals. That is why, practicing selfless service is recommended as if done sincerely and regularly, it would help reducing level of egoistic satisfaction. From that standpoint, the ego stops to be the center when it comes to the goal of our action but rather, there is a gradual shift in consciousness whereby actions are no longer done for own satisfaction. In that sense, there is gradual dissolving of Arius that reinforce our ego as center of our life and therefore a reduction in level of ignorance. From the point of selfless services, I always reflected on professional activities and how they may contradict with it. I now understand that the underlying principle of Maat is balance and therefore, our physical life needs to be sustained in order to be able to pursue spiritual practices. As it is said in the lectures of the Wisdom Aset, while incarnating on physical plane as human, the mastery of the lower mysteries represented an important state towards mastery of higher mysteries. In a mystical sense, the separation between physical and spiritual is only illusory and, in the path of enlightenment, represents a concept that will need to be transcended in order to reach the highest goal of Nehast. I have come to this: professional living needs to be done in a context to support spiritual activities and necessities of life in general with the understanding that one needs to avoid to generate material wealth to a level that requires our constant attention hence, impacting our spiritual growth; on the other end, if we do not have sufficient means of living, then we will start to worry about our survival then our capacity to practice will also be affected.
Ultimately, our Soul is operating through the body in time and space so in mystical philosophy, everything should be considered as being spiritual but our current consciousness based on ignorance informs us of separation and as we progress with Maat practices, gradually we generate positive Arius that dissolve negative Arius and align our life to be the expression of the divinity within us. That is the ultimate sacrifice of Maat which is to be Maat.
I have more and more a sense of when I pursue things egoistically and be able to re-evaluate my actions from the standpoint of necessity for spiritual growth and necessities of life; in other words, being able to objectively appreciate if that will lead to more and more agitation in life, hence affecting spiritual practices. I would call that phase a realignment of actions from my part so that ultimately they are all infused with Maat in a conscious way.
Meditation aims at providing us with clarity of the mind for connection with the divine energy within and there are two stages to consider. At first, it allows us to gradually lower mental agitation by providing skills to have the mind focus on a particular subject gradually dissolving old pattern of jumping from one subject to the other. The more advanced phase is built on capacity acquired on the first one to attain a stage of stillness of the mind so that presence of divinity within can be felt in a conscious way. It is important to understand that the divinity within oneself is always present and operates through the physical body however, our consciousness of it is lacking based on ignorance. I have regularity in my practices of meditation and I have learned to cope with several degrees of difficulty and challenges presented. In days with mind agitation, I increase frequency of verbal hekau recitation that is really helpful in that sense. On other day where mind is calmer, I rely to a more mental practice instead of verbal. Also, in time where there is perception we need to rush I evaluate the situation and objectively assess the urgency and most of the time, when I sit in meditation despite all, it is like the urgency dissolves by itself. The several contexts of practice allowed me to understand the ego will always fight back and it is a constant battle as we are chiseling our mind through the practice. I take it as a force pushing us toward perfection although in general we do not understand it that way but rather fall into the egoistic emotions towards the events. There are times one fail to have that understanding and from my experience and with patience, I can see more and more ability to let go of emotions or not lean on them if they get in to us despite all conscious efforts, is developed. I say Dua for the Neterus to assist me in that sense and it is my desire to continue growing from that perspective.
Due to ignorance about our true nature, the intellect often operates through a pattern of reasoning that can lead to a situation at infinitum particularly when it comes to understand metaphysical concepts. The Sages of Ancient Egypt has developed a symbolic language to help the intellect to grasp the metaphysical concept and at the same time, be able to acquire intuitional knowledge. The Shedy of Wisdom aims at teaching the aspirant how to think properly not in rationalistic terms with arguments attempting to determine relationships between cause and effect but, to understand the underlying principles of real existence and how to align our life with it. Thus, the iconography of the gods and goddesses emanating from a transcendental Supreme Being, use images of nature to impress the mind in a concrete way, avoiding the purely intellectual reasoning that may not have any connection with a reality base. In my humble point of view, if I may say, that is an important aspect for an aspirant to understand while involved in the teaching. Through a method based in three fold approach including listening, reflecting and meditating, the teaching transforms intellectual understanding in a way that leads to experience of knowledge as well.
I am particularly prudent with intellectual understanding as the mind may lead one astray with over reliance on concepts and terminology with no practical experience. I pay attention to relate my reasoning to concrete aspects of the philosophical principles of the teaching so that to understand the underlying message being given. It is important to link our understanding with experience, a path that would lead to intuitional understanding. As an example, the principle of reincarnation in ancient Egypt spirituality is not presented in a purely intellectual manner but is related to the journey of the God Ra in the sky with three phases; rising, shining and setting at night meaning Khepri in the morning representing the creator; Ra at noon, representing the sustainer and Temu at evening representing the dissolver. Presented in that context, one can have not only proper comprehension but, the image and iconography being used in a way to impress unconscious mind will allow us to develop initiatic mind. This opens up a new path towards understanding of the teaching; I try to relate everything with the symbolic aspect and to derive the teaching imparted but more importantly, instead of focusing on reasoning but rather give way to experience to occur. I believe seeing from that light, we are opening ourselves more and more to intuitional knowledge rather than pure intellectual thinking. In other words, I am learning at every step of understanding to also let experience to occur.
In conclusion, being established in the practices not only in a formal way but also in practical life is something I understand, that is an additional development for the aspirant; as an example, the aim is to find a way even when not practicing Uashu in a formal way but to consider remaining aspect of life as devotion to the divine and be able to see the divine everywhere. Same applies for remaining aspects of the spiritual contexts: if enlightenment needs to happen in time and space, it implies that that this realm is the one of experience to perfect our individuality and therefore, one can’t reflect in terms of escaping. Over times, people always think about having a specific environment so as not to feel certain emotion; while that can be beneficial to some degree but, there is always need to go back to practical life and test ourselves to see if indeed we have acquired the needed qualities to progress.
The social environment globally offers many distractions that can negatively impact our practice of the teaching and that is why, I am striving at best to be established so as not to let the distractions take over my practice or at least use them as fields of practice. At times, to face difficulties, I believe being able to fully integrate the aspects of the Shedy disciplines in practical life will help the aspirant to be established in the teaching and make all aspects of life a devotion to the divine, a way to practice selfless service, a context for constant reminder about our true essence, and constantly try to discriminate real from the unreal and, all of that to be done persistently, with dispassion to find our way adequately toward Nehast.