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Udja Sebai Maa and Seba Dja,
Lesson 15 – Audio Assignment
Important Themes presented
This lesson is a continuation of the introduction to Neterian philosophy. It covers the following points:
– Maat Philosophy
– Path to become a qualified aspirant
– Basic requirements for a Shemsu
– Kemetic Diet
– Knowledge of God
– Mystery of the Gods and Goddesses
A) Essence of Maat Philosophy
Maat is the principle of balance, justice, cause and effect according to which every action in time and space leads to a reaction equivalent to its degree. Maat governs life in maintaining cosmic harmony and order in the Universe. It is present in all life dimensions from gross to more subtle aspects. It is an example of what is called a universal law in a sense that no object in time and space can escape its effect. Ordinarily, in a non-secular way, it is manifested through ethical consciousness in practical life but in a higher sense, it is related to righteous actions meaning those that do not reinforce our objective view of the Universe and lead instead gradually to the consciousness of the single origin of elements of nature. The effect of any action may not be immediate due to conjunction of Arius but, it exists potentially in the unconscious and will be activated upon right circumstances.
It is also the practical element of the path of enlightenment implying that whatever understanding we gain needs to be experienced and integrated into our own consciousness and also to be put in service to humanity selflessly, and with humility knowing one is a chennel for divine expressions, which is the path toward perfection. Unrighteous actions generate negative impressions in the unconscious mind that lead to the repetition of such actions. Righteous actions lead to positive Ari that will guide the aspirant to gradual elevation of consciousness towards enlightenment. That principle informs about the fact that we are the architect of our own destiny whether righteous or not. And from that perspective, one can alter the cycle of negativity in life by performing righteous actions that will gradually dissolve the negative ones: that is the key driver of the process of purification of the mind, feelings and actions leading one aspirant in the path of enlightenment.
From a mythological standpoint, that principle is represented in Ancient Egyptian teaching primarily by the great goddess Maat which qualities depict the many aspects of balance not only from a secular standing, but as well from a non-secular viewpoint. Maat is promoting a life of selfless service to humanity in all planes of living in time and space meaning physical, mental and spiritual. The measure of our perfection is judged not by the power of consumption but, by power of service independently of the results. It is a measure of our honesty in the sense that we can render back more than we receive in life. According to Maat philosophy, after death, there is a judgment of one’s heart symbolized by the weighing against the 42 precepts, which represent the guides of right livelihood, right thinking, right feeling and concentration. The judgment represents in a symbolic way the possible effect resulting from our actions, thoughts, feelings in essence, our Arius, in time and space. The feather placed on one side of the scale, is symbolic of Maat divinity, representing the cosmic principles of balance and justice; on the other side of the scale is one’s heart representing the Arius. In that judgment, three outcomes are possible: balance scale is even determining that Arius have equal weight with the feather of Maat meaning the individual has a good Soul not yet perfected; balance scale uneven in the side of the heart meaning it is heavier than the feather leading to reincarnation based on Arius, it is characteristic of a Soul receiving more life than it gives; on the side of the feather means heart lighter than feather symbolic of a perfect Soul, an enlightened one or the characteristic of a Soul dedicated to giving in every aspect of living. After the judgment, the goddess Meskhent executes the verdict in ensuring that the Soul is reincarnated within the proper context in time and space according to what is needed for future perfection. That represents the ultimate goal of the process leading to reincarnation in the case of non perfected Soul. Maat in its aspect of cause and effect expresses the principle of self-determination. To carry over the judgment, there are also other goddesses like Shai and Rennenet representing destiny and fortune respectively to further reinforce the deeds according to the principles of one reaps what he saw. It can be Shai-Nefer for good deeds or Shai-mit for negative Arius.
Symbolism of Maat
One symbolism of Maat is given by Heru leading aspirant in the shrine to meet ASAR with the representation of the trinity: ASAR, Heru and the aspirant. Aspirant is being anointed and is becoming an Akhu and that is the result of practicing Maat. It is important to note in that context, there is not creation of new physical form but transformation of consciousness within the same body. It is not that there is Heru, the aspirant and ASAR as three different entities but rather three different levels of consciousness operating in the same form. The movement of cosmic energy at its lowest rate is expressed as an infinity of forms with a limited consciousness of itself in time and space; that is then a wrong understand as the ultimate nature of the SOUL has the characteristic of ever expanding; one aspect of that limitation is the attachment to perception of duality as the true nature of what is permanent, leading to ignorance of the Self. Out of consciousness of separation is born sorrow which is the effect of the resistance to the expansive nature and the movement of the individual Soul towards consciousness of unity. Such evolution implies gradual cessation of recognition of objects as given by the senses as an independent reality but rather as expression of the only reality, the universal spirit. Heru, representing the redeemer in that context, leading the aspirant to the shrine in order to meet ASAR, expresses the evolution of the Soul in time and space towards realization of its essential nature. That movement or transformation of consciousness is only possible if driven and guided by Maat principles.
Teaching of Maat for the qualified aspirant
One will succeed in life in the sense of mystical philosophy if one learns about Maat philosophy from authentic teacher and practices it every day. From a worldly standpoint, success is usually measured according to material possessions or fame in time and space which expresses a reliance external stuff for one’s happiness. In fact from a spiritual perspective, true happiness can only be found inside and relates to how one has managed to transcend duality in time and space for attaining enlightenment or consciousness of one’s divine essence. The ignorance about the true nature of the Soul expresses itself as attachment to duality or the permanence of objects of creation and as such, it sustains a living pattern not in harmony with our true essence. The process of dissolving that ignorance is an ascendant movement of the serpent power, also named dissolution movement leading ultimately to consciousness of the divine; a process driven by Maat principles. Here dissolution means gradual cessation of all perception of independent existence of objects in time and space. Maat is the enabler of that movement and is the practical aspect of spiritual aspiration. The practice needs to be continuous as it requires diffusion of past negative Arius of ignorance generated at previous stage of life, considered as the main driver of one’s livelihood. The Maat practice is essentially one of self-deprogramming, for an elevation of consciousness whereby, past negative Arius are being dissolved with the integration of positive ones that will now sustain the path towards cessation of perception of duality. That is why, the following teachings are essential for the aspirant:
– Follow path of Maat philosophy all the time;
– Maat philosophy teaches if one adopts a path of life that leads to truth, one will discover peace and prosperity
– Maat philosophy teaches if you study the wisdom of the Neterus, you will discover the purpose of life.
Essentially, living by Maat implies a life of Selfless service to humanity and the Universe in general. Selfless service means a service that does not expect anything in return for personal or individual gain; it is a service that promotes expansion of life instead of constraining it; it is a service that contributes to the evolution according to the divine plan in the current stage of consciousness. Everyone in life is born with a talent whether artistic, intellectual and so on. That is the starting point for selfless service. For example, if we have a brilliant intellect, we need to put it in service to the community, selflessly and with humility instead of using it egoistically; it is the expression of the divine within you in order to contribute to the great plan. If you have material wealth built honestly and instead of being greedy, it needs to be used to the service of humanity selflessly, to help others without expectation of personal return. Ultimately, the physical life that we experience which is the ultimate gift is to be used totally to the service of the universe, as a contribution to the Great Evolution plan doing then the ultimate sacrifice to Maat.
B) Great truth number 3 and 4
Great truth number 3 informs us about the virtue of Devotion. The object of devotion can be of several types including the wisdom of the teaching; or a feeling for the knowledge to get out of the darkness; devotion to the teaching that needs to be taught by a teacher. Two aspects of worship: personal in a special room dedicated for practice and community worship in the Temple representing a higher form of Uashu; during festival time, there is gathering to practice.
What is the source of devotion? If we observe carefully, we realize there are many energies that inspire men to activity and none of them have more influence in driving one towards greatness than the feeling called devotion. . The power of that energy directed towards unity can elevate human to higher consciousness while using it towards object in time and space within an awareness of duality will gradually lead to degradation. Devotion to the divine has its roots in knowledge and non-devotion in ignorance of the higher Self.
The origin of devotion can be traced to man’s inner life manifested throughout three aspects equivalent to levels of consciousness. The spiritual life which is the unifying influence, the principle which when developed, leads man to realization of oneness of objects of creation and that his or her true nature partakes of that oneness. The second is the intellectual or that aspect of man’s inner life which leads to consciousness of separation. It knows things as existed independently; the development of Intellect within that context leads to isolation and the desire to self-realization as independent entity. The emotional aspect is that form of energy that directly causes actions in time and space; it manifests as feeling of attraction called love or feelings of repelling called repulsion or hate. Analyzing love, one can say that it has three different expressions. For those we consider above us, it takes the form of devotion; for those equal to us, it is expressed as affection, friendship; for those below us, it may take the form of compassion, pity. It is interesting to note within a person, all three aspects of love can manifest toward the same object. For example, at some point, we may feel devotion, in other circumstances, it is only friendship and other times, compassion or pity. The source of devotion is then love directed towards what we estimate is above meaning towards an object that reflects a concept and idea that we unconsciously or consciously strive for like example, beauty, excellence, etc. When there is devotion towards what is eternally true, the following feelings are manifested: humility, gentleness, understanding, a sense of surrendering etc. In the absence of true devotion, we feel instead suspicious of all, harsh, angry, and according to the teaching our personality is marked by the afflictions of Set. Although looking like the same force in terms of intensity, manifestation is different and Arius are not the same so, one should not confuse devotion with non-devotion.
How one should understand devotion in the pursuit of happiness? Devotion is a feeling that can flow out when an object presents itself that is attractive in its own nature that feeds our feeling of happiness. Every human being is looking for happiness and is drawn towards what is attracting them. From the perspective of the teaching, happiness is the feeling derived from expansion of life. The original life force vibrating to the lowest level manifests itself in infinity of forms, leading to consciousness of separation equivalent to contraction of life and inherently to that, the pursuit of happiness which is in fact, the need for life expansion born out of that contraction. In the search for expansion of life within the consciousness of separation, the spirit meets attractive forms and falsely believes the form is the source of happiness whereas in fact, it is attracted by itself concealed in that form. The misidentification of itself with objects of creation yields to attachment and suffering results when the form no longer exists or no longer able to feed the attraction; that ignorance also leads to continuous pursuit of happiness within the realm of creation. The impulse to seek for happiness is in fact the spirit looking for itself, looking to expand from the constraint of the body, from the constraint of the mind, etc.…Whatever is attracting us the aspirant needs to understand it is not for the sake of the object but for the sake of the spirit that is manifested within that object. The pursuit of happiness being universal to all means that all that exists is spirit which is attracted to itself in overcoming barrier of life contraction. Concerning the pursuit of happiness, devotion can help directing our feeling away from what is impermanent meaning objects of creation to what is permanent, meaning the essence of all perceived manifestations.
Devotion to the divine is that energy that molds our intellect and actions towards the divine like fire molding a metal to the desired form…It can be cultivated for example through the presence of an avatar, an embodiment of the higher SELF, by meditating on his or her life using our imagination. A good example is given through the myth of ASAR, ASET and Heru. One way also to cultivate our devotion is to be in company of people more advanced than us with devotional energy that burns higher than ours. An example is to be in company of our preceptor and to learn how to develop our own practice. An important aspect of cultivation of devotion in KMT philosophy is through the contemplation, meditation and adoration of the tutelary divinity using a certain affinity with an energy meaning god or goddess that is related to our Arius. Using that affinity and directing our devotion to a principle that is pure manifestation of the divine will quicken and intensify the effectiveness of our practice. It is to understand that the devotion to the tutelary divinity as an aspect of the Supreme Being is a door way towards ultimately allowing our energy to grow in a similar way a plant grows with the sunlight, until the moment where we have consciousness of unity with the object of devotion and attain the final bliss, meaning enlightenment. It needs to be reminded that devotion goes in parallel with understanding as one can’t really love what you do not understand.
Devotion is directing our feelings and thoughts towards the divine. Using as such, it transforms the consciousness of the devotee into the one of the object of worship. That is the path toward enlightenment supported or guided by Wisdom: let us say that Wisdom and devotion entertain a positive feedback loop so to speak in supporting the path of enlightenment. Human being becomes as he or she thinks; however, thinking alone is not sufficient and can’t lead to spiritual development by itself. Devotion transforms the consciousness with the guidance of Wisdom. Another aspect of Uashu is that it helps prevent generation of new Arius and when past Arius are dissolved, the aspirant is free from the bondage of ignorance. In that context, devotion leads to surrendering which helps developing selflessness in our actions and direct them to the divine instead of being attached to the results. In helping with the process of cleansing, devotion allows developing non personal motive for actions and in that sense it also gives peace and puts an end to pain. With all above, the aspirant sees the Self in All and is at the service of the Self hence the ultimate offer of Maat which will lead to enlightenment.
Great truth number 4
Great truth number 4 teaches us that the Shedy disciplines lead to knowing oneself and the divine. Shedy means to practice, to penetrate the teaching; this is represented by Aset, the goddess of spiritual wisdom giving Heru the spiritual Neter to purify mind and soul… Shed means to excavate and shedy to study profoundly. There is the Sebai meaning giver of the teaching and Sebat, the receiver emulating the sexual process whereby the Sebat receives the teaching to fertilize soul and mind to lead to enlightenment.
The fourth great truth provides the path including the practices that lead to Self-realization or a state of consciousness of unity with the divinity principle within us. The first three provides the understanding about the nature of the reality, how we come to lose the consciousness of that reality and be bound by illusory perception of the reality and the very path that leads to freedom from that illusion. The fourth great truth provides what needs to be done to free oneself from consciousness of duality to the one of unity; that makes the Four Great truths the essence of KMT teaching, and the ultimate guide for the aspirant. It is a path that guides our steps in alignment with the Great plan of evolution leading us to refraining from thinking, acting, and feeling in a way that causes us to suffer. It is a path then of right thinking, right acting and right feeling and right concentration essentially, the path of selfless service to humanity, Maat.
The realization of the four great truths is done through a threefold process that includes: listening to the philosophy, reflection about it leading to practice and meditation leading to final integration with the philosophy and then to the transformation of consciousness. It also relates to the three steps of religion myth, ritual and mysticism as well as the three levels of practice: aspiration to the path, striving within the path, and final establishment leading to realization of the goal of the teaching transcending then the working concepts.
C) Kemetic Diet
The purpose of Kemetic diet is to provide the supporting element in the development of spiritual life in order to have purity and to promote understanding on how to adapt to the pursuit of enlightenment. If you have disease, cancer, it is difficult to practice and attain enlightenment. Diet is based upon the understanding that health is of three types: body, mind and soul. It supports the practice of Kmt philosophical system in allowing the aspirant to develop proper vehicle as well as having proper disposition of thinking and feeling in order to truly progress in the path.
The kemetic system as well expands on the notion of interactions between living elements of the universe. As an example, human exhales carbon dioxide that is absorbed by the plants and the plants release oxygen which is essential to support life of human being. It is an example of how the life force circulates among living matter providing each form the essential element to support life. In having proper diet, we ensure we contribute to the harmony of this process of exchange.
The phrase “You are what you eat” is attributed to the German philosopher, Ludwig Andrea Feuerbach, which from a purely materialistic standpoint would mean that the production and actions of human being are essentially the results of food absorbed by him or her through digestion. In that sense, food becomes a mean to an end. From a Kemetic diet perspective, the purpose is not to be attached to the food that we eat but to consider nutrition as a mean to mold the body in such a way that it progressively becomes fit to support the impulse of our spiritual life. Kmt philosophy holds essentially every physical manifestation in time and space is visible aspects of spiritual processes sustained by the gods and goddesses. Indeed, from that standpoint, diet can’t be purely physical but in reality designed to support development of spiritual life hence the holistic aspect.
D) Knowledge of God
The teaching about the nature of God is symbolized by the statement from the invocation to Aset: I am all that has been, all that is and shall be; no mortal man has ever unveiled me. If one was to practice meditation, one’s mind will melt with that object because all is one. The Supreme essence can’t be understood with ordinary intellect tools which can only operate through duality but, rather can be realized by becoming one with it using the intelligence of the heart. In the pursuit of happiness, in ordinary consciousness, people are looking externally to themselves instead of evoking the principles that are already within them, leading to the ultimate bliss by union with the cosmic energy.
Only way to know God is with the cessation of consciousness of separation, of awareness of independent existence of objects in time and space. There comes the realization we were always in the state of oneness and that our ignorance of that fact is what caused the problem. The objective reality as perceived with the senses is the grossest manifestation of Neberdjer, the only and eternal reality that exists. At that stage of manifestation, the evolution path is directed toward dissolution or a movement in the reverse order of creation. The Soul with the consciousness of separation is suffering because acting against the forces of evolution until the moment there is understanding of the causes of suffering leading to ardent desire for enlightenment, which is the beginning of the path, until final realization of the goal. In essence, the one and only reality that exists, Neberdjer can’t be known in the same way the intellect knows about ordinary reality of the senses but can be realized through a process leading to the development of spiritual capacity or elevation of consciousness.
E) Mystery of the Gods and goddesses (the Neterus)
The Neterus are important symbolism of the Kmt teaching and represent the cosmic forces that sustain the universe. They are represented in zoomorphic, anthropomorphic forms or mixed. They do not have independent existence as nothing exists outside the Supreme Being. They form the metaphysical aspect of the teaching as expressions of divine energy. One fundamental aspect is that these symbols of cosmic principles are personalized to align with the nature of the mind, for the purpose of explaining creation and provides a path towards dissolution or enlightenment. Indeed, the mind needs concepts to work towards understanding of the object of study. Creation is described as resulting from several cycles of vibration of the divine energy, leading to planes of consciousness where the gods and Goddesses remain as principles, representing attributes of the Supreme Being. They represent the hidden concepts (meaning not perceptible by the senses) that sustain creation and their knowledge provide a path towards understanding the nature of the Eternal reality. In that context, the gods and goddesses represent the door ways toward realizing consciousness of our divine essence; through their worship the aspirant is able to vibrate higher and be closer to divine consciousness; in that sense, the Neterus represent the dissolution principles. The gods and goddesses express then the unity of Neberdjer and are essentially brothers and sisters with the same origin, representing level of consciousness and not multiple forms existing independently. From the perspective of the teaching, they are also illusory concepts in time and space but represent the very aspects of creation as well as dissolution that will need to be transcended by the time one realizes the consciousness of unity.
According to ancient Egyptian teaching, if something does not exist at the beginning and does not exist at the end, therefore it does not exist and it has not been created. From a higher philosophical standpoint, nothing has been created; creation is an illusion. The gods and goddesses are working symbolism that leads to higher, thoughtless and abstract experience of consciousness.
F) What impresses the most in this presentation
What impresses the most is the coherence and wholeness of the Kmt teaching. It not only addresses the causes of suffering for human being but as well provides a practical path towards the end of the ignorance that caused us to suffer and find ultimate bliss. The mystery of the gods and goddesses as principles of creation as well as dissolution is an important aspect of the Kmt philosophy. In a context where African descents are experiencing a lack of social and spiritual models, the system of the gods and goddesses through understanding of the myths, can play that role to help inspiring people towards right livelihood in a practical way. The Kmt teaching also provides threefold approach to integrate the system and practice. Despite the multiplicity of the contexts presented, it is only a way to be able to touch people from different audiences with interrelation between all contexts which again is an expression of unity that emulates the fact that objects of creation have a common source for which they are the expressions and therefore do not have objective existence. The aim of the teaching is to allow us to transcend or go beyond the illusion of duality and realize our oneness with our divine essence.