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TTOA: Lesson 1: Video assignment
A) Summarize the plot of the myth
The myth of ASAR, ASET and Heru provides the context and the dynamics for an aspirant to properly evolve in the spiritual path. It emulates the psycho-spiritual elements that are the basis for the consciousness to unfold from awareness of duality into awareness of oneness with the divine. The plot can be summarized in the following sequences.
ASAR king of Egypt
ASAR and ASET, children of GEB and NUT were respectively King and Queen of Egypt. Their reign was marked with peacefulness and prosperity. ASAR travelled the world to disseminate the teachings about righteous living and ASET in his absence handled the matters in the land of Egypt with good hands and wisdom, protecting the throne from the influence of SET who was jealous of his brother ASAR.
The death of ASAR
ASAR returned following his long trip from abroad and people in the land were rejoicing. During the festivities, ASAR became drunk and mistakenly slept with NEBETHET, the wife of SET, who showed more and more hatred and jealousy. SET comploted against ASAR and managed to trick him and was able to kill him. SET then cut the body into pieces which he threw into the NILE river hoping that they would never be recovered. Following his evil act, SET then took the throne, what he was always coveting and became then the KING of the land of Egypt.
The resurrection of ASAR and the birth of HERU
ASET and Nebethet found out about the death of ASAR and resolved to look for his body. They realized the body was cut into pieces and understood how difficult it would be to reassemble it. That did not affect their resolve and finally after many researches, they were able to find the pieces and reassemble the body. ASET then through her magic power manifested through love, devotion and wisdom, resurrected ASAR. With their newly found union, they conceived a child with the name of HERU. ASAR then became the king of the afterlife, and his body became the source of life and strength for all the trees and plants. HERU’s destiny is to become one day, the KING of Egypt.
The preceptorship of HERU
Having the knowledge about the birth of HERU, SET resolved to kill him destroying then all hope to avenge the killing of ASAR. ASET knew about the intention of SET and run with the child away from him. While away from SET, ASET started the education of Heru, preparing him to become king of Egypt. She taught him about righteousness, love and wisdom with the help of the other gods and goddesses particularly, Djehuti and Hetheru. Heru was able to grow peacefully and now becomes ready to confront SET about his evil act to restore justice for his father.
The battle with HERU
HERU confronted SET about his unrighteous acts and how he is not worthy of the throne of Egypt. SET denied Heru the right to the kingship and it ensured a battle between both. The battle was very fierce and none of them could emerge victorious as they were of equal force. One day, Heru relaxed and at that moment, SET took the opportunity to hit him in his two eyes and Heru then experienced spiritual darkness.
HERU in the darkness
After being hit by SET in both eyes, HERU entered a state of complete darkness and could no longer see properly. The goddess HETHERU was able to help him by healing the right eye. Then the god Djehuti provided healing for the left eye allowing him to be able to see again. Then, the god Djehuti advised him that the proper way to kill SET is not through direct confrontation but through calmness of the mind understanding that SET is not fundamentally the enemy, but his actions are reflective of selfishness and unrighteousness. The key to become victorious of SET in that context is through calmness of the mind and telling the truth or leaving by MAAT.
The second phase of the battle
After the restoring of his eyes and following the advises of Djehuti, SET reentered the battle with SET but, this time with more calmness and a different strategy that involves the gods and goddesses. He looked to gain the help of the gods and goddesses and RA himself but, at the beginning, they were not sure HERU was worthy of the throne. In other words, HERU had to prove himself worthy of it and resolved to continue to show calmness and righteousness in order to emerge victorious. Finally, with the help of ASAR, the gods and goddesses agreed Heru was worthy of the throne and ordered him to be the King of Egypt.
Heru became the king of Egypt.
After learning about the verdict of the divine court, SET attempted one last time to trick Heru, but he was not able to lure him into battle but had to face instead his calmness. SET knew then he could no longer affect HERU and that it was best for him to make peace and returns to the path of justice and righteousness. The two made piece together tightening he knot that symbolizes their union through which SET returned to his natural role of protecting the boat of RA against APEP and Heru became the king of Egypt, his natural place after the death of his father ASAR. Both Heru and SET were not able to defeat one another but were able to end the battle with the restoring of justice and order, with each one playing and accepting his respective role in life.
B) Main take away from the myth
This will be take into the context of spiritual life.
First take away relates to how we come to having a consciousness of duality due to ignorance of our true nature. Within the consciousness of duality our personality becomes fragmented and is mastering us leading us to the ignorance of the divinity within us, which is now hidden.
Second take away relates to the importance of having a preceptor to have a successful spiritual life. Without that preceptorship, one will be easily involved in the illusory aspect of life and will not develop the proper understanding and wisdom necessary to attain the goal of spiritual path.
Third aspect is that the battle to overcome the fetters of our own egoism due to ignorance of our divine identity, can’t be done within a context by which the ego needs to be crushed or eliminated. It will ensure instead that we are getting into more delusion, more darkness. Overcoming the fetters requires development of qualities related to righteousness, order and truth and understanding who the real enemy is and that our fundamental ignorance relies on perception of duality as being abiding. Therefore, the real goal is to transform that perception into one of unity; harmony is a state of mind whereby there is understanding of physical life with its diversities as a manifestation of the one and alone source of existence in different stages of evolution. Living a life by harmonizing our consciousness with the normal course of evolution and contributing to that evolution is the path of enlightenment.
Last take away is that the spiritual path is one of embracing instead of separation, one of cultivation of wisdom, instead of ignorance, one allowing us to put the pieces of personality together and mastering them in putting them to work for a common goal, instead of letting them dominate and driving us in different directions, and ultimately, it is a path that leads to a state of consciousness of unity with the divine instead of consciousness of duality.
C) Based on lecture, what have you discovered so far about the importance of ASET in that epic teaching. What do you make of her character, her personality?
Based on the lecture, there are two aspects of the myth that relate to the importance of ASET. One episode is when HERU was beaten by a scorpion sent by SET, the goddess Scorpion SEKET protected HERU; ASET then went into the hiding from SET who was looking for her and proceed with the education of her child with the help of the gods and goddesses.
The other episode is when ASET brings ASAR to life through prayers and evocations with love, devotion and wisdom.
The importance of ASET is not just as the important divinity but, without ASET there can be no resurrection, no victory for Heru. ASET in her essential context as well is higher than Heru and ASAR and that is why she is revealed in all countries and worshipped everywhere more than other divinities. Aset was more popular than ASAR or Heru at that time.
What do you make of her character, her personality?
She is the revealing aspect of the divinity that is hidden within us. Without that revealing aspect, there can’t be no spiritual life, symbolized by the resurrection of ASAR and the birth of HERU. In fact, the spiritual path starts consciously when there is enough consciousness of the presence of our higher and true nature. Before that happens, there is consciousness of individual soul wandering in time and space through a path of ignorance but, within that life, there is a gradual revelation of the divinity within and once that revelation is strong enough, the life of the individual takes a new turn and starts asking questions about meaning of life and related, which will bring him or her to the spiritual path. In that context, the spiritual path is one of expanding that initial consciousness and make it whole dissolving then our ignorance of our higher Self. ASET is then the divinity within us in its revealing aspect, a revelation principle that is being brought to our consciousness more and more as we grow in the spiritual life until enlightenment where we reach the consciousness of unity with the goddess.
She also represents the two key aspects of the spiritual path: wisdom and devotion. In that context, she is the two pillars of the spiritual path. She is the divine preceptor creating the proper context and the path for the new aspirant to grow away from the turmoil of the events in time and space and is thus, the ultimate protector of the aspirant against the earthly forces of ignorance that can block spiritual growth. In all and all, the goddess ASET is the revealing principle of the divinity within and as such, she is that divinity, and the essential guide, the divine preceptor, always present, nourishing and guiding the aspirant in all aspects of the spiritual path, expressing the divine love, all embracing, compassionate…
The worshipping of the goddess is an evocation that can help our own awareness of the divinity within to grow more and more until final dissolution of consciousness of duality between us and the divinity leading to consciousness of oneness.