Friday, March 16, 2001

Thoughts after reading Daily Devotions by Her Holiness Nisut Hekatawy I, March, 13th, 2001:


"In darkness, the word is spoken. Light, accompanying sound, brings Netjer forth: the gods and goddesses responding to Their beloved sons and daughters, carried on the breath of the Akhu, to the table of faith we call altar, there to meet face-to-face, heart-to-heart, Parent to Child."

"...sharing of breath, of life, of our very essence with our Creator."

Heart-to-heart, sharing Breath with our Parent...

Suddenly it was brought home to me with clarity how very intimate this relationship with the Divine is/can be. How very close. How Life-giving.

We cannot exist without it. We do not exist without it. Even if we are not aware of it, if we do not seek it, if we do not believe in it, it is there.

It is just as intimate and interdependent as our earthly parents when they give birth to us. The love we have for our children! How they are the Most Precious part of our existence!

Likewize are we Loved by Netjer.

"May You love me as I love You".
Ma´at - an eternal struggle

This hard to translate word Ma´at, has to do with order, balance, justice, proper conduct. It is the concept which upholds and maintains the Cosmic Order and therefore makes Existence possible.

On a personal inner level too it can be about keeping the balance between chaos and order. Everyday I fight against Apep, every day sofar I have beaten him. Some days he is not so near, at other times he seems overwhelming. The fight is won by short margins at times, and easily at others. It varies. But the fight goes on.

I read something in Asante - Ancient African Voices, which is really giving a much too africanized viewpoint on it all, but there was this that caught my attention. Asante means there are ten virtues which are to accompany any representation of Ma´at in speech or behaviour. I have to muse over them, but at first they struck me as quite sensible. I´m citing directly out of the book:

"1. Criticality: the ability to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong...

2. Devotion: Consecrating oneself by vow to Ma´at. ... devotion itself would only be revealed in the actual way a person responded to deep meditation... 'You cannot show devotion; it must arise in your own heart and even if others will not see it, you will know it'.

3. Control: Regulate, check and exercise power over the mind. Humans are born into order but remain oblivious to this order as chaos seem to penetrate our lives.

4. Discipline. Training that develops self control, orderly behaviour.

5. Tolerance: Allowing and permitting others to express their views.

6. Forbearance: Possessing freedom from resentment.

7. Steadfastness: Holding firm to one´s beliefs and ideas.

8. Faith: An expression of optimism.

9. Spiritual Desire: Showing the will to achieve victory over present circumstances.

10. Initiation: Achieving mastery over self.

Short commentaries sofar:

Criticality, the ability to distinguish good from wrong must depend on which context you are in. What is wrong in one culture is right in another. But I would like to think that there are basic wrongs and rights which undercut most civilisations. These have to be made clear and observed.

Discipline, this could be read as having no chance of expressing oneself. That word 'discipline' makes me think of hard regimen, of tough attitudes and a very low tolerance level together with being frowned at for one´s choices and lifestyle. It makes me think of closed in spaces and no freedom, only conformism. But there is more, and other things to it than that. If the way is supposed to lead to maintenance of Creation, then there has to be some sort of discipline to meet up to what is required for this maintenance to happen. Orderly behaviour - to be gentle towards others, to keep silent in the presence of those who know more than you, to take care of family etc. That is also discipline. Likewize is keeping your temper, not spilling your emotions all over the place, keep to your routines, make your prayers... all in order to recreate the events of Zep Tepi.

Forbearance, this is a tricky point. It means a high level of tolerance, to be able to cope with wrongs that have been done to you. Some of us are controlled by Apep instead of the opposite. That´s when people go out killing each other. You have to practice the thought that whatever is done to you, the doer will deduct from his list of negative confession.

Steadfastness, yes, hold firm to one´s beliefs and ideas - but - not hesitate to revise them or change them as we learn better. If not, we´d get atrofied minds and souls very quickly. What is old and outgrown must be changed.

Mastery over self, that must mean being able to always have Ma´at before your eyes - and being able to always do Ma´at. I´m sure it´s a high level of existence and sofar I´ve never met any human being who can live up to it. Though it must be strived towards.