The House of Netjer, a Kemetic Orthodox Temple

[PUBLIC] About the Kemetic Orthodox Religion => [PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A => Topic started by: Seshagemseger on October 26, 2010, 12:08:21 pm

Title: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Seshagemseger on October 26, 2010, 12:08:21 pm
Quoted from another thread:

Quote from: Raheri
We live our lives in ma'at. Ma'at isn't a rulebook or a handbook on what we should do with our lives. Ma'at is about living our lives to the fullest, without harming one another, and living in peace with our brothers and sisters. Ma'at is experiencing what the gods have to offer us, and how we take that to raise each other up. Ma'at brings things, as they should be. You know you are living in ma'at, when life flows effortlessly from you to all those around you. That is what following ma'at means.

All of us should strive for this every moment of our lives.


Well said!

The following is my personal belief, but is built up from a combination of personal understanding and Hemet's teachings.

I believe one can draw a near parallel between Ma'at and the Tao.  It is not a system of sin and punishment, or of good and evil.  It is simply how the universe exists and operates, and the way things should be according to their natures.

Isfet, then, is that which works against the nature of things.

We speak of a "personal Ma'at" because the way I should be is not identical to the way you should be.  We were not made the same way, we did not grow the same way or self-determine ourselves the same way.  We have much in common, but there are few if any absolutes.

Ma'at is corrective, not punitive.  Forces are at work to put things into a proper place, and maintain them there... not unlike gravity.

To be "in Ma'at" is much like the Taoist "wu wei" -- the path of least resistance to one's own personal nature.  A rubber band under no tension has it easy, but if stretched tight it wants to either spring back to a relaxed state or will break (another way of returning to a relaxed state).  The harder the pull, the stronger that equalizing force.  It is not evil for the rubber band to be stretched, and neither its springing action nor its breaking is a punishment or evil either.

Of course, life is more complicated than that -- countless things interact, and some other object following its own Ma'at may hold that rubber band tight.  Or the rubber band snapping may dislodge or disturb something else, which then has to find its own new state of balance.  This disturbance can be either beneficial or harmful.  

Larger systems -- families, communities, environments, and the larger communities and environments that those make -- have their own Ma'at as well.  A life "in Ma'at" also considers this.

I don't want to give the impression that I believe there is a single right way for a person to be; there are many right ways, and they change over time as we and our communities and environments change.  Sometimes we can make a big change that seems not to be the path of least resistance for a short time, but the result is coming to rest in a more suitable place.

To be "out of Ma'at" is strictly impossible, but one can put a lot of effort into pushing the boundaries.  There will be consequences, and sometimes those consequences fall on others as well.

So... there's my picture of Ma'at.  I don't pretend it's the only valid one.  Who's next? :)
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Seshagemseger on October 26, 2010, 12:28:44 pm
It occurs to me that "harmony" might be the word I'm looking for -- harmony with one's own nature, family, community and environment.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Mesetibes on October 26, 2010, 01:21:22 pm
Em Hotep Sesha!

I was thinking that myself when I had posted in another thread. Ma'at simply -is-, much like Tao. It exists in all things, to all people. To separate Ma'at is like trying to separate an essential part of life function from the body.

Like I said previously, I need no "scriptures" or "Holy Texts" to teach me how to live within Ma'at. My Ka and my Ba already know how to do this. If I listen to them, and keep them content, then I am living within Ma'at.

~Maret
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Taqaisenu on October 26, 2010, 01:28:28 pm
My picture of ma’at came about from too many rush hours on the Interstate.  I maintain when a car disappearing into your blind spot becomes a significant spiritual experience, you drive way too much.

My personal ma’at analogy is driving in rush hour.  I use the roads around Harrisburg as my baseline; we’ve got city streets that can gridlock, and a beltway of multi-lane highways with on- and off-ramps taking people to and away the local cities, business districts, and suburbs.  

Picture it, rush hour, Harrisburg.  The roads are at capacity, but generally are moving smoothly.  An on-ramp is up ahead and somebody wants to merge onto the highway.

For this to be done properly, everybody has to act.  The merger has to put on his turn signal to notify traffic he wants over.  Traffic in the lane has to slow down slightly to permit the merger room.  The merger has to speed up or slow down in order to fit smoothly into the space provided for him.

If any one actor does not do their duty, everything gets gummed up.  The merger has to put on the brakes or stop in the merge lane, causing a backup onto the on-ramp of other wannabe mergers.  Traffic on the highway comes to a halt; somebody has to put on their brake, which causes the person behind him to put on her brake, and the person behind her, and the person behind him… each braking harder and harder until eventually traffic comes to a screeching halt.  Soon you’ve got gridlock. Or worse, if somebody wasn’t paying attention, you’ve also got an accident.  

It’s not about waiting for somebody to let the merger into the lane; it’s not about the merger forcing his way onto the highway.  You have to permit, and you have to assert.  And when everybody is properly permitting and asserting, everybody is able to move ahead with ease.  And all it takes is one person not moving in accordance to totally gum up the works and ruin it for everybody.

That, to me, is watching ma’at in action.

The analogy can continue, if you throw an overly-aggressive driver into the mix.  Or road rage.  Then see what happens.  (See also: Phantom Traffic Jams.)  

And each role on the roads comes with its own ma’at responsibility.  The responsibility of the passing lane, for instance.  Making room for the tractor trailers.  Staying out of the box when at the red light intersections.  One person paying attention can often make up for someone else who may not be.  The heartbreaking “no right answer” choice, between hitting the housepet that ran out into the road, or swerving and causing an accident endangering human life.  

(Note: I am not saying that a road rager is against ma’at; this is only an analogy - something small to illustrate something immensely larger.)

If I were to work isfet into this analogy, it would not be the run of the mill road ragers, or the too-timid or the too-aggressive, or the not-paying-attention.  The isfet fits in when you’ve got your drunk drivers or the suicidals, or people driving needlessly dangerous (such as going 100+ mph, weaving in out of traffic, passing on the shoulder).  

And that is my ma’at analogy. :)  
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Metitaitui on October 26, 2010, 01:55:54 pm
What you said here Sesha is also how I see ma'at. To me ma'at is more about keeping the balance than absolute good vs. absolute evil. Though I suppose personal ma'at comes closer to what is traditionally considered morality or a moral code. You can see it directly in the weighing of the heart. The desired outcome is not for our hearts to weigh more or less than Ma'at's feather but to be the same weight and therefore balance the weight of Her feather.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Menekh on October 26, 2010, 02:16:19 pm
My personal understanding follows a musical bent.  Life is like music - you have meter as a foundation, rhythm defines meter, harmony provides structure, and melody clothes all in beauty.  Beauty doesn't have to be pretty or even nice.  

Ma'at is the "pin" that runs through each of these four things and keeps them spinning together.  If one gets out of synch, you have cacophony.  Atonality is not cacophony - it can have all four things present.

I try to see my life this way - it's all got to flow and mesh or it just ain't pretty or nice to listen to, and people know it and put their fingers in their ears.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Rev. Sema'a on October 26, 2010, 04:19:02 pm
Quote from: Menekh
My personal understanding follows a musical bent.  Life is like music - you have meter as a foundation, rhythm defines meter, harmony provides structure, and melody clothes all in beauty.  Beauty doesn't have to be pretty or even nice.  

Ma'at is the "pin" that runs through each of these four things and keeps them spinning together.  If one gets out of synch, you have cacophony.  Atonality is not cacophony - it can have all four things present.

I try to see my life this way - it's all got to flow and mesh or it just ain't pretty or nice to listen to, and people know it and put their fingers in their ears.


I've always loved comparing Ma'at to music. Dissonance has its place in every composition, just as turmoil has its place in every life. But smacking the piano keys with a drumstick doesn't belong anywhere. ;)

I tend to think of Ma'at as "universal accountability"; meaning that it is a principle of being responsible for your actions on every level, and accepting all the consequences thereof. I've had this challenged pretty strongly in the past though, by people accusing me of gray morals and a lack of conviction. But I really do believe that Ma'at, above all else, is knowing the limitations of what one can and cannot do to remain in harmony with the Universe. Where's the line though? I don't know how to defend myself in the face of the argument that people who honestly believe it is acceptable to murder for vengeance would believe it to be in Ma'at, thus making it their personal Ma'at. I don't believe this is true because it is directly interfering with the life of another person, but I am not sure how to express it.

There is a phrase that helps, but still I feel my thoughts are incomplete - "your personal freedom ends where another's begins". I still feel like I'm missing something. Thoughts?
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Tahai on October 26, 2010, 04:24:40 pm
Taqai, I love your analogy!
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Menekh on October 26, 2010, 04:34:40 pm
Quote from: Sobeqsenu
I've always loved comparing Ma'at to music. Dissonance has its place in every composition, just as turmoil has its place in every life. But smacking the piano keys with a drumstick doesn't belong anywhere. ;)


Em Hotep Sobeq. Please make sure I don't have food in my mouth and a drink in my hand when you post that next time? :D

Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Sedjemes on October 26, 2010, 04:38:21 pm
Hotep Sobeq!

I think I can see what you find might be missing--I kinda feel that way too, but I might explain differently why I cannot quite put my finger on *the* way to think of ma'at.

I get ma'at, and I get isfet. I do. I know all the *right* ways to be, kind, respectful, doing what I can for neighbors, the environment, all that. I get the accountability and responsibility.

For me though, it starts moving away from the big broad abstract and into the real personal. For example, and as just one example, I don't believe in vengeance. I don't. I would tell anyone a million times it never solves a thing. Then I think, what if someone hurt my son(s), hurt someone in my family. How would I really feel and how would I act then.  

So I sometimes think that understanding ma'at comes best when we are actually in a moment. Being kind and helping out someone who mihgt actually have hurt us in the past, simply because we can and they are in need, as another example I just thought of.

I can say all the right things about what it is to live right--the real test, the real definition, at least for me, might come when I actuall am faced with a situation that tests.

DOes that make any sense to anyone?
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Khesretitui on October 26, 2010, 06:42:30 pm
I find that the Shinto concept of Kannagara (also written kamunagara), meaning "just as it is with the Divine," runs very close to what ma'at is to me.

A discussion of Kannagara is about halfway down the page here:
http://www.tsubakishrine.org/kaminomichi/Kami_no_Michi_7.html

And here is a more eggheaded read dated 1940, so take that with a lump of salt:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2382587
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Ankhetbast on October 26, 2010, 07:34:32 pm
Quote from: Seshagemseger
Quoted from another thread:

I believe one can draw a near parallel between Ma'at and the Tao.  It is not a system of sin and punishment, or of good and evil.  It is simply how the universe exists and operates, and the way things should be according to their natures.



This is very much my view.  I have been lightly studying Daoism for about a year and half (two? something like that).  The Dao and ma'at feel very connected to me.  

Thus... Winnie the Poo (And Piglet too!) are not only educational, but spiritual!  :D
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Rev. Shefyt on October 26, 2010, 08:05:01 pm
Quote from: Sobeqsenu

 Where's the line though? I don't know how to defend myself in the face of the argument that people who honestly believe it is acceptable to murder for vengeance would believe it to be in Ma'at, thus making it their personal Ma'at. I don't believe this is true because it is directly interfering with the life of another person, but I am not sure how to express it.


I think this ties into what Sesha was saying about larger systems also having their own ma'at. Said person might believe that murder is in ma'at, but murder never affects only the murderer. What about the effect on the victim's family? What if they come after the killer or his/her family, starting an escalating cycle of vengeance? What about the shock and horror of any witnesses, or the effect on a neighborhood that maybe isn't considered as safe as it once was? What if other people take this killing as an example to be followed but don't have the same "purity" of motive? Believing that something's right doesn't erase the consequences. I think even though we may have a personal ma'at, ma'at is always tied up in our relationships with the rest of creation and thus is never solely about the individual.

Shefyt

Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Rev. Shefyt on October 26, 2010, 08:07:30 pm
Quote from: Sedjemes

I can say all the right things about what it is to live right--the real test, the real definition, at least for me, might come when I actuall am faced with a situation that tests.
DOes that make any sense to anyone?


I think this makes perfect sense. ^_^  In the end, whatever we believe, the real test of ma'at is what we actually do and how we live our lives.

Shefyt

Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on October 26, 2010, 11:13:40 pm
Sesha, your comparison of Ma'at to the Tao is definitely helping me as a non-Kemetic to understand Ma'at better. It also reminds me of a summary of Interdependent Origination that I am fond of - "This arises; that becomes."

If one does something and gets an unpleasant result, it is not necessarily the punishment of Gods, Karma, or whathaveyou. It just means that "this" goes with "that." And if you want to do "this" then you'd better be ready to deal with "that."

Like throwing a baseball through a window. The baseball is hard. The glass is fragile. There is a natural, immediate relationship between baseball and the window. And if you want to initiate a change in that relationship by accelerating the ball towards the glass... well... Of course, the reverse is true then. If you want that, then you must initiate this. If I really wanted that set of six pack abdominals, then I'd want to eat like a bird and never stop doing situps.

Sometimes people get very attached to ideas of the universe and how it works. And consquently miss out on the actual experience of much of the world, as a result. The idea of fire, as a concept in my mind, is useful enough. But what a difference between that and the burning pain of touching a hot skillet, or the delicious taste of toasted marshmallows.

If we are too focussed on our ideas of how things work, then all we are thinking about is our own thoughts. All we hear is our own chatter played back at us like a skipping record. And we miss the delightful existence unfolding, playing out before our eyes. Or worse yet, we see the variance in nature and being woefully disconnected from anything but our own mental soundtrack loop, attempt to extinguish the forms that play outside the boundary lines that exist only in our own minds.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Senedjem on October 27, 2010, 03:59:07 am
Wolf I'd say Ma'at can not only be compared the Tao, but also to the dharma in Hinduism :)
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Raheri on October 27, 2010, 08:38:49 am
I just wanted to post a quick thank you to all my brothers and sisters on how all of you have taken something negative and turned it into something positive for everyone. I am so proud to be a member of this House and your brother in Netjer.

Love,
Raheri
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Aashemmuti on October 27, 2010, 08:59:24 am
To me it works best if I can relate these concepts to Hindu concepts with which I am more familiar.

To me ma'at is like dharma. But there are elements of karma as well, for the correct meaning of karma is "action" and that contains all the past and future implications of one's action as well as the immediately evident action itself.

I am still not sure that I understand the concept of isfet.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Seshagemseger on October 27, 2010, 12:52:43 pm
Quote from: Taqaisenu
My personal ma’at analogy is driving in rush hour...


You remind me, I once thought about Ma'at once as the force that keeps people driving in their lanes instead of just willy-nilly.  Certainly self-preservation is part of that, but then, self-preservation is part of Ma'at. :)


Quote from: Sobeqsenu
I've always loved comparing Ma'at to music. Dissonance has its place in every composition, just as turmoil has its place in every life. But smacking the piano keys with a drumstick doesn't belong anywhere. ;)


Tapping on the strings with drumsticks can work though... but only in the right kinds of pieces. :)


Quote from: Khesretitui
I find that the Shinto concept of Kannagara (also written kamunagara), meaning "just as it is with the Divine," runs very close to what ma'at is to me.


In my introductory reading about Shinto so far, that is the part I love. :)  The heart of the faith is in living a naturally "right" way, as opposed to a strictly outlined "one true way" or a particular piece of dogma.  This is what really brought me into Kemetic Orthodoxy, rather than interest in the culture or history or prior contact with Netjer.  I suspect that, I had I had occasion to look into Shinto before Kemetic Orthodoxy, I may have wound up there instead.

This is making me a little melancholy about American culture and faith, and its general lack of a sense of time and place.  But that's neither here nor there and I don't want to dwell on it. :)


Quote from: Sedjemes
So I sometimes think that understanding ma'at comes best when we are actually in a moment.


::nod:: When I was writing my post, I think this is what I missed too.  I tend to be an abstract thinker, but there's sometimes a disconnect between the abstract and a real situation.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on October 27, 2010, 12:57:21 pm
Quote from: Aashemmuti
To me it works best if I can relate these concepts to Hindu concepts with which I am more familiar.

To me ma'at is like dharma. But there are elements of karma as well, for the correct meaning of karma is "action" and that contains all the past and future implications of one's action as well as the immediately evident action itself.

I am still not sure that I understand the concept of isfet.


I [heart] this. It seems like everyone I know IRL is either stuck on the interpretation of karma as celestial investment bank of good/bad fortune, or on the idea of reincarnation. A great deal of confusion can be avoided when people know more about the meaning and translation of words they use. Just as dharma is often (poorly) translated as "law" when it can have more intricate meanings based on the context.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Aashemmuti on October 27, 2010, 01:23:03 pm
Quote from: Wolf_Cub
It seems like everyone I know IRL is either stuck on the interpretation of karma as celestial investment bank of good/bad fortune, or on the idea of reincarnation. A great deal of confusion can be avoided when people know more about the meaning and translation of words they use. Just as dharma is often (poorly) translated as "law" when it can have more intricate meanings based on the context.


There was a movie, wish I could remember what it was, featuring a character saying something to the effect of "Karma means I did a good deed, so the universe owes me one."
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Kehawiitu on October 27, 2010, 11:36:23 pm
Taqaisenu, your analogy is brilliant. :)

I think of maat as kinda like karma, but not in the commonly understood sense of getting rewards for good deeds and cosmic punishment for bad ones.  A Hindu speaker I hear said something about karma being the taking of complete responsibility for one's actions and their consequences.  Everything that happens to you is somehow influenced by something you have done (or not done).  That sounded very maat-like to me.  

And now for some wild speculation
Isfet would be the opposite: attempting to reject the consequences of your actions.  Isfet, the Uncreated, the nonexistent trying to undo creation.  Of course, for every action there must be a reaction, and denying the reaction cannot make it disappear.  Maat always triumphs.  
Disallowing your typical evil acts would make sense here because one would really want to deny the nasty effects.  And why would anyone reject the positive things they have caused?
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on October 28, 2010, 10:41:19 am
Quote from: Kehawiitu

And now for some wild speculation
Isfet would be the opposite: attempting to reject the consequences of your actions.  Isfet, the Uncreated, the nonexistent trying to undo creation.  Of course, for every action there must be a reaction, and denying the reaction cannot make it disappear.  Maat always triumphs.  
Disallowing your typical evil acts would make sense here because one would really want to deny the nasty effects.  And why would anyone reject the positive things they have caused?


Avidya. Not seeing. Not knowing. Living in ignorance of the essential interconnected nature of reality. A primarily root of human suffering in Hindu and Buddhist thought.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Seshagemseger on October 28, 2010, 01:27:04 pm
Quote from: Wolf_Cub
Quote from: Kehawiitu

And now for some wild speculation
Isfet would be the opposite: attempting to reject the consequences of your actions.  Isfet, the Uncreated, the nonexistent trying to undo creation.  Of course, for every action there must be a reaction, and denying the reaction cannot make it disappear.  Maat always triumphs.  
Disallowing your typical evil acts would make sense here because one would really want to deny the nasty effects.  And why would anyone reject the positive things they have caused?


Avidya. Not seeing. Not knowing. Living in ignorance of the essential interconnected nature of reality. A primarily root of human suffering in Hindu and Buddhist thought.  


While I can agree that ignorance is generally a cause of human suffering, I understand isfet to be a more active opposition.  Willful ignorance at the very least, but more so, a direct rebellion against Ma'at.

Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on October 28, 2010, 02:17:18 pm
Quote from: Seshagemseger

While I can agree that ignorance is generally a cause of human suffering, I understand isfet to be a more active opposition.  Willful ignorance at the very least, but more so, a direct rebellion against Ma'at.


I think people act out their perceptions. In my experience, many people with the most backwards, knotted up, and harmful understandings of life tend to be very, very active.

This might be where some difference between Avidya and Isfet may be made. Avidya, being a matter of sight, of perception, is much more immediate than conscious intellectualizing. Some of that ignorance will be acted out in the realm of consciousness, will, and volition. Some of it will be acted out from ignorance that has sunk in to the roots of the subconscious, and be acted out without any realization by the person why he or she is the way he or she is. Or without realization of the consequences.

It is good to have a conscious understanding that a person in front of me is human being too. That they have rights, feelings, family. I can understand this on an intellectual level, and it can keep me from doing harm to this person. But in the heat of the emotionally charged moment, intellect is rarely enough. But if I look at this person and see myself. If I see it in a way that makes it immediately relevant, then I feel this other person's humanity, identical to mine, in my very bones.

I would like to illustrate this idea with the final battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi. Luke knows intellectually how to be a Jedi. But he's very tempermental, like his father. Darth Vader pushes him beyond an emotional breaking point by threatening his sister, and Luke proceeds to push back, finally defeating and chopping off Vader's hand. What stops Luke from killing Vader? It is not his Jedi ideals. He has any number of justifications for ending Vader's corrupt life, many of them offered by his own Jedi mentors. And it is not mere filial sentiment. Vader broke through that by threatening Leia. Luke looks down at Vader, helpless and handless. He sees his own artificial hand, previously severed by Vader. He sees his own pain in Vader. He sees Vader's experiences in himself. Immediately, he perceives that this cycle of pain has no ending. And right there, the rage dissolves into thin air.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Qefathethert on October 29, 2010, 02:49:24 pm
"Believing that something's right doesn't erase the consequences."
This. And I try to live this as best as I can, as a non-KO and generally spiritual person.
I love the thoughts here, all of them. Years ago, when I first left college, I was studying many things on my own time - some Thelema, some Vodou, and KO/books on Ancient Kemetic religion from the suggested reading. All seemed to touch on Ma'at in some way, even if it wasn't named. I felt a gentle nudge to put my life in Ma'at, the best I could, so I went and got my first tattoo - Ma'at's feather on the back of my neck. I remember shaking as I was filling out the forms to get it. Not wholly because I had never gotten a tattoo before, but because I was getting a permanent reminder to be a better person, damn it. Accept responsibility for what I do, good and bad. At the time, my thoughts weren't as well-stated as that, but I sure felt it. On some level, I think I knew what I was doing.
I'm glad I did it though.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Ta_Imu_Aset on October 29, 2010, 03:13:46 pm
Quote from: Wolf_Cub
He has any number of justifications for ending Vader's corrupt life, many of them offered by his own Jedi mentors. And it is not mere filial sentiment. Vader broke through that by threatening Leia. Luke looks down at Vader, helpless and handless. He sees his own artificial hand, previously severed by Vader. He sees his own pain in Vader. He sees Vader's experiences in himself. Immediately, he perceives that this cycle of pain has no ending. And right there, the rage dissolves into thin air.  


I dunno, I always thought he shoulda done it. I mean, to me-it's no service to the world to allow evil, harmful people to continue to harm and be well, evil. Notions of pseudo-nobility don't erase all the pain caused by Vader. To try to say that you are above that, you are too "conscious" to take such an immediate, hard action or decision seems kinda like a cop out. On the other hand, how do people that do so, stay pure of thought, mind and heart? Do it enough and you become no better, no less controled by your need to control. Slippery slope for sure.

My take.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on October 29, 2010, 10:36:24 pm
Quote from: Ta_Imu_Aset
I dunno, I always thought he shoulda done it. I mean, to me-it's no service to the world to allow evil, harmful people to continue to harm and be well, evil. Notions of pseudo-nobility don't erase all the pain caused by Vader. To try to say that you are above that, you are too "conscious" to take such an immediate, hard action or decision seems kinda like a cop out. On the other hand, how do people that do so, stay pure of thought, mind and heart? Do it enough and you become no better, no less controled by your need to control. Slippery slope for sure.

My take.


Maybe he should have killed Vader. That's certainly one view to have. And as I said previously, there are many justifications for that view. The point is not that the mystical vision of the unity of things makes one "too conscious" for any action. One has only to read the Bhagavad Gita to for the flip side of that coin, for an example of the mystic vision that spurs one on to hard action.

I think many people have difficult moments in their lives. Moment where one can reason and justify many possibly courses of action. Where even one's own feelings rip and tear like a whirlwind, and one seems truly lost. I think that it is moments like these where a moment of contemplation of that interconnected unity can help us. Not because some "correct" course of action will be illuminated in our minds via divine revelation or human logic. But because that sense of holistic, organic unity can ease the elements of confusion in a way that makes listening for the still, calm voice within much easier.

At such difficult moments it can be hard to follow a course that "right" in the generic sense. it can be even harder to find that path that is most right for one, as an individual. It may have been right and just for Luke to kill Vader. I do not deny that. I like to interpret Luke as not acting out of a sense of "pseudo-nobility", but as having enough conscious not to act while in the grip of a killer rage. And after that, making a choice because that was the choice that was truly in his heart. And of course, living with the electrifying consequences of throwing that lightsaber away. That's my interpretation of the movie scene, anyway. And cinema is, of course, open to much debate and interpretation. But in the end, it's just a movie, and just a scene familiar enough in popular culture to use for an illustrative point.

The perception of unity is also the perception of relation. When one sees the relation between oneself and another, hard action may in fact become easier. Although that hard action may not be at all what others expect, reason, or desire. For when one sees the relation, one sees where the possible actions will lead, and what that will lead one to become as a result. Making important decisions in life is ultimately a choice of what one will be, and what that will mean for one's place in existence. I think it is easier to be reconciled with the consequences of action when one acts with an open heart and open eyes.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Qefathethert on November 17, 2010, 06:31:18 pm
Tell me if I'm way off base here, but this was too interesting to not mention, and not having my computer when I thought of it was torture!
I'm re-skimming a book for my own research (long story) called Gnostic Philosophy by Tobias Churton. In a sub-chapter on Gnostics in antiquity, he credits Ma'at with the genesis of the feminine Jewish Wisdom in the concept of Homkah, which in turn informs the Gnostic heroine Sophia (no doubt that the Gnostics also had contact with the people and ideas of Kemet, i.e., the Nag Hammadi library being hid there, and the Coptics having so much in common with the Gnostics).
But here's the rub I've yet to grok. No doubt, for the Gnostics, Sophia is holy, sought after, and exalted. But "it was her ungovernable yearning to know the Depth or Bythos...that was...the cause for dis-ease within the Pleroma, or fullness of the godhead, and the indirect cause of the material cosmos." (Churton, p.243)
For some gnostics, this looks bad. Gnostics strive for unity, and creation is the very splitting up of the Unity that is the Pleroma, or Jacob Bohme's Ungrund. In the Kemetic system, as far as my understanding goes, creation is good - especially according to my reading of Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods by Dimitri Meeks and Christine Favard-Meeks. Isfet, if I understand the ideas here and in my reading, works against creation. So Sophia did act as Ma'at in resolving and keeping creation by wanting to understand it? I know Ma'at works to keep things "orderly" and existing, as it were, but I was fascinated by the connection made in this text from Ma'at to Sophia.      
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Seshagemseger on December 08, 2010, 04:27:06 pm
I don't really know much about Gnosticism, but trying too hard to connect one mythos with another usually leads to frustration of one kind or another. :)
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Tasen on December 08, 2010, 05:47:59 pm
Hotep,

This is really interesting to me.  I have to read it again after a good night's sleep, but I have been finding that Netjer are there even when no one notices them.  It feels like the way the Goddess is returning after so many years of patriarchal monotheism.  She is rising again.  I am finding that there were so many sages who were inspired over the years by the Ancient Egyptian religion.

I know it feels to me like a rebirth and I have felt Aset, for example, in Sophia's wisdom, but even more so in Mary and Jesus.  So They have never stopped being with us.  And it is as if Netjer are coming to restore balance again.

I hope so!  The world is so topsy turvy and it is dangerous to have things so out of balance.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Qefathethert on December 09, 2010, 03:52:34 am
Well, Sesh, I'm very good at that, LOL!
It was just something that tickled me, and made me spin my wheels for a few days.
Title: Re: what Ma'at and isfet may or may not be
Post by: Wolf_Cub on December 09, 2010, 07:38:10 pm
When noting the similarities between two things it can be just as important to note the differences, as well. The grand harmony and unity of all things is not merely a wet canvas on which all the colors have bled into each other and become indistinguished.
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