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Author Topic: Instructions of Ptah-Hotep  (Read 2274 times)

Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
« on: September 10, 2010, 03:35:17 pm »
Em-Hotep-Rh'ekh,

Recently, I have returned my studies to this most inspirational text. After reading through it once again, I felt compelled, if not from my parent Djeduty, to share it with everyone here. Following in the footsteps of Raheri, I have decided to post one passage from this text every few days; hoping that we all can explore and share our views on these incredibly insightful teachings.  

I find it important to make it known the entrance verse of the Instructions of Ptah-Hotep. Many times this entrance verse is forgotten, tossed aside as if it insignificant to the overall teachings. In my opinion it is more than important to know, before one dives into the Instructions; as if to get to know who Ptah-Hotep was; and to understand why and how these Instructions came into being from his person/mind:

“Teachings of the Overseer of the City, the Vizier Ptah-Hotep before the Majesty of the King Isesi, living forever and ever. The Overseer of the City, Vizier Ptah-Hotep says: Oh Sovereign, my Lord! Old age has occurred, and Age has arrived. Feebleness has come and weakness is renewed. One sleeps in discomfort every day. The eyes are dim and the ears deaf; Strength perishes, weary-hearted; The mouth has become silent, and cannot speak. The heart is finished, not even remembering yesterday. The Bones have been ill a long time and Good has turned into Evil; All taste is gone; What age does to people is evil in everything; The nose is stopped up and does not smell; Sitting and standing are difficult.”

“May this servant be commanded to make a 'Staff of old age' that I may say to him the words of the judges, the counsel of those from ancient times, heard from the gods. That the like may be done for you: May troubles be removed from the People, and the Two Shores serve you. Thus says the majesty of this god: Teach him what was uttered formerly, then he can set a good example for the Children of the Nobles. May Hearing enter him and the affection of each one who speaks to him. No one is born wise! Beginning of the sayings of wisdom by the Prince, Count, God's Father, God's Beloved, Eldest Royal Son of His body, Town Overseer, Vizier Ptah-Hotep for bringing the ignorant to knowledge; Start of the enumeration of wisdom that is beneficial to he who Listens and woeful to the one who rejects it! Thus, he says before his son:”

Take No False Pride in Education

He said unto his son: Be not proud because you are learned; but converse with the ignorant man, as with the sage. For no limit can be set to skill, neither is there any craftsman that possess full advantages. Fair speech is more rare than the emerald that is found by slave-maidens on the pebbles.

I have found this to be very True in my life; and yet, our society seems to beg-to-differ. Our society instills in our youth today that if you do not go to college or University, you will be less intelligent and you will not be able to acquire a profession better then working at a fast food establishment or at a department store.  I know several people, family members and friends, who went to a decent University, though are less competent then my niece who is seven.

I remember when I was eleven, and my mother at the time worked for a property management company for Yale University in New Haven Ct. She would, well, manage apartments which Yale would rent out to student. Several of the tenants would call my mother's office on a daily basses asking “How do I turn on the Stove?” or “When will the heat/air conditioner turn on?... it's really hot/cold in this apartment.”  

Knowledge is very important, there is no doubt in this. Without knowledge, we would not be living in this 'technically-advanced' world we are living in today.  Though, book knowledge is not the only source of knowledge; will your knowledge of micro-biology help you service a natural disaster; or help you fix a leaky pipe in your kitchen? Just because a person does not have a degree, does that make them less intelligent? I think No; and I would guess Ptah-Hotep would feel the same way.
Ne'sip - Thii - Mu - Pah - Ma'at
(Never Wander From The Truth)

Hk'hk - Mu - Th'n - Ib - Gh'ert - Netjer
(Keep Netjer In Your Heart Always)

Nin - Mesin'i - I'usi - Sa'ahu...
(No-one is born a sage) - IOPH

Offline Sedjemes

  • Semer-Wati
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Re: Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 06:44:53 pm »
Hotep :)

I really love this particular text several of us have referenced it now and again many times over the years.

But, if I might suggest, perhaps we could have the discussion in the Netjer area. This particular thread is in fact specifically for discussions which stem from posts made by the Nisut AUS to the Daily Devotional blog. The 42 Purifications as given here by Raheri were posted by the Nisut several years back and can still be accessed through the Devotional archives as well as in booklet form.

The Netjer area makes sense because, at least as I have often seen it, this Instruction and all the Wisdom literature certainly is founded upon the sense of ma'at as both concept and deity.
Khenmetaset ("Aset Gladdens")
Sedjemes ("She listens")
Daughter of Aset-Serqet, Meryt Ra her Sekhmet
Heri-Sesheta Aset-Serqet

Re: Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 09:09:08 pm »
Thank you Sedjemes,

I was wondering why this area of the forum was labeled as Nisut AUS... thank you for informing of its meaning. I hope I didn't do anything offensive towards her or anyone else by posting here?  

I will gladly take up your adive and re-post this in the Netjer area. :)
Ne'sip - Thii - Mu - Pah - Ma'at
(Never Wander From The Truth)

Hk'hk - Mu - Th'n - Ib - Gh'ert - Netjer
(Keep Netjer In Your Heart Always)

Nin - Mesin'i - I'usi - Sa'ahu...
(No-one is born a sage) - IOPH

Offline Sedjemes

  • Semer-Wati
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 05:40:15 am »
Hotep!

No offense at all :) I thought perhaps its intent might have been overlooked so I am glad to clarify.
Khenmetaset ("Aset Gladdens")
Sedjemes ("She listens")
Daughter of Aset-Serqet, Meryt Ra her Sekhmet
Heri-Sesheta Aset-Serqet

Re: Instructions of Ptah-Hotep
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 09:28:56 am »
Just curious, is there any version of the Instructions of Ptahhotep that are better than others?
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


 


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