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Author Topic: About Set and balance  (Read 13312 times)

About Set and balance
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:09:58 pm »
I'm trying - like many , I think, to get my head round this. Now, I don't think Set encourages isfet. In part, I may have an advantage in that one of my patrons in my own faith is Loki, who many people demonise for similar reasons to the way Set was demonised - by Christians grappling with my faith who sought god and devil figures to fit with their own theologicial framework.

But it is undeniable that Set has done some dodgy things in the contest with Heru. So, how is that regarded in terms of ma'at? Is the contest part of the natural world and order, or, rather, is there a balance with other things done by Set? Are we looking at the place of violence as part of the natural order, or of a trade-off, rather like having results at either end of an extreme scale that cancel out.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 01:10:25 pm by meresnetjer »

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 02:03:20 pm »
I look at it in the context of, what is ma'at, is not neccessarily what we as humans in society think of as "acceptable"...for what it's worth.
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


Offline Rev. Sehedjef

  • Semer-Wati
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Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 11:43:34 am »
Hotep!  *henu*

Set is always upholding Ma'at (although it might not look like it at times when taken out of context).  In the case you mentioned with the contendings of Set and Heru-sa-Aset, Set's purpose was to ensure Heru-sa-Aset was ready to be the Nisut.  If Heru-sa-Aset was proclaimed as Nisut, and wasn't ready for the responsibility the people would suffer.  Think about it from the position of Heru-sa-Aset trying to be CEO of a company.  If He was just given the possition because His father (Wesir) had it before Him, but was in no way ready for it, all the employees would suffer as he ruined the company.

Ma'at isn't about what is good, it's about what is right.  What Heru-sa-Aset went through to prove Himself as worthy of the responsibility and honor of leading the people and Names of Kemet wasn't good, but was necessary and right to show that He was capable of doing the job (i.e. He was able to hold His own, both in combat and cunning/politics as He would need both to rule effectively).

Set does represent chaos, but it is necessary chaos (i.e. He isn't about destroying things or challenging us just for amusement).  He was the only one of the Names strong enough to kill Wesir (which was necessary for the akhu to have someone to look after them....prior to this they were alone with no-one to represent them.  Wesir was willing to sacrifice Himself for them [being unable to be with His wife and son to do so]).  Set was willing to help Him do this for our people.

Set isn't cuddly and won't apologize for what He's done, continues to do, or how He goes about it.   He won't try and present Himself and a poor, misunderstood Name.  He does love us in His own way and pushes us to grow beyond our comfort zone when we get complacent.  Not because He wants to see us miserable, but because He wants us to be the best we can be.  For all His harshness, and abrasiveness, Ra still asks Him to stand in a position of honor at the prow of His boat, as Set is the only one strong enough in the end to hold back isfet as Ra journies through the underworld each night.

Senebty,
Imti
Rev. Sehedjef
(He shines with the beauty of the truth of his Mothers)
Priest of Nebt-het and Serqet
Beloved of Ptah and Tasenetnofret
revdwinterfeldt@kemet.org

Offline Shezep_shuty

  • Country: us
Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 12:32:05 pm »
Set is simply being Set. It is within Ma'at for each Name to act as they were made to act. Gravity must always pull things to itself. The sun must always shine. The interaction of various forces is what ultimately achieves Ma'at. If Set stopped being himself, that would bring imbalance to the entire system. Fire brings warmth and power. It can also burn down your house, but if fire suddenly became cold, where would we be? We need fire. We also need firefighters.

  Dua Set!  (Humor intended, contains a couple words. Geek alert.)
Kemetic Mystic
Heru-sa-Aset is my copilot.

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 02:50:05 pm »
Quote from: Shezep_shuty
It is within Ma'at for each Name to act as they were made to act. .. The interaction of various forces is what ultimately achieves Ma'at.


so do we say the same thing about Apep? That he acts as he was made to act, and the interaction of forces accompishes ma'at?

Offline Shezep_shuty

  • Country: us
Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 09:45:04 pm »
Quote from: meresnetjer
Quote from: Shezep_shuty
It is within Ma'at for each Name to act as they were made to act. .. The interaction of various forces is what ultimately achieves Ma'at.


so do we say the same thing about Apep? That he acts as he was made to act, and the interaction of forces accompishes ma'at?


No, we don't say that, because it is good to be careful of what you do say. (Though a person could argue anything if they really put their mind to it.)

The big snake is specifically the antithesis of Ma'at. There's a huge difference between a volcano that engulfs a village and and the unraveling of physical laws that wishes to undo existence itself. Ma'at is the balance that keeps existence existing.

Kemetic Mystic
Heru-sa-Aset is my copilot.

Offline Rev. Mose

  • W'ab (priest) - Kherep Het-Netjer (Temple Director)
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Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 07:37:53 am »
Quote from: meresnetjer
so do we say the same thing about Apep? That he acts as he was made to act, and the interaction of forces accompishes ma'at?


This is not the case for apep because it is not a Name of Netjer, but a manifestation of isfet. It was created accidentally when the universe was made and the Gods (and us) have been trying to destroy it for good ever since.  Unfortunately we still haven't won the war against the uncreated, not even here on Earth, much less in the entire universe. And so, it still persists. >.<

Set wins a battle against apep every night when Ra's solar barque is able to make it safely through the Duat and emerge to light our world once again.  But even Set isn't strong enough to destroy the uncreated for good, which is why this battle rages on once again every night.

There is no place for isfet or apep within Ma'at at all.  It is not a necessary component of order or balance and only serves as an attempt to destroy everything the Gods have created.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Heruakhetymose »
𓅃𓈌𓏏𓏭𓄟
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Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 11:05:12 am »
Quote from: Ta_Imu_Aset
I look at it in the context of, what is ma'at, is not neccessarily what we as humans in society think of as "acceptable"...for what it's worth.  


A part of ma'at is upholding that which is culturally acceptable and downtrodding that which is culturally unacceptable, so...  Yes, ma'at is what we humans in society think of as "acceptable".  There is ma'at beyond the human world and context, though...
"Give sorrow a Sailor smile."
~ "Makenai" by Hanazawa Kae; Sailor Moon Stars, Season 5, episode 200

"Beyond this road, running on far and long, must surely be something we can believe in."
~ "Pure Heart" by Rikki; Final Fantasy VII, "Aerith's Theme"

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 09:42:10 pm »
Sorry to go back a few posts here but I want to throw something out there as an alternative view point or argument to Imyutimuti's post.

While in hindsight we can try to say that the trials of Set and Heru were Set testing heru to see if he was good enough for the job and Set's murder of Wesir as Wesir sacrificing himself for all Akhu. I would like to hypothesize that, while that in effect may have been the end result, Netjer and it's faces aren't omniscient and that wasn't the plan at the time. They each have their own personalities, likes and dislikes and whatnot. In the stories Wesir was "murdered" he didn't "sacrifice himself" he didn't know it was going to happen to my knowledge. Set wasn't just testing Heru, he wanted to keep the job by all accounts and did everything in his power to not give it up. Ra, by the counsel of other names including Wesir, had to make Set submit.

Now I am not trying to sit here and bash Set because while I admit that I am not a big fan personally, I see his purpose and he is a face of Netjer. What I theorize is that since Ma'at is balance it will find a way to make balance out of the faces of Netjer's actions, no matter how extreme or wrong they seem to us humans. In this and other ways human morality cannot be measured to the Gods.

I am fairly new to the faith so I probably am missing some semantics and I could easily be completely wrong but this is something I thought about the other night and I hope that the hypothesis has some merit.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 09:47:51 pm by MaaefRaHeruakhety »

Offline Linda

  • Remetj
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Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 04:30:42 am »
Set helped me to put a bad experience in my childhood behind me and change my life for the better. He was straight to the point, and was there when I needed Him to be.
You don't know what you can do until you try.

Offline Hentyhotep

  • Shemsu
Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 09:23:53 am »
Hmm.  This is an interesting contention about whether or not Wesir was willing to die.  Before I was divined as a son of Wesir, I asked Netjer who my Divine parents/beloved might be.  Of course, I was not told who They might be as that is only told to you directly in your RPD.  However, I was given some clues.  It was stated that They will be the willing (Wesir), the strong one (Set), the preparer (Wepwawet) and the willer (Ra).  I had always assumed intuitively that Wesir would have known somewhere within His Being that he was going to be sacrificed for the Akhu.

You are right, though, when you say that the stories do not represent Him as knowing this on any level.  You are also right that the Gods of Ancient Egypt are not represented as omniscient.

However, I wonder if in stating that Wesir did not know what his role in the cosmic scheme would be that we might be taking the stories too literally?  

Additionally, I do not think it is that Wesir is literally murdered by Set in the fashion in which we understand mortal human murders but we are given a story in which there is a murder because that is the only way we as humans can symbolically understand the import of this cosmic drama which occurred on a level beyond our comprehension.  

It is true that the Gods are not omniscient but it is also true that They are far beyond our own understanding.  In regards to the main point here, I think whether one believes Wesir knew what his role was going to be and whether it was a willing sacrifice or not depends on one's personal gnosis.  Unlike faiths of the creed, in many of these discussions we as Kemetic Orthodox do not have a set of theological dogmas to adhere to so this question would be up to the individual practitioner of the faith.  

It is salient to me, though, when multiple individuals seem to confirm ideas which are not found in texts or share the same experiences with the Gods.
Hentyhotep
"The Two Sides are Reconciled"
Sa Wesir her Set; mery Wepwawet-Yinepu her Ra-Heru-akhety

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 09:45:57 am »
I believe that once He was dead Wesir willingly and fully accepted his new station. Aset tried to raise him but couldn't do to the manner in which one of his pieces was disposed of. Don't get me wrong. Wesir is a beloved of mine and I fully love who and what he is and he wouldn't be that without Set.

These stories were from the beginning of Netjer when everyone was still finding their place. Things seem to have settled down now among the Gods But I wonder that in those times when some were testing their boundaries and whatnot if Ma'at had to be flexible and adapt to the flow of events instead of the idea of Ma'at always being a constant.

I know some might say that I am taking the stories too literally and possibly I am a bit but I also understand that they are allegories representing events beyond our understanding.


PS.For my answer to the original question of this thread. I look at it as not necessarily that Set upheld Ma'at, but that Ma'at upheld itself and kept balance. Set killed Wesir and usurped his throne. Wesir became Pharaoh of the West, balancing Ma'at there and partially for Set's actions with Wesir and his dirty fighting with Heru he eventually lost to Heru and was exiled. The balance of Ma'at is kept. Some may not like my interpretation and I admit I am biased to my opinions but there it is for me.
In a way, yes, Ma'at is to be upheld, but if it isn't and we are unable to or fail to restore Ma'at. She will settle it herself sooner or later in most cases. If I am wrong I don't mind discussing other viewpoints. I am still learning and am somewhat malleable.  
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 02:49:34 pm by MaaefRaHeruakhety »

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 02:53:31 pm »
Bumped because I edited my last post a lot and don't want people following the thread to overlook it. If this is a big no no like on some other forums I apologize and someone can let me know.

Offline Hentyhotep

  • Shemsu
Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 03:21:41 pm »
Hi Maaef,

I understand your interpretation and actually used to have that interpretation of Set before joining the House. Clearly, Set seems menacing and creepy from a cursory perusal of his role in the dramas of the Gods.  Interestingly, that attitude regarding Him changed dramatically during my RPD process.  However, as I said prior, each one of us will experience something differently about the Names.

The only issue I take with your perspective is the implication in it of the idea that Set is an evil demon who was exiled from the Names.  Since all of the Names are part of Netjer wouldn't that indicate that Netjer itself is evil or exiled a part of itself from itself?  Also, would this implicate Ra as evil since he originally sided with Set in the story of the Contendings?  What about Djehuty who played both sides?  Are these Gods also evil bad Gods?  Perhaps I am not fully understanding your point of view.  

Again, my point of view is that one must be careful not to take these stories as literal truth.  In fact, as I understand it, the Contendings were not considered to be dogmatic texts as much as the Contendings were considered to be like a comic book or entertainment.  I think you are also referencing Plutarch when you state that Aset couldn't find all of the parts of Wesir.  Plutarch was a Greek writer and not exactly taking a Kemetic perspective.  At the time of Plutarch the people were comparing Set with the demon Typhon and basically equating him with Apep.  I think it is clear from an Ancient Egyptian understanding that the two (Set and Apep) are separate entities.  The representation of Set as mutilating Wesir horrifically like one might see in a psycho horror thriller movie was a later edition in the Helenic (rather than Kemetic) worldview.  The Kemetic rendition of the killing, as I understand it, was that Set drowned Wesir as a whole body and Aset found his body on the shore.
Hentyhotep
"The Two Sides are Reconciled"
Sa Wesir her Set; mery Wepwawet-Yinepu her Ra-Heru-akhety

Re: About Set and balance
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2013, 04:18:54 pm »
Thank you for the info Hentyhotep. I had not read the other account on Wesir's death. I have limited resources at the moment and am not as well read i I would like to be. By exile I was referring to at least one interpretation that he was exiled from Egypt after the trials, not from the Gods and I believe it was only for a time before he was brought upon the Barque. Too many stories and so many of them don't agree on anything...
 I know that others that have read some earlier posts of mine over the last year believe that I see him as a demon but that isn't my intention. (at least for awhile now, very early on I kinda did I suppose) I very well know the difference between Set and the Uncreated. I see the purpose of Set and can see the good that he puts in motion through hardship. Were as the Uncreated brings about nothing but oblivion. I know that Ma'at is about a balance for the betterment of all and each face of Netjer goes about it in their own way and at times bends our Western view of Good and Evil to do it. I know that I was Christian for many years before coming to the House and in many ways is still part of me but I try my best to realize when I am looking at something through that lens. For me much of my distaste for the "Sethian" route (hope that is alright to use, don't know how else to put it) comes from my life experiences. I have always been stuck in places and situations were chaos is the norm and "might makes right" is the rule and I hate it, utterly. And when I look at the state of the world it seems that is also the case everywhere. Is it wrong of me to want something else? Order, humility, no need for subterfuge and looking out for others before yourself. That I don't always need to have the biggest hammer on the block to get ahead. I know that some of this is the Uncreated and some is Set but it can be so hard to tell the difference until some good comes from the hardship and even then it seems that so many had to be trampled and broken to get there. I know the difference between the 2 and I am doing my best to respect Set and give him his due but I don't know if I will truly like him anytime soon short of some great revelation or my Father sending a divine message of "You know, Set is a great guy you should get to know him and give him a high five!" Sorry if that offends.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 04:22:26 pm by MaaefRaHeruakhety »

 


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