Archive for the ‘Egyptian Philosophy’ Category

MAAT, TRUTH, Our Definition, By Egypt For Millennia Incarnated

January 2, 2019

Civilization Is Mostly Egypto-Greco-Romano-Frankish… Today, let’s concentrate on our Egyptian ancestors:

Our world civilization is not “Judeo-Christian” (Christianism was a creation and subset of degenerating Rome)… We profited from a tremendous inheritance elaborated by Ancient Egypt, in roughly all realms of knowledge and wisdom. Egypt crucially contributed to morality, law, basic fables, mathematics, astronomy and the invention of the alphabet, in a society (mostly) without slaves, which feels surprising modern. Egyptian engineers, not content with aligning the pyramids perfectly, even realized the first usage of steam power (to open temple doors…)

Why was Ancient Egypt so intelligent? Because Egypt was anti-sexist: women had equal rights, even 5,000 years ago. Many women ended up ruling Egypt (including the revolutionary Nefertiti). Having women equal more than doubles the mental power of a civilization and balances it neurohormonally (so it’s not just crazy one way; there is evidence women were in power in Egypt especially when the going was the toughest; the same can be observed in the history of France).

Anti-sexism doesn’t just double the mental power, by having twice more brains, it does much more than that: intelligent, responsible, empowered women bring up more clever, inquisitive, balanced and moral children. Whereas a sexist society is not just run by half wits, the latter spend much time, effort and mental energy keeping the women in all sorts of unnatural bondage

Maat, wearing, as the Pharaohs most often did, the Feather of Truth. She used it to weigh hearts. Maat found virtuous hearts to be lighter than the feather, and send to heavens. To the Egyptian mind, Maat bound all things together in an indestructible unity: the cosmos, the natural world, the state, and the individuals were all seen as parts of the universal order generated by Maat.

The influence of Egypt on, and intellectual exchanges with, Mesopotamia, including Sumerian cities, and the Indus civilization, and the symbiosis of Egypt with the equally non-sexist thalassocratic Cretan civilization made Egypt the core of the advancement of civilization, for millennia.   

Under successive invasions from especially the savage Achaemenid Persians (525 BCE), Egypt lost its female leadership (cruelly exterminated by the sexist Persians). When Egypt was freed by Athenians and then Greco-Macedonians a non-sexist society was not re-established, because the Greeks were too much lost in war to see the interest of being ruled by women. Instead, the Greeks progressively robbed Egyptian women of their rights. In the end, Cleopatra VII made a tremendous effort to save Egypt. She was the last of many female pharaohs… And she could have succeeded, had she been even smarter than she already was. Christian and, three centuries later, Muslim fanatics, erased all traces of ancient Egypt, replacing truth by the jealous, cruel, chaotic Bible god.

To the contrary, the fundamental divinity of Egypt was the goddess of truth. Maat denotes the Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat is also the goddess who personified these concepts. The sun-god Ra came from the primaeval mound of creation only after he set his daughter Maat (truth) in place of Isfet (chaos). Pharaohs inherited the duty to ensure Maat (truth, rationality) remained in place and they with Ra are said to “live on Maat” (live on truth). Akhenaten and Nefertiti were accused to carry the concept too far.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.

It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,

whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.

It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.

Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.

It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;

[from the Maxims of Ptahhotep, 45 centuries ago!]

(Much later, as sexism gained, Maat was paired with the masculine Thoth…)

We must now honor our cultural ancestors, the Egyptians. Not just because they deserve it, not just because they created us the way we think, but because we need to understand where we come from, how natural it was, and which mistakes we made more recently.  

Honoring and understanding Ancient Egypt is a question of revering what defines humanity, our search for truth. Maat.

Patrice Ayme

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Note: this was an expanded version of a comment of mine on The Radical Philosophy of Egypt: Forget God and Family, Write!

APA December 17, 2018 by Dag Herbjørnsrud

New research indicates that Plato and Aristotle were right: Philosophy and the term “love of wisdom” hail from Egypt.

A remarkable example of classical Egyptian philosophy is found in a 3,200-year-old text named “The Immortality of Writers.” This skeptical, rationalistic, and revolutionary manuscript was discovered during excavations in the 1920s, in the ancient scribal village of Deir El-Medina, across the Nile from Luxor, some 400 miles up the river from Cairo. Fittingly, this intellectual village was originally known as Set Maat: “Place of Truth.”

The paper containing the twenty horizontal lines of “The Immortality of Writers” is divided into sections by rubrication, etc.

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Here is Irsesh, the merrekh, the Egyptian philosopher:

Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives return to the earth. But writings make him remembered in the mouth of the reader. A book is more effective than a well-built house or a tomb-chapel, better than an established villa or a stela in the temple!

Their gates and mansions have been destroyed, their mortuary priests are gone, their tombstones are covered with dirt, their tombs are forgotten. But their names are proclaimed on account of their books which they composed while they were alive. The memory of their authors is good: it is for eternity and for ever.

Follow your heart as long as you live! … Heap up your joys, Let your heart not sink! Follow your heart and your happiness. Do your things on earth as your heart commands!

Be a writer, take it to heart, so that your name will fare likewise. A book is more effective than a carved tombstone or a permanent sepulchre. They serve as chapels and mausolea in the mind of him who proclaims their names.

Is there one here like Hordedef? Is there another like Imhotep? None of our kin is like Neferti or Khety, their leader. May I remind you about Ptahemdjehuty and Khakheperraseneb! Is there another like Ptahhotep, or the equal of Kairsu?

As one-who-loves-knowledge mer-rekh, a philo-sopher, Irsesh concludes his immortal text, thus:

Those wise writers who foretold what was to come: what they said came into being; it is found as a maxim, written in their books. Others’ offspring will be their heirs, as if they were their own children. They hid their powers from the world, but it is read in their teachings. They are gone, their names forgotten; but writings cause them to be remembered.

And I will say more: even after the writings are gone, the ideas stay, and, should those vanish in turn, moods will perdure. Our Egyptian moods perdure.