Originally posted in LJ on Oct 27, 2009
I’ve been reading the Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler. So far, he’s one of my favorite authors to read. It’s like he really wants ppl to get into the religion, and to really consider the religion as legit, and not the primitive heathenistic religions of the ancients like so many authors do. He has full respect for the religion and the culture, and doesn’t just dryly run through how they did things, he really considers the meaning behind everything, and tries to connect the dots accordingly.
While I haven’t learned anything completely new, he has definitely connected the dots in a different fashion for me, and it has got me thinking about quite a few things in relation to the religion and how the ppl of AE practiced it.
Well, one of the first things that has me thinking was what he calls the “vertical dimension” which in my lingo, I’d call the astral plane. Basically, he’s said that the ancients believed in this vertical plane- the spiritual plane that the gods live in. That we interact with this plane, and as such, commune with the gods. However, over the years, we’ve lost touch with this plane, with this mode of thinking.. and that’s why we have problems now adays reaching spirituality in the way they did. That we’re too concerned with scientific reason, and thereby close ourselves off, etc. I have to agree it’s true. We always question- run every experience through a fine toothed comb, and in the end- for what? What good does it do to discount an experience. I read recently in a forum, where someone was asking whether something that was happening was real or not, and someone responded “What difference does it make? If it’s helping you to grow, and helping you to learn something, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s real, it serves a purpose.”
This rings true for another experience I’ve had. Someone I know says that she can channel. While at first, I believed it. Yet, as my knowledge of AE has grown, I’ve started to question whether her channeling was the real deal. But more and more, in the end, I wonder if it matters whether it’s real or not. It helped me to grow, helped me to learn, helped bring me to where I am…
Yet part of me will always question whether it was real, and wonder whether I should believe it as such. I don’t think I’ll ever have an answer. I’ve asked the Gods, and it doesn’t seem to be of concern to them, whether it’s real or not.
Along these lines of there being a vertical plane (which I think he uses this term because Nut is above us, and Dwat resides inside of her- so it’s “above” us, though not really, according to him), he talks about how illness back then was a spiritual thing. The remedy helped the bad entity leave your body, and helped you to revive your strength. This is very similar to some Chinese medicine. They believe that diabetes (for example) is your energy being out of whack. I totally can dig this- because I think mentality can definitely make a difference, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you can be attacked by the spiritual plane. I’ve had my own experiences with spiritual issues- entities not liking me, etc etc and it was definitely a trip.
Another interesting topic was magic. He shows magic as being one of a few styles (for the most part). One is where you invoke Zep Tepi (the First Time… i may have mixed up the first letters on that, btw). I can’t remember the specifics of this, but it can play hand in hand with invoking a deity to help strengthen yourself, or a part of yourself, to complete superhuman feats (or something to that accord). I’ve had this sort of experience first hand, where I took on attributes of Anpu eons ago. I had no idea that this was their form of magic, but it’s definitely different, and I could go with it far easier than the forms of magic I was taught in Wicca. To me, their (AE) magic seems much more fluid, and works in with every aspect of life (if you want it to). It’s not as structured as Wiccan magic is, and can be just as potent. I dunno, I just really like it. However, the prowess needed to use Heka in some of the forms that the AE did… I’m a long ways away from that lol.
He also discusses an idea about how they had a collective hallucination, or imagination- that greater magical feats were capable of being performed back then because (paraphrasing here) they believed in it. I tend to agree with this, and would use it to explain why Fae and other magical beings have started to disappear in this world. People quit believing, and without belief, you can’t exist. This has always led me to believe that ppl used to be capable of much more, magically speaking, but we lost the ability for it when humanity’s belief in it died. His words mirror my own beliefs in this. This is also why I believe gods need us, and after reading some of the texts he’s brought forth (as he believes the same thing), I can see where I could reinforce this arguement. Really, if you wanted to “force” the gods to do something for you, you could threaten them with withholding offerings, and not doing things in their names, which would thereby weaken them (and this apparently would usually cause them to help you).
Overall, I’m finding as I read this, that what he writes mirrors my own thoughts and ideas, and it’s reassuring, since many of the people I talk to (usually belonging to a certain temple) don’t share similar thoughts in the slightest. So I guess it’s nice.