The ancient Egyptian principle of Maat. Did the ancient Egyptians 'get it right' and we just forgot about it?
Or was the principle of Maat just another man made device to civilize and/or control people?
Or did they get part of it right ... their version of the basic part of 'love God and love neighbor'
I'll let you read more about Maat and decide for yourself. At any rate, it's rather interesting.
The Principle of Maat
The significance of Maat developed to the point that it embraced all aspects of existence, including the basic equilibrium of the universe, the
relationship between constituent parts, the cycle of the seasons, heavenly movements, religious observations and fair dealings, honesty and
truthfulness in social interactions.
The ancient Egyptians had a deep conviction of an underlying holiness and unity within the universe. Cosmic harmony was achieved by correct public and
ritual life. Any disturbance in cosmic harmony could have consequences for the individual as well as the state. An impious King could bring about
famine or blasphemy blindness to an individual. In opposition to the right order expressed in the concept of Maat is the concept of Isfet: chaos,
lies and violence.
In one Middle Kingdom (2062 to c. 1664 BCE) text the Creator declares "I made every man like his fellow". Maat called the rich to help the less
fortunate rather than exploit them, echoed in tomb declarations: "I have given bread to the hungry and clothed the naked" and "I was a husband to the
widow and father to the orphan". To the Egyptian mind, Maat bound all things together in an indestructible unity: the universe, the natural world,
the state, and the individual were all seen as parts of the wider order generated by Maat.
Sounds a little like 'collective karma' as well as individual karma consequences. Also like everyone is their own soul, but we are all connected. I
see echos of this in Eastern religions and philosophies. Or should I say, I see evolution of this MAAT to the Eastern religions and/or philosophies.
Either way ... it sounds familiar.
The 42 Laws of Maat
You can look at the link for all of them. But I'll post a few ...
(some sound rather familiar ... 10 commandments type familiar)
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men or women.
I have not told lies.
I have not committed adultery.
I have not made anyone cry.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have not falsely accused anyone.
I have not terrorized anyone.
I have not overstepped my boundaries of concern.
I have not exaggerated my words when speaking.
I have not used evil thoughts, words or deeds.
I have not polluted the water.
I have not cursed anyone in thought, word or deeds.
I have not placed myself on a pedestal.
I have not stolen from or disrespected the deceased.
I have not taken food from a child.
That's not a full list, but you get the idea. (the rest of the list is at the above link).
The principle of MAAT ... acting in a 'civilized' manner.
I found the "I have not overstepped my boundaries of concern" to be interesting.
In other words ... don't be a busy body. The New Testament says the same thing.
I'm seeing A LOT of cross over from the Ancient Egyptian principle of MAAT into the bible
and with the Eastern religions & philosophies.
So either it all comes from the same metaphysical source ... truth is truth.
OR ... they all just borrowed off each other in a mundane way and not a metaphysical way.
Or a some of both.
Moses was schooled in MAAT .. so we know where he got the 10 Commandments from.
He got them from MAAT.
More MAAT -
MAAT - The Basis of Social Cement
(2) Deafness in Ma'at - According to Ma'at. - The greatest wisdom according to ancient Egypt, it is to know how to listen in the silence, to
meditate the received word and to consequently act. It is not surprising when one knows the importance of language, of the uttered words which are a
living substance, a true food. Social life is only possible by the exchange of harmonious speech, which only permits the integration of one and the
other in dynamics based on the confidence of actions which will be achieved.
The deaf who do not listen to the other, are the insensible, the indifferent. Therefore, he has no friend and is not integrated into society. When one
doesn't communicate anymore, at the level of the individual or society, it is violence and the law of the strongest which is installed. It is well
illustrated in the "dialogue of the desperate man and his soul", another classic text of the Middle Kingdom.
(3) Greed - It is a property of the heart for the Egyptian on which there is no ascendancy; it is, say the sages, an incurable illness. It is doubly
- for the individual: indeed, during his life, man accumulates a subtle "energy" notably at the time of the festivals, which seem to be in relation to
the joy of living. He nourishes his ka, his intangible double. The one who cannot be happy carries harm to his own ka.
- for society: selfishness, the desire of possessions and jealousy, entail the destruction of social relations. The one who despoils those who worked
for him, removes from them their means of subsistence, puts them in peril and this fact, is an inducer of violence. In addition, while trying to
remove his dependence on the other, to individualise himself, the man breaks the dynamic system of interaction of society and there again will
generate violence. Ma'at is honesty, charity, the absence of jealousy, the exactly remunerated work.
edit on 2/7/2014 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)