Chants: Hetep; Om Amun Ra Ptah; Om Asar Aset Heru; Om Maati Maakheru; Amma Su en Pa Neter; Drumming, Dua Maat and Om Hetep.
It is fitting that we did the Maat song just now because as we continue today’s talk, today’s study in the series on the Kybalion, the Seven Hermetic Principles, the teachings of Djehuty, the Lord of Khemenu, the City of the Eight; the Eight Principles the Opposites we deal today with the law of Cause and Effect which is governed by the Ancient Egyptian Goddess and Neteru or cosmic principle known as “MA’AT”. If you recall we learned in the mythic story of the creation, the creation saga where Lord Ra had created the universe, had plants, Stars, all the creatures, all the worlds and finally created human beings out of his own tears. The human beings became arrogant, they started running amok; killing each other, creating lustful desires, despoiling the earth and disrespecting its Creator, and so the elements went to Ra to complain about the people. Order came and said, “Look at these people, they are dumping garbage in me and look how I smell, look how foul I am.” The Earth went in to complain, “Look they’re killing each other and blood in going into me, and their carcasses are on top of me and all that. These people are out of control, there must be some control.” So he sent down Lord Djehuty to establish some laws. Those laws are called Maat. Those laws govern everything in creation and from that time forward human beings were free but now they are not free since their actions will have consequences that will in turn affect the doer of the actions. Now moving forward Ra decreed that those human beings that act in accordance with the laws, they will lead a prosperous life. Those who do not, they will suffer untold miseries. That is the Law of Maat. The Law of Right Action, which includes the concept of Cause and Effect. It is one of the most ancient African principles. It is inherent in all the African cultures; and religions, including Kamitan religion. As far as the basis of authentic spirituality that is acting in a way that is in harmony with the Cosmic Order, but everyone strays away from this cosmic order, that is the time when trouble is afoot. Whether it be your personal body or in your environment, you stray away from the laws. For instance if you stray away from eating the proper food, you are going to get a disease; there is no two ways about it. Just like as if you put water in the gas tank of your car instead of gasoline then there is going to be trouble. The problem is that when we look at the world, because of ignorance, we look at the surface causes and we do not see the underlying causes of things. For instance the car, if you put water in the gas tank who caused that to be so? Why should there be a problem with you putting water in the gas tank? Why shouldn’t you be able to put anything you want? Why don’t you put apple juice in there? Why can’t you put maple syrup? Why should that not be? What is the cause of that? Let me say that it is the engineer; it is his fault, the engineer who designed the car engine. He is the one who made it gasoline instead of water. But who created the engineer who designed the car? Was it his father and mother? Was it their father and mother? He has four grandparents or was it his sixteen great-grandparents? So on and so forth with all the millions of ancestors who together came to create this final engineer and the Ford Motor Company created this car that takes gasoline instead of water. Shall we say it is the progenitor of the physical universe, Ra himself who created certain laws saying that gasoline will be combustible and water will not?
The story of Ra, HetHeru and Djehuty gets into this Question, about the causes and the effects of life. You’ve heard the story of when HetHeru was sent to the world to kill unrighteous people that was an effect, a consequence and the cause was the unrighteousness that those people engaged in. She did follow Ra’s orders but in doing so she forgot who she was. The cause was her action, following her duty and the effect was that she indulged too much and forgot herself, her true identity. She forgot who she was and that was the cause of Ra sending Djehuty to help her, the effect. He told her some parables to enlighten her. One of them was the story of the two crows. One crow had the gift of hearing, he could hear very far away. The other crow had the gift of seeing, he could see very far away. They were sitting on a branch one day talking and one crow asked the other, “Hey you could see very far, can you tell me what’s going on down there, I can’t see?” He said, “Yes, there is a fly, flying over there and I see a lizard just went and grabbed it and ate it. Look now a snake is grabbing that lizard. Look again, there is a bird that is coming to grab the snake. He is carrying it out to sea over the waters. I can’t hear anything can you tell me what is going on?” He asked the other one. He said, “Yes, the snake was too heavy and the bird dropped it and a fish got it. A bigger fish ate that smaller fish. The fish came too close to the edge and a lion got her. Look now the lion is going away with the fish in his mouth but now, a sefer, a griffin, a mythical supremely powerful beast grabbed the lion and plucked him off the ground and took him up to a nest.” One crow asked the other, “What is that great beast?” The other said, “That is the beast of Ra, that is the supreme power, a mythical beast, it is part hog, part lion it is a totality of all the physical forces, the ultimate power.”
So what is the ultimate cause of what is happening here of all of these chains of events that seem to be linked in a virtually endless connection of actions and reactions? What lead to the lion being plucked off the Earth? Was it that he ate the fish? Was it that the fish ate the littler fish? Or was it the littler fish ate the snake? Was it the snake ate the lizard? Or was it the lizard ate the fly? Which was the cause? The cause of what the story is giving insight into is many things. But one of the things in particular that pertains to today is the chain of events that leads to everything that happens today. Everything that happens today; you all sitting here; everything that has lead to your being here today is part of a chain of events; things that have happened throughout your life; things that have happened before your current lifetime, stretching all the way back to the beginning. Who or what is the ultimate cause in the beginning?
Furthermore, the story gives insight into the fact that the violence that was done to that little fly was taken notice of by Ra. Even a little speck of dust falls under the control of the law in other words. Like that story of the Sage and the King, Akhbar 20:21; do you remember that story where the wise minister who advised the King. There were some people in the court who were plotting against him and he was away on an errand for the King. They plotted against him, filling the King with negative thoughts about the minister, telling the King that the King is the master and the lord of the universe and that he is the greatest and that he is the ultimate cause and the ultimate of power and all of this kind of thing. Since they knew that the wise minister doesn’t believe in that; doesn’t agree with that because God is the ultimate cause, the ultimate power in all things, that he would contradict the King and the King would snap his fingers and have his head cut off for contradicting him. In those days a King could have that power in certain countries, not in Ancient Kemet. They could snap their fingers and people would obey their absolute will. But not so in a country where a government has a King and a counselor such as Akbar or such as the Council of Priests and Priestesses of Ancient Egypt. Laws enacted by the King have to be in line with the precepts of. Otherwise it is a path of despotism and barbarism of tyranny. So the minister came back and the King said, “Greetings, how are you and the customary greetings and pleasantries. My other ministers are telling me that I’m the ultimate power; I’m a God essentially. What do you have to say about that?” So the wise minister says, “Well, I do not think that you are a God, that you have that kind of power.” The evil plotters against the minister thought their plan was working. “In fact I think that you are greater than God, you’ve transcended God. God is smaller than you.” All the other ministers looked at each other and “Wow, we didn’t expect this. This is like way beyond.” So the minister explained, “You see, God is the very essence of this entire universe and nothing can escape God. You have this kingdom and all you survey, so all you have to do is snap your fingers and you can kick somebody out of your kingdom. You can snap your fingers and their head will be cut off, they are gone, you won’t have to see them again. God can’t do that. God can’t kick anybody out of his kingdom. So you are greater than God therefore, logically, it is right .”
In this parable we learn about the cause of negative thoughts, negative counsel, and the cause of escaping the evil fate of life, wisdom. Also, we learned about the effect of all encompassing divinity which is caused by all encompassing divinity. The same ideas are explained in the Kybalion about the Cosmic Laws, the Laws of Cause and Effect. Even the speck of dust is controlled by a law and even the speck of dust is noticed by the Divine. The speck of dust that may fall on your nose today may lead to all kinds of chains of events that may actually end up in the end of the world at some point in the future, a thousand years hence. Think of it this way, in a very gross, simplistic way, the speck of dust may fall on your nose, it may cause you to itch; the itch may cause you to sneeze; if you sneeze maybe something was going to hit your head that didn’t hit your head because you bowed down; since you were upset and you were going to kill somebody, but since you survived and thanked goodness for your good fortune, that person did not get killed; and all chain of events that that person and their ancestors do will have other effects. The ancestors become scientists; those scientists create a super-atomic bombs that blow up the entire universe; I’m just giving you the possibilities….this can happen. Think of it as if the parents of Albert Einstein didn’t come into being, did not come together, did not meet and have him as their child. Think about what would have happened with the theory of relativity. You could say well somebody else would have devised it but who knows? It could have come a thousand years from now and everything that has happened because of Einstein’s discoveries would not have happened yet and the world would be a different place. All of this is governed by the Laws of Cause and Effect.
Those of you who saw the show that I told you about last Sunday, the Real Story of Eve, I think they called it, the African Eve. Showing that all human beings who are alive today can trace their ancestry back to one woman who existed in Africa, 150 thousand years ago, can you believe that? She is the cause of all of us being here today, that is what that means. But who caused her to come into being, caused her to exist? There are different kinds of causes in the study of philosophy. We have the effect and that’s what we know, we are all here, the whole chain of ancestry, so on and so forth. We are the effect of the cause and the material of that cause coming into being is called the Efficient Cause. In terms of Creation, the cause of the Efficient Cause, may be referred to as the Absolute, the Ultimate Cause, the underlying, substratum cause. Think of it as Khnum is our God, he has his Temple in Aswan, the Elephantine Temple and he is known as the potter. He takes clay and he puts it on his spinning wheel and he fashions bodies. So that Ra can send the Ba to come into the body, inhabit the body and enliven the body; your body is clay and your Ba or soul is sent to the earth by Ra. The body is the effect, the efficient cause is the clay and the sub-stratum cause, the underlying cause, and the ultimate cause is Khnum the God, who is an aspect of Ra. He fashions the clay and the clay can take many forms. You can have a flat and wide pot; those are your fat people. You have a thin and tall pot and those are your skinny people, your thin people. The efficient cause has many possibilities. What determines the shape of that effect is governed by Ariu. Ariu is your Karmic basis, created by you based on your previous actions, and your sub-conscious impressions left behind by those actions in this and previous lifetimes. The shape of your personality, the aspects of your personality and contours of the events in your life are shaped by your Ariu, so your personality as it is today is an effect and the efficient cause is the Ariu, your Khnum aspect, the “creative principle” within you, and the Substratum cause is Ra.
The law says, “Every cause has an effect; every effect has its cause. Everything happens according to law. Chance is a name for law unrecognized. There are many planes of causation but nothing escapes the law.”
So in God’s world there is no possibility, just like the Akhbar story, just like the HetHeru and Djehuty story, there is no possibility for anything to escape this law. However, if that were so, if it were possible, if there were some way to escape this law then it would mean that the universe is random and there is no law. It is a chance for chance to exist. Everything contained within the Self, within the All, as the Kybalion explains, is governed by the laws of cause and effect. Something happening by chance would not be subject to the law of cause and effect and that would throw everything out of kilter. It is like you have machinery going and you throw a wrench into it and it breaks up the gears and everything blows up.
However, if this is absolutely true then even spiritual aspirants and sages are caught up in the matrix of cause and effect and could not get out. However, we do not experience that effect when the teachings are understood and practiced to their logical conclusion. Therefore, there is indeed a way to break the cycle of cause and effect. Otherwise there would be no purpose to even try to escape the law. We will explore this cause that leads to the effect of spiritual liberation, spiritual enlightenment and freedom from the causality that leads to ignorance, mortality, pain and suffering.