Banu (fyrekat) wrote,

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Some thoughts on seeking the gods

I'm currently taking a class on Kemetic religion with some really wonderful people; it's been a great opportunity to review my own experiences and attitudes, and how I arrived at the personal relationships and understandings of Ntjr which I embrace today. One of the things we've been talking about has been our varied experiences in shrine- particularly of the response or seeming lack thereof from Divinity- and it got me to thinking again.

This is an issue which comes up regularly in our community- whether you're new or an old hand, these sorts of questions often raise their head at some point or another. Why don't these experiences happen for me? Why don't they happen for me the way they happen for ______? Why aren't they happening right now? Why did it all of a sudden get quiet? For some reason, we tend to hear more about it from people who are new- probably because they ask more questions in general and point things out to us which help us understand our own processes of learning and interacting with the ntjrw. And for that I am always grateful to them.^_^

I think that, a lot of the time, when people ask about our experiences with the Divine we tend to give them the big impressive stories- the encounters which really made us sit up and say, "Wow, I was with God that night!" And then people start thinking that it's supposed to be like that all the time.

But it's not. There are a lot of quiet moments- it's like human relationships, sometimes you can measure the level of your intimacy with someone by how much time you can sit quietly together without it becoming uncomfortable.^_^ There are often long quiet times together with Ntjr, too.

I've had both kinds of experiences- the quiet and the dramatic- but when people ask me about my encounters with Ntjr, I know my accounts tend to range toward the more fantastic events. I just naturally do this because those types of accounts are usually more interesting to listen to, and sometimes they also illustrate some important lessons in my life which I just hadn't learned to recognize in any other way. I heard somewhere that the gods Who show up in big dramatic ways often seem to do so because They have to- if you're listening and on path to begin with, there's not much need for it.

Some gods do tend to be more quiet and enigmatic than others, just in general- although, I think sometimes we may also just need to work on understanding Their methods of communication. Spiritual practices- be they the Daily Rite, Senut, and/or meditation- can help to develop this, along with a healthy awareness of how we feel in our own bodies and what is going on in the world around us. The ntjrw can and do sometimes communicate through bodily or emotional sensations, or through physical, symbolic events in our environment.

I think that a repeated experience of a trance/meditative state as fostered in the Daily Rite actually helps to train our brain patterns so that it is more easy to tune into the spiritual forms of communication which we often have so much trouble recognizing in our daily lives. I do think that the intensity of my experiences grew more quickly over a period of time where I was doing the Daily Rite on a daily basis- but it still took a while to develop, and even though I am now unable to do the rite as often as I once did, my progress has not stopped by any means. I am still growing.

It has been scientifically proven that brain patterns develop and nerve connections actually change to facilitate easy firing of mental patterns which are used on a regular basis. That's the scientific/biological explanation for how we learn various skills and attitudes over the course of our lives. It stands to reason, then, that any regular "tuning in" to spiritual frequencies will help to trigger those mental patterns which tune us into the spiritual, and each trigger stimulates the brain to facilitate that pattern more and more readily. The more regularly you can do this, the better, but anything which you can manage is worth something. This means that those "quiet" sessions where you attempt to meditate but can't quite seem to get the response you were hoping for are still contributing toward the goal- because the more frequently you practice, the more easily it will come to you. It will get stronger as you go, so gradually that you won't even notice it until some time later on down the road when someone new to the community starts asking you about your experiences with Ntjr and you realize, "Wow, I'm having them too..."

Another aspect of the process is that some people have difficulty with the concept of deities Who talk back- it seems so crazy. And while it's really not any more crazy than any other view of divinity, I can certainly sympathize with the concern. I remember, though, a class I attended with a certain college religion professor, who told us that 97% of all religious people are certifiably insane... if you ask somebody from outside their religious worldview to judge it. So it would seem that this is really a normal part of the shift in perception from one religious view to another.

One of the biggest dangers for folks in our faith, I think, is that people get fixated on something happening a certain way, and they watch so hard for that to happen that they completely miss all the other stuff that's going on around them. My room-mate recently told me about a study which was done, where people were shown a video of six people, three wearing white shirts and three wearing black shirts. They were bouncing balls between each other, and the people who were shown this 20 second film were asked to keep track of how many balls were passed between people wearing white shirts. At some point in the video, a guy wearing a gorilla suit walks into the room with the people passing balls, beats his chest, then walks out. An alarmingly large percentage of the people viewing this film- nearly all of them- never even see it, they become too focused on the balls and shirts.

This happens in a lot of metaphysical circles, and not just ours. People look for voices, or apparitions, or scents which smell a certain way. Ntjr's means of reaching out to us are vast and deep. Ntjr has a nearly infinite number of forms, and even more ways of interacting with us. So don't let anyone (including yourself) place limitations on what you expect, open yourself to whatever may come, and enjoy the quiet moments you have with the Divine- they are precious, a blessing that we can sit in Ntjr's house with such intimacy.
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