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Author Topic: Core Concepts  (Read 8970 times)
sefiru
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« Topic Start: April 03, 2007, 02:58:45 am »

What are the core concepts that Kemeticism is based on?
These are the ones I can think of so far:

Ma'at: the world is well made and orderly, and requires maintenance.
heka: language is the means by which the world is created and maintained.
Ka: the world and all things in it have a spiritual existence.
netjer: the divine nature of the universe expresses itself as many individual Names.

I'm sure there are more (like the term for entropy/nonexistence which I don't remember), and I'm sure people will object to the wording of my definitions. They're off the cuff. So have at ye -- and I'd like to see if we can keep the definitions to one sentence each, if possible. I'm aiming here for a kind of summary statement, like the Buddhist 4 Noble Truths/eightfold path, the 10 Commandments, the 5 Pillars of Islam, etc.

(actually, moral concepts should get its own thread. Coming right up ...)
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« Reply #1: April 03, 2007, 11:23:31 am »

What are the core concepts that Kemeticism is based on?

Something I wrote a while back and saved because I thought it would be worth keeping track of:

If someone were to ask me what would make someone an orthodox Kemetic (not proper noun), I'd probably come up with something like "a particular relationship with Netjer that I can probably articulate better with more thought, belief in the importance community construction that extends beyond the corporeal to include spirits and akhu (among others), belief in a perpetually renewed and renewable creation (as opposed to a fallen one), belief in multiplicity of form and meaning, belief in the necessity of diversity, belief in underlying unity, power of words and names as a force of creation in addition to construction and reproduction, understanding of and devotion to the balance of ma'at, belief in the importance of accurate research and good data, belief that ancient practice is a good guide for the structure of modern practice".

Slightly more complex than the Four Bedposts, which I was thinking of when I wrote it, but hey.
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« Reply #2: April 03, 2007, 02:04:01 pm »



    * has a relationship with one or more of the Netjer (Ancient Egyptian Deities)
    * maintianing of Ma'at
    * sees the Universe as being a constant renewable and cyclic creation
    * a community which includes denizens of the Unseen World such as ancestors
    * looking to accurate, contemporary scholarship to help create modern practices
    * prevalent polyvalent logic (creation myths are all true, despite each myth having a different account of creation)
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« Reply #3: April 03, 2007, 03:45:01 pm »

(like the term for entropy/nonexistence which I don't remember),

Apep?  Apophis?
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« Reply #4: April 03, 2007, 04:47:39 pm »

Something I wrote a while back and saved because I thought it would be worth keeping track of:

If someone were to ask me what would make someone an orthodox Kemetic (not proper noun), I'd probably come up with something like "a particular relationship with Netjer that I can probably articulate better with more thought, belief in the importance community construction that extends beyond the corporeal to include spirits and akhu (among others), belief in a perpetually renewed and renewable creation (as opposed to a fallen one), belief in multiplicity of form and meaning, belief in the necessity of diversity, belief in underlying unity, power of words and names as a force of creation in addition to construction and reproduction, understanding of and devotion to the balance of ma'at, belief in the importance of accurate research and good data, belief that ancient practice is a good guide for the structure of modern practice".

Slightly more complex than the Four Bedposts, which I was thinking of when I wrote it, but hey.

This sounds structurally like the 6 Pillars of Faith (in Islam).

Question: you've mentioned mostly beliefs. Are there actions which are required to make one an orthodox Kemetic?
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« Reply #5: April 03, 2007, 05:16:43 pm »

I'm sure there are more (like the term for entropy/nonexistence which I don't remember),

Isfet?
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« Reply #6: April 04, 2007, 12:52:25 am »

Question: you've mentioned mostly beliefs. Are there actions which are required to make one an orthodox Kemetic?

Well, the question was about concepts, and that was originally written as a matter of responding to orthodoxy, not orthopraxy.

(Pedantically, I would note that "orthodoxy" pedantically refers to beliefs, in any case, not practices, though it would include beliefs that certain practices are the correct ones!)

There are standard rituals derived from ancient stuff, but most of the actual ancient practice is not implementable by moderns.  I personally would hold to the proper ritual treatment of an opened statue as being essential, but since most people don't have opened statues, this isn't terribly relevant ....

I think that if Kemetic stuff were a living, evolved religion rather than a revification, there would be a bunch of practices that people would adhere to in greater or lesser levels of strictness, but at this point, even the organised temples are in the 'we made this up ten years ago' stage.
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« Reply #7: April 04, 2007, 01:28:26 am »

Isfet?

I think that's the one, and Apep would be the personification/god representing it.
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« Reply #8: April 04, 2007, 02:00:32 am »

Well, the question was about concepts, and that was originally written as a matter of responding to orthodoxy, not orthopraxy.

(Pedantically, I would note that "orthodoxy" pedantically refers to beliefs, in any case, not practices, though it would include beliefs that certain practices are the correct ones!)


Yes, I was asking about orthodoxy ... and actually, even more basic than that. I'm not asking what one must believe to be a Kemetic (although the comments on that were helpful), but what are the concepts one must know for Kemeticism to make sense?

F'ex, one can understand the idea of "a community including spirits and ancestors" relatively easily, given the premise that spirits and ancestors exist. On the other hand, without knowing the ideas of ma'at and isfet, a lot of Kemetic belief and practice makes no sense.

I admit my examples in the OP may not have been the best ones for what I'm trying to get across. Let me try again: religions often have key words, key concepts that make the whole thing hang together at the metaphysical level.
Christianity: salvation, sin, charity, faith, atonement
Islam: islam, ummah, tawhid (oneness of God), jihad

For those up to some reading, what philosophical concepts did the Ancient Egyptians have one word for?
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« Reply #9: April 04, 2007, 03:39:52 am »

I think that's the one, and Apep would be the personification/god representing it.

Isfet is the Ancient Egyptian term for it.  Apophis is the Greek term for it.  It is uncreation. 

Apep I think is just another foreign name for it.  I'm thinking Roman for some reason. 
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« Reply #10: April 04, 2007, 10:50:28 am »

For those up to some reading, what philosophical concepts did the Ancient Egyptians have one word for?

That I can think of for general stuff:  ma'at, isfet, heka, netjer

Probably worth keeping track of:  djet and neheh

More specific terms: the names of the souls, sia (divine omniscience), shai, renenet

Off top of head.
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« Reply #11: April 04, 2007, 10:51:40 am »

Isfet is the Ancient Egyptian term for it.  Apophis is the Greek term for it.  It is uncreation. 

Apep I think is just another foreign name for it.  I'm thinking Roman for some reason. 

Apophis is the Greek rendering of 'Apep', you can see the etymology on that one.  Apep is the snake that attempts to eat the sunboat in the Duat.
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« Reply #12: April 04, 2007, 10:52:29 am »

Added as afterthought --

The Nun.

Zep Tepi.
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« Reply #13: April 04, 2007, 11:24:59 pm »

Added as afterthought --

The Nun.

Zep Tepi.

I believe this is where I go "the which what?" and head for the books. I've heard the terms before but I forget what they mean. Tongue
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« Reply #14: April 22, 2007, 09:51:43 pm »

Quote
If someone were to ask me what would make someone an orthodox Kemetic (not proper noun), I'd probably come up with something like "a particular relationship with Netjer that I can probably articulate better with more thought, belief in the importance community construction that extends beyond the corporeal to include spirits and akhu (among others), belief in a perpetually renewed and renewable creation (as opposed to a fallen one), belief in multiplicity of form and meaning, belief in the necessity of diversity, belief in underlying unity, power of words and names as a force of creation in addition to construction and reproduction, understanding of and devotion to the balance of ma'at, belief in the importance of accurate research and good data, belief that ancient practice is a good guide for the structure of modern practice".

Wow. That's what I'm going to use from now on.

Quote
The Nun.

Zep Tepi.


I believe this is where I go "the which what?" and head for the books. I've heard the terms before but I forget what they mean.

I can't help you with the Zep Tepi but, according to Geraldine Pinch's "Egyptian Mythology", Nun is the "...personification of the primeval ocean from which all life came." It continues to surround the world and is considered the oldest and father of the gods.
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