Purity

Not so long ago, I wrote a post on purity for the Kemetic Round Table. However, this post was largely about creating a pure ritual space. The physical is important in this context because it influences the spiritual/mental so profoundly. Physical purity is a part of spiritual purity. Purity is also a “head-space”, a frame of mind and a mood as well as a state of being. Its built by actions and attitudes. Its an end goal, but like Ma’at it is also a process.

I think our spiritual selves are created continuously with our own actions and attitudes. In my opinion, “purity” in life occurs when we have successfully established some degree of our personal interpretation and manifestation of Ma’at. “Purity” in ritual occurs when we return to a point of Ma’at for the duration of our rite.

What is Purity

My own interpretation of purity is a state in which only Ma’at is present. In the 42 declarations, the speaker attempts to convince the Divine Court that he or she has fought disorder in society by doing the “right actions”; they have not disrupted but rather cultivated Ma’at. Their lives and selves are without blemish–there is only Ma’at.

I define it as allowing one’s heart to “ascend to Ma’at.” It is the strive towards and achievement of Ma’at in both the inner and outer spheres of our lives. It is the process of righting wrongs as well as the absence of needing to do so. It is the peace we can experience when we know what we value and allowing it to guide us. When you are able to live Ma’at, you are achieving purity.

Yet Ma’at is a process. It is a characteristic of things, people, events, and actions that is described by a continuum. Therefore, purity is a continuum. One can become more or less “pure” based on the actions, attitudes, and mood you exhibit in a particular circumstance.

In the case of the last post, ritual purity made us physically clean. For most of us, cleanliness feels blessed and fresh. It is hygienic and health-conscious. It also honors and respects the actions in which we are about to partake or the Netjeru we may revere. The physical cleansing is meant to manifest the spiritual cleansing, which is perhaps the more important of the two, at least in this context. The physical purity is a part of the spiritual purity. Using only special candles or certain types of incense or clothes is like a discriminative stimulus–it is a “trigger” that a certain event is about to happen. It can elicit certain responses and emotions from us, if done properly.

Achieving Spiritual Purity

In the previous post, I wrote about how to create a space free of physical agents that might inhibit spiritual purity. But if the main point of the physical purity is to better manifest spiritual purity, how to we ensure that the spiritual purity follows?

Once the physical is set, I personally purify my mind.

Moods and emotions have their place. Anxiety, anger, jealousy, even desperation, all of these have a role in Ma’at. Stress moves us to achieve more or to hurry to find new resources during times of hardship or fragility. Eustress allows us to celebrate. But, eustress is also the stress that results from joyous occurrences…even good things can take their toll! In ritual or prayer, we may need these emotions for one reason or another.

However, it can be very helpful to become focused, objective, and calm. While emotions may be positive or negative, the reasons behind them may be directly or inversely related. Removing ourselves of the good AND the bad of our lives allows us to return to the main premise: what is all of this about?All of this heartache and ecstasy…to what end do we strive? We must be mindful of ourselves, of the present. How we act/feel and why can only be understood when we reflect a more objectively on who we are, what we want, and how to get it. It is akin to the mindfulness of Buddhist practices. To be mindful in our devotions, we must connect to a state of homeostasis.

Keep in mind, one can remember the anger or exhilaration that brings us to our rite while doing so from a place of focused, emotional maturity. At that point, we may even have new revelations. But we must first attain the state of homeostasis, and judge our next move by this point.

Therefore, I find meditation a useful means of mental purity. To enter into a mood and frame of mind where one is quieter, attentive, and somewhat removed from the affairs of mundane life “purifies” the mind of all the crap with which we deal. It reminds us of our values, our goals, our aspirations, and our truer identities. It allows our inner compass to surface.

It allows us to direct our efforts before, during, and after our rites so that we stay true to our original aspiration.

Why are we working so many hours again? Is that productive to building a good home for our family right now?

Why am I writing this blog? Is it really helping me to become a better practitioner?

Why am I putting up with this jerk at work? Is it really the best way to resolve the conflict?

Don’t act mindlessly. Stay the course. Act from a place of knowing and a place of understanding, a place of righteous balance. Continue to move forward; step strongly over, around, or through obstacles.

It returns us to Ma’at.

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MeresAset
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 21:52:23

    I like how you included spiritual purity as well as physical. Perhaps the importance of having a shrine or any holy place is for us to leave behind our daily concerns and look to the divine.

    Reply

    • cardsandfeather
      Dec 07, 2013 @ 22:59:23

      I agree…its a place to step out of the mundane and into the spiritual that underlies it. While the spiritual pervades our mundane and “physical” worlds, I do think that holy places help us to step into a place where the spiritual aspect is “concentrated”, and thus seemingly separate from the mundane world.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: