If you had asked me even a month ago, I would have said that I knew what this entry was going to be out. I would have said that I knew what to write, how to write it, and how to convey my point. I would have said with that smarmy look I can get sometimes, “Oh. I got this.” And now that it’s time to actually write the entry, I realized that I don’t “got” this. I’m sitting here and just staring at the new post screen trying to figure out what to say and how to go about saying it.
You see, a while back, I was accused of not living in ma’at because I refused to stop using a word in what others deemed as an inappropriate context. I, obviously, disagreed and because of that particular issue, I ended up losing people who I thought were friends to me. Be that as it may, I’ve come to a lot of conclusions about words in the past but it was this particular moment, when I was accused of not living in ma’at that I pulled back, pulled away, licked my wounds, and ignored the problem to hand. Now, though, time has passed and whatever pains that this whole thing could have caused are on their way to healing or being forgotten. So, now, it’s time to pull this whole tapestry out and decide what stays, what goes, and what this means for me.
When I was thinking about living in ma’at, I was thinking of it more along the lines of heka. I was thinking more clearly about thinking before I spoke or typed. I was thinking more along the lines of respecting others’ opinions and keeping mine on a tight leash, the reason being because I happen to suffer from Foot-in-Mouth Disease. I tend to say whatever comes into my head, no matter how asinine or mean it could be. I wasn’t actually thinking about living in ma’at inasmuch as I was trying to give heka a more prominent place in my practice. And after the fraças from a few weeks back, I took a step back and had to think about it. Obviously, in censoring myself in one way, I had to start thinking about whether or not I should censor myself in other ways. And while I can respect other people’s feelings about things that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to just stop using a word or a group of words that others find uncomfortable. I can, contrary to popular belief, stop using them in a public venue to keep the peace, but I’d still use them in my personal life, on my blogs, when chatting with friends, etc.
Heka is pretty fucking important to a Kemetic practice. But, I was confusing the whole heka thing with modifying my behavior. I was thinking of it more along the lines of something to put into a practice to keep me from pissing other people off than what it actually is and I was also thinking of it as living in ma’at. It is only an aspect of living in ma’at but the two are not similar. They’re not a pair of twins that we can’t tell apart, which is what I was working with. And that was the problem. That’s where I went wrong and where all the learning that I was doing got stifled. Part of the reason I pulled back from this philosophizing and these abstract thoughts was because, after being accused of not living in ma’at, I sat back and realized that this was the truth of the matter, but not for the reasons the person was doing the accusing. I wasn’t living in ma’at because I was running around with only about a quarter of the information and that information was being put into play improperly.
In effect, I was doing it wrong.
I was forgetting that the whole concept of ma’at is more than its parts; it is the sum total of those parts. I was taking a single aspect to it and just working with it in that way. To me, this was like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. That guy might get passed the first round but there’s no way he’s going to be able to complete the contest or win it. (Unless it’s a bunch of one-legged men. Then, you know, it’s up for debate there.) This is something I’ve had to realize over and over again throughout my life and that’s part of living in ma’at as well.
You see, I was under the mistaken impression that I had it all figured out. I was under the mistaken impression that my learning in that regard was kind of over. And that’s not how this works. Living in ma’at is an ongoing lesson. This whole wandering spiritual turnpike is one giant lesson over and over again. Sometimes, the lesson is one of those things where you think you get it and then have to revamp your basic approach to things. Sometimes, the lesson is years long in the making (something I’m rapidly beginning to believe this may just be). And sometimes, the lesson is one of those minor moments where you just go “huh.” But all in all, this whole path thing, this whole living in ma’at thing is all about how much you learn and change over the years. It’s not just about how you live your life but who you are, why you are, what you are, and whether or not you can handle that. Are you comfortable with who you are and the basic premise your life has taken? Or, are you one of those people who hide in the shadows because you don’t like what you see? These are aspects to living in ma’at…
…and it’s only after I was accused of not living in ma’at that I finally realize that.
So, I guess I should say thank you to that person and to the whole hullabaloo that happened. Without it, I could have been years down the road before I began to revise things. Before I remembered that we are always, eternally, learning. And that’s part and parcel to what living in ma’at is.