The Book of Thoth: The Chapter on how to receive and pass on wisdom
These are the words that instruct a pupil to take counsel with a son of Thoth.
We begin by asking for the protection of the pure and great goddess of Creation, Nebet-hetepet, in every form. May this room be sanctified by her, where we offer to the goddess of Fate, Shai, in all her names, before the goddess of Wisdom, Seshat, the protector and mother of the Sea of Non-duality.
“Would that the one who gives wisdom be the one who receives praise and exaltation first.
And Seshat, she who is the cause of enchantments.
Thoth, the Heart of Re, is the one who causes the knowledgeable ones to know.
They exist because of him, his wisdom being with them, giving them authority.
The one who impregnates them with wisdom looks to their inner qualities.
They sow the fertile field with the light of his lamp before them.
They are the living image of Thoth, the Foremost One of the Temple of Heseret.
The product they offer is the sayings of the divine, namely, that which give nourishment and sustenance to the ones who are eager.
They are connected to the Heart of Re, which is the cause of what they know.
His children, his sons of Wen-yema, are the ones whom Thoth will exalt in this world.
As for the one whose heart is impelled by Seshat and the divine inspirations by Thoth enraptures, is it in his power to turn himself away from them? Is not his heart that which is dedicated to them?
A group of disciples can receive many wise teachings. These are the treasures of the group. If they discover one of their secrets, it is because their author reveals it to them.
If a wise scribe has reached the level to teach, he pulls disciples to him. When sharing his wisdom, the disciples will sit around him.”
Do they not serve the one who wishes to become a prophet; that means, will he not be able to become a guide? The scholars who have come before, do they not have a successor?
Let him act as the Master of masters! Let his mouth reveal the teaching of Thoth.
Bow to the scribe! Write down his teachings! Recite for him a prayer! Incline to the advice of the best disciple of the group! Listen to his excellent words! Be sweet of tongue! Be comforting to the comforting ones! Give great thanks for the inspirations shared! A quiet guide has a strong disciple! Be one of the foremost servants of Horus who effectively enchant hearts.
Do not flatter or annoy the advanced master, but bow down in respect. His rank is so great that myriads of people bow down before him.
His beloved disciples are in total darkness. But his teachings will be the torch that lights their way.
Does he abandon the neglectful disciple? He will inspire him. He will make him burn to speak. He will be heated with inspiration. He will make his heart weak, and burn him up completely from within.
If this happens the successful disciple appears in glory before the initiated ones who approach before him. He will make them rejoice as he joins their group.
As soon as the one is accepted into the group, he gains access to the secret chambers of Thoth, the Lord of Hedenu.
As for the ignorant disciple, let his lightness be removed! The search for knowledge is heavier than the stone which is in Letopolis.
Let the newly accepted one prepare himself!
Let him protect himself against the darkness!
Let him move with confidence in the light shining in his life!
Let him grasp strongly to the teachings!
Let him make his basis strong!
Let him sail on the sea of wisdom!
Let him burn with inspiration!
Powerful is the source of divine inspiration.
Powerful is the one who learns from the preserved ancient wisdom.
Let him speak it!
Let him praise it!
Many are the names of the source of divine inspiration.
May he learn the number of times of calling out for inspiration from the powerful mother of writing Seshat.
As for the one who makes the teachings his own, may he look to the stars. May he learn the constellation of the heaven at night.
May he work on the roof of the temple, so as to understand the strong masters there, until he finds mastery over eye, ear, heart, tongue, hand, and foot and he learns the Book of Insight, the Book of Power, the Book of Annals, the Book of the Djed-Pillar, the Book of Interpretation, the Book of Flood, and the Book of the Inundation. And he drinks from the Book of Order, the Book of the Mother of the Signs, and the Book of Honoring their Father who is Powerful. And he understands the difficult passages, and he elucidates and praises their wisdom, and he becomes an apprentice of the servant of Thoth.”
“What is that which captures and expresses language? O master of Speech, reveal how this works! Explain to me what nourishes and sustains language, that I may drink the milk of your wisdom.”
“Recognize the powerful door which protects wisdom. Praise Seshat. Let her answer you.
Let your voice be loud so that she wishes to hear you and come quickly to you. If you should praise her on the occasion of the New Year, the powerful one will return so as to answer to you.
If you understand her and if you praise her, she will let you drink of her wisdom.
Open your heart for her. Call out to her 120 times. She hears.
Great is the immense number of times the intelligent disciple of Thoth listens to her, and she loves him.
Great is the immense number of times she listens to him, and she loves him.
She does not disdain to act forcefully. Hers is the intelligent disciple, and she does delay to answer him.
And if he calls out to her seven thousand times, seventy-seven times she does not come at his voice.
She completes many journeys
They do not complete her.
Your seeking of her will make her come quickly to you.
On the day you desire her, you will find her.”
“How do I receive wisdom? How do I imprint it in my mind? What can I compare it with, Oh One overflowing with wisdom!”
“Wisdom is a sea. Its outpourings are found along the shore. Step therein, little by little!
Hurry to the shore! Count the barriers to it! They are many.
Do not be weak with regard to stepping into the sea, but wait until its lord permits that you swim in it, and he gives you explicit permission.
The receiving of the divine outpourings resembles the plowing of the field of Thoth. The farmer is the one who works the plow and plants the ground with the quarter of the seed left over from the previous harvest. As for the seeds which are held in reserve, they are marked off and protected behind a thick wall. These are the divine inspirations that cannot be reached yet by the untrained disciple. Thus, the knowledge acquired by hard work must be carefully preserved so that it can bring further fruit.
As the one who receives divine inspiration, he will not be able to interpret them immediately. The inspirations are pregnant with meaning but their opacity is dark. It is as if one holds a lump of coal without knowing its heat. He risks burning his fingers.
The good method is known by the divine assistant of Thoth. It is the true knowledge of what imprints wisdom.
The disciple says: ‘I am saddened. I cannot interpret the divine inspirations I have received. No one will explain them to me.’’ But the gods also did not create the world in one day.
As for the one who has ordered to cultivate his fields, he is selective in whom he accepts.
High the plants grow in these fields, and great is the abundance of its fruits.
The one who reaps them is the one who pays the price. High is the harvest for who collects it.”
“Teach me the way to write down the divine outpourings.”
“Place the brush between your three fingers. Grasp it with your two fingers.
Your hand now represents Thoth. Between your fingers is the source of your writing.
Let goodness guide your hand! Write well with your fingers!
As for movement and pausing, guide it! Every movement is shared between the fingers.
Excellence in writing means the quick receiving of praises and inspiration.
As for every scribe, the more they write, the faster they become experts at it.
Do not be discouraged!”
“What is the goal of writing? Is it to give form to divine love?”
“To bring the divine outpourings to life, before death can touch them.”
“Teach me the words which make one a prophet, so that I become pregnant with them.
Bring me to the well which unites me with the wise ones, so that I may drink from its sweet water. The source for the nourishment of the learned one, may I enter into her. Behold, my mouth is open. May she pour her milk of wisdom in my mouth, as I am thirsty.”
“Come that I may instruct you concerning the sacred art of writing with which Thoth can guide the hand of his disciple.
Write, O little one! Take counsel with the wise man! Do not go forth alone!
Ask the one greater than yourself! Desire to listen to the voice of the wise man! Do not be arrogant.
Do not be greedy or try to be clever. Protect yourself!
Do not be weak of heart with regard to reaching the end of the teaching.
Think of tomorrow!
Be worried about the day after tomorrow!
Every delay is caused by yourself.
Be steady and serious!
Be constant with regard to contemplating the teaching
Do not let yourself become an incompetent scribe.
Resolve all the difficult teachings, there are many of them, as without them there can be no progress.
Be abundant in looking!
Be abundant in acting!
Be abundant in hearing!
Come, let me teach you about the four principles of life, so you can be bound to them.
Set your heart upon God and adhere to the law!
Be incorruptible and follow Ma’at!
Be small of wrath and be thoughtful!
Be a good man and do not reveal that which you have heard!”
“O may your teaching be eternally young, O foremost one of the House of Thoth! Begin with the basis of your teaching! You have been a guide for me. You have diminished my troubles and made me stand on my own feet. You have been for me a farmer, I was like a field, I was infertile. You have made me a fertile field. They have given me to you, as I was worthy. You have shaped me as a statue of you.
You have formed me.
You have given me speech.
You have opened for me the way.
You have given me access.
You have lessened any hatred in me.
You have brought love to me.
You have caused that my praise is heard.
You have caused me to achieve respect, even if I am still young.
I have chased away more experienced disciples than me through your effective magic.
You have given me status, although I am but a youth, so that I may sit before the great ones.
You caused that I was abundantly nourished when I was alone.
You have given me companions.
The divine inspirations coming from your mouth have given me sustenance.
The beneficent power of your body has enfolded me.
Your beneficent power has rushed into me.
You have acted as an example so that I am forever a living image of you.
I will stand as a statue of you.
I will be for you a monument, in your image, O foremost one of Thoth.
I will gain power from your knowledge.
I will worship your teaching.
I will protect your beautiful name.
I will praise God for you, O Foremost One of the Temple of Ptah, at the festival of Imhotep before Osiris-Naneferhotep.
I will cause your name to live beside the ba-soul of the living god.
I will divinize your ba-soul before the ba-soul of his divine heart.
I will give a royal offering to your ka before the altar.
I will worship your name before the sacred images.
Come O One who is a guide of Thoth, praised one of the Heart of Re, may he cause that your prayers be heard.
I will praise God for you.
I will cause your name to be commemorated.
I will cause your ba-soul to enter before the one of my father.
I will be your heir, like a son of the son of Thoth.
Your teaching will act as a nursemaid to me.
You have adopted me through the blessing of my father.
I have become an heir of your divine instructions.
After I have become a son of you, let them honor my name.
Let me sit among the noble ones.
Let them place me upon the path of the divine ba-souls, the ancient wise ones.
I will exercise self-control as a wise one.
I will be like unto a statue, and I will assist others.
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The Secret Wisdom of Thoth offers a unique semiotic approach to The Ancient Egyptian Book of Thoth. This ancient book of sacred wisdom is a dialogue between a spiritual master, perhaps the god Thoth himself, and a student.
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