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Egyptian Yoga Volume 1: The Philosophy of Enlightenment Paperback – 1 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Sema Institute / C.M. Book Publishing; 2 edition (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884564011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884564017
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.4 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Eeane on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Afruican Yoga has provided me with the basic structure my life has been lacking. The control of thought, speech and action though the discipline of development of self is very rewarding to now be in the midst of practising.
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Amazon.com: 18 reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
A New Look at Ancient Egyptian Mythology and Philosophy 8 July 2000
By KC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A New Look at Egyptian Mythology
A Review of the bookEgyptian Yoga: The Philosophy of Enlightenment and the Egyptian Yogaphenomenon.
What is Egyptian Yoga? This is the title of the book which soon after its release in May of 1995 became one of the most talked about books on the subject of Ancient Egypt. Now going into its second printing, Egyptian Yoga: The Philosophy of Enlightenment is unlike any other book on ancient Egyptian mythology because it opens the ancient teachings and explains them in a way which is very easy to understand and to practice them in daily life. The title Egyptian Yoga came from the Ancient Egyptian Words Smai Tawi which mean "Egyptian Yoga." Therefore, Yoga was praticed in Ancient Egypt earlier than any other place in history.
Most of us have asked important questions like what is the source of pain and suffering in the world and is there a solution? What are the meanings of the words Enlightenment, Salvation and Karma? Who can be saved? What is the process of Salvation?
Traditional Egyptology has written about ancient Egypt and translated the ancient texts in an intellectual and dry way, but many who have read the traditional books and then read Egyptian Yoga comment on how easily readable it is and how it makes the ancient teachings understandable in a completely new way. No longer are the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead or other papyruses for the intellectuals.
It is well-known by certain scholars that Egyptian philosophy is the basis of Western and Middle Eastern religious philosophies such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, the Kabbalah, and Greek philosophy but what about eastern philosophy and yoga? What were the original teachings? How can they be applied in the present to help us reach our highest potential?
Egyptian Yoga explains the origins of Ancient Egypt and India, it also a fully illustrated work, including hieroglyphs, detailing the meaning of the Egyptian mysteries of the temple, tantric yoga, yoga philosophy and psycho-spiritual and physical exercises.
Many readers of philosophy and ancient African religion have studied the translations of western Egyptologists and have not been able to go beyond the outer meaning of the words being deciphered. The intellectual description of symbols and myths have left them wanting for more but unable to progress. Many study groups which would like to progress in their studies of the ancient Egyptian wisdom and spiritual philosophy have stalled in their studies because they needed to move beyond the traditional study group, book reports and discussions. One reader of Egyptian Yoga recently commented: "I have been reading about the ancient Egyptians for over twenty-five years beginning in the sixties and I have never found a book which puts the philosophy together and also explains how to practice the teachings in every day life like Egyptian Yoga. There is much talk about the philosophy of Maat and the need to practice righteousness but I did not know that there is a profound science behind the concept of Maat which when properly understood and practiced in every day life transforms the human mind and produces mental peace. I thought the Ancient Egyptian Book of Coming forth By Day was about things that happen after death but after reading Egyptian Yoga I understand that the teachings of wisdom and Maat are to be accomplished right now.
Dr. Ashby has written so many books on the teachings that it awes the mind. To date he has written over 20 book on the practice of yoga from Ancient Egypt and Africa and the more I read the more I feel that the teachings are opening up to me. Also, the countless lecture audio tapes and videos are a pleasure to listen to and watch. The provide a special solace which comes from real understanding of the teachings. I did not realize that I could be a student of the mystery teachings and practice them without being in a Temple or going to Egypt or India. Also it is so wonderful that learning Egyptian Yoga has enlightened me about the origins, history and deeper meanings of the religion I grew up with. I had lost faith in religion but now I understand the true purpose of religion and mythology. This has given me true purpose in life and the understanding that the highest goals of personal and spiritual freedom are truly attainable by anyone who understands and practices the teachings of Yoga. I have developed a peace which I was never able to find in my job, relationships or possessions. Up until now I was not able to understand the workings of the mind-body-spirit connection and how to control my urges and negative thoughts and feelings. Egyptian Yoga has allowed me to unfold the deeper essence of my being and I enjoy my life to the fullest.
I am so blessed to have come into contact with the teaching of the Egyptian Yoga. Every time I pick up Egyptian Yoga I gain an even deeper level of understanding than before ...
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"Enlightening" 25 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is "that" book that lead one to the truth in which they've known all along. It make one realize the God that's inside of them and how to utilize the power of the Creator that's in every individual. And that is a notion of utmost power...the whole meaning of existence.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
RESEARCHES BIRTHPLACE OF "ALL" ESOTERIC DOCTRINES 8 Dec. 2000
By "nlightened1" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic in a multiplicity of fields; incl.,Kemetic (Egyptian) research, Melanin studies, Yoga techniques,Symbology, Comparative Religions, Esoteric materialism (scientifictechnology behind machinery), and others to numerous to mention.Dr. Muata Ashby is a first rate academician and he is a Masterpractitioner of the Art to boot! This is the most cosmopolitan workyou can find on esoteric/occultic syncretism. Every page is loadedwith diagrams, or sublime research on the esoteric connection aroundthe world of the African Diaspora. Take for example page 8:""THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE- As stated in the ancient Egyptiantext, 'The Book of Coming Forth by Day <erroneously called theEgyptian Book of the Dead, mine>', the eternal soul comes to earthto learn certain lessons and to become purified <mature or evolved,mine>. In the process of evolution, virtues as well as vices areexperienced by us based on our own 'mental disposition.... When thespirit <Ka,mine>, our innermost self, is ready to make the final'journey home', back to its source, GOD, it begins to inquire aboutthe nature of its existence and thereby causes pressure on the mind,namely the ego-personality. Our BA <Soul, mine>, our individualGOD consciousness, begins to apply subtle pressure on our wakingconsciousness in the form of subtle suggestions. We begin to recognizethe wisdom of ancient scriptures and develop an interest in books suchas this one. Becoming in tune with the pressure of the spirit withinis allowing ourselves to be guided by our intuition and the letting goof ideas and thoughts which we know to be untrue or fruitless. Mentalpurification requires the utmost patience with ourselves. Interest inthe world as an Absolute reality (the notion there is nothing elsebeyond 'this' physical reality) is left behind gradually and newpsychological impressions and experiences are introduced until webecome established in this 'other' reality. At this point, we wake upfrom the consciousness we have been used to as if waking up from adream this is attaining 'Horushood', 'Christhood', or becoming'Buddha' or 'Krishna'. THAT WHICH IS THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH, THESUBSTANTIAL REALITY, IS BEYOUND TRUE NAMING, BUT THE WISE CALL IT THEALL Egyptian Proverb"" Actually the Masculine side of theGodhead (The Father in Christendom) is called the ALL, by theinitiates, the mundane call it Allah. And the Feminine side of theGodhead (Holy Spirit in Christendom) is called the ALL IN ALL {She isthat which is beyond the Masculine side according to the"KA.BA.ALLAH" (this is where Mohammed, a black Arab initiateof the Damascus Lodge; a branch of the Egyptian Spiritual sytem's maintemple at Luxor, got the word/idea for his God from), purposely hiddenin this book's name is the word A.L.L.A.H.; Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm,Head. So we have in this Egyptian, (not Jewish like they would haveyou think), artifact - the component structure of man, whom is thephysical incarnation of God/GODESS) & the Feminine side gave riseto the Masculine, this is why She is called the All IN ALL}; by theinitiates, and Allet by the mundane (even though you hardly ever hearabout Her)... Yes, i am scholarly enough to be able to correct DrAshby in this area! The wonderful quote above is so good that thecompany that i work for took it and condensed it into a marketingmotto. Many off the members of KC Board of Trade that i introduce tothis gem, go out a by it for themselves immediately. They come backamazed at how much research quality information is contained in only209, 8.5" x 11", pages. The foreword alone is worth theprice of the entire book. It reads: ""The literal meaning ofthe word YOGA is to 'YOKE' or to 'LINK' back. The implication is: tolink back to the original source, the original essence, that whichtranscends all mental and intellectual attempts at comprehension, butwhich is the essential nature of everything in CREATION. The Scienceof Yoga constitutes the teachings required to achieve perfection whichis the original essence of every human spirit. Nature herself offersone path to perfection. The path of learning through mistakes andsuffering, the process of trial and error....Through self discipline,the path of Yoga offers a 'short cut' to ending the pains of humanexistence...by achieving self-mastery and self-realization, therealization of one's true nature: GOD. The process is to become aHorus, a Christ, and Enlightened Being, while still alive. To attainthis level of being, we must first control the forces of our own lowernature. In essence, we must learn how to give up our egotisticalideas and allow them to dissolve so that we may discover our deepestself, who is nameless,, bodiless, immortal and eternal....""Wow is there anything else that needs to be said, i think not. But iwill say that if being a TRUTH seeker is what you are then this is theplace, and the time is now for you to make a commitment (envoke asolemn oath to yourSelf) to right now "discover a far awaycountry". There's no place further than.... "(inner)SPACE thefinal frontier! These are the voyages of the stel'ar ship,Enterprise. It's mission, to seek out L.I.F.E. (L.iberty, I.ntegrity,F.ocus, E.volution- the fourfold path of self-discipline hidden inJesus' saying: "I am the Way, the Truth, the L.I.F.E., any thatcome to me <through the fourfold path of self-discipline> shallhave life everlasting".), to search for meaning, to boldly gowhere others have gone on before <i'm also a Trekkie youknow>.... Djhuiti M. AmenRa, CEO/Chairman of Board: TheA.C.M.E. Corporation, Inc....
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A good starting point 3 Nov. 2006
By G. Tyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am actually rating this book at 3.5 stars. The author obviously spent a great deal of time and effort researching the material presented. Also it seems that a lot of thought and care went into synthesizing a relationship between seemingly disparate world traditions. It provides a summary of many of the world's great religious and spiritual traditions. This book serves as a springboard into more indepth study of spiritual practice and as a general reference. It provides a wide spectrum of topics and plenty of material for speculation and introspection. The authors seem to have a vision of providing aspiring seekers of knowledge a firm grasp on the truths that underly all spiritual and religious tradition.

There were a few things that bothered me about this book. First, the layout of the book makes reading problematic. Many of the sections of the book have multiple fonts, formats, and sizes that begin to confuse the eye. Also, the book would have greatly benefited from a more consistent style to the artwork. While it is important to try and preserve the original style and look of the art, there is no crime in letting a talented artist reinterpret the picture to add continuity to the images. Many of he sections looked like the product of an old word processing program.

My second concern is the scope. While this book may be the first volume of author's magnum opus (he has written many other books), his work might benefit from a bit more stylistic focus. A great many authors, especially in the realm of African centered work, tend produce sweeping books that are intended to be compendiums on their intended topics. The authors in this genre try to follow in the footstpes of greats like John Henrik Clarke, St. Claire Drake, and Ivan Van Sertima. The aforementioned veteran authors all benefit from years of academic experience which hones their writing and presentations skills.

My problems with Egyptian Yoga Vol.1 could be solved in a three steps. One, allow a talented and open minded artist reinterpret the art to give a coherent and consistent visual perspective. Two, allow someone with desktop publishing experience to thoroughly format the text and layout to provide a more pleasing reading experience. Three, the experienced eye of an editor could make the prose and ideas presented more accessible and focused.

I give Egyptian Yoga 3.5 stars because it shows a great deal of promise and exposes readers to the beginnings of a many spirituals truths and philosophies. Taken for what it is (an expansive coverage and summary of a huge body of knowledge), it is a good initial effort. The three ideas mentioned above could turn this book from a good effort into a superior one.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Classic of Modern Mysticism, a Bit Flawed 1 Oct. 2007
By Bonam Pak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Originally written in 1995, I read the 6th edition of "1997-2001". Muata Ashbys book titles usually change quickly and/or are known by alternative titles. "Egyptian Yoga: The Philosophy of Enlightenment" is aka "Smai Tawi: 'Egyptian Yoga' (Union of the Higher and Lower Self)" and I suspect by further titles also. The author himself regards this early book of his as a classic, which chapters he has turned into full new books in the meanwhile.

Muata Ashby is a Do-It-Yourself author and publisher, which has the advantage that he is able to publish unconstrained by any directives. The disadvantage is the occasional slip of layout etc., such as the half a dozen times in which the text of captions etc. abort in the middle of the sentence.

It should be known that by "yoga" the linking back to God, i.e. the union with God is meant, not really the body exercise popularly associated with the term in the West. Five pages only are devoted to actual body exercise, consisting of little text as such. However, there is a larger section on the seven chakras, energy centers in the body, though other books are dealing with them far more in depth. Also in other contexts, the close connection to India is exposed.

This is a great mystical book, especially for the Imes (time) it has been written. For the revelatory potential, this book is worth five stars. For mystics, who already know about this topic, some subtractions will have to be made. Which is not to say that mystics can't learn from this book, on the contrary. Depending on the previous knowledge it is sure informing to read about the Egyptian origins of such symbols as the sacred cows and the swastika, which are both popularly blinded as originating from the Indian periphery. Also the (more complex) religious serpent symbol gets elaborated on from the Egyptian source. The symbolic crucification of the spirit on the cross of time and space when it enters into physical form (the body) is decisive to know, for those who don't know that the Christian cross is derived from the Egyptian ankh/nkwa (life) symbol. Further elaboration on this will be found in Egyptian Yoga II: The Supreme Wisdom of Enlightenment.

Muata Ashby sure dives into the phenomenological approach of egyptology (including India) in contrast to mainstream Western scientists who can't make anything of Egyptian spiritual wisdom for real. It is breathtaking to know, especially after reading this book, that the ancient Egyptians are still not only advanced in being capable of building pyramids, but also in spiritual enlightenment. Once, we have passed the Egyptian mythology and know the mysticism behind it. This book is rolling back the Nicaean Council of 325 C.E., which decided for Christianity that an external savior figure would be necessary between an individual human and God. (And, of course, the savior's "official" representatives of the Church.) Muata Ashby is using Egyptian/Indian doors to religion to write in an universal style, i.e. irrespective of the branch of religion the readers may count themselves belonging to. He was even able to bring the concept of reincarnation (and AVOIDING it) somewhat closer to me than The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) and similar Buddhist books I have read recently. He does get a bit repetitive though.

I would have appreciated an elaboration on the Ethiopian part of "Ethiopian-Egyptian" rites, religion, philosophy, etc. For one thing: Is he talking about the area of today's Ethiopia or today's Sudan? For another, I am aware that Egyptian society originated as a "colony" from (today's) Ethiopia, yet little do I know about pre-Jewish/Christian society in Ethiopia, and this book nothing more than references that.

Not everything in this book should be taken at face value, though. Literally, when it comes to the reproduced Zulus' averment to originate from Mars. At least not concerning biology (DNA) and the supposed pyramids and that huge face sculpture on Mars "discovered" a couple of decades ago. In the meanwhile much more precise pictures have been taken by new Mars probes, exposing CLEARLY natural mountains with no artificial treatment. I have also read various differing findings about the Egyptian obelisks than the single one provided in this book.

Occasionally I was baffled by the inconsistencies in this book. One chapter describes the pyramid texts (and the related so-called "Book of the Dead") as funerary, another suggests a quite inconclusive mystical content. (Read Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts: The Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt for a clearly mystical, non-funerary approach.) One chapter may be clearly sex hostile, another warns against such extremes. In a nice catch 22, it is stated that one should meditate every day without a day missing, but elsewhere it is said not to meditate 24 hours after sex.

Concerning that mostly rather hostile approach towards sexuality: Ejaculation, even the thought of sexuality would cause energy loss. Personally, I would need some in-depth elaboration on suggestions like that, especially in the shadow of the sex hostile meme pool of religion at large. Supposedly, one would hasten to death with sexual engagement. Yet, the book states, there isn't death and is making strong points against egoism, this would qualify as in context. While the book harbors all the ingredients of sex hostility, it later mentions sex as a vehicle to unite with God, seeing orgasm as spiritual. Not explaining that either.

Similarly, the book remains inconsistent on the construct of genders. "As we pursue the union of opposites [of genders], we will discover that there are no opposites, only the projected appearance of them." Also: "The sage no longer identifies with the sex of his or her particular body." Yet: the so-called negative confession #27 is translated as: "I have not lusted or committed fornication nor have I lain with others of my same sex." Not only doesn't this fit with the rest of these declarations of innocence, doesn't match other translations (no source is provided for this one), but how can the same sex exist, if no genders exist at all? Besides, all the primary god/desses are considered androgynous and sexuality described with/among them - in all varieties. The failure lies in the strong meme pool of the belief in genders making it not really possible for the author to leave that construct, even though intellectually attempting that. "Merging of opposite forces", "andro-gyn-ity", "humans are half-half" etc. all work in the pretext that there IS such a thing as genders. Whereas to REALLY feel that there isn't, the scientific knowledge is paramount that there isn't any clearly separable biological differentiation to begin with. Besides, the reader is asked to follow all the 42 declarations of innocence ("negative confesstions"), yet, obviously no Egyptian ever did that, as the provided version consists of a COMPILATION from various differing sources. Plus, e.g. the "Papyrus of Ani" only mentions a SELECTION of the 42 declarations... The consequences of not being able to give these declarations is to get reincarnated again. Which in later branches of religions became interpreted as "hell". So in reality we are basically free to follow them or not, should we decide, reincarnation isn't that bad after all... In addition, in this book's world of no gender, most certainly one is more equal than the other: There's the duality provided of top-bottom, giving-receiving, positively-negatively charged, godly-evil (Horus-Set). Guess, which "gender" is always the first and which one always the latter... No wonder the book is against dualisms in principle, while forgetting that once in a while. Also, some provided Egyptian proverbs are sexist (and others xenophobic), as this one: "...fill [your wife's] belly... She is a fertile field for her husband... It is by such treatment that she will be compelled to stay in your house." I find the old English translation of thy, thine, thou etc. pretentious anyway, as this makes for needlessly stilted reading, considering that old English is futuristic from the ancient Egyptians' point of view in the first place.

Even though it is important, yes, to put the concept of emotions, the physical world we live in etc. in mystical perspective, I upwise a little less life hostility / nihilism. We wouldn't have been constructed this way, if we weren't to experience it at all. Just be aware of that construct and do not blind it as reality. Separating from emotions, viewing life, relatives, friends and loves with dispassion at all Imes, as suggested may lead to neurosises, similar to the effects of child abuse. It's intriguing to attempt the Vulcan approach, yet this isn't the necessary life style for everyone...
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