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Seth (Set, Sutekh, Typhon) -- The Necessary Opposition  

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(@moustafa)
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24/01/2020 7:20 am  

Seth (Set, Sutekh, Typhon)

The Necessary Opposition

 

Seth (Set) represents the universal role of opposition in all aspects of life—physically and metaphysically.

The Ancient Egyptians had a very enlightening view on what people call the "devil" or "Satan".

Seth, for the Egyptians, is basically a necessary evil. Seth is an important aspect of creation.

We will be covering here the role of Seth in the following areas:

1. The Creation Cycle
2. Lord of Wilderness
3. Seth and Horus—The Inner Struggle

1. The Creation Cycle
For Ancient Egyptians, the initial act of creation caused the division of the original unity. This breaking up created multiplicity, which resulted in the various elements of the world. This break-up, by its nature, is an opposition of the original unity.

Seth represents this power of opposition, however, without opposition there can be no creation. As such, Seth is an important force, because opposition is an essential aspect of creation and its continuance.

The world, as we know it—from the smallest particle to the largest planet—is kept in balance by a law that is based on the balanced dual nature of all things. Without the balance between the two opposing forces, there would be no creation, i.e. no universe. For example, the galaxies are mainly subjected to two opposing forces:

- The expulsion forces, resulting from the effect of the Big Bang.
- The gravity forces, which pull the galaxies together.

The lack of one of these two forces will cause the galaxies to either spin out of control or collapse into each other.

Seth symbolizes one of the four elements of solidity/stability of the universe, namely fire/heat, as mentioned in Plutarch’s Moralia Vol. V,

"The Egyptians simply give the name of ... Seth [Typhon] ... to all that is dry, fiery, and arid, in general, and antagonistic to moisture."

Without fire/heat, the universe cannot exist. Also, being “antagonistic to moisture” is essential in the water cycle of evaporation, condensation, ...etc.

2. Lord of Wilderness
Seth is associated with the desert/waste/wilderness areas and their associated animals, such as the immense coiled serpent, the black pig, and the ass. Each animal symbolizes a different aspect.

Seth is depicted as a human figure with the head of an unidentified animal. Seth is also depicted as an animal with a forked tail.

3. Seth and Horus—The Inner Struggle
Seth, represented as the ass, symbolizes the ego. The supreme obstacle for the human being is his own egotistic consciousness that is dominated by pride, egotism, and self-centered greed and lust of Seth.

The archetypal inner struggle in the Egyptian model is symbolized in the struggle between Horus and Seth. It is the archetypal struggle between opposing forces. Horus, in this context, is the divine man, born of nature, who must do battle against Seth, his own kin, representing the power of opposition and not evil in the narrow sense. Seth represents the concept of opposition in all aspects of life (physically and metaphysically).

We must continuously learn and evolve, like Horus—whose name means He Who is Above. In other words, we must strive to reach higher and higher.

We learn and act by affirmation of the Horus in each of us, and by negating the Seth within us. The obstacles within each of us, represented by Seth, must be controlled and/or overcome. Such obstacles are the ego, laziness, over-confidence, arrogance, evasiveness, indifference, etc.

In the Egyptian model, Seth represents the wilderness and foreign aspects within each of us. It is therefore that in Ancient Egyptian temples, tombs, and texts, human vices are depicted as foreigners (the sick body is sick because it is/was invaded by foreign germs). Foreigners are depicted as subdued—arms tightened/tied behind their backs—to portray inner self-control.

The most vivid example of self-control is the common depiction of the Pharaoh (The Perfected Man), on the outer walls of Ancient Egyptian temples, subduing/controlling foreign enemies—the enemies (impurities) within.

[Excerpt from Egyptian Divinities ; The All Who Are THE ONE, 2nd edition by Moustafa Gadalla]


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