“Ma’at herself came to Djer, not to shame, but with pure aim to reach his heart and teach his mind, and in this the fierce goddess of truth was kind,” Maftet explained as I remained in her arms in the cool, refreshing waters of the jewel of Egypt. “Ma’at came to explain wiser farming and fielding, yielding to mercy in not harming Gaia. She tried to show him how his people cried for honesty and justice, modesty in governance to unharness his subjects from the crushing weight of too great a load of obligation to his crown that would eventually drown his realm.”
Arms charmed over her shoulders, latched at her upper back, I was attached to Maftet — ever-hovering lover — and would not let go even if heaven should beckon me so. “If I reckon rightly, then, Djer did not listen to the wisdom of Ma’at, and must have shot down every lesson offered, though by them he would have profited… But surely Ma’at said more, for she always has in store great treasures of the pleasures of pure knowledge.”
“Yes, of course,” Maftet ran her hand across band of my waist, and slowly continued without haste, “Ma’at tried to tell him stories of the past, and teach him principles that last; what it means to cast one’s mind into the sea of curiosity with humility; to burn to learn without thick hide of pride; to be adept and accept truth wherever it is found without being swept away by stray winds of blind arrogance that bind heart, mind and soul… But Djer would not hear, and it was fear that drove him into an ill-illumined cove of anger; therein lay the danger to his entire empire.”
Maftet led me back out of the waters and bade me slip on thin robe to begin our stroll along the rolling bank of the Nile, from which I no longer shrank. “His mind was closed and opposed to an intrusion or profusion of new ideas. Djer continued to plunder the soil, ripping asunder Gaia in greed for gold and precious stones beyond any need. He would not let his people read for fear of planting any seed of doubt in what he taught them to believe. Voices of reason were repressed and people oppressed, and thus his whole kingdom depressed.” She looked at me, now so intimately familiar, “Sound similar to your own clime and time?”
“So the more truth neared, the more he feared? He chose to be blind and bind himself to his own notions rather than disturb his emotions?” I had to strenuously try to repress laughter at the pleasantly wry smile of Maftet.
“Ah! You are not so mentally sickly as once you were; you’re learning more quickly. Good for you; what you say is true!” She brushed my cheek with lush-perfect fingers. “What is more tragic still was his shrill denouncement of any deviation from his religion; thus he turned his subjects into compliant pigeons feeding on bits of shallow doctrine cavalierly tossed on the ground for them to eat instead of the meat of unadulterated truth. This more than all else did grieve Dyēus and cause him to leave, while Djer made pretense of worshipping him still, though under different name, but the god he reverenced was no more than hand-shaped sod.” Her face brightened then to lighten the sky. “But Meryet-Nit did sit at the feet of Ma’at, replete with wisdom, and listened and learned. This is why, by and by, she came to be ancient predecessor of Sulaymān the Wise, son of Dawud, though her reign was ill-fated… Still, she could not be baited by dollops of rancid scallops.”
Maftet laid us down, then, making her body my bed. “When you very first described the realm of Djer, I thought of hell and fire, of … well, shire of Şeytan, muck and mire of dæmons.”
“And so it was!” fiercely she struck and pierced my soul. “Evil is pitch dark, leaving no niche for light; wickedness is the blight of unsighted knowledge and wisdom; iniquity is the ubiquity of vain and shallow religion, bane of self-righteous hypocrisy, autocracy of unfounded moralism and ungrounded regulations thrust upon whole nations, an aberration of what is truly good, an abdication of sense and sensibility!” Maftet’s chest was heaving, breast profusely sweating; cheeks burning, her whole body churning … then someone seemed to apply balm of calm.
“Love drives out all fear, and where there is pure love, wisdom is near. Love and truth from above are open and free, and freely open the hearts and minds of those who lovingly open to love and free their hearts and minds to eat from the Tree of Life, which is free to all who will willingly partake, not for their own sake alone but to be shown and given freely to sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers around the world… Do you see now, my bride, how Şeytan prefers to hide beneath layer of pretentious religion and appear ever-so fair? Therein lies his subtlety wherein he gains custody of so many unsuspecting souls. His dæmons are trolls of ‘right doctrine,’ and thus there are those who, thinking they serve heaven, are evil and but leaven of evil and wickedness … and all in the name of Dyēus.” I felt her tears running between our cheeks, leaking out the sadness that lay within. “Do you comprehend?”
“Yes … I’ve rightly received and believe I now correctly conceive.”