I started writing a post about this topic about a year ago, but abandoned it because I saw how controversial and triggering it could be. Now I can look back at it with a clearer intent and less controversial. While I can’t guarantee it will be less triggering I can trust my readers to decide if they want to read further than this paragraph.
The word for chaos in Ancient Egyptian is isfet. This is not the same as primordial chaos. This concept of chaos was disorder, the anti-thesis of Ma’at, and above all destructive. One could equate this concept to the epitome of evil. In Ancient Egypt isfet was personified by Apep, who was depicted as a snake.
Modern Kemeticists tend to proscribe many things as isfet. I’ve seen everything from unpleasant behavior to human rights violations called isfet. I will not discuss how I feel about using isfet because I feel it’s on some level determined by the individual. What I can discuss are the ways I deal with it.
I go into combating isfet a bit in my post of finding peace amidst the hustle and bustle. The key to defeating isfet, though, is to look at it for what it is. In Ancient Egyptian texts part of defeating Apep was recognizing his nature. When we see a situation objectively and recognize the nature of what we’re dealing with we can defeat it. Some of this, however, will require experience and discernment.
Sometimes in defeating the isfet in our own lives we first have to evaluate what isfet means to us. Then we must ask why we consider these things as isfet. Sometimes what a person considers isfet is, in reality, an inconvenience. While that can feel chaotic it helps to differentiate to act accordingly. Even a small act of changing an approach can help in major ways. It also helps in establishing healthy boundaries.
I personally draw my line between isfet and inconvenience at the potential for destruction and harm. While some inconveniences may harm me on some level, they tend to not cause major harm nor destruction. I also refognize how the inconveniences accumulate and eventually evolve into isfet. I then examine this and address it.
While these approaches deal with everday problems it takes much more when isfet is something such as a social injustice. It takes a combination of addressing the issue for ourselves, addressing it socially (which is a feat in and of itself), and finding ways to ensure Ma’at prevails.
In this way I’ve found ways to deal with the inconveniences and isfet in my life. I’m not perfect in my approach, and I’m aware my approach has flaws. However in knowing my flaws in this approach I can find new ways to address the isfet in my life.