Threskiornis aethiopicus, the African Sacred Ibis, is a bird worth examining.
Although regionally extinct in Egypt (isn’t it weird how so many of Egypt’s sacred animals are now threatened or gone from that country?), it can be found throughout the continent of Africa and has been introduced to several other areas, including France, Spain, Bahrain and, more recently, southern Florida. Outside of its native habitat, the African Sacred Ibis is an invasive species…not unlike some Kemetics I know. But, I digress.
Here’s a photo of this beautiful bird, on whom Djehwty’s image is based (or in Djehwty’s image was created, depending on to whom you listen):
From their behavior, T. aethiopicus and other ibises appear to be interested in only a few things – acquiring and eating food; mating and raising young; living with and arguing with members of their own species. I’ve been told by ornithologists that this is because birds in general see things in terms of “bird/not-bird”. If something is a not-bird, it then gets categorized as food, predator (scary thing!), or not worthy of attention.
(This is also not unlike some Kemetics I know.)
This is ibis logic – if it can’t be eaten, or fucked, then it must be other. If it is other, it must be run from or ignored. And those of us who think in and live by these terms are examples of how it may work for ibises, but it doesn’t work for human beings.
When everything that is other is seen as either scary or not worth examining, we stagnate. We end up living in comfortable little ruts surrounded by our own self-importance and flawed reasoning…and no one can tell us otherwise because we surround ourselves with others of like-mind. Hell, even if one of those others did try to talk to us, or ask us questions, or give us another point of view, it wouldn’t matter because we’d either run or dismiss it. And…have I mentioned that stagnancy doesn’t lead to the upholding of ma’at? Ma’at, like isfet, is fluid…and if we’re unable to accept fluidity and change, to recognize that even in the other is room for learning and growth, then how can we claim to work for it?
If we’re living by ibis logic, we can’t.