Ibis logic

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.


5 responses to “Ibis logic

  1. This is why I have been screaming interfaith for so long.
    Too bad most Kemetics don’t care. “If you’re not on my forum, or don’t do it my way, you’re not worth my time, and/or I hate you”.
    It’s quite useless behaviour.

  2. I find irony an image of Djehuti would be something afraid of the “unknown”, whereas I know Him as a “Seeker of the Unknown” via knowledge.

    Now on to thinky-thoughts:

    I also looked up information when you first mentioned the bird and a couple of the sources say that the ASI is silent in comparison to other birds. I can see a correlation between the silence and thought, but thoughts are rarely silent in my world.

    Couldn’t the information be tantalizing enough that we would eat it when it was dangled in front of us? Are the subjects of “Other” categorized like that because of how different they are, or because of the words used to describe it?

    • Hmmmm – thinky thoughts related to your thinky thoughts:

      – thoughts aren’t silent except when not voiced and/or ignored…in which case they may as well be silent for all the good they’re doing for anyone.
      – yes, although if you’re living by ibis logic the information would need to be presented in a way that it came across as food. Can we distinguish between nourishment for the body and nourishment for the mind? How about nourishment for the soul? An ibis may or may not be able to do this; if we can, then we’re probably not in danger of running from the other.

      • So, if someone runs from me, I can blame it on “Ibis Logic”? 😛

        I suppose that’s the difference between instinctual knee-jerking (in my opinion, the worst reponse to the Other) and critical thinking (what does this actually mean to me).

        I’m glad I don’t have a beak (yet). I can’t say the same about wings, because my Ba would be having issues.

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