MAAT Our New Social Policy
By Ata Omom
This letter is written in order to propose a
new frontier for each member of our African American community.
We are all aware that social conditions (economics,
politics, law and order, education, ethics and health) for
African people around the world need urgent attention.
For example, the National Urban League’s
STATE OF BLACK AMERICA 2004 report, key findings are:
The status of African Americans has
improved since the Civil Rights era with significant
increase in overall income, home ownership, business
development, voter participation and educational
However, there are still notable gaps
between African Americans and whites, especially in the
area of economics that reveal major challenges in the
pursuit of equity and opportunity.
summary, the report highlights the fact that in the areas of
economics, health, education, and social justice—disparities
are apparent for African Americans.
Furthermore, according to the UNFPA, the
United Nations Population Fund:
Inadequate resources, gender (and
racial) bias and gaps in serving the poor and
adolescents are undermining further progress as
challenges mount. Some
2.8 billion people—two in five—still struggle to
survive on less than $2 a day.
perpetuates and is exacerbated by poor health, gender
inequality, and rapid population growth.
Policy makers have been slow to address the inequitable
distribution of health information and services (thus helping to
keep people poor).
We need not overly bore each other with
analysis of empirical social research findings in this regard. We just need to act. I
propose to reestablish Maat as a social policy. This endeavor will require the efforts and cooperation of the
entire society—which includes you and your community.
It helps to know that Maat is concerned with
our relations to our individual self, each other, community,
natural environment, ancestor, the universe and Divine. It
should be noted that Maat is not a religion.
Maat is not a theory.
According to the Dictionary of Ancient Egypt
On a cosmic scale, Maat is also
represented by the divine order of the universe as
originally brought into being at the moment of creation.
It was the power of Maat that is believed to
regulate the seasons, the movement of the stars, and the
relations between men and gods.
The concept was therefore central to both the
Egyptians ideas about the universe and their code of
On a social scale the 42 Principles of
Maat are ethical principles (rules
that energize and satisfies the inherent nature of African
people) that were discovered as ancient Africans strived to
maintain sacred melodious and harmonious relations with each
other and the environment.
Upon close review we can see that these principles can
have a profound effect on all aspects of our society, including
all academic disciplines.
After you have closely reviewed the 42
Principles of Maat at the end of this paper, imagine a
future President of the United States declaring in a State of
the Union Address:
Mr. Speaker, Vice President, Members
of Congress, Fellow Citizens:
This country has many challenges ahead.
During the past years, the White House has
carefully evaluated our progress as a country.
My staff and members of congress have also
closely evaluated every operational aspect of our
Leaders of both parties have talked and together
we all agree that the 42 Principles of Maat
will now govern our social, economic and foreign
policies. This is in the best interest of national security and world
fellow Americans, it is time for change. (Applause)
This will happen with your support.
By working to reestablish Maat as a social policy we will
be enhancing the social justice, economic, health and education
status of our communities; and we will be offering the present
and future African Americans youth respectable and honorable
options that will make our society safer and healthier.
It may shock some of the readers to know that
open-minded scholarly inquiry will show that the origin of our
major contemporary world religions and the Ten Commandments were
derived from the Principles of Maat.
According to Hunter H. Adams III:
Yet even prior to the earliest
pre-dynastic cities such as Nagada and Hierakonpolis
(5,100 years ago), a principle of Divine Order had
governed all the people of the Nile Valley, from the
Great Lakes of Central Africa to the Nile Delta on the
Mediterranean Sea. This principle came to be known as MAAT.
Former Director of Egyptology at the
University of Leipzig, Seigfried Morenz, states: ‘Maat
is right order in Nature and society, as established by
the act of creation, hence means according to context of
what is right. This
state of righteousness needs to be preserved or
established in all manners great and small.
Maat is therefore not only right order but also
the object of human activity.
Maat is both the task which man sets for himself
and also, as righteousness, the promise and reward which
awaits him (her) on fulfilling it (H. H. Adams III,
Simply put, the Maat perspective has
been confirmed, "before the origin” of our contemporary
world religions: as rules of conduct that guarantee
compassionate and respectful relationships amongst human beings
and their relationships with the natural environment—to such a
degree that it would be “fundamentally evil” to
create circumstances that would prevent such human conduct from
This is because the Principles of Maat are
reflective of the universal and fundamental nature of humans.
This is why we need a social structure and
social policies that will protect humans that strive to live
MAAT—in the same manner that there are social policies to
protect those “born with disabilities.” Biological
inheritance (in-born nature) tends to be one of the major
justifications for lawmakers passing state and/or federal
legislation to legally protect these groups under the law, in
In the same manner, ancient Kemet’s
highest-ranked government officials administered the affairs of
the public through the lens of the Principles of Maat knowing
all too well that the principles were compatible with human
nature. Thus, the
principles were essential in binding the society together.
Truth, Balance, Righteousness, Justice, and
Peace were Kemet's highest priorities—and they were able to
achieve it longer than any other human civilization known in
recorded history; for Maat energizes the inherent temperament of
African people, for sure.
You will not be alone in your pioneering
endeavor to promote Maat as a social policy.
(1) Smai Tawi Ankh Ascension Renaissance
(STAAR) is a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY,
whose members practice living a lifestyle based on the
principles of Maat.
(2) A nearly five-hundred page scholarly
textbook entitled, MAAT, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A
Study in Classical African Ethics was recently published by
the distinguished Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of the
Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long
(3) “The Philadelphia School District will
require every high school student to take a separate course in
African and African American history to graduate, beginning with
this September’s freshman class,” according to the Philadelphia
Inquirer ( June 9, 2005).
These are just a very few examples of current occurrences
relevant to our discussion here.
So write your political representatives (city
councilman, city councilwoman, mayor, congresswoman or
congressman), community organizations; hold workshops,
conferences, and discussions on Maat.
But most importantly—MEMORIZE MAAT.
At some point in the process of memorizing the principles
you may experience a mental war. Your condition ego (socialized conscious mind) will be under
Thus, the principles are therapeutic in the
sense that they promote positive personal transformation.
Also expect opposition.
By memorizing the principles, you will be better able to
honestly assess your conduct, the conduct of others and the
conduct of the world around you.
There are other benefits from memorizing the Principles
And remember that MAAT is not a religion or
42 Principles of
MAAT (Sayings of Truth)
1. I have not done iniquity.
2. I have not robbed with violence.
3. I have not stolen.
4. I have done no murder; I have done no harm.
5. I have not defrauded the offerings.
6. I have not diminished obligations.
7. I have not plundered the Ntr.
8. I have not spoken lies.
9. I have not snatched away food.
10. I have not caused pain.
11. I have not committed fornication.
12. I have not caused the shedding of tears.
13. I have not dealt deceitfully.
14. I have not transgressed.
15. I have not acted guilefully.
16. I have not laid waste to the ploughed land.
17. I have not been an eavesdropper.
18. I have not set my lips in motion (against
19. I have not been angry and wrathful, except for
20. I have not defiled the wife of any man.
21. I have not defiled the husband of any woman.
22. I have not polluted myself.
23. I have not caused terror.
24. I have not transgressed.
25. I have not burned with rage.
26. I have not stopped my ears against the words of Maat
(Right and Truth).
27. I have not worked grief.
28. I have not acted with insolence.
29. I have not stirred up strife.
30. I have not judged hastily.
31. I have not pried into others’ matters.
32. I have not multiplied words exceedingly.
33. I have done neither harm nor ill.
34. I have never cursed the Pharaoh (The Beloved
35. I have never fouled the water.
36. I have not spoken scornfully.
37. I have never cursed the Ntr.
38. I have not stolen.
39. I have not defrauded the offerings of the Ntru.
40. I have not plundered the offerings of the blessed
41. I have not filched the food of the infant;
neither have I sinned against the Ntr of my
42. I have not slaughter with evil intent the cattle
of the Ntr.
Note 1: The above translation is by ancestor Dr.
Gerald Gant (aka Kwame Sabakhu-Ra) and Ade Oba Tokunbo of
Baltimore, Maryland in 2000.
Their source for their translation is Book of the Dead
by Egyptologist E.A. Willis Budge; and The
Egyptian Book of the Dead by Dr. R.O. Faulkner.
Note 2: “Ntr” means Divine Spirit,
Creator, God, Supreme Being.
“Ntru” means god(s), goddess(es):
air, water, sun, earth, truth, wisdom etc.
Ata Omom has lived in France, Germany,
Vietnam and has visited Mexico, England, and Senegal; and has
traveled extensively in the United States.
Ata has over five years experience as an
insured professional, nationally certified and state licensed
massage therapist, twenty years of experience working as a
licensed medical radiation technologist—working in emergency
rooms, operating rooms and main radiology departments.
He has been a practitioner of tai chi chuan for nearly
fifteen years; and has memorized the 42 Principles
of Maat since the year 2000. One summer morning in a park while practicing tai chi
chuan Ata achieved wu-chi.
Ata holds an Associate of Applied Science
Degree (AAS) in Radiologic Technology from Malcolm X
College, Chicago, IL; Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in
Radiology Technology from Howard University, Washington, DC; Master
of Science Degree (MS) in Applied Sociology from Morgan
State University, Baltimore, MD; and Professional
Certification in Therapeutic Massage from Baltimore School
of Massage, Baltimore, MD.
Touch The Spirit! Ata Omom, The Beloved of Maat
Also a member of
Family of Cow Tom
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update 24 May