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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Author Topic: The Egyptian Book of the Dead  (Read 7992 times)
Josie Linde
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« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2008, 10:15:43 pm »

The existence in heaven.

The life of the Osiris of a man in heaven is at once material and spiritual and it seems as if the Egyptians never succeeded in breaking away from their very ancient habit of confusing the things of the body with the things of the soul. They believed in an incorporeal and immortal part of man, the constituent elements of which flew to heaven after death and embalmment; yet the theologians of the VIth dynasty had decided that there was some part of the deceased which could only mount to heaven by means of a ladder. In the pyramid of Teta it is said, "When Teta hath purified himself on the borders of this earth where Ra hath purified himself, he prayeth and setteth up the ladder, and those who dwell in the great place press Teta forward with their hands."[3] In the pyramid of Pepi I.

[1. E.g., "This Pepi goeth forth with his flesh." Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 185, l. 169.

2. The Osiris consisted of all the spiritual parts of a man gathered together in a form which resembled him exactly. Whatever honour was paid to the mummified body was received by its Osiris, the offerings made to it were accepted by its Osiris, and the amulets laid upon it were made use of by its Osiris for its own protection. The sahu, the ka, the ba, the khu, the khaibit, the sekhem, and the ren were in primeval times separate and independent parts of man's immortal nature; but in the pyramid texts they are welded together, and the dead king Pepi is addressed as "Osiris Pepi." The custom of calling the deceased Osiris continued until the Roman period. On the Osiris of a man, see Wiedemann, Die Osirianische Unsterblichkeitslehre (in Die Religion der alten Aegypter, p. 128).

3. ###. Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 7, l. 36.]

{p. lxxi}

the king is identified with this ladder: "Isis saith, 'Happy are they who see the 'father,' and Nephthys saith, 'They who see the father have rest,' speaking unto the father of this Osiris Pepi when he cometh forth unto heaven among the stars and among the luminaries which never set. With the uræus on his brow, and his book upon both his sides, and magic words at his feet, Pepi goeth forward unto his mother Nut, and he entereth therein in his name Ladder."[1] The gods who preside over this ladder are at one time Ra and Horus, and at another Horus and Set. In the pyramid of Unas it is said, "Ra setteth upright the ladder for Osiris, and Horus raiseth up the ladder for his father Osiris, when Osiris goeth to [find] his soul; one standeth on the one side, and the other standeth on the other, and Unas is betwixt them. Unas standeth up and is Horus, he sitteth down and is Set."[2] And in the pyramid of Pepi I. we read, "Hail to thee, O Ladder of God, hail to thee, O Ladder of Set. Stand up, O Ladder of God, stand up, O Ladder of Set, stand up, O Ladder of Horus, whereon Osiris went forth into heaven . . . . . . This Pepi is thy son, this Pepi is Horus, thou hast given birth unto this Pepi even as thou hast given birth unto the god who is the lord of the Ladder. Thou hast given him the Ladder of God, and thou hast given him the Ladder of Set, whereon this Pepi hath gone forth into heaven . . . . . . Every khu and every god stretcheth out his hand unto this Pepi when he cometh forth into heaven by the Ladder of God . . . . that which he seeth and that which he heareth make him wise, and serve as food for him when he cometh forth into heaven by the Ladder of God. Pepi riseth up like the uræus which is on the brow of Set, and every khu and every god stretcheth out his hand unto Pepi on the Ladder. Pepi hath gathered together his bones, he hath collected his flesh, and Pepi hath gone straightway into heaven by means of the two fingers of the god who is the Lord of the Ladder."[3] Elsewhere we are told that Khonsu and Set "carry the Ladder of Pepi, and they set it up."

When the Osiris of a man has entered into heaven as a living soul,[4] he is regarded as one of those who "have eaten the eye of Horus he walks among

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 190, ll. 181, 182.

2. Ibid., t. iv., p. 70, l. 579 ff

3.. Études de Mythologie et d'Archéologie, t. i., p. 344, note 1.

4 ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 52 (1. 456).

5. ###. Ibid., t. iii., p. 165 (l. 169).]

{p. lxxii}

The deification of the spiritual body.

living ones,[1] he becomes "God, the son of God,"[2] and all the gods of heaven become his brethren.[3] His bones are the gods and goddesses of heaven;[4] his right side belongs to Horns, and his left side to Set;[5] the goddess Nut makes him to rise up as a god without an enemy in his name "God";[6] and God calls him by his name.[7] His face is the face of Ap-uat, his eyes are the great ones among the souls of Annu, his nose is Thoth, his mouth is the great lake, his tongue belongs to the boat of right and truth, his teeth are the spirits of Annu, his chin is Khert-khent-Sekhem, his backbone is Sema, his shoulders are Set, his breast is Beba.[8] etc.; every one of his members is identified with a god. Moreover, his body as a whole is identified with the God of Heaven. For example it is said concerning Unas:--

t'et-k t'et ent Unas pen af-k af en Unas pen

Thy body is the body of Unas this. Thy flesh is the flesh of Unas this.

kesu-k kesu Unas pen seb-k seb Unas pen

Thy bones are the bones of Unas this. Thy passage is the passage of Unas this.

seb Unas pen seb-k

The passage of Unas this is thy passage.[9]

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 183 (l. 166).

2 ###. Ibid., t. viii., p. 89 (t. 574).

3. ###. See pyramid of Teta, (Recueil, t. v.), ll. 45, 137, 197, 302.

4. ###. Ibid., t. iii., p. 202 (1. 209).

5 Ibid., t. v., p. 23 (l. 198),

6 Ibid., t. v., p. 38, (l. 279).

7. Ibid., p. 26 (l. 222)

8. Ibid., t. viii., p. 88 (l. 565 ff.).

9. Ibid., t. iii., p. 214 (l. 268).]

{p. lxxiii}

Further, this identification of the deceased with the God of Heaven places him in the position of supreme ruler. For example, we have the prayer that Unas "may rule the nine gods and complete the company of the nine gods,"[1] and Pepi I., in his progress through heaven, comes upon the double company of the gods, who stretch out their hands, entreating him to come and sit down among them.[2]

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