Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Of Consciousness,Love,Truth,Artichokes and Afterlife,Mummies and Dummies

drawing by marguerita

The heart was generally the only organ
left inside the human mummy.
Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the seat of one’s consciousness,
and that it was weighed against the feather of truth
during Osiris’s judgment of the deceased.
If the scale remained in balance,
the deceased was accepted into the afterlife.
To ensure success,
a heart scarab was placed close to the heart
of the mummy.
Its inscriptions asked the heart to support the deceased during judgment.


'Behold, I have come to You,

Bringing Justice to You,

Repelling evil for you.

I have not done evil against men.

I have not improvished my associates.

I have not acted crookedly in the Place of Justice.


I have not defiled a god.

I have not worsened the lot of an orphan.

I have not done what the gods detest.

I have not calumniated a servant to his master.

I have not caused either pain or hunger.

I have not brought forth tears.

I have not killed.

I have not commanded to kill.

I have not caused anyone sorrow.

The unusual shape of this amulet represents an animal’s heart—
the shape of the hieroglyph for “heart”—with the head of a scarab beetle,
a symbol of regeneration.-
from an exhibit at Brooklyn Museum

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