Egyptians gave as much attention to their dead as they did to the living. Some believe that the Book of the Dead is a morbid book of death but that simply isn’t so. Normally people flock the shelves and pull off one book translated by Budge, however, if you want to explore a more beautiful side to death, a more spiritual, then I’d suggest Normandi Ellis’ book called Awakening Osiris –A translation of the Book of the Dead. After reading that book, and believe me, I’ve read it many, many, many times, I began to wonder if there was something concerning the Egyptians, their mummies, and their outlook on death that we were missing.
Ancient Egyptians did not view their death with fear or hesitation. Death was but a doorway into a new existence…a new life…a new world. They spent their entire life preparing for this journey but also making the best of their life despite their place in society. For instance, a cook used his or hers talents to the best of their abilities because they believed that it was a gift from the Gods. A carpenter was the same way or anyone of any skill or trade.
Pharaohs spent entire lifetimes building huge pyramids and no matter who you were, when you died, those who loved you did not mourn with despair but rather made a ritual of bringing temple cakes and incense to your tomb each and every day where they would leave them for you.
That which can be named must exist. That which is named can be written. That which is written shall be remembered. That which is remembered lives. In the land of Egypt Osiris breathes. The sun rises and mists disperse. As I am, I was, and I shall be a thing of matter and heaven.—Normandi Ellis Awakening Osiris
Egyptians believed that as long as they remembered a person’s name, they would live forever. You can imagine their horror when Christianity and other forms of religions swept through, stabbing the stones of temples in a cruel attempt to rid the world of various Gods/Goddesses and then turning those places of Ancient stone into churches of their own.
Some people don’t realize this but the rituals for preparing the dead in The Book of the Dead were some of the longest lasting funeral preparations surviving culture after culture. They even saw their way into Rome and the only thing that prevented the rituals from going further is that each culture added their own mark, making them longer and longer. Also, eventually, Rome fell under the hands of a One God path so the old ways were long gone.
Here is the question though…
Did the Egyptians have knowledge of other worlds? They claimed that when a person died, they passed through the stages of the Underworld…a place that was a dimension all on its own. It was believed that the person would take their place by the Gods. Some believe that they passed through to another world while others believed the ‘other side’ was simply a reward, an experience spent until the time of reincarnation came.
If this is correct…are the Dead really dead? Perhaps the Spirits that we see are glimpses we catch when the veil is thin. Perhaps these are not spirits or souls lingering about, but actual beings living in another time, another place. And perhaps when the Egyptians believed that death was but a door into another phase of life…another world…they meant more by that then what we first imagined.
It’s something to think about.
Osiris returns from the mountain of sand to the green land of his birth. Morning comes to Egypt. Across an expanse of dirt and stone, cool shadows strain towards the mountain where in dry tombs the dead are yawning, wondering who has lit the temple fire and who has brought sweet cake. I, Osiris, rise and hurry into the two lands of the living. Black earth and red earth join a buckle of sky. I embrace the double horizon. I embrace the two mountains, the east and the west. I am god of the living and dead, embracing my soul and shadow. –Normandi Ellis Awakening Osiris