The result of thousands of years of comprehension of burial customs, which arose from the desire to preserve the body of the deceased close to his relatives and friends, and meditative knowledge of the essence of a human being, is the teaching of the great initiates of Egypt about man.
Initiates of Ancient Egypt believed that a person is a multidimensional creature that has seven shells (of which five were named), corresponding to the seven levels of his existence.
The first shell of a person (ancient Egyptian Sakh) is his material body, the visible part of a human being. It is only a small part of what a person really is.
The main purpose of the Sah shell is to enter into contact and interaction with the material, corporeal world and to act in it. To do this, it is equipped with skin, sensitive nerves, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and much more.
By the state and appearance of the body, the initiate could judge the state of the other shells of a person. The pure sugar of a healthy person was the result of his spiritual purity. The vices and ailments of Sakh were considered a consequence of the impurity of the energy sheaths.
A clean body could eventually become polluted and become ritually impure, and a polluted body could be purified. The Egyptian initiates believed that the impurities in the spiritual shells eventually penetrate into the material body, where they manifest themselves in the form of physical ailments.
The Sakh could be purified by eating cleaner food and drink, performing ritual cleansing rituals with water, sodium salts, incense, ointments, as well as cleansing the spiritual shells with prayers, spells, hymns, etc.
The Egyptians treasured the safety of the body of the deceased. Most of all, they cared about the safety of the head - the seat of life. Decapitation and burning were considered a terrible fate in Egypt. It seemed no less disgusting to be torn to pieces by jackals. This was desired only by the enemies of the gods.
The body of the deceased was thoroughly washed, cleansed with sodium salts, anointed and embalmed. The first, still imperfect attempts to mummify bodies took place already under the kings of the first dynasties (the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC).
To insure the deceased in the event of the destruction of his Sakh, the Egyptians installed in the tombs portrait copies of the deceased made of wood and stone, into which, if necessary, his energy shells could be infused.
It was believed that the gods also have Sakh, that is, a body given in sensations. In addition to bodies created by nature, the gods began to use casings made by people - sculptures, sacred objects and images in temples.
The second shell of a person (Old Egyptian Ku, Late Egyptian Ka, Ke) represented his vital energy, etheric body, human energy double, twin soul. Of modern concepts, the term "biofield" corresponds most of all to this.
Ka is, on the one hand, the totality of mental sensations of a living person, and on the other, Ka is inextricably linked with the personality, personality of the deceased, his bodily and spiritual features.
Initiates could see Ka in the form of a colored, iridescent glow around the material body. Usually the material body and the human energy double are not separated. But with poor health, severe nervous shock or excitement, the etheric shell of Ka can partially leave the body of Sah. As a result of this, a person falls into a semi-conscious state or trance.
Shortly before death, when the energy double Ka becomes uncomfortable in the material body Sah, he can leave it. (This is the amazing phenomenon of the ghost-double - many see their counterparts before death.)
After the death of a person, his Ka can be in the other world to meet the deceased there, heading for his Ka. Both of them are in another world, at the same time Ka lives in a tomb in which the remains of the deceased are buried, and accepts offerings there from living relatives of the deceased (or rather, accepts energy counterparts-Foods and drinks, incense, etc.)
Already in the tombs of the nobles of the Old Kingdom, stone or wooden portraits of the deceased were placed, which, in the event of destruction or damage to his mummy, were to become a haven for the deceased Ka. The portrait resemblance of the statue was very important for the soul-Ka to recognize it and move into it.
The gods also had Ka. God Ptah had his Ka in the Memphis sanctuary. God Ra had 14 Ka - in masculine and feminine aspects to the individually reflected energy of each luminary (Sun and Earth, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn).
The third shell of a person (ancient Egyptian Bi, pos / 7.-Egyptian Ba, Be) is the essence of a person, what is called "vital force", soul-manifestation, the shell of the subconscious, which in modern literature is often called "astral body."
Ba is formed from the totality of human feelings, desires, emotions. The ba changes its shape with surprising speed under the influence of each impact of sensations, feelings, desires and thoughts.
In the Old Kingdom, it was believed that only gods, kings and high priests, that is, the great initiates, possess Ba.
The ba was thought of as something separately existing only after the death of the great initiate. Ba was depicted as a falcon with a human head. It was also believed that Ba is the energy that animates the statue or fetish of a god, or a mummy (while Sah and Ba were thought to be tied by close ties).
When the essence (Ba) is separated from the body (Sakh), the latter falls into a sleepy torpor. Initiated Egyptians could, at their will, make wanderings in the form of a pilgrimage to various places and even to another world.
At the same time, Ba, who, like a bird, could leave the body of a sleeping person, a mummy in a tomb, a statue of a god or a king and move as far as desired, invariably had to return to the body whose soul it was. Ba was sometimes depicted sitting on a tree near the tomb, drinking water from a pond, but without fail descending into the tomb to the body with which it was connected.
The ba form the world of another soul and the world of dreams. Moreover, it was the Ba of the deceased who possessed the ability to migrate to other bodies, to transfer to another material entity.
In the "Book of the Dead" it is said about the introduction of the deceased Ba into the divine golden hawk, the Phoenix bird, the crane, a swallow, a ram, a crocodile, a snake.
The gods also had their own Ba souls, often several. God Ra even possessed the seven Ba, the astral energies of seven luminaries (Sun and Earth, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). In addition, the planet Mars was considered Ba Horus (Red Horus), Jupiter - Ba Horus and Ba Seta, Saturn - Ba of the bull Horus.
Fixed stars and constellations were also seen as the Ba of the gods. For example, the constellation of Orion was considered the Ba of Osiris (especially the Belt of Orion), the constellation Canis Major (the star Sirius) - Ba Isis. 36 star decans embodied the Ba of certain gods.
Sometimes one god was considered the ba of another god. In particular, Ra is named in the texts of Ba Nun, Apis - Ba Ptah, Socaris - Ba Osiris.
The fourth shell of a person (Old Egyptian Ib, Late Egyptian Eb) is the soul-heart, the container of human consciousness (the modern concept of "mental body" is most suitable for comparison).
Eb is formed by human thoughts and mental images. Eb is extremely mobile, transparent and gentle. According to the feelings of the initiates, with progressive development, Eb acquires a radiant unearthly beauty. Eb is an immortal soul.
The Egyptian initiates considered the heart to be the focus of human consciousness. Hence - a single naming for two concepts: "mental body" and "heart". After the death of a person, Eb returns to his universal primary source - Eb of the god Osiris.
Eb was seen as something most aware of the hidden thoughts of a person and the secret motives of his actions. Therefore, at the Afterlife Court, Eb could become a dangerous witness, give the gods unfavorable testimony about the earthly life of the deceased. After all, Eb captures the record of all the good and evil thoughts of a person.
The Book of the Dead (chapters 27 and 30) contains magic spells that induce Eb not to testify against the deceased in the Afterlife.
In the process of mummification of the body, an artificial heart in the form of a sculpture of a scarab with incantations inscribed on it was often put into it. The scarab amulet was also swaddled over the mummy's heart. Ab-scarab was supposed to provide the deceased with favorable testimony about his earthly deeds at the Afterlife Court.
This symbolism allegorically describes Eb as the energy of the Sun, because the scarab is a symbol of the god Khepri (one of the hypostases of Ra is the god of the rising sun).
The fifth shell of a person is also Eb, the soul-cause or overconsciousness (the closest modern concept: "causal or karmic body"). The soul-cause is immortal; it transfers information to the next incarnations in the form of unconscious aspirations. She is responsible for the place and time of birth of a person, all his congenital bodily defects and diseases.
It is the soul-cause that allows a person to be born in a certain family, clan, tribe, people, partnership and state, with whose members it had connections in previous incarnations.
The sixth shell of a person is also Eb, soul-meaning or self-consciousness; in Egyptian terms, a meaning-producing soul. Thanks to her, a person can observe the flow of his own thoughts, be aware of his existence, perceive the innermost meaning of his life.
If the soul of Eb (consciousness) is polluted with evil thought-images, then they prevent the soul-meaning (self-consciousness) from perceiving the infinity of consciousness, just as clouds and haze prevent the Sun (Oka Uazhat) from perceiving the surface of the Earth.
The seventh shell of a person is spirit (Ah), a part of the general energetic basis of the universe. In Egyptian, Ah literally means "bright, enlightened, illuminated, blissful."
Ah is immortal, boundless, it permeates absolutely everything that exists in the universe. Ah is here and there, at every point in space and contains all information in all its forms. Ah dwells both in the material world and in the incorporeal world, he is omnipresent.
Ah - one for all. This spirit protects against evil: evil thoughts, words and deeds, - blocking its source with dense barriers of the causal shell.
The Gods also have the Spirit-Ah. The most often mentioned are Ah (spirit-soul) of Osiris, Horus, Ra, as well as the collective plurality of spirits-souls or souls-spirits of otherness, who hospitably or hostilely meet various types of souls of the deceased (his Ka, Ba, Ah).
The spirit of Ah was depicted as a crested ibis.
Thus, when dealing with a living or dead person, all seven of his shells had to be taken into account. The Egyptian initiates paid considerable attention to the real name (ancient Egyptian Rin, Late Egyptian Ren) and the shadow (ancient Egyptian Shuit) of a person.
The beginning of the ancient Egyptian funeral rite was considered the mummification of the first shell (Sakh) of the deceased.
The desire to protect the body from decomposition led the Egyptians to the invention of mummification - a kind of preservation of the body while maintaining its integrity.
At first, mummification was achieved by bandaging all limbs and torso with linen sheets.
Then the process of working with the deceased's Sakh became more complicated. The entrails were removed from the body cavities. Various mineral and herbal remedies were used to preserve the body, primarily sodium salts, aromatic resins of cedar, cypress, cassia, etc.
The art of mummification reached its highest perfection in the 16th-13th centuries. BC e.
Later, during the time of the Seven Greek Wise Men and Pythagoras, mummification was done something like this.
The deceased was brought to the embalmers, who showed their relatives a choice of wooden painted images of the deceased. At the same time, the masters called the best method of embalming, which, as it was believed, was once used by Isis and Nefti-da to Osiris.
This was the most expensive way. There was also a second, simpler and cheaper way of embalming. Finally, there was a third way - the cheapest.
Then the embalmers questioned the relatives of the deceased, in what way and for what price they would like to mummify the deceased. After agreeing on the price, the relatives returned home, and the craftsmen immediately and most carefully set to work.
The three ways of embalming in the New and Late Egyptian periods were roughly as follows.
First way. First, the brain was removed from Sah's body with an iron hook through the nostrils. Only part of the brain was removed in this way; the remainder was withdrawn by injecting dissolution solutions. Then, an incision was made in the groin with a sharp Ethiopian stone and the entire abdominal and chest cavity was cleaned from the insides (except for the heart!), Which were collected in four special vessels - canopic.
On the lid of each canopy there was a picture of the "child of Horus" (sons of the god Horus): Has (Amset) - the keeper of the canopy with a liver; Hani is the keeper of the canopy with lungs; Duamutef - keeper of canopy with stomach; Kebehsenuf is the keeper of the canopy with intestines.
After cleaning the cavity and rinsing it with palm wine, the craftsmen cleaned it again with mashed incense. Finally, the body cavity was filled with pure ground myrrh, cassia, and other incense (except incense) and sewn up.
After these operations, the body was placed in soda lye for 70 days, because Isis also collected the body of her husband Osiris for 70 days and mummified him.
After this period, the body was washed, dried in a special way, tied with swaddling clothes made of a very thin linen cloth cut into bandages, and the bandages were fastened with gum instead of glue.
It was believed that all the materials used by the embalmers were obtained from the tears of Isis and Nephthys for the murdered husband-brother Osiris. The veils for the mummy were to be made by the god of weaving Hedihati and the goddess Taitet. The god of winemaking Shesem had to give
To Anubis and the Sons of Horus of oil and rubbing for embalming.
After that, the relatives took the body, made a wooden sarcophagus in the shape of a human figure and placed a mummy there. This sarcophagus was kept in the family tomb, where it was placed upright against the wall.
In this way wealthy and noble people embalmed their dead.
Second way. If relatives, due to the high cost of the first method, had to choose a cheaper one, then the masters did this.
Using a tube for washing, cedar oil was injected into the abdominal cavity of the deceased, without cutting the groin or removing the viscera. And then, tightly closing all the openings of the body so that the oil does not leak out, they put the body in soda lye for 70 days.
For a longer period, however, it was impossible to leave the body in the lye. On the last day, oil was released from the body. This oil acted so strongly that it decomposed all the insides that flowed out along with the oil. Soda lye decomposed fat, so that only skin and bones remained of the deceased.
Then, after thoroughly washing and drying the body, they returned it to their relatives without doing anything else with it. They buried the deceased in a pit, sometimes in an earthen coffin or a large vessel.
Third way. The third method of embalming, applied to the poor, was simple and cheap. Radish juice was poured into the abdominal cavity and the body was placed in soda lye for 70 days. After that, having washed and dried the body, they returned it to their relatives for burial in an ordinary earthen grave.
If the skills and skill of the hands were enough to perform actions on the Sakh of the deceased, then other methods and techniques were required to influence the rest, imperceptible and invisible energy shells of a person. It was impossible to do without an effective word. This is where our path to the correct interpretation of the "Book of the Dead" begins.