To the judge of cycles, that if the
To summarize the section on ancient Egypt, is to realize the extent of the faith all Egyptians held in religion and belief of their after life. Just looking at the great lengths the Egyptians went to in keeping the bodies safe for all eternity. From their burial sites and pyramids, to the 70 days it takes to prepare the body for proper burial. The Egyptians held so much sacred and believed so much in the ascension into afterlife, that to me it seemed that death was not to be feared by the Egyptians as long as their heart was pure.Although in the western world we probably think this is a bit extreme, but most people I think believe or want to believe in an afterlife, and, immortality is something all men have craved, especially after their youth has left them.
The Book of the Dead I thought was fascinating, how it paralleled the beliefs of the western societys afterlife when we sit in judgment of god. I perceived the weighing of the heart in the presence of Thoth the judge of cycles, that if the heart is found pure and of no fault then the monster Amemet would not prevail against him. Come our judgment day in most western beliefs, we are either allowed into heaven or cast down to hell. It was easy to understand most of the Egyptians thinking in the inscriptions that were left, because of the similarities of most of the religions.
Another marvel of Egypt was the temples and statues, the size and quantity of them. With the limited tools of the time and the precision of the building of the pyramids, its hard not to think of the spirit and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians to accomplish these feats, you almost have to think there was something mystical or magical about these people. I believe it was the second film we watched, that the narrator said there was nothing written that the people were slaves or worked as slaves, they built for their king of their own will. A job that must have taken years to do (the pyramids) their faith in their Gods and Goddesses and of their king must have been immense. That kind of love and devotion en masse is not found anymore I dont think in any religion.
In my travels around the world I have seen many cultures and religions, from Korea and Japan to some South Pacific islands, including Australia and New Zealand, down to Central America and even some Voodoo in the Caribbean. I have seen how much more religion means to people outside the U.S. (not saying that we dont believe as much as the next guy just not as grand a scale) most places I have visited, place religion high in their priorities in their daily life. Church is regular as well as prayer, also their fear in whatever god they worship is greater, so I believe it gives me a glimpse at what the ancient Egyptians might have lived or thought like or at least a better view than if I was relegated to just the New Jersey Catholic point of view I was raised on. It has at least made it easier for me to believe and picture the Egyptian culture and religion as a real people, and I am thankful for that.
Even though I have a clearer view than some into this land and its mystery, I am not without questions. The obvious pyramid building, which is everyones biggest question. But how did the knowledge of resurrection and the afterlife get to the people? Did the gods talk to one man? Did it come in a dream or a vision and was it written down in form right away? Even though I have questions there is too much I have seen and read to marvel at to worry about them right now, just something to ponder for the future.
Breaking the surface the last few weeks into Egypt and their religion and beliefs, has made me want to continue my travels to that side of the world. If not to just see the landmarks of time but to feel what people have experienced throughout the films and what was expressed in class. It seems people talk about Egypt with a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction, as if they have been touched with an experience that is everlasting. I want to share that feeling even if its for a moment. I think to Dr. Caballa in the temple of Isis and the feeling he got being in her presence, peaks my curiosity even more. And even though I am only a sometimes practicing catholic, and I dont have the connections to Egypt that Dr. Caballa has, I cant help but think I would feel something. I have an open mind and a sense of adventure. And I think a trip to the ancient land would be quite an adventure.