Before the departure of our Escape to the Mysterious Temples of Upper EgyptHere's a glimpse into the beliefs of one of mankind's richest civilisations.
The ancient Egyptians saw living beings as a combination of numerous material and immaterial components: the Ba and the Kathe Djet, l'Akhthe Ren and Shout.
- The Ba generally translated as "soul" and represented by the stork, is the energy of transformation, communication and movement of the individual. This principle establishes the link between the real (life on earth) and the imaginary (the afterlife and the world of the gods). It is through this energy that the gods wishing to intervene in human affairs have incarnated in men, animals or objects.
- The Ka is a concept that Egyptologists have decided to translate as "double": visually, the Ka of an individual is represented as his twin. This double has a life of its own, it is the vital breath of the being, its will and its strength to accomplish the acts of life. It is a static and unalterable element. In the plural, Kaou means food and what the body needs to maintain life.
- The Djet is the carnal envelope of living man, the receptacle of his immaterial components and also his body of eternity. It may be the physical body or its representations. At death, the body is mummified to guarantee the post-mortem future of the being. The Khat is the body as a corpse.
- L'AkhAnother part of the human soul is the divine force, represented by the ibis. A force of supernatural origin, the Akh belongs to heaven. During the transition to the afterlife, the human soul is judged: the heart is weighed (Haty and Ib), the seat of man's memory and consciousness. If the heart was heavier than the feather of Maat, it was devoured... Otherwise, the Akh gained eternal life.
- The Ren is the name. It is an essential component of being, the proof of its existence and the condition of its immortality. It is also a vulnerable point because it confers a means of action on him: beneficial or evil action, depending on the intentions of the person pronouncing it or on the rite performed. For this reason, the gods kept their real names secret. It was by obtaining the secret name of the god Ra that Isis managed to save Horus (who was under constant attack from snakes and scorpions). She passed on to him the supreme power of the creator, which all the pharaohs would subsequently inherit.
- Shout (the shadow) is the double of the physical body, but also of its mental and emotional states. In The Book of the Dead, the "Formula for making someone have the use of his legs in the Empire of the Dead", it is said that Shout must have full freedom of movement; this is a condition for man's victory in the world of the dead.
These beliefs governed life on earth, but also funeral rites, as you will discover in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the last stage of our journey. African Odyssey.