Saturday, January 20, 2007

Exhibition: More re Journey To The Afterlife

An article looking at the ancient Eygptian afterlife, in the context of the Journey exhibition currently in Canberra, Australia. The piece looks less at the exhibition than at the information it imparts:
"The embalming and the storing of organs in jars is because the dead person will need them. To get safely through to eternity you need a body, a name, a soul and a life force; the absence of any of these is a disaster. To erase a name and destroy a body is to deny the owner any possibility of life after death. That is the capital punishment of criminals - exterminating body and name, execution in this life and forever after.
The soul takes the shape of a bird, sometimes a plump creature with a human head, sometimes a stylised swoop of wings; you have to guard it closely but it can fly about, always returning to its body. If its body is not available it will try to find another, a living body, and will make it ill. Similarly dangerous is a body whose soul is lost.
Just as the sun rises in the east and sails in a barge across the sky to its setting, so the dead travel to the Beautiful West, and end up in the heaven of the Field of Reeds. If they are good, or lucky. But first they have to journey through the underworld and face its god Osiris."

No comments: