The Unbearable Lightness of Being


A scene from the Egyptian Book of the Dead on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; Osiris and Anubis weigh the heart against Maat's feather of truth as Thoth records the result. The ancient Egyptians buried their dead with scrolls decorated with scenes like this one and spells to protect the buried and guide their souls into the afterlife. Known in ancient Egypt as "The Chapters of Going Forth by Day", passages have been found on mummification bandages, rolls of papyrus, on tomb walls and on sarcophagi, eventually collected and arranged by Karl Lepsius in the mid-1800s to form the coherent whole that we today call the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Inscriptions describe the challenging path to the afterlife, one filled with monstrous creatures and tests of character, the very final of which was the weighing of the heart. It's easy to wonder if any of us today would pass, with a heart light as a feather...


"There is no perfection, only life"

- Milan Kundera


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