…When I left off…
So how does THE SOUL™ correlate with the Weighing of the Heart and reincarnation?
Of the five parts that make up THE SOUL™, only four of them are going to end up in the Duat and at the Weighing of the Heart chamber. Those four aspects are the ib, sheut, ren, and ba. It is those four parts of THE SOUL™ that are all necessary to pass through the convoluted chambers to get into the ceremony itself. The ka has no need to follow these parts into the Duat. (Where it goes, I’ll get to later.)
To pass through the Duat, one needs to remember special spells and incantations to get through the warren of passages. The Underworld, according to the Egyptians, was very similar to the world that they knew. So, in utilizing this, one can assume that the Duat is similar to life on Earth: there are trees and animals; rivers and oceans; mountains and grasslands, as well as labyrinthine passages that lead to the Weighing of the Heart chamber, itself. However, there are also fantastical things within such as trees of turquoise and lakes of fire. And of course, there are also all of the dangerous spirits that guard the gates leading to the WotH chamber.
It is during this time that the ba is needed to recall all of the magical formula needed to get passed the guardian spirits. It is here that spells are meticulously recited–the spells of the Book of the Dead, for example–so that the dead person can reach their ultimate goal. It is my belief that while the ib, sheut, and ren are important aspects of the soul that need to be present in the WotH chamber, it is the ba, itself, that is the most important.
The ba is related to the personality of the dead person and it is here that, I feel, the memory of those spells would reside. The ren and the sheut are basic aspects, too, but it is the ba that is the storehouse of these rituals. It is this aspect that holds all of the knowledge that was soaked up during the waking life of the person in question, but also spent the most time memorizing the spells placed on the coffin or burial chamber. After all, it is the ba that is represented by a bird’s body surmounted by the head of the dead person: the eyes and memory of that person.
Once the ba has seen the important parts–the ib, sheut and ren–to the Weighing of the Heart chamber, it becomes necessary for it to watch the proceedings. The ib of the dead person is placed upon the giant scale to be weighed against the Feather of Ma’at. So, it is that aspect that, perhaps, could be argued of being the most important: without the heart, there would be no ceremony. As the weighing takes place, the ba, sheut, and ren watch on in anticipation of the unknown outcome.
With the weighing done, and is successful, a further break up of what had once been THE SOUL™ takes place. The ba is then allowed to return to the mortal plane in the form of akh, or a ghost. It is this aspect that feeds upon the offerings left at the mortuary temple or at the burial site itself. It is this aspect, also, that is sought during the Wag Festival (kind of like a Dia de los Muertos, ancient Egyptian style) to be praised and honored. It is, also, this aspect that is requested when advice is needed. Because the ba has passed the Weighing of the Heart, it has transformed itself into akh/ghost.
The ren, sheut, and ib aspects are then let into Aaru. Aaru, also known as the Field of Rushes, is the ultimate goal of any ancient Egyptian worth their salt. It was an eternal paradise where all souls went once their souls were found to weigh the same as the Feather of Ma’at. It was envisioned just as the Nile delta, with rushes and reeds throughout. The place was broken into innumerable island chains that traversed from then until forever. The ren, sheut, and ib aspects were allowed to live there under the watchful eye of Wesir, who resided in a little alcove-like place nearby, known as the Field of Offerings.
The ka, however, was left out of all of this and that is because it is this aspect of THE SOUL™ that is reincarnated.
The symbol for the ka is most often represented as two hands lifted upright, which I think helps to promoted my theory. My theory, if you will recall, is that we are reincarnated and it is through the soul that our future lives are crafted before reincarnation is taken place. The ka, the aspect that I feel is the reincarnated aspect, is symbolized by two hands: the two hands, perhaps, that handcrafted the life that is being lived or will be lived…?
So, it is the ka portion of THE SOUL™ that holds the answers to the lessons learned and is reincarnating itself to the grand finale. It is the ka person that handcrafts what the next life will be like. On top of deciding which lessons it wants to add to the journey, besides the ones it didn’t finish or didn’t learn from in the previous life, it also has to chose the ib, the sheut, the ren, and the ba that will be making the living journey with it.
You know, I really didn’t think that would go as smoothly as it did…