Wednesday, February 20, 2008
What is your theory as to why Egyptians seem so preoccupied with continuity and permanence?
The Egyptians being preoccupied with continuity and permanence I believe mostly comes from the way they think about death and their afterlife. Egyptians accepted death as being apart of their lives, and they wanted to be prepared for the inevitable. The elaborate burial ceremonies were a way of accepting death and preparing for the other part of their life, the afterlife. The Egyptians believed that they had three souls: Ka, Ba and Akh. Basically for all three souls to come back together in the afterlife the body had to be intact. If the body was destroyed then that meant that the soul was also destroyed and their life truly ended. I believe these ideas of permanence and continuity came from the natural elements around them. The flooding of the Nile seasonally, the sun rising and setting, the moon and stars rising at night, these were all things that were permanent and consistent. And the Egyptians incorporated these ideas into their beliefs about death. They believed their afterlife to be in heaven, which to them was in one star where others perpetually orbited. I believe that the Egyptians were preoccupied with continuity and permanence because that is what they wanted for their lives to be. To have an afterlife and live forever essentially is the permanence and continuity that they were trying to achieve.