Ancient Egyptian - The symbolism of weighing
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
In ancient Egyptian myth, the journey of the soul after death [or in the process of rebirth] is quite different than what most of us are used to.
Upon leaving the body, the soul enters the presence of Ma’at who is the Goddess personification of universal order. At this time, the heart of the soul is placed upon one side of a scale, while Ma’at’s own crown feather is placed upon the other side. If the heart is lighter than the feather, it continues to a perfected land. If, however, the heart is heavier than the feather, the jaws of a great cosmic beast hold the fate of the poor soul.
This myth explains a very powerful truth- that having a ‘light heart’ is the key to being fit for spiritual prowess. The heart who is heavy with guilt, resentment, fear, hatred and loss cannot conquer the test of Ma’at. The heart who processes things as they come in this life, keeps company only with the light things of life such as love, joy, forgiveness, compassion and spiritual progress moves on to something greater.
In this myth there is also a point missing which most of us are accustomed to- being judged by the Divine. Notice how Ma’at allows the heart to judge itself by its own weight. She only offers the ‘measure’ by which the heart can test its heaviness. This part of the myth holds a great key to understanding both spiritual enlightenment and the path of creation in this life- we are judge, jury, and executioner for ourselves at every single moment, and the choices we make affect ourselves and all else, in addition to right now and all time.