Heavens Mirror

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Chapter 4
In the Hall of the Double Truth (cont)

The Word

Like so many of the other funerary and rebirth texts of ancient Egypt, the Coffin Texts are manuals to guide the afterlife journey of the soul - the terrifying quest in the dark valley of the Duat that culminates with the Judgement Scene. The texts are so called because they were inscribed inside coffins, presumably so as to be easily accessible to the dead. They date from the First Intermediate Period (2134–2040 BC) and were particularly favoured during the Twelfth Dynasty (1991–1783 BC). In the early spells we read:

The young god [the deceased entering the afterlife kingdom of Osiris having found immortality] is born of the beautiful West, having come here from the land of the living; he has got rid of the dust which was on him, he has filled his body with magic, he has quenched his thirst with it ... he has mastered the land through what he knew.

In a later spell an almost identical formula occurs:

See, Your Majesty has come, you have acquired all power, and nothing has been left behind by you ... You have filled your body with magic, you have quenched your thirst with it ... you have mastered the land with what you know like those to whom you have gone down.

And later still we read of the triumph of the "equipped spirit" and may begin to guess as to what it is with which he is "equipped":

I have passed over the paths of Osiris; they are in the limit of the sky. As for him who knows this spell for going down into them, he himself is a god, in the suite of Thoth; he will go down to any sky to which he wishes to go down to. But as for him who does not know this spell for passing over these paths, he shall be taken into the infliction of the dead which is ordained, as one who is nonexistent.
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