Maat and the weighing of our hearts

I recently attended a funeral.

A burial brings into sharp focus issues of mortality, right-living and also right-thinking. As you watch the coffin being placed into the ground and then being covered over with earth, the image in one’s mind is of the return to Earth and of a cycle by which we are all bound and connected to each other. Somehow a curtain sliding across as a coffin moves towards a hidden incinerator at a cremation doesn’t really bring home the same message. At such moments it is obvious we are all brothers and sisters. Why does humanity suffer such amnesia.. is it coded into our genes?

That night during sleep I visited all the contentious areas of my life to which my mind tried to find resolution. At times i couldn’t tell when I was asleep and when awake. It was as if for that short period of time consciousness was unified… very strange!

Maat is the principle of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice, depicted by the goddess Maat with a feather in her hair by which on our deaths our hearts are weighed for lightness. If we are weighed and found wanting we do not ascend to Heaven (Aaru) but stay condemned to the Duat (underworld). The origins of the religion of Christianity are here for all to see.

To pass the gate with a light heart we must confess the following:

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.