So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

09 July, 2010


The irony in the manuscript that I'm currently working on - a treatment of the texts colloquially known as "The Egyptian Book of the Dead" - is that funerary theology is perhaps the least interesting part of my religion to me.

Of course, it's the thing that everyone thinks about when they think Egypt, and it's also where we have a boatload of actual resources, so as a place to work from it's not a bad idea.

The thing with systematic theology is, though, that it doesn't matter where you start; you tug at the bits and they wiggle the rest of it and suddenly you're exploring the whole system. A lot of Egyptian funerary literature is about fixing "what went wrong" that someone is dead, which means that when one teases out how it works and what's being done, one actually comes away with a really vibrant picture of the understanding of life. (Because that's actually what it's really about. It's not even subtle.)

There is a lot to be said about the construction of identity and the nature of being in this system, but honestly I keep orbiting around a bit of the Pyramid Texts that I wrote about before.

A bit of the Pyramid Texts that I keep wanting to express as "Hug your children so they have souls."

"You put your arms around them like the arms of a ka, that your ka might be in them."

The ka - the vessel of life-energy, twin to our bodies, a sustaining and generating force etymologically and thus magically linked to food, reproduction, genitalia, that portion of the gods which receives offerings and that portion of our friends which receives gifts - that essential part of a person is bestowed through parental care and affection.

Further, that soul of ours is the same as the souls of our parents, their parents, all our kin, the whole of humanity, the whole of animal-kind, all living things, all things animated by internal spirits, by the essential kinship of coming forth from the Creator, which passed that soul, that ka, into the twinned First Children, and from there into all the created universe through that process of ongoing differentiation. When I offer to the gods with "May your ka be fed" I am allowing this energetic connection to be awakened and to flow, divine to me, me to divine, because it cannot be allowed to stagnate: I give, They give, the cycles of life depend on the ka feeding the ka feeding the ka, all through all things. When I open my arms to my friends, present them with gifts ("For your ka"), likewise our bonds as citizens of the cosmos are affirmed.

It is a little tiny line, that "put your arms about them like the arms of a ka, that your ka might be in them", buried in a set of texts that hardly any people actually read. But tug at it a little, tug and see what wiggles.

Hug your children so they have souls. So they have their unique and glorious portion of the soul, the creative essence, the live spirit of what some might call God Herself.

Hug your children. Eat. Love. Give.

Honor what comes to you by opening your arms and letting it move.

For your ka.

And mine.

For the kau of all the little children.

All the elders.

All the world.


Rootietoot said...

Thanks for this. I love getting different perspectives, especially since here in the buckle of the Bible Belt, "different" means Baptist vs Presbyterian.

Anonymous said...

see, I told you I was going to nick this.

And it's totally like the way I look at the Divine.

*yoink* :D