HUMAN NATURE

HUMAN NATURE

“The ancient Egyptians had very specific ideas about human nature. In order for every human being (including the king) to exist, five different elements were thought to be necessary. References to these elements occur in Egyptian texts of all kinds. To understand what many of the texts are talking abut, we need to appreciate what the Egyptians thought about the five elements and their function is human life. The easiest element for us to understand is the physical one: the body. The body is the physical shell within which every human being exists. The Egyptians recognized that the body derived from an individual’s parents, from the father’s seed planed in the mother’s womb. They also realized that human beings to undrstnd. Essentially, the ba is everything th“body parts,” was often used instead of the singular as the word for “body.” The most important part of the body was the heart. To the Egyptians, this was not only he enter of physical activity but also the seat of thought and emotion. This is a common human belief; we still have remnants of it in such English phrases as “broken-hearted” and “heartfelt wish.” In Egyptian text where the word jb is used, the translation ”mind” sometimes makes better sense than the literal “heart.” To refer to the heart as a physical organ, Egyptian also used the word nisbe from “front”:i.e., the “frontal” organ) rather than jb; often, however, he two terms seem to be interchangeable. Along with each body came a shadow. The shadow is an essential adjunct to the body, sine every body casts one. Because the shadow derives from the body, the Egyptians believed it had something of the body -- and, therefore, of the body’s owner -- in it. The representations of gods are sometimes called their “shadows” for the same reason. Every individual also had a ba. This is perhaps the most difficult of the Egyptian ideas about human beings to understand. Essentially, the ba is everything that makes a person an individual except the body. The ba also refers to the impression that an individual makes on others, somewhat like our concept of an individual’s “personality”; this notion underlies the abstract noun b3w, which means “impressiveness.” Like the western notion of “soul”(with which ba is sometimes translated), the ba is spiritual rather than physical, and is part of the person that lives on after the person dies. The Egyptians imagined it as being able to move freely from the mummified body out of the tomb and into the world of the living; for this reason, it is sometimes shown, and written, as a human-headed bird. The concept of ba is mostly associated with human beings and the gods, but other things, such as a door, can have a ba as well. This is presumable because such things can have a distinct “personality” or make a distinct impression, even though they are not alive in the same way that human beings and the gods are. Along with a body, shadow, and ba, every living individual also had a ka. This concept means something like “life force.” The ka is what makes the difference between a living person and a dead one: death occurs when it leaves the body. The Egyptians believed that the lif for of the ka originated with the creator, was transmitted to mankind in general through the king, and was passed on to individual human beings for their fathers. The notion of this transmission was sometimes represented metaphorically as an embrace: this seems to be the origin of the “extended arms” sign with which the word k3 is written in hieroglyphs. The Egyptians also thought tht the ka was sustained through food and drink -- understandable , since without these substances, human beings die. This notion underlies the abstract noun k3w, which means something like “energy”-- specifically, the energy available from food and drink. It also lies behind the custom of resenting offerings of food and liquids to the dead. The Egyptians were aware that such offerings were never phsically consumed be the deceased; what was being presented, however, was not the food itself, but the energy (k3w) within the food, which the deceased’s sirit could make use of. During life, when a person was given something to eat or drink, it was often with the words n k3.k “for your ka.” Only human beings and the gods seem to have had a ka; even though animals were considered to be living beings it is not known whether the Egyptians thought they had a ka as well. Like the ba, the ka was a spiritual entity. As such, it could not actually be depicted. To represent the ka, however, the Egyptians occasionally used a second image of the individual himself; for this reason, the word k3 is sometimes translated as “double.” The fifth essential element of ever person was the name. Names were much more important to the Egyptians than they are in our society. They were thought to be essential parts of their owners, as necessary for existence as the four other elements. This is why Egyptians who could afford to do s expended a great deal of effort and resources ensuring that their names would continue to survive in their tombs and on their monuments -- and conversely, why the names of some individuals were hacked out of heir monuments by their enemies after death. Even during life, people could be essentially deprived of existence by banning their names: for example, a man named Dedu-Amin, who had been banished form society, could be referred to only as “he who is separate for the name Dedu-Amun.” The Egyptians considered each of these five elements an integral part of every individual, and they thought that no human being could exist without them. This explains, in part, why mummification of the obdy was considered necessary for the afterlife. Each element was also thought to contain something of its owner. This was particularly true for the name; the mention of an individual’s name can bring to mind a picture of that person, even if he or she is no longer living. Writing a person’s name on a statue or next to a carved image could identify the image with that individual and thereby give the person an alternative physical form other than the body, this is why Egyptian tombs contained statues and reliefs of the tomb owner; for the same reason, pious Egyptians often had statues of themselves carved to be placed in the temples, so that they themselves could always be in the presence of the god. By the same token, writing the name of a person on a small clay statue and then smashing the statue was considered an effective means of destroying the name’s owner. The identification of a name with its owner was so strong that names themselves were treated as persons. In fact, it often makes sense to translate the word rn as “identity” rather than “name.” Knowing a person’s name was the same as knowing the person himself. For this reasin, the gods-- who are ultimately “too great to investigate, too powerful to know” -- are often and have “inaccessible” or “secret” names that no one an know, even the other gods.” Allen P. James, MIDDLE EGYPTIAN: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of the Hieroglyphs, Cambridge University Press, NY. 2000. P. 79-81. ARF COMMENTS: A part of Europeans colonization of knowledge and miseducation they spead the lie that Afrikan peoples didn’t know god or have a religion and it truth they were correct because we possessed a much deeper knowledge which was in fact spiritual science and the actual divisions into the pasrts of the human being. So from the above we an clearly see that our ancient Khemeti ancestors had a deep knowledge into to spiritual makeup of the individual.

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