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The afterlife, in many cases, sounds more magnificent than life as we know it. Beliefs about an afterlife are, in fact, beliefs and not perfectly accurate information. Having specific beliefs about a person’s destiny after death is a way for many people to cope with death and have a sense of closure. Ideas about the afterlife may vary greatly, but one thing all religions and cultures have in common is that they trust that their own specific beliefs are the only way. There is, and always will be, a broad range of views on the ideas of afterlife, from traditions as diverse as apocalyptic Judaism to Hellenistic religious culture.
For more than 3,000 years Egyptians have supported their initial, original ideas of the afterlife. The Egyptian afterlife is very detailed and is described thoroughly in the Book of the Dead. Once an Egyptian passes away they transform into two parts, the Ba and the Ka. The Ba is described as being the breath or soul and looks like a human-headed bird while the Ka is a carbon copy of the deceased and is the guardian spirit or life force (Lewis 123). Both parts travel in a boat to the underworld and once they reach their destination they proceed through seven different gates. At each gate they have to give certain names and formulas to be able to pass. Once they make it through the gates, the Ka’s continue to the Hall of Justice. Similar to most courtrooms, there is a judge, a prosecutor, and jury members. Thoth, the god of wisdom, is the prosecutor, while forty-two divine figures make up the jury, but the final decision is based on Osiris, the judge (Lewis 125). The deceased are to give a detailed account of their lives. After they have completed the account, their heart is placed on a scale opposite either a feather or an image of Maat. Maat is the goddess of truth and to Egyptians, a feather is symbolic of the same. If the heart outweighs the symbol of truth, it is a clear sign that the person has been sin...
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