Ancient Egyptian Concept of the Soul

To the Ancient Egyptians, the soul was the most important part of a person and it was separated into different parts making up it’s vehicle (the human, in this case).  There was one physical form and eight semi-divine parts which made up one’s soul. These parts are as follows:

~ Kha: The physical body of the human which decayed after death, according to the Egyptians, only if it was not mummified and persevered properly.

~ Ka: The double that lingered on in the tomb inhabiting the body or even statues of the dead, but was also independent of the deceased body and could move, eat and drink at will.

~ Akhu: This was the immortal part, the radiant and shining being that lived on in the Sahu, the intellect, will and intentions of the deceased that transfigured death and ascended to the heavens to live with the gods.

~ Sahu: The incorruptible spiritual body of man that could exist in the heavens, appearing from the physical body after the judgement of the dead was passed (if successful) with all of the mental and spiritual abilities of a living body.

~ Sekhem : This was the incorporeal personification of the life force of man, which lived in heaven with the Akhu, after death.

~ Khaibit: The shadow of a man, it could partake of funerary offerings and was able to detach itself from the body and travel at will, though it always was thought to stay near the Ba.

~ Ba: The human headed bird flitted around in the tomb during the day bringing air and and food to the deceased, but traveled with Ra on the Solar Barque during the evenings.

~ Ab: The heart, this was the source of good and evil within a person, the moral awareness and center of thought that could leave the body at will, and live with the gods after death, or be eaten by Ammut as the final death if it failed to weigh equally against Ma’at.

~ Ren: The true name, a vital part to man on his journey through life and the afterlife, a magical part that could destroy a man if his name was obliterated or could give power of the man if someone knew his Ren.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s