About The Book of Going Forth


The Book of Going Forth better known as the Book of the Dead helps develop Ancient Egyptian civilization through Philosophy, morals, and ethics. The Book of the Dead was a security cover for the deceased and their family because The Book was a guide into the underworld. Death is usually thought to be an ending, but the Egyptians didn't think of death as ending, but a new beginning. The Egyptians had a great passion for life and when they died they wanted their souls to live on by going into the underworld. "The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a collection of texts that were used to accompany the souls of corpses into the afterlife and assist them in finding a satisfactory resting place(Book of the Dead | Books | Knowledge Hub).

Pyramid Texts are some of the earliest forms of The Book of the Dead. Pyramid texts first began to appear towards the end of Egypt's Age of the Pyramids during the Fifth Dynasty (The Egyptian Book of the Dead 14). Pyramid Texts were written on the walls a Pharaoh's tomb and are some of the oldest religious writings that exist today.

"These Pyramid Texts insured the survival only of the pharaoh whose name they contained and his subjects over whom he would rule in the Hereafter. Royal relatives and courtiers who were granted favor to be buried in tombs surrounding the pyramid were perhaps fortunate enough to reach the realms of the blessed through the agency of the ruler ("Book of the Dead The MYSTICA.ORG).

Over periods of time, these Pyramid Texts were put together as a group of spells called Coffin Texts. The Pyramid Texts were only for the King and his family to use, but over hundreds of years, the Pyramid Texts, now called Coffin Texts, were starting to be noticed and used by those who could afford a sarcophagus (The Egyptian Book of the Dead 14), which was an ancient coffin that was made out of stone and decorated with very elaborate inscriptions and sculptures (Sarcophagus Definition). Coffin Texts, eventually became know as The Book of the Dead (The Egyptian Book of the Dead 14).

Philosophy is defined as a "set of beliefs or aims: a precept, or set of precepts, beliefs, principles, or aims, underlying somebody's practice or conduct (The Importance of a Clear Leadership Philosophy). The Egyptians believed that how they conducted themselves while living was going to reflect upon their death on their judgment day. Their philosophy on living and afterlife were all centered on their belief in the myth of Osiris, one's inner nature, better known as Ka, and through the triangles of earth and heaven.

"The Book of the Dead is based on the myth of Osiris, who was assisted in his resurrection by his sister-wife Isis and their son Horus(Beck). Osiris was a worldly leader who was liked among his people of Egypt. His brother, Set had a great deal of jealousy towards his brother, so he planned a plot to kill him. Set had secretly taken his brothers measurements and had a very elaborate casket made in the shape of a human box. Set went to the Egyptian people and told them whoever can fit into the casket properly will get to keep it. No one in Egypt fit in the casket properly but his brother, Osiris. When Set finally convinced Osiris to try to fit in the casket, Set slammed the lid down on Osiris and closed it shut using lead. Set dropped the casket with Osiris's body in it into the Nile River. When Isis got the news that her brother-husband went missing, she searched for his casket all over Egypt. Isis eventually found her husband's casket resting by a massive tree. She took his casket back to Egypt for a proper burial. Set eventual found the casket one day and was so outraged that he chopped Osiris's body into 14 pieces. Set had dispersed Osiris's body all over the land of Egypt. Once Isis had found out what Set did, she went out to look for her husband's parts. Eventually, she found thirteen out of the fourteen parts and reconstructed his body and wrapped him up in bandages. When Isis respired life into her husband's body, Horus, their son was conceived. This is more of a magical miracle because the part Isis couldn't find didn't allow Orisis to reproduce. When Horus got older he battled his uncle Set to take revenge on what he did to his father. After many fights between Set and Horus neither one was able to claim an overall victory. Eventually, Osiris was named the kind of the underworld, Horus was named the kind of the living and Set was known as the ruler of chaos and evil (Isis and Osiris).

The myth of Osiris was focal point in Egyptian state religion. The Book of the Dead is based on the myth of Osiris and The Book starts off with a Hym to Osiris. Osiris to the Egyptians "had become the symbol of the cosmic man and the embodiment of all the good that exists within this life on earth(Seleem 61).

"Worship of Osiris Wennefer, the Great God who dwells in the Thinite nome, King of Eternity, Lord of everlasting, who passes millions of years in his lifetime, first born son of Nut, begotten of Geb, Heir, Lord of the Wereret-crown, whose white Crown is tall, Sovereign of gods and men. He has taken the crook and the flail and the office of his forefathers. May your heart which is in the desert land be glad, for your son Horus is firm on your throne, while you have appeared as Lord of Busiris, as the Ruler who is in Abydos. The Two Lands flourish in vindication because of you in the presence of the Lord of All. All that exists is ushered in to him in his mane of 'Face to whom men are ushered'; the Two Lands are marshaled for him as leader in this his name of Sokar; his might is far-reaching, one greatly feared in this his name Osiris; he passes over the length of eternity in his name of Wennefer.

Hail to you, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Ruler of Rulers, who took possession of the Two Lands even in the womb of Nut; he rules the plains of the Silent Land, even he the golden of body, blue of head, on whose arms is turquoise. O Pillar of Myriads, broad of breast, kindly of countenance, who is in the Sacred Land: May you grant power in the sky, might on earth, and vindication in the God's Domain, a journeying downstream to Busiris as a living soul and a journeying upstream to Abydos as a heron; to go in and out without hindrance at all the gates of the Duat. May there be given to me bread from the House of Cool Water and a table of offerings from Heliopolis, my toes being firm-planted in the Field of Rushes. May the barley and emmer which are in it belong to the Ka of the Osiris Ani (The Egyptian Book of the Dead Plate 2).

This hymn is said to call the King of the Underworld, Osiris, and make him aware that a there is a new soul that has entered the underworld.

"After summoning Osiris, the presiding priest would begin a series of ceremonies designed to give the spirit all the faculties it possessed in life, such as speech, movement of the limbs, internal organ functions, and sight. After these rites were completed, the corpse was removed to the tomb where prophetic portions of The Book were read (Feathers).

In order to enter the afterlife, the new soul entering had to recite certain passwords and verses to get accepted in the underworld.

"The doctrine of eternal life is found in the Fifth Dynasty statement that the soul goes to heaven when the body goes to earth, and eternal life is associated with the sun-god Re and is explicitly mentioned in an inscription for Pepi I. In the 84th chapter the deceased is to say, "My soul is divine; my soul is eternal (Beck).

According to Feathers, when one dies there was a ritual conducted by their graveside. As a way to keep away evil spirits from misguiding the new soul into the underworld, certain verses from The Book of the Dead were read out loud. Along with verses being read out loud, the priest, priestess or staff member would introduce the gods and act out as a certain god or spirit (Feathers).

A prayer was said to the goddess of birth and death, Ani. After the prayer to Ani, Thoth who was the god of scribes would make a speech on how he had personally judged the heart of the new soul entering the underworld and how it is a true pure heart free of sin (Feathers).

"Thus says Thoth, the judge of right and truth of the Great Company of the Gods who are in the presence of Osiris: Hear this word of every truth. I have judged the heart of the deceased, and his soul stands as witness for him. His deeds are righteous in the great balance, and no sin has been found in him. He did not diminish the offerings in the temples, he did not destroy what had been made, he did not go about with deceitful speech while he was on earth (The Egyptian Book of the Dead Plate 3).

"After a plea to the god Anubis,...the god Horus introduces the goddess Ani to Osiris(Feathers). Ani then makes her speech confirming what Thoth says about the new soul entering the underworld is true.

"Thus says the Great Ennead to Thoth who is in Hermopolis: This utterance of yours is true. The vindicated Osiris Ani is straightforward, he has no sin, there is no accusation against him before us, Ammit shall not be permitted to have power over him. Let there be given to him the offerings which are issued in the presence of Osiris, and may grant of land be established in the Field of Offerings as for the Followers of Horus (The Egyptian Book of the Dead Plate 3).

[When Ani finishes her speech, the new souls heart is then measured next to a Feather of Knowledge. If the heart was too heavy to enter the afterlife, Am-mit was waiting underneath the scales to demolish the soul that was not pure and free from sin] (Feathers).

The main goal while alive was to reach mortality by good side of one self-overpowering the evil side (Seleem 63). Dezmma, which is true self and Dzgreg, which is the false part of one self are in a struggle between one another. This struggle between good and bad, it creates doubts, fear, ignorance, and anger. Even though these themselves cannot be evil, they can cause evil (Seleem 63). The Egyptians believed that every person had a unique Ka (inner nature) that was common to all mankind (Seleem 63). It is believed that the Ka is not naturally evil because the soul goes "through the river of forgiveness, prior to birth, and is born innocent therefore, making the Ka "always come to this life in a neutral state (Seleem 63).

The Egyptians believed that it was important to keep improving and evolving their inner nature, because the Ka was a guide to how one chooses to live their life. " If someone prevents the good qualities of their Ka from being expressed, or suppresses them, they will become sick, whether in a subtle or obvious way, sooner than later (Seleem 63).

Cultural habits and influences can prevail over one's inner nature. The Ka is not strong enough to overcome negative influences because those influences can lead to wrong doings, but in order for one to fully understand and develop their Ka, they must have experiences that come with life. Emotions or situations such as, disturbance, misfortune, grief, anger, and loss can all help awaken and develop one's Ka because it coaches that person how to have control over their internal impulses and temptations. If an individual decides to fall under the pressures of their culture, their Ka can easily be overcome by those negative influences. The Ka is suppose to teach an individual how not to fall under those negative pressures. If an individual falls under these negative pressures, then one must go seek healing through the triangles known as heaven and earth (Seleem 63).

"According to the doctrine of longevity or eternal life, everyone has to erect six pillars of healing in their own life (Seleem 64). By dividing the six pillars into two categories, a person can reach immortality; by having earth and heaven come together. "When people have constructed the triangle of earth within themselves by applying the three pillars in this triangle, the force of heaven will descend upon them and the earthly and heavenly triangles will come together (Seleem 64). It is considered a religious salvation when one decides to obtain healing through the six pillars (Seleem 64).

In order for one to start their healing processes, one must gain and accomplish realization better know as an awakening. This is done by the individual asking questions, which will be answered by the guidance of their master or teacher (Seleem 65). There are many ways to achieve realization. It can be achieved by "....persistence and discipline in applying what the master has instructed, and by vanishing the possessive nature of the individual's psyche, using offering and sacrifice(Seleem 65). This means, by having an individual give up something for the greater good, it allows them see an honest view of who they really are and how they are living their lives. Unfortunate events in life can also act as teachers by giving that individual a chance to obtain a new lesson or a new method of problem solving through living and learning. Another method used in achieving realization is through "the state of bliss, or the moments in time where emotional conditions force one to suspend the material illusion and see reality (Seleem 65). By one postponing their material illusions, this gives that individual a moment to take a look at what they already have, so they gain a new appreciation for it. This gives them a chance to really take in the blessings and be grateful for the life that person lives.

"When awakening has been achieved, [their teacher] must purify [their] body and psyche (Seleem 65). The purification of the body and mind was a three-day process that took place every month. The purification process included, "the use of colonic irrigation, laxatives, and herbal combinations, designed to cleanse the digestive tract, blood, and internal organs of any impurities(Seleem 65). It was believed that soul was trapped inside obscurity without the process of purification. This allows the whole body inside and out to enter awakening. After the body and psyche have been cleansed, the feelings and thoughts now need to be cleansed of any impurities. The feeling and thoughts are cleansed through a process called "black and white mirrors (Seleem 66).

The black mirror represents the individual's "...negative qualities and all the bad events that [one has] experienced in [their] life (Seleem 66). This period is known as contemplation. "This period of contemplation takes from three to seven days (Seleem 66). This is the stage where one can reflect on the pain that has been brought on by others or the pain that they caused themselves. This allows that person to forgive those people who have hurt them in the past, as well as, as an opportunity for the individual to forgive them selves for the pain that they caused or wrong doing that they have brought upon themselves. This stage could also be called release and forgive because an individual is releasing their pain as well as forgiving the people who have caused that pain.

The white is the opposite of the black mirror. "The white mirror is the process of contemplating all the positive qualities that you have and all the good things that you have experienced in this life(Seleem 66). When one can remember all the pleasures and joys that life has brought them, "[one] should release this energy and say with intent, "I exchange he pleasures of earth for the pleasures of heaven(Seleem 66). Activation is the last step in the process once one has completed their purification, the (Seleem 67).

"Activation...marks the beginning of the healing process and the acquisition of good health(Seleem 67). According to Seleem, activation was achieved through various exercises, raging from breathing to stretching. These exercises were supposed to help with the person's "...four elementary systems...[which included] cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and skeletal(Seleem 67).

The earthly pillars are, awakening, purification and activation and when those three pillars have all been accomplished then the triangle that is considered to be heavenly is put into action (Saleem 67). Rejuvenation is restoring something to a newer and more improved condition. That's what happens to some one reaches the heavenly stage. They are now fully restored because their body and mind are working together and are free from any impurities.

Plate 3, in The Book of the Dead "talks about providence being behind the individual, which means mundane life, then indicates that life is with the person, meaning eternal life....(Seleem 67).

Ethics is defined as the study of moral standards and how they affect someone's behavior and actions. The Egyptians had a very high standard for moral and ethical behavior because it did not only affecte one's destiny in the underworld but it affected all of Egypts outcome in the underworld (Warren). Ethics and morality affected their way of life, their afterlife and their civilazation as a whole. Ma'at needs to be understood in order to fully understand the morality and ethics in the Egyptian culture (Warren).

"Ma'at was the ethical conceptions of "truth", "order" and "cosmic balance". These principals were also personified in a goddess named Ma'at. This goddess represented the divine harmony and balance of the universe, which was thought to affect every aspect of the ancient land of Egypt. Particularly in the most ancient of times, it should be noted that the people of Egypt had an obligation to uphold ma'at through obedience to the king, which doubtless added in the formation of the early state (Warren).

Since the Pharaoh (king) was considered to be god on earth, he had the power and the duty to tell his people what the ma'at meant. It is important to remember that the king set the standard of the ma'at and if one didn't measure up to his standard, their acceptance into the underworld would be questioned. How one measures up to the kings' standards of the ma'at determines their fate after death (Warren). This means that the people of Egypt were judged on three basic questions when they were about to enter the underworld. If they brought happiness to some else, if their life has been filled with happiness and what brings happiness to them. If one wanted to go to "heaven as in the afterlife, they had to live a life that was filled with true happiness. Therefore, they themselves were very peaceful people.

"Chapter 125 of The Book of the Dead deals with the judgment before the god of the underworld, Osiris(Warren). In order to be accepted into the underworld, one must confess if they have committed any types of crime. This may range from stealing, taking advantage of those who are weak, not telling the truth, causing pain, not being faithful to spouse, and steeling food from the poor among many more (Warren).

Chapter 125 from The Book of the Dead states:

"Hail to you, great lord, Lord of Justice!...Behold, I have come to you, I have brought you truth, I have repelled falsehood for you. I have not done falsehood against men, I have not impoverished my associates, I have done no wrong in the Place of Truth, I have not learnt that which is not, I have done no evil, I have not daily made labor in excess of what was due to be done for me, my has not reached the offices of those whose control slaves, I have not deprived an orphan of his property...I have not caused pain, I have not made hunger, I have not made weep, I have not killed, I have not commanded to kill...I am pure, pure, pure, pure!... (The Egyptian Book of the Dead 115).

In order for an individual to be accepted into the underworld, they must live an honest, joyful and giving life. Even though "in Ancient Egypt there was no concept of "general sin, a barrier between humankind and the gods which is the result if the general human condition(Warren).

The Egyptians tried to follow the ma'at because they believed that it was very much possible to live a life that was free of sin. The Egyptian civilization was based on living a life with no wrong doings. From their philosophical view on how to live a pure life to how they should live an ethically moral life were all based on their belief if one lives a fulfilling life, their life if the underworld will be just as fulfilling and one's soul get to live an eternal life.

Work Citied:

"Book of the Dead | Books | Knowledge Hub." Rajput Brotherhood - A Blog on Joomla!, CMS, Technology, Web Application and Software.. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://www.rajputbrotherhood.com/knowledge-hub/books/book-of-the-dead.html>.

"Book of the Dead." the MYSTICA.ORG. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/b/book_of_the_dead.html>

Beck, Sanderson. "Ethics of Ancient Egypt " Literary Works of Sanderson Beck. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. <http://www.san.beck.org/EC4-Egypt.html#7>.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008. Print.

ISBN# 978-0-8118-6489-3

Feathers, Emily A. "The Egyptian Book of the Dead." ETSU Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://www.etsu.edu/haleyd/engl3134/ejournal/feathers.html>.

"Isis and Osiris." Akhet Egyptology - The Horizon to Ancient Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://www.akhet.co.uk/isisosir.htm>.

"Sarcophagus Definition | Definition of Sarcophagus at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sarcophagus>.

Seleem, Dr. Ramses. The Illustrated Egyptian Book of the Dead. New York: Sterling, 2001. Print. ISBN# 0-8069-2659-7

"The Importance of a Clear Leadership Philosophy | The Practice of Leadership." The Practice of Leadership. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. <http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2006/12/10/the-importance-of-a-clear-leadership-philosophy/>.

Warren, John "The Ethics and Morality of the Ancient Egyptians." Egypt Travel, Tours, Vacations, Ancient Egypt from Tour Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. <http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ethics.htm>.

Pierce College

History 86: Civilizations Past and Present

Professor Brian Walsh

Monday/Wednesday 12:45-2:10pm

Submission Date: December 9-2009

Belief in the Afterlife

Written by: Danica Cerekovic

Quiz: You Be the Judge

The Verdict is In!

Quiz results for:

Question 1:

Which of the following is a requirement for including verbatim (word for word) information from an outside source?

a. Cite the source and page number where you found the quote.

b. Set the passage off in quotes, or indent it if it is longer than a line or two of text.

c. Choose a sentence, phrase, or passage that reiterates what you stated previously

That's Correct!

Citing the source and page number and setting the passage off in quotes (or indenting it if it is longer than a line or two of text) are requirements for including verbatim information from an outside source.

Question 2:

Which of the following is a potential consequence of plagiarism?

a. Receiving a zero for the course

b. Having a college degree revoked after the fact

c. Being sued by the author of the plagiarized, original work

That's Correct!

Almost anything can happen to plagiarists; the outcome is usually very negative. While there is no guarantee of getting caught, plagiarists ultimately hurt themselves by not learning to write skillfully or think independently.

Question 3:

Which of the following strategies is helpful for avoiding plagiarism?

a. Cutting and pasting text from an online article directly into your word processor

b. Setting off short, verbatim passages in quotation marks

c. Distinguishing, in your notes, between direct quotes, paraphrased passages, and your own ideas

That's Correct!

Distinguishing in your notes between direct quotes, paraphrased passages, and your own ideas is a helpful strategy for avoiding plagiarism. Similarly, setting off short, verbatim passages in quotation marks when composing your draft is a recommended strategy.

Question 4:

Which of the following is an example of plagiarism?

a. Submitting a paper that you've already used in another course

b. Disagreeing with the source you cited

c. Paraphrasing too close to the source

That's Correct!

Submitting the same paper twice for two different classes without permission from your instructor, and paraphrasing too close to the source are both examples of plagiarism.

Question 5:

Which of the following is a recognized citation style?

a. Chicago

b. MLA

c. APA

That's Correct!

The MLA (Modern Languages Association of America), the APA (American Psychological Association) and the University of Chicago Press all publish recognized manuals of style.

Question 6:

Original Text (found on page 54 of an autobiography by Kathryn Holt):

Grandma walked me back downstairs and seated me in the gold velour chair. She spoke for a long time. It was the lecture of my life. Empathy was out of reach before that day.


Kathryn's grandmother descended the staircase with her granddaughter at her side. She sat down with Kathryn and lectured to her for quite a while. Empathy was out of reach before that day.

Which of the following criticisms of the above paraphrase is correct?

a. Empathy was out of reach before that day should be set off in quotation marks.

b. The name of the original text's author is not indicated.

c. No reference is provided citing the source.

That's Correct!

Two things were wrong with the paraphrase, and you identified them both: "Empathy was out of reach before that day" needed to be set off in quotation marks, and the entire paraphrase and quote needed to be cited properly. Good job.

Question 7:

Which of the following is a pitfall to avoid when paraphrasing?

a. Using wording similar to that of the source in your paraphrase

b. Failing to cite the source from which you are paraphrasing

c. Losing sight of the meaning and tone expressed by the author of the original document

That's Correct!

Paraphrasing too lightly, failing to cite the source of the ideas contained in your paraphrase, and sloppy writing that skews the meaning and tone expressed by the author of the original document from which you are paraphrasing are all pitfalls to be avoided. Note: If you disagree with the source of your paraphrase, then explain your own interpretation before and after the paraphrase and citation.

Question 8:

Original Text (found on page 3 of a book by Edward Orr):

When teaching world religions in the classroom, it is helpful to introduce artworks that are representative of each religion. This allows the teacher to address each religion on neutral ground, thus avoiding indoctrination.


According to Orr, teachers should use sacred cultural artifacts as a vehicle to teach world religions in our schools. Doing so will allow the teacher to present each religion objectively (3).

Which of the following criticisms of the above paraphrase is correct?

a. World religions should be set off in quotation marks.

b. The parenthetical reference is missing the author's name.

c. Nothing

That's Correct!

Nothing is wrong with the paraphrase.

Question 9:

Which of the following requires that you provide documentation of your sources?

a. Using information freely available from the World Wide Web, such as an e-zine

b. Stating factual data that can be corroborated by several different reference sources (i.e. general knowledge)

c. Including information from a podcast created by your friend

That's Correct!

As you know, information on the Web and most information captured in any form, created by anybody, should be properly attributed to its original source. General knowledge, however, needn't be attributed.

Question 10:

Original Text (found on page 52 of a journal article by Omar Gray):

After the training, fourteen students were able to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections, while only two failed to do so. This result was an improvement upon prior experiments.


After the training, fourteen students could tell the difference between viral and bacterial infections, while only two could not. This result was better than prior experiments (Gray 52).

Which of the following criticisms of the above paraphrase is correct?

a. The author's name is not cited.

b. Wording and sentence structure follow the source too closely.

c. The paraphrase skews the meaning intended by the author of the original document.

Sorry, that's incorrect.

It is true that the paraphrase follows the wording and sentence structure of the source too closely, but the author's name is cited in the parenthetical reference, and the paraphrase does not stray from the meaning communicated by the original source. Try again.

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