The Egyptian book of the Dead the dead was essentially a cheat sheet for someone to read to their god of death in order to get into the afterlife. It contained all the correct things to tell the god Osiris they honestly haven’t done so that way they could enter their version of heaven. The Book of the Dead helps display to the modern world what the ancient Egyptians valued in their everyday life because it tells what they valued as most important.
One thing the Egyptians held very dear were the gods. There are many phrases such as, “I have not committed evil in the place of truth,” and, “I have not thought scorn of the gods,” that portray how important the gods were to Egyptians. The fact that they thought so highly of the gods means that they had some sort of moral compass is order to pass the test and get into heaven.
Another common theme within the Book of the Dead is respecting others. “I have not oppressed my kinsfolk,” or “I have caused no man to suffer,” and other sayings show that in their society it was very important to treat others well to get into Heaven. It even states “I have not domineered over slaves,” and “I have not caused harm to be done to a slave by his master.” Slavery seems very immoral today, however it was the standard during their time. But the Egyptians believed that they couldn’t treat the slaves terribly, which is something the United States didn’t even believe a couple hundred years ago.
A huge part of the Egyptian culture was the scarce resources and not wasting them. They lived in the dessert with limited food and water, and wasting them was a big no go. When the book says, “I have never driven away the beasts from their pastures,” or “I have not obstructed water when it should run,” essentially states that wasting food or water was a sin. That’s how important the limited resources were to them.
I believe that there are similarities and differences within all of these beliefs of Egyptian culture with life today. For example; religion is a very important part of most people’s lives today. However not everyone follows their religion as strict as the Egyptians, or even has a religion at all. Also, respecting others is something you learn from a very young age but there are still people who will commit heinous crimes against people. I am sure that the Egyptians were taught to treat others well, but also had some amongst them that broke that rule. Finally, wasting resources is still a problem today. And while we try not to through things like recycling or donating to food banks, we still burn fossil fuels and throw away left overs. Below are a few tenants that align with today’s world that are similar to the Egyptian’s.
I have never bummed my neighbors WiFi.
I have never stolen an amazon package off a porch.
I have never taken my friends charger he left at my house.
I have never slept through church hungover on Sunday morning.
I have never ordered a 20 piece nugget meal and thrown away ten.
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