Anubis stands guard at the hall of Maat awaiting the human heart. The pious man presents his hard-won gift and recites scriptures, eyes cast downwards fearing the decision of the scales. Ammit’s jaws slather in anticipation of another misguided soul unable to challenge the darkness. The scales tip. The heart rises. He breaths a sigh of relief, cut short by The Devourer’s snarls. The abyss rushes upon him wrapped in the crocodillian maw of ignorance. His last thoughts before oblivion,
“What did I do wrong? I had humbled myself to the principles of Maat?”
The lord of the dead restores the scales. Ammit opens her jaws revealing the inevitable. The cycle begins again.
Another man enters the court of the dead. He carries his heart before him as if a dangerous beast. Once again the timeless dance is repeated, but with a difference. This man looks not at the ground in fear but into the jaws of The Devourer herself. Long he stares into the abyss, and as Nietzsche prophesizes, the abyss stares back. But this man does not flinch from the spectre of his past. For he has carried the weight of that darkness with him every day of his life. The maw of the beast offers a mirrored reflection. As he reflects upon the zeniths and depths of his now completed story, Anubis casts his judgement. This time, the scales do not move. All is in balance within the spirit of the self-reflecting man, and so, he is allowed to pass into the kingdom of Osiris.
The unexamined life is not worth living.Socrates
What demands does the feather of truth place upon us? We would be right to question – indeed, to question is to place truth on a higher pedestal than dogma! Those who look forever outwards, at the climax of their existence, will never be able to cross the threshold. The gate is barred to all those who have lived only for earthly rules. Common evils associated with ones personal pleasures at the expense of the community are only the most obvious sins. But sins can lift a hollow heart up as well as weigh it down. Inaction. Avoidance. Non-existence. Nature made man. Man made gods. And now those gods judge us. Is it to mans laws they judge? Of course not!
It is to the laws of nature! Her perception reveals no difference between excessive piousness and excessive sin. Absence of self is denying natures blessing. To exist within her kingdom, we must be uniform in our needs and desires but also evolving towards a higher self. Balance and harmony, but forthright and self-conflictive. To challenge ourselves with the wild law. Hunt in the moonlit groves, relinquishing fear of Artemis’s arrows. Stalk and be stalked. Predator and prey. This symbiosis is mans place in her design. We were to tend her garden, not uproot it. Yet in almost all respects we have failed in our care.
One can imagine Ammit’s belly near full to bursting with the torrent of souls sent her way. The Devourer’s design was another universal balance – a second scale judging unspoken truths – but she can fulfill her purpose no longer. She has engorged upon the non-existent, and now her bottomless hunger offers no reflection to us at all.