Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": OSIRIS

THE PROTOTYPE OF EVERY SOUL WHO HOPES TO CONQUER DEATH


('Coffin Texts,' I, 197)

The so-called Coffin Texts, inscribed on the interior of coffins, belong

to the Middle Kingdom (2250-1580 B.C.). They attest a marked

'democratization' of the ancient funerary ritual of the pharaoh. just as the pharaoh of earlier times had claimed to participate in the fate of Osiris, so each soul now hoped to achieve a ritual assimilation to the god.

Now are you a king's son, a prince,

as long as your soul exists, so long will your heart be with you.

Anubis is mindful of you in Busiris,

your soul rejoices in Abydos where your body is happy on the High Hill

Your embalmer rejoices in every place.

Ah, truly, you are the chosen one!

you are made whole in this your dignity which is before me,

Anubis' heart is happy over the work of his hands

and the heart of the Lord of the Divine Hall is thrilled

when he beholds this good god,

Master of those that have been and Ruler over those that are to come.


Translation by R. T. Rundle Clark, in his Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt (London, 1960), P. 134

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