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Ancient Egyptian Philosophy

Ancient Egyptian society treated men and women. Women participated in the political, economic and judicial ancient Egypt under the same conditions as men. This social system reflects Egyptian mythology, where Goddesses played an equal, if not the chief role. The virgin mother figures in the first prehistoric Egyptian myths are women.

Ancient Egyptian Philosophy

Egyptian texts offer philosophical cosmologies and cosmogonies, treatment time and history and eternity, ethical teachings and analysis of justice and power, accounts of gods and structured relations between them, divisions of the soul and eternal life stories, the description of the power systems and other linguistic signs and the subtle manipulations of mythological systems that develop the widest possible range of philosophical questions, the relationship between One and the Multiple, the divine nature of puns, analysis of the life-giving as well as hostile forces.


Egyptian texts repeatedly emphasize the creation belief of creation by the Word. Where nothing existed except the One, he created the universe with his commanding voice. The Egyptian Book of Coming Forth by Light (wrongly and commonly translated as the Book of the Dead), the oldest written texts in the world, supports this theory. In ancient Egypt, the words of Ra, revealed through Tehuti (equivalent to Hermes or Mercury), became the things and creatures of this world, ie the words (meaning sound waves) created forms of the universe.  
 
The ancient Egyptians believed that man is composed of three parts: body, mind and soul. The fate of the soul was determined by his actions in life, whether good or bad, and amulets, prayers and offerings to gain the favor of the gods. Egyptian philosophers were intensely concerned with questions of good and justice. Many Egyptian texts inform the reader on how to act properly. The three main attributes shared by all Egyptian philosophies are flexibility, pragmatism, and attention to emotion.  
 
It is difficult to separate Egyptian philosophical ideas of religion. Maat was at the center of Egyptian life, including both philosophy and religion. Maat is a goddess herself and at certain times was a temple.  In the Book of the Dead, the heart appears in the context of being blameless (ie in harmony with Maat). The deceased did not lose heart after the judgment for the "ab" was the seat of the "ba" (before he entered his "sah"). Judgment came after the mummy was reactivated so that he could speak and adapt to its new environment.


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