The Egyptian Book of Life: A True Translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Featuring Original Texts and Hieroglyphs Review
(More customer reviews)This is the book I have been looking for for 20 years, ever since I first visited Egypt, and came home wanting to learn more about the people who had made the breathtaking treasures I had seen. Here, at last, is a readable translation of the most ancient and sacred texts in the world. Unlike Faulkner, this book actually conveys the intricacy and magnificence of a people who were dedicated to the divinity of life.
A comprehensive introduction explains the origin and sources of these texts, and their uses in ancient times. There are sections on how the soul of the deceased travels after death, and on ancient Egyptian mythology and religion. When you realise that the "gods and goddesses" are actually natural laws and principles, it all makes so much more sense. The author explains that the Egyptians aimed to live well in this life and beyond, and their sacred science was all about understanding these natural laws and principles. They even had a system of sacred exercises to enhance the function of the physical body, and the subtle bodies.
I particularly liked Dr Seleem's use of original Egyptian names for characters in the mythology, such as Heru instead of the later Greek version, Horus, and Oser instead of Osiris. Somehow, I felt the use of the original names connected me with the mythology in a more direct way. Why is it that most Egyptologists use Greek names, when they are studying Egypt? Dr Seleem obviously has a great respect for the people who used this language and a deep understanding of the reasons why they regarded it as sacred.
Throughout the book there are illustrations of papyri and commentaries explaining not only the translations, but also the visual content of the images. Once the importance of the symbolic meaning of the writing and images is grasped, it becomes apparent that the Egyptians had profound knowledge of the human condition, and how to enhance it.
This book has a universal appeal, and will be invaluable for scholars and amateurs alike. The graphics for the hieroglyphs are visually stunning, and each papyrus is transcribed so that students of the language can read it for themselves in Egyptian. This is rather like having the Magna Carta typed up in Times New Roman! Facsimilies of the original papyri are reproduced for comparison, and vocabularies are also included.
I recommend this lovely book for anyone who wants to glimpse the true wonders of the Egyptians, without having to wade through the mire of whimsical western scholarship, which so often knocks the beauty out of the very treasures it is trying to explain. Dr Seleem here presents us with an understanding of the Egyptian sacred tradition which is not based on tattered, intellectual speculation, but on the evidence in the texts themselves. It is apparent that this eloquent tradition has much to teach us today, if only we can open our eyes and look.
Click Here to see more reviews about: The Egyptian Book of Life: A True Translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Featuring Original Texts and Hieroglyphs