Is Your Heart Lighter Than A Feather?
If Anubis weighed your heart against the Feather of Truth on his golden scales, would your heart be lighter than the feather?
Doubt you'd pass the test?
We measure the human heart at about 8-12 ounces and a feather around 2.6 ounces. The heart clearly outweighs the feather according to these rules.
Does this mean that every mortal being who doesn't have the favor of a god or some extraordinary power is destined to fail Anubis's test?
Maybe you'd pass the test if you had the heart of a bee.
But, we're human. Our hearts are closed systems, and much larger; we know for a fact they'd weigh more than a feather, even a huge one! Plus, we bury secrets in our hearts, which can cause one to feel heavy at times.
Wait. Which is it?
Is this an actual weighing of the heart or a metaphorical one? Is there even a difference?
In the myth, Anubis prepared the dead for the afterlife, like a mortician. If your heart tipped his scales, you would not be lead into the other world of peace and ease, but rather your heart would be eaten by the gobbler, and you'd be judged harmful to humans, then cast off as a demon.
The story of Anubis translates in our collective understanding into many variations of gods who are depicted as personifications of the force which carries life into death. They are crafted as magnetic characters of influence in our tall tales, like the greek messenger god, Hermes; Charon, the ferry man who takes the dead across the river Styx; or the more recent perky, goth character, Death, in Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman. They all represent the ineffable spirit that manages us after we die.
Through story and myth, we reveal to each other how best to be delivered to one's preferred destination, wherever it may be. If you want to get across the river Styx, you need a coin for the ferry man. If your desire is to wind up in the Field of Reeds with Osiris, your heart best be light.
Let's imagine you died right now and wound up in front of Anubis. He looked down at you with his giant jackal head, and you presented your heart to be weighed upon his golden scales, poised against the feather from Maat, which in ancient Egypt represented truth and cosmic balance.
Would your heart be as light as that feather? Or would it sink the scale?
The first question you should ask if faced with this situation, is how is your heart being measured?
Is it on dogmatic ideals? Or is this a real weighing of actual matter?
If you allow your heart to be judged based on another's interpretation of your own truth, then you're pretty much screwed. Unless you're being 100% honest about your life's deeds, and you've lived inline with the sect of moral guidelines you've chosen to follow, you're going to fail miserably. Your heart will be heavy with sin, and it's the gobbler for you.
As the story goes, your brain may spew clever lies, but your heart will always reveal the truth when it's weighed on the scales.
Now, if your heart is being measured by its real weight, that is the wiser test, for the heart is made of matter, and the truth of matter is...
Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.
Your heart can't be weighed, because the truth is that it's energy. The scales are an illusion, however useful their function may be in our concepts of spirit and science.
As you can see, it's important to understand how your heart is being weighed before offering it up to Anubis, or any other person, god, or otherwise. You experience everything here and now, and that's the secret to passing the test.
In reality, matter and energy are interchangeable, so don't fret balancing the scales! Stories can only survive in your head if they're allowed. Recognizing the truth of experience cuts through any figurative fog.
And so begins the un-telling...
Roses are red. Violets are blue.
At first I remember, but then forget you.
Jess Haight is co-author of the Fairday Morrow books, an artist, and free thinker.