Personal Spirituality Newsletter Home Page
Soul Life
Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.)

  A Light Heart - Egyptian Key

  by John Van Auken

One of many wonderful scenes in ancient Egyptian art is “The Judgment,” sometimes called “The Weighing of the Heart.” It appears in the papyrus scrolls of The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The scene shows a deceased Egyptian named Ani being led to the chamber of his judgment. The god Anubis, the underworld guide, brings Ani before a huge scale. On one side of the scale, Ani’s heart is placed in a jar. On the other side of the scale is the feather of the goddess Maat. Observing this weighing of the heart are various other gods. Thoth (Hermes, to the Greeks) stands nearby with Ani’s Book of Life in his hands, ready to inscribe the outcome of this weighing. Horus, the god who was immaculately conceived by Isis to save the world from Egypt’s satan, waits to see if Ani’s heart is light enough for him to lead Ani out of the underworld through Osiris’ chamber and on up into the heavens. Isis and Nephthys stand behind Osiris, who is seated on his throne. All await the outcome.

If one’s heart were heavy with regret, unfinished Earth business, or the pull of selfish desires, then the ancient Egyptian -- in this case, Ani -- could not enter the heavens. A beastly creature would eat his heart, and he would have to return to Earth to get a new heart, one light enough to rise into heaven (presumably by reincarnating and living a better life than before).

Do we have light hearts? Or are we carrying around a lot of unresolved issues, unfulfilled desires, the weight of broken dreams and promises, or whatever is weighing on us? The Cayce readings tell the story of an Egyptian high priest named Ra Ta who, at a very old age and in decrepit condition, was able to rejuvenate himself and live another one hundred years, in order to work on the building of the great pyramid of Giza. When Cayce was asked how this priest rejuvenated his aged body, he answered: “through the casting aside of the years of toil and strife through which the body of Ra-Ta itself had passed.” In order words, by letting go of the things that had aged him. We tend to hold on to our pain, our suffering, our sacrifices, and our regrets. All of which age us and weigh our hearts down. Forgive and forget is a much healthier prescription.

Such rejuvenation was not done in one day or in one thought; it took Ra Ta seven years to fully rejuvenate himself. It will likely take us as long.

When in deep trance attunement to the Universal Consciousness, Cayce was asked to give some light on the word heart. He replied in this fashion: As in the physical body the heart is considered the source that impels life to all portions of the body. In that sense, then, one seeks God’s help in creating a pure heart, a pure soul, a pure purpose in body and mind, that one may bring life, light, understanding, to those contacted -- as does the heart to the body. The heart is used to signify that purpose, that intent, that life. It represents an entity, a body, a mind; an imaginative being that through the conscious and subconscious or soul forces brings life to all contacted. As in: “Create within me a pure heart, O God, and RENEW a right, righteous, holy spirit within me.”

In his teachings about actions and reactions, he encourages us to achieve a light heart by helping others’ hearts be lighter: “Keep thy smile of encouragement to others; for it lightens the heart of many.”

In a reading for a member of the Work Readings Group in 1938, Cayce gave this insight and encouragement about keeping our light shining: “Thy light hath gone out before the darkness in the lives of many. Keep that light burning in thy own heart. Grow not weary in well doing. Let thy heart open to those things that bespeak the closeness of His walks, His talks with thee. Thy light of love and faith and hope and thought will not lose its reward in Him. For whom He loveth He comforteth, every one.”

A light heart, both in weight and luminescence, is an important part of our personal spirituality. How do we achieve such? The answer is by being often in prayer, meditation, and doing good for others.

In his parable of the seeds of the word of God sown along the roadside of life, Jesus says that the seeds that fall “in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience.” A good heart in patience is the important point here. Letting go of what weighs our hearts down is achieved with patience. We cannot jump straight out of our present condition into our hoped-for goal. We proceed from where we are to that goal, step by step, little by little, day by day, one situation at a time. Whether we have a week to live or many years, today is the time to begin to lighten and enlighten our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Cayce commented that “some grow old gracefully, some tolerantly, some fussily, and some very meanly.” The key factor may well be patience.

In the Egyptian scene, Ani’s heart is indeed lighter than Maat’s feather, and he is allowed to enter the higher heavens. Let’s lighten our hearts and the hearts of those we contact.


Visit the A.R.E. Bookstore - Personal Spirituality Books
Your comments & insights are welcome. e-mail
To receive a free review copy of our newsletter, click on the link to the newsletter and then send us your request.

Published and Copyrighted by the Association for Research and Enlightenment, A.R.E. Inc.
Association for Research & Enlightenment 215 67th Street, Virginia Beach VA 23451 - Phone 1-800-333-4499
A.R.E. 2002 , Inc. Edgar Cayce Readings By the Edgar Cayce Foundation 1971, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
Soul Life - MENU