A World Without End
An important part of the Egyptian soul was thought to be the Ib (jb), or heart. The Ib or metaphysical heart was believed to be formed from one drop of blood from the child’s mother’s heart, taken at conception. To ancient Egyptians, it was the heart and not the brain that was the seat of emotion, thought, will and intention.
A person’s shadow, Sheut (šwt in Egyptian), was always present. It was believed that a person could not exist without a shadow, nor a shadow without a person, therefore, Egyptians surmised that a shadow contained something of the person it represents. For this reason statues of people and deities were sometimes referred to as their shadows.
The ‘Ba’ (b3) is in some regards the closest to the contemporary Western religious notion of a soul, but it also was everything that makes an individual unique, similar to the notion of ‘personality’
As a part of the soul, a person’s ren (rn ‘name’) was given to them at birth and the Egyptians believed that it would live for as long as that name was spoken, which explains why efforts were made to protect it and the practice of placing it in numerous writings
The Ka (k3) was the Egyptian concept of vital essence, that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person, with death occurring when the ka left the body.
The Akh (Ꜣḫ meaning ‘(magically) effective one’),5 was a concept of the dead that varied over the long history of ancient Egyptian belief. It was associated with thought, but not as an action of the mind; rather, it was intellect as a living entity.