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Archive for March, 2010

Running with Newtons

Did a short 5 plus km run today with the new shoes. They are definitely MUCH gentler on the knees. My injured knee didn’t hurt at all while running at a fast pace. It’s amazing. However, it also requires me to conscientiously land mid foot. Which made me toes go a little numb halfway through the run. Not sure if this is normal….Hmm..

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Signed up for a curator’s tour for the Immortality exhibition at the NSM.

Hairanie, the curator for the exhibition, was our guide for the evening and it was a great experience! I’d recommend it to anyone. It was good having someone give you the context behind all the amazing exhibits that were displayed.

Her job allows her to travel around the world and negotiate exhibition exchanges for Singapore. Plus she gets to do DEEP research on the exhibits she brings in. She studied Egyptology for a year and gave us a pretty good idea of mummification and the concept of ‘ka’ and ‘ba’. *super envious*

Me next to sphinx of some random Pharoah

Curator's Tour - Quest for Immortality

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Egyptian religion held that what we call the spirit or soul consisted of three distinct parts: the ka, the ba, and the akh. Egyptologists characterize the ka (represented by two upraised arms) as the individual’s “vital force” or “spiritual twin.” When a person was born, the god Khnum created his or her ka, modeling both body and spirit on his potter’s wheel. Kings could have several kas; mere mortals had only one. During life the ka remained separate from the body. At death a person was said to have “gone to his [or her] ka.” This was the Egyptian way of saying that the ka had merged with the deceased’s lifeless form.

To survive, the ka needed a body for its eternal home. The Egyptians believed that the ka dwelt within either the mummy or the tomb statue (sometimes called the ka-statue), a spare body needed if the corpse should be destroyed.

The Egyptians called the second element of the soul the ba (or “animation”). It was the part of the spirit that was free to leave the tomb and travel about the earth during the day. The ba was obliged, however, to return to the tomb during the perilous hours of darkness. The ba came into being only when the ka and the dead body were united; without the ka and a mummy or ka-statue, the ba could not exist.

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Although most people would perceive Egyptian culture to be obsessed with death (w the rituals and the great lengths they go to preserve dead bodies), it’s actually the complete opposite – Egyptians are obsessed with life!

They believe the when people die, they merely move over “to the west” (i.e. another world/place) and continue living their lives. The whole concept of mummification came about because they wanted to help “enrich” the life of the deceased. They wanted the “ba” to be able to find the “ka” – Read short excerpt above on “ka” and “ba”.

Pretty different from my own beliefs of what happens after we die. I was curious as to what religion Egyptians then were considered to be practising – Paganism.

Prob gonna do a bit more research on that and write a post on it later.

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Gonna try this look over the weekend…

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Newton racers

Can’t wait to test these out!

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