To the ancient Egyptians a person had two memories: one was permanent, as long as the body was preserved after death; the other was transitory, and left the body upon death. The permanent memory was called the KA, and was thought of much like our DNA. It contained all that was necessary to recreate the whole body even after death. Today, we call this cloning.
No wonder so-called “enlightened” people thought the Egyptians foolish with their belief in the immortality of the body, our technology is only now catching up with them. That the Egyptians knew and understood this is evidenced by the fact that they had a word in their language for it. Ka is translated as “copy,” “double body,” or, “second image of.”
The “Ba” bird
This transitory memory called BA had nothing to do with the body, it was the accumulated experience of the individual, as recorded in the brain from the person’s sensory organs. Upon death, this BA left the body. The Egyptians represented the BA as a bird to show that the memory left the body on its own power.
Often seen in the hands of the “BA” bird is a rope in the form of a noose. This is the symbol of power seen being given by the Gods to kings in many ancient Mesopotamian works of art. This noose represented the God’s name and bestowed authorization to act in the God’s name. This “divine” noose is also found on the scarab rings of the Egyptians. Inside the loop of the noose is inscribed the name of the owner.
This seal was used like our signatures are today to seal an agreement or contract or to grant authorization for someone to act in our name (by proxy). An elongated noose, called a cartouche, was used by the Egyptian pharaohs to frame their names. The importance of the name becomes apparent when you consider that if you lose your memory (as in amnesia), you cannot remember your name.
Recently, researchers have discovered what may be a copy of our memory, which does not leave the body at death, but stays for a few hours. Just think, in another fifty years or so we may finally catch up with the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians.