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Dream Gates

Dream Gates

An everyday mantra from the Egyptian Book of the Dead

Egypt Negative Confession.jpg

I have not obstructed
water when it should flow.

Today, I find inspiration in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. 


The statement above is one a soul traveling beyond this world was expected to be able to make when it reached the Hall of Truth. In this ancient guide to afterlife transits, recorded in the Papyrus of Ani, the soul was actually expected to make no fewer than 42 similar statements, affirming its innocence in relation to a long list of crimes and moral lapses. This procedure was called the Negative Confession, and it was the preliminary to the Weighing of the Heart that would decide whether the soul would be given a pass to the happy hereafter, or consigned to a devouring monster.

To contemporary Western minds, it is a puzzle why it would be so important to be able to state, “I have not obstructed water when it should flow.”

In the ancient context, the words are easy to understand. 

The life of ancient Egypt depended on the gifts and the channeling of water. In Lower Egypt, farmers opened the dikes to let the swollen Nile release its waters into their walled fields – and when the river subsided and the captured water turned brackish, they opened the conduits again to empty their fields. One of the oldest images of an Egyptian king is the “Scorpion” stela showing a king opening a dike.

I do not live in a dry land, but I would like, at the end of this life – and on any day within it – to be able to affirm, without hesitation, that in the fullest, creative sense:

I have not obstructed water when it should flow.


  • http://about.me/dhyanakearly/bio Dhyana

    This is a great reminder, Robert. Thank you again for bringing to mind another recent dream moment that might have otherwise slipped away.
    Obstructions in the flow of water recently came to me through a dream where I and several others were stepping over a short bridge on a narrow canal, carved low in the landscape. The flow of water was quite restricted and I could tell that there was plenty of water backed up, pressing to be released, but it was being held back by a floodgate. At one point several large trees (whole trees, roots and all) came crashing down the waterway, narrowly missing me and my companions. The trees seemed to have busted through the floodgate, but they didn’t harm anyone in the dream though we all stood to the side watching in amazement.
    After I woke up I contemplated what exactly this flow of water represented and why there was a block there … and I wondered what those whole trees were doing crashing through the barriers, what they might mean. After some time trying to puzzle it out, I opted to return to the dream and discovered (when I put my hand into the water) that it represented Life, the trees represented various talents and gifts that have been ignored (or uprooted) and the watergate represents the way I’ve been holding back, constraining everything down to a trickle of potential (sad but true). As I revisited the dreamscape I opted to remove the barriers to the flow of water. I planted those trees in the soil and I stood back and watched as the water flowed in to create a pleasant reservoir of clear life force energy, just waiting to be tapped.
    Understanding that spirit often repeats important messages through avenues such as your wonderful blog, I am again reminded to revisit this dream and let loose with some real Life energy. So, I will be ever mindful today of the need to open up and let it flow!
    Thanks again Robert. You rock!

  • http://www.lightonthepage.com Landar

    Thank you Robert. I’ve always been interested in this ‘weighing of the heart’. Also the different forms of water in dreams. Not to have obstructed it seems a worthwhile confession.

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