I'm going to start to write posts about ancient philosophy/magic quotes from books I have read. They might be from a modern author or from someone from ancient times. It fits the theme of my newly released book Aizai the Forgotten, and it will be fun!
Here is the first one:
From Egyptian Magic by S.S.D.D (1896)
"There are reasons to suppose that only those who had received some grade of initiation were mummified; for it is certain that, in the eyes of the Egyptians, mummification essentially prevented reincarnation. Reincarnation was necessary to imperfect souls, to those who had failed to pass the tests of initiation; but for those who had Will and the capacity to enter the Secret Adytum, there was seldom necessity for that liberation of the soul which is said to be effected by the destruction of the body. The body of the Initiate was preserved after death as a species of Talisman or material basis for the manifestation of the Soul upon earth."
But about the quote: the common idea of mummification as a means of preserving the body for the afterlife was not actually the intention of the Egyptian philosophers. The initiates of the "secret priesthood" wanted to get out of the cycle of reincarnation and ascend to a higher world--not necessarily Heaven, but some higher plane of existence where they could exist as more powerful souls.
Reincarnation, however, meant that at the death of their body, their soul would inhabit another being, causing them to forget their previous life and hence all their learning that could have ascended their soul to another realm of existence, which was the goal. The idea is that if they were enlightened enough, that at death, they would go to a more enlightened realm. This was necessary for the "imperfect souls" who were still subject to the cycles of reincarnation. So by preserving their body, in some sense it never really "died" in a way that would cause their soul to return to Earth in another being. The body would remain as a "talisman" that would allow their soul to come back to Earth (perhaps looking through the eyes of the mummy? Well, it's probably more philosophical than that) and also prevent it from being "snatched" into another body since it still technically belonged to that body. Well, I'd say this is "experimental metaphysics", though that certainly sounds like an oxymoron!
An interesting idea, and one that may be encountered in a later book in my The Soul Wanderers series.