There’s a concept in Egyptian myth about how, in the afterlife, the heart of the deceased is weighed against a feather. A heart that is too heavy with sin and guilt will sink and is eaten, and thus endeth everything for that person. I have absolutely no certainty about what happens to us when we die, but I have read a few things that interest me around how the consciousness we develop might impact what we get when our bodies pack up.
So, with no assumptions about the literal truth of any of this, what might make our hearts weigh heavy, and what might lighten them?
It would seem obvious to think about the weight of pain we have caused to others as balanced against the love, joy and compassion we have brought into the world. How does that balance up? The odds are we do not really know. We can look at our intentions, and whatever feedback we get, but quite how we affect anyone else remains a mystery. Doing good things is no guarantee, because there are people who take offence at bleeding heart do gooder types. In being nice to people we can reinforce their most destructive behaviours. In insisting on thinking the best, we can become enablers of abuse. If we do not know the consequences of our actions, how does that weigh on our hearts?
‘Sin’ is a word I find difficult. The idea of sin is so often religiously based and doesn’t have as much as it might to do with how we treat each other and the planet. Which leads me round to the thought that prompted all of this. I woke this morning with the idea of a carbon balance in my mind. If there are gods who weigh and measure, what if the current balance is all about our carbon? How big is your carbon footprint? How many trees have you planted? How much carbon is there, weighing on your heart?