In very ancient times, those who died without being wounded were deemed victims of sorcerers and evil spirits with whom they consorted. At some point, Interior African Primitive Rock Art Hope/Desire concepts were transposed onto Nubian and Egyptian reliefs, sculptures, and painted images of the Afterlife. Since the Soul was pictured as the source of a human’s breath (anima) or life itself, a human’s “last breath” was the final expiration of a tangible life–leaving the Soul with its separate and lasting existence. The Nile Valley’s Naqada culture elaborated on this by human burial practices of the body facing South and the face, West in a fetal position. The southward orientation of the body is in reference that the South is "the land of beginnings" as well as "the land of the spirits" where the Souls of Ancestors dwell. The face pointing West reflects beliefs of "the hidden land," where Souls of the departed journey after quitting the body. "The West" symbolized the abode of the faultless Blessed, perhaps associated with “Sun” ideas, like that of life beginning with Consciousness coming into time and space in the “East”–the “Before”–and comes to its ending in the “West,” the “After”. A body’s fetal position–wrapped in basketry skins, or linen–evoked ideas of Rebirth. These Nubian Burial Practices,relating to Spiritual Enlightenment, were carried on into developing Egypt.
Seleem’s Book of Life (p 59, xiii) says the World’s first recorded literature, The Book of Life, dates to 60,000 BC. Since its beginnings this archetype text and theoriginal "Bible" of Humankind have acquired a variety of names. Some correct names are: “Prt m Hru" (epitaph); "Rw Prt M Hrw"; "Ru Pert em Heru"; "Per-em-hru"; "Pert Em Heru” (Spiritual Wakefulness) meaning “Utterances for Coming Into the Light (Enlightenment) of the Most High (Supreme Self-God)"; “The Wisdom and Practices Which Make one Become Spiritually Enlightened”; "Becoming one with Heru (the light)”; "The Guide for Becoming Horus" (Ashby, Ancient Egyptian Origins of Buddhism p109; Ashby, Ausarian Resurrection p161); "The Coming Forth by Day" (meaning going forth into human life and then returning to the all pervasive light); and "The Egyptian Book of Life." In Egyptian etymology, the key terms in these titles are: "Rau," meaning words, teachings, liturgy; "nu," of; "Pert," going out; "Em," as or through; "Heru," Spiritual Light or Enlightened Being (the God Heru, the Light); and Nehast, “resurrect-wake up.” In short, Pert m Heru means “Coming into the Light.” The word "Day" represents Light, Knowledge, and Rebirth. Other ideas in the Book of Life concern Reincarnation, Transmutation, Transmigration, Transformation, and related seed notions and intuitions. A striking passage is: "I am the Eternal, I am Ra–I am that which created the Word…I am the Word…. The text states in hieroglyphs the created Cosmos came out of the mouth of Ra and the mouth is the symbol of Unity–the One. Still other ideas are on divine final judgment, morality, heaven, purgatory, balance between inner forces of the Self and Nature, + fundamental technical ideas on trance, Bardo (an intermediate consciousness where one may get transcendental insights) states and non-ordinary states of human consciousness. So, the "Book of Coming Forth by Day" is about living and not solely about the Afterlife per se. In c3400+ BC it was written in African Ta-Merry (Qamt, Kimit, Sais). However, as is typical of Europeans, when translated from hieroglyph to English by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge of London, England in 1885 AD, it was wrongly renamed “The Book of the Dead.”
During this process, the concept developed that African "Living-Dead" Ancestors reside in the larger Astral (Star) Plane of the Cosmos (i.e. the "World of the Dead"). Ancestors are, therefore, separate and distinct from other Spirits endowed with immortality. They exist with God, but unlike God, they cannot create. Ancestors are dynamic and can Reincarnate via their Spirits to help people. Certain members of that clan, assigned to carrying out these missions, are chosen to re-enter the physical. They are then endowed with the necessary skills, talents, or personality features to facilitate the consummation of their task. Greek and Roman antiquity was particularly concerned with life on earth, but with a general belief in survival after death. There developed a cult of dead heroes conceived as existing timelessly. Early on, they acceptedAfrican Christianity Reincarnation (Matt. 17:10-12; 16:13; 11:14; John 9:2-3; Revelation 13:10; etc.) jabaileymd.com; JABLifeSkills; Theievoice.com