Material: Seven Souls

from The Western Lands (1988) by William S. Burroughs

Governments fall from sheer indifference.

Authority figures, deprived of the vampiric energy they suck off their constituents, are seen for what they are: dead empty masks manipulated by computers. And what is behind the computers? Remote control. Of course. Look at the prison you are in, we are all in. This is a penal colony that is now a Death Camp. Place of the Second and Final Death. Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. Don’t intend to be there when this shithouse goes up. Nothing here now but the recordings. Shut them off, they are as radioactive as an old joke…

The ancient Egyptians postulated seven souls.

Top soul, and the first to leave at the moment of death,
is Ren, the Secret Name.
This corresponds to my Director.
He directs the film of your life from conception to death.
The Secret Name is the title of your film.
When you die, that’s where Ren came in.
Second soul, and second one off the sinking ship, is Sekem: Energy, Power, Light.
The Director gives the orders, Sekem presses the right buttons.
Number three is Khu, the Guardian Angel. He, she, or it is third man out …
depicted as flying away across a full moon,
a bird with luminous wings and head of light.
Sort of thing you might see on a screen in an Indian restaurant in Panama.
The Khu is responsible for the subject and can be injured in his defense-
but not permanently, since the first three souls are eternal.
They go back to Heaven for another vessel.
The four remaining souls must take their chances with the subject
in the Land of the Dead.
Number four is Ba, the Heart, often treacherous.
This is a hawk’s body with your face on it, shrunk down to the size of a fist.
Many a hero has been brought down, like Samson, by a perfidious Ba.
Number five is Ka, the Double, most closely associated with the subject.
The Ka, which usually reaches adolescence at the time of bodily death,
is the only reliable guide through the Land of the Dead to the Western Lands.
Number six is Khaibit, the Shadow, Memory,
your whole past conditioning from this and other lives.

Number seven is Sekhu, the Remains.

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