Litkicks Message Board Archive

William Burroughs

Posted to WritersAndGenres




The Road to the Western Lands is by definition the most dangerous road
in the world, for it is a journey beyond Death, beyond the basic God
standard of Fear and Danger.

It is the most heavily guarded road in the world, for it gives access
to the gift that supersedes all other gifts: Immortality. The Road to
the Western Lands is devious and unpredictable. Today's easy passage
may be tomorrow's death trap. The obvious road is almost always a
fool's road, and beware the middle Roads, the roads of moderation,
common sense and careful planning. However, there is a time for
planning, moderation and common sense. A dangerous road. Every
pitfall, every error, every snare to which Everyman has been liable
since the beginning, you are sure to meet on the road to the Western
Lands.

To reach the Western Lands is to achieve freedom from fear. Do you
free yourself from fear by cowering in your physical body for
eternity? Your body is a boat to lay aside when you reach the far
shore, or sell it if you can find a fool... it's full of holes... it's
full of holes.

I want to reach the Western Lands - right in front of you, across the
bubbling brook. It's a frozen sewer. It's known as the Duat, remember?
All the filth and horror, fear, hate, disease and death of human
history flows between you and the Western Lands. How long does it take
a man to learn that he does not, cannot want what he "wants"? You have
to be in hell to see heaven. Glimpses from the Land of the Dead,
flashes of serene timeless joy, a Joy as old as suffering and despair.

-Burroughs