What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?
– Terry Pratchett, Going Postal.
Kylo Ren has no soul. I don’t say this because I hate his character, or because I think he’s a monster, I say this because he’s so clearly tried to destroy one key part of his soul - his name.
According to the Ancient Egyptians, the human soul came in five parts. The Ib, the Sheut, the Ba, the Ka and the Ren.
Your Ib was your heart and, like the other parts of your soul, was essential to you surviving in the afterlife. To enter the afterlife your heart was weighed against the Feather of Truth - if you failed your heart was devoured by Ammit and you were damned and destroyed for all eternity. This was why the heart was not placed into Canopic Jars but left in the body: so Anubis could weigh it against the feather and judge if you were worthy or not. Your heart, according to the Ancient Egyptians, was the very seat of your emotions, thought, will and intentions. If you sinned, it weighed on you here.
The Sheut was your shadow, the thing which proved you real and tangible in the world. Always present so long as there was light, always following the person, to the Ancient Egyptians it was obvious that it carried some part of the person it was attached to - indeed, following this same logic statues were sometimes referred to as shadows. The shadow was also not exempt from the afterlife - some people were given “shadow boxes” in which part of the Sheut was stored.
The Ba was the personality of a person, what made them them. Probably the part of the Ancient Egyptian soul easiest to equate to the modern Western perception of the soul, it was your defining character, your very self - where the Ib was intention and emotion, the Ba was the personality behind that. Indeed, the Ba was said to re-join the Ka in the afterlife -
The Ka being your vital spark, that which makes you alive. It is this which distinguishes the living from the dead - when the body, the Ha lost it’s Ka, it was dead. The Ka is your living energy and so, to live, it requires, like any living thing, food and drink. It is because of the Ka that food and drink were left by graves or buried with a Mummy - so that, even in the afterlife, the Ka could eat and drink it’s fill and not die.
All these things about the first four parts of the soul. But what about the fifth?
The Ren is the name given to you at birth. Egyptians could and would change their names - Pharaohs most notably, with Akhenaten, called Amenhotep before his name-change and Tutankhamun, born Tutankhnaten - but the name was still a sacred thing. It was even, when written or carved, protected by a Cartouche, and many Ancient Egyptians made numerous attempts to protect and preserve their names. Conversely, should someone be considered to have committed so great a crime there was no other punishment suitable, their name would be hacked off monuments and inscriptions, in a form of what the Romans would later perform, and called damnatio memoriae.
As Pratchett says - “a man is not dead while his name is still spoken”. So too did the Ancient Egyptians believe - if your name still existed somewhere, if it could still be read and understood and spoken… you would live. Provided the other efforts to preserve your soul, your Ba and Ka, your Ib and Sheut and, in the realm of the living, your Ren you could survive in the afterlife for ages upon ages.
Kylo Ren has shed his name. His name is not even entirely a name - he is a Knight of Ren, a Knight of the Name, and what passes for his name now reflects that. He may have his Ba and Ka, he is certainly a creature of his own Sheut, but his Ib… has been shaped and moulded into something else and is weighed down by sins.
And his Ren, his name… is gone. He is just another name bound into Snoke’s service, made to shed a part of himself, a part of his soul.
Kylo Ren has no soul. Not because he’s a monster, but because he has sacrificed his name in Snoke’s service. He is a Knight of Ren, a Knight of Name.
Perhaps, a Knight in name only. Will he take on his old name? Will he take on a new name entirely? I don’t know.
Don’t You Dare Steal My Heart (Lin-Manuel Miranda x Reader)
Write-A-Thon: Day 3 (Lit Day)
Summary: Everything has a consequence, good or bad. Whether it be a fall from a cliff or a stolen kiss, nothing will ever be the same.
Words: 7635 (I’m literally the most extra I’m sorry)
A/N: This is a bit late but this is for Day 3 of the write-a-thon. it’s based off of the book I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson but I sort of got a little off track with the plot, oops. I ended up making it a lot longer than I originally intended and theres still quite a bit left in the google doc, so I’m dividing it into either 2 or 3 chapters and I’ll be posting the next parts some time in the next few days. Without further ado, enjoy my fic.
It was said that the fall from the cliff would be fatal, but you knew better. You’d seen Anthony take the dive countless times, miraculously swimming back to the surface after a few moments of submersion. It wasn’t the fall that would kill you, it was the rocks.
If you weren’t careful about where you landed, you’d hit the rocks rather than the cold embrace of the water. And yes, that would indeed be fatal.
Despite having witnessed Anthony survive the plunge time and time again, you still felt your stomach drop to your knees every time he did so. Yet he always broke through the surface only a few moments later, but still: there was always that terrifying, heart stopping moment as you watched him fall through the air, and for a fraction of a second, you were convinced that he’d miscalculated his dive, that he would hit the rocks, but luck always prevailed.
You watched through eyes darkened by worry as Anthony climbed up the set of stairs that had been built into the cliff. His curly hair was matted against his head, and his clothes were dragged down by the weight of the river water, but his face was still illuminated by a wide grin.
His eyes sparkled with a fervent and ever burning fire, a genuine sort of happiness that Anthony seemed to carry with him in his pocket, a ray of sunshine that he held close to his chest at all times.
As soon as he was close enough to reach, you smacked him playfully with the sleeve of your hoodie. “For fuck’s sake, Ant. It’s got to be thirty degrees out, and you could freeze.”
He raised his hands in surrender, grinning like an idiot. “Hey. Hey. I’m fine, aren’t I?”
“This time,” you mumbled under your breath, earning another laugh from your cousin. “You could get seriously hurt,” you told him, knowing that this was no surprise to him
“Don’t worry about it, (Y/N).” That stupid smile remained on his face. As much as you loved your cousin, it was impossible to reason with him. He paid no regard whatsoever to his own safety, preferring to but his life on the line just for the sake of fun.
You stood your ground, daring to keep your gaze steady, meeting his. You were happy to stand there staring him down until the world around you had crumbled into nothingness and your life had become as meaningless as the words on the pages of the books you read: forever to be glazed over and soon to be forgotten.
Drawing out a smile, Anthony threw his head out a let out a great bark of an Anthony Ramos laugh: loud and clear, cutting through the still air with the sharpness of a knife. “You worry too much.”
His words were thinly veiled in truth, but forever failing to contain it in its cloak of white lies. You did worry too much, but only when it came to Anthony.
You shoved his jacket out towards him. “I’m not worrying right now.” Your words slid bitterly between your teeth. You weren’t lying: in that moment, you weren’t worried at all, not now that the moment of anxiety had passed.
Anthony took the jacket, an amused look taking over his face. “What’s the matter?”
You rolled your eyes, drawing your gaze out around the park. The world seemed to be washed in various shades of grey, a cold and artificial setting for the cold and artificial people to carry on with their cold and artificial lives.
The ground was littered with empty soda cans and candy wrappers, a bitter visual reminder that teenage recklessness would always reign superior over common sense, and that the high schoolers would forever carry with them such a blatant disregard for nature, with no reason in their minds to care for preserving the beauty of the world around them.
“I think you’re being an asshole.” You offered up what you both already knew.
Anthony smirked and dug around in the pocket of his jacket for a few moments before pulling out a pack of cigarettes. “I know.” He knew. He knew it a thousand times over, just as he knew that jumping off cliffs was reckless and stupid and that smoking could give you cancer. But he couldn’t find it in himself to care, as he lit a cigarette and tucked the rest of the pack safely away in the pocket of his jacket. He slung it over his shoulder and held the cigarette loosely between his lips, in what seemed to you as some pathetic attempt to look cool.
You often struggled to define the nature of your relationship with Anthony. You were much closer than many other pairs of cousins, yet you often found yourself losing your temper with him. People constantly told you that you and Anthony acted like siblings- perhaps that was it. You were like twins, always joined at the hip when he came into town. But lately Anthony had seemed off, much different than how he usually tended to act. There was the cliff diving, and then the smoking habit which had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Anthony was a different person than he’d been when you two were little, but then again, so were you.
“It’s five, we should be getting home,” Anthony told you, all too cynical and formal. You sometimes forgot that beneath the tough and fearless exterior, Anthony cared quite a bit about pleasing adults.
“My parents won’t care,” you supplied, knowing that that was vastly untrue. But lately your parents had become intolerable, even more so than Anthony. It seemed as though all they cared about was your art, and every moment with them was spent discussing your application for CSA: California School for the Arts, the prestigious artistic school in San Francisco.
Of course, you wanted more than anything to get into the school, but the constant pressure that had been put on you by your parents had begun to take the fun and excitement out of the process. Even the act itself of doing art, which had once been an escape had started to feel like a chore. Each drawing, every painting had to be done perfectly and in such a short amount of time that you could barely remember why you’d once loved it.
“They’ll care.” Anthony spoke with a sort of finality, putting his foot down to squash any sort of disobedience. Your mother had told you to be home by five thirty, and being even a minute late would the single most horrible act a person could commit- at least in the mysterious mind of Anthony Ramos.
“You’re a dick,” you decided with the kind of nonchalance that dug down deep with intent, set out purely to get under Anthony’s skin. Sure enough, you were met with success.
“Because I jump off cliffs and want to enjoy my life instead of just letting it fly by like you do?” Anthony demanded, indignance drawing itself out in his voice.
“Because you risk your life for the sake of having fun and you think that those cigarettes will make you look cool,” you clarified. You gave way to the smallest of smirks as you crossed your arms over your chest. “But by all means, continue what you’re doing. Don’t let something as simple and irrelevant as common sense stop you.”
Anthony chuckled softly, regarding you with a smile. He seemed to be at a loss for words: he simply turned and began the walk home, way too confident that you would follow.
Can somebody please explain to me WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG IN THIS WORLD? How can SOMEBODY BEAT UP A LITTLE GIRL FOR HUMMING A SONG?
The whole world is going crazy.. This isn’t right.. This all should not be happening..