This is an allusion to a passage in Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence. While the author strained in the harness, it is as if another part of him hovered over his hunchback frame and laughed, just as Lawrence of Arabia memorably described the divided self:
Now I found myself dividing into parts. There was one which went on riding wisely, sparing or helping every pace of the wearied camel. Another hovering above and to the right bent down curiously and asked what the flesh was doing. The flesh gave no answer, for indeed it was conscious only of a ruling impulse to keep on and on, but a third garrulous one talked and wondered, critical of the body’s self-inflicted labour and contemptuous of the reason for effort….. the spent body toiled on, doggedly and took no heed, quite rightly for the divided selves said nothing which I was not capable of thinking in cold blood; they were all my natures. Telesius, taught by some such experience, split up the soul. Had he gone on, he would have seen his conceived regiment of thoughts and acts and feelings ranked around him as separate creatures, eyeing like vultures, the passing in their midst of the common thing that gave them life.