In October of 2012 I wrote, for RVL (then RVN) an editorial entitled “Real Vampires – One of the hardest things about being us”. Its content was primarily directed toward the “outside” perceptions of the modern vampire sub-culture and the examples used were from sources both connected to the culture in some way and not connected to the culture. It served to highlight some of the pitfalls awaiting modern living vampires under certain circumstances.
Now, in 2014, I want to look at some of the pitfalls we create, and perpetuate, for ourselves. Not from a general sub-cultural point of view but more from a personal perspective of observation and interaction.
There are facts and truths that rule the existence of modern living vampires, certain facts that are inescapable. For example, if you take a sample of twenty human living vampires and take x-rays, CT’s or MRI’s you will find the same physiology as a human being. All the organs will be where they are supposed to be; barring surgical interventions of course. The skeletal structures will, generally be human, dependent upon surgical interventions, degenerative illness or physical birth defects. The thing that differs, most markedly, is the psychology, the psychopathology and the psychophysiology of modern living vampires.
We are ruled by the physics, and often the metaphysics, of the world we occupy and our “niche” in that world, our “realm”, if you like, is different to that of the normal (or mundane) human population. It is this very fact that is one of the very hardest things about being who we are.
Differentiating the modern human living vampire.
Consideration of the modern physical aspects of real vampirism didn’t enter the realm of serious contemplation until somewhere around 1966 when a lady by the name of Anne de Molay established the Order of Maidenfear. She had, after investigating the archetype of the vampire, arrived at the conclusion that vampirism was a very real interaction with life energy that could benefit the practitioner.
This position could have been inspired, in part, by the work of Dion Fortune, author of the volume, “Psychic Self Defence” and the earlier examples set down by Z.J. Piérart, Henry Olcott and Helena Blavatsky.
The major differences that delineate modern vampirism from the human norm are in thinking, feeling, acting and general psychology. This is not to imply that modern living vampires are abnormal per se. but rather that they differ from what is considered by the “mundane” systems of classification for “normal behavior”. There are many words thrown around the web to describe living modern vampires, I’ll focus on some that don’t belong in the gutter dear reader.
Some prime examples are; Narcissist, Egotist and Elitist
That’s some mighty fancy words getting thrown about, usually in an insulting or derogatory manner but what do they mean?
A Narcissist – simply put, is a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.
An Egotist – simply put, is a conceited, boastful person.
An Elitist – simply put in this context, is a person professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of a society.
There are manipulators, “naysayers”, recidivists – those who perpetually regress into anti-social behavior patterns, reactionaries who perpetually oppose social change within the sub-culture and all sorts of other anti-vampire society elements that influence the daily ebb and flow in the sub-culture of human living vampires to one extent or another. The fact remains, most obviously, as someone once remarked to me, “the world of living vampires is a microcosm of the human race”.
That’s because modern real living vampires ARE human.
So, what is the hardest thing, given these facts, about being us… individually?
Rising above it… getting above the standard and striving to obtain a higher platform. That is an effort that can’t be forced onto people, it can’t be bought by the pound and it can’t be gifted, magically, so to speak. The change has to come from within the person.
During the course of the Living Vampyre Survey ~ A Social Study, conducted by RVL over a year long period, we received some pretty pointed statements about things in various comment sections.
For example, in response to the question, “If you had the opportunity to make 1 “guideline” for general use within the sub-culture, what would it be?” answers ranged from, “1. For the love of god, don’t be an asshole.” To, “Try not to make a fool out of the rest of us.” And from, “stay alive”, to, “take care of others and treat them with kindness. pass on the knowledge that you have collected with in the community”.
The majority of the responses seemed to indicate a groundswell of feeling that the “Community” should be doing more to be a “community” but, at the same time, doesn’t that stem from the commitment of the individual as a part of said “community”? How does a “community” achieve anything, or grow and improve without the people IN the “community” choosing to support that growth and improvement.
The “P” Factors
“P” factors, people factors… in commerce and industry it’s sometimes referred to as the “X” factor, or the “Human Factor”. It stands, generally speaking, as a variable that can’t be completely quantified and is known to have an effect on the outcome of processes and situations. That is under normal circumstances, there are, it would seem the essential elements of “abnormal” circumstances playing a key role as well. In the VEWR’s Survey conducted by Suscitatio Enterprises, LLC (2006) it was discovered that there was a predominant number of responses to a question about health related illnesses that indicated a high propensity, among the survey participants, of mental health issues.
Some of the most noticeable issues were ADD/ADHD, Bipolar Depression, Depression of acute medical types and several types of stress or anxiety disorders. By themselves these indicators might not have been all that much different from the societal norms of humankind if taken statistically but one of the bigger questions raised by these figures, at least in my mind, was, “Were these conditions present before the person became aware of their vampiric, or other, nature or, did they manifest afterwards as a result of the realisation they had come to?”
In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
One of the things that is very quickly noticed by anybody who dips their toes into the great pool of the modern vampire ocean is that there are a great many “strong” personalities involved and I would suggest that we, as a sub-cultural group, are a pretty fierce bunch both within ourselves and with others. The online, and often the offline, interactions between members of our sub-culture are frequently marred by conflict and these conflicts can be as simple as a “rant” online, or as complex as a multi-year grudge match between opponents in real life. The psychology that drives such things is freely available to read about in any number of places and most of it has been simplified from the clinical lingo to layperson’s terms so it’s not rocket science to figure out what causes conflict. No, the problem that many, as individuals seem to have in today’s modern living vampire sub-culture is conflict resolution.
The often prideful posturing, the aggressive conflict nature, the stubborn and often unreasonable reactions and stance on issues is nothing new, nothing overwhelming nor even alarming but it does point to the fact that modern living human vampires do not give “quarter”. It demonstrates that the majority nature of many individual modern vampires is one of superiority, pride, stubbornness and aggression ~ a truly “predatory” type of nature and one that will not brook interference or disagreement. It is these factors that keep us, as a whole, from engineering a better place for ourselves, it is these things that prevent us from creating a unified “society” and which prevents us from being the best we can be, both for ourselves and for others.
It’s overcoming the “P” Factors that is one of the hardest things about being us…
Does that give us the excuse not to try?
Copyright TB & RVL 2014
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