Vampyres. Real living human Vampyres, not the mythical fictional variety or the lifestyler – real people who have a natural deficiency of some sort and who must feed on diverse energy forms, including that found in blood (with deference also to those who do not ascribe to the notion of energy being the necessary element contained in human blood) in order to maintain a healthy balance. We see ourselves as a unique group, both part of the human condition – and in some ways detached or separate from it at the same time.
Even in this facet to “separation” there are diverse ideas about the origins of the real Vampi(y)re, different concepts of what makes a real Vampi(y)re a real Vampi(yre), and in how a real Vampi(y)re ought to behave and how we are supposed to relate to each other, the world, and towards non-Vampi(y)res.
Built-in to this complex puzzle, are diverse theories and notions which have arisen over time, some of which hypothesize that Vampyre-kind are either genetically unique or different to non-Vapi(y)res in some way, or are the product of a blending of alien and human DNA, or even more metaphysical in origin – such as the school of thought which holds to the idea that we are descended from a union between humans and “fallen angels” – and even the school that perceives both theories as different facets to the same origin theory.
Whatever the theory, in the absence of proof of any theory being correct, there are (in the improvable form of religious, quasi-religious or spiritual beliefs which on their own do not require proof or evidence of substantiation) diverse views about our origins and our nature – one need only look at the various different theories pushed as being accepted as more credible than others around our groups, and even in the foundations of the groups themselves – and even about how we should live, and how we should sustain ourselves, and most crucially – how we should relate to non-Vampyres and how we should treat them. At times, these differences of opinion (which I think result in each of us experiencing the nature of the VC as a whole, differently) lead to discord and disharmony within our communities.
In the past there have been attempts to address this in our community, efforts to make sense of the situation and to provide guidelines and advice on how to relate to our different natures, to others who perceive their nature differently to how we do, and also in how to better understand, accept and to express our places in the VC. This has not always been an easy thing to do, basically for the various reasons already outlined, and also – mostly – because everyone has an opinion of their own. Consequently, even defining the VC in a way that satisfies everyone has been and probably always will be an unbelievably Herculean task.
I believe that within our community groups, while there are numbers of real self-identified Vampyres, there are differences of opinion between us about our own nature as Vampyres, and consequently, differences in how we understand the nature of the VC itself to be. This is because, doubtlessly, we are such a very diverse community.
It doesn’t take a genius, or a longer than average presence in the VC, to realize that because each real Vampi(y)re has their own take on what makes them a Vampi(y)re, or what sort of Vampi(y)re they are, this leads to a diversity unmatched in the mundane societies we are accustomed to. Our participants are extremely diverse, being individuals from every culture, ethnic group, race, language, creed, ideology and religion on the planet – and many find their nature at odds with other elements of their whole – such as the culture or their beliefs in which form part of their environment, upbringing, etc.
In each of these individual general social groupings there are entities that define, often with many years of tradition and public acceptance behind them, what it “means to be x, y, or z” – while in the VC our identity or identities remain hotly contested in small pockets of polarity which hold opposing views. More often than not, the prevailing ideology will have some sort of “common-sense” understanding to it, which would render it more ‘understandable’ or easier to explain or accept as being closer to the truth than its competing frameworks, which may be less accepted either because they challenge the prevailing viewpoint, or because the community at large does not personally identify with these. Overall though, we believe as a community group – a “cloud” if you will, that the one common denominator we have as a global community is our self-identification as Vampyres. It doesn’t simplify matters that this foundation itself, as truly variable as it is, is fractured and splintered as well.
Regardless of what we believe our origins to be, or how we view our nature – what we choose to do with our lives, how we relate to others, and how we choose to live – is a choice which is left to us to make. Regardless of how we self-identify, or how we view our place in the world and among the shinai – the truth is that we co-exist in a world which is controlled by their laws shaped by their perceptions, and influenced by their beliefs. Like any adult, we should expect – and be expected – to live and to conduct ourselves in such a way as to make decisions and choices which indicate that we are fully prepared to accept the consequences – and that we understand that what we do may lead to difficulties for others like us.
Therefore, whenever we make choices or undertake actions which could have more serious and far-reaching consequences for the rest of the community in terms of ‘guilt by association’ – we should consider such things very carefully indeed.
Why is this significant? There are those among us who view our nature as being predators with a kind of “divine right” to harm other living beings, even other people. From time to time there have been those who have bragged of their actions in harming others for the sake of gratifying their brute nature, or even painting such malevolent actions as being perfectly natural for our kind. Since this – when presented at face value at least, almost always results in conflict, this is not talked about that often, especially not openly.
Those who hold to this position do so in the light of “humans occupy and find acceptable this position above other animals” – and that “Vampyres occupy a rung higher on the ladder that is the food-chain”. We know all too well that there are some who hold to such a position for the sake of image – but there are also, realistically, those who believe it to their cores and even, as far as they can, live it. Conversely there are also those among us who oppose this viewpoint, and who strive to advocate alternatives – alternatives which they know first-hand, to be effective, and which some reject out of hand, not because they think they will be ineffective – but because they deny their favored predatory ideology.
Yes, many Vampi(y)res view themselves as being awakened beings, with heightened perception and understanding of themselves, and nature and the world and its workings – and this may from time to time give rise to a kind of internalized arrogance, or a superiority complex… though it needs saying that just because someone thinks they are better equipped to deal with life than a majority, that they are in any way justified in behaving in a malevolent manner. One could argue, as I do here, that any such “natural advantage” brought about by such awakening ought to bring with it a perception for a need to look upon others with compassion. Of course, as some might argue, this would depend on the nature of the person who awakens, and the choices they make.
It is those who would act malevolently from such a supremacist viewpoint who threaten, not only to their potential victims, but to a far larger number of victims – the rest of the VC who does not share their views or act irresponsibly. It is one thing for the shinai to think of us dismissively as lunatics – it is quite another for them to think of us as DANGEROUS lunatics. After all, with the kind of persecution of very ordinary and very regular HUMAN minority groups going on in the world we live in, all we need to do is to give the haters another target to shoot at. …Least of all one that views itself as *not entirely Human*.
This difference of opinions within our community demonstrates within it, the presence of two opposing ideologies of what a real Vampi(y)re is or how Vampi(y)res should conduct themselves – rooted in how they perceive their own nature as Vampi(y)res taking all the factors of type of feeding methods employed, beliefs on origins etc, and which may or may not overlap in places. This raises the question of whether the two opposing arguments represent different types or kinds of Vampyres in a real physical sense, or merely two opposing metaphysical or even spiritual forces within individuals in our total community – that of “benevolent” versus “malevolent” or, or less simply put, even “good” versus “evil”?
To me, this represents a synonymous portrayal of Vampyre-kind present in the ancient Mesopotamian mythology – the stories of the benevolent Utukku and the malevolent Ekimmu – believed by some to represent two different aspects of vampire-like beings – or even two different ideologically-opposed vampire races.
Are there, aside from different feeding methods, really just “two kinds of Vampyres” in the VC – “good” and “bad”? Or is this an over-simplification? Is malevolence, and benevolence not rather a matter of choice rather than simple ‘nature’? Do not all Vampyres know the bite of the “Beast” within them when the hunger comes to gnaw at their insides? Is it not more a matter of clashing ideologies in contrast to the notion that being Vampyres we ought to act like “monsters” as well? Do we not take personal responsibility for our actions as individuals?
As sentient beings, regardless of what we feel about our place in the world, it is up to us – up to each and every individual, to make our own choices as circumstances demand, and to make the best choices possible, and as responsibly as possible.
“Good” or “bad” is not just a matter of nature – it is a matter of choice, and a matter of action.
The question – or rather, the challenge this article should pose to every individual is this: “Which one are you?”