The Beast in the Vampyre – A short preface
In vampyrism there is a concept of the dragon/beast/animal in the self of a vampyre. Here we dive deeply into the spiritual-mythological approaches of the vampire self-understanding. To avoid confusion with the concept of Jung’s shadow: It is not about suppressed contents that take on a form of their own.
An example: Someone who was neglected by his parents as a child clings today – he will possibly solve the problem if he becomes aware of this shadow, i.e. this repressed state. Here you can read more about the concept of the shadow: Man and his symbols (link comes up soon)
Here it is rather about a dark part of the vampyre’s own personality, which is often conscious of the vampire, which does not always think morally and which can also frighten the vampyre himself. An example also for this: The neighbor is annoying by playing loud music. You think about how to harm him (but without doing it – at best!). Depending on which violent fantasy you pursue, you can be frightened about what is going on inside you.
I think everybody feels these wild, dark parts in themselves – only nobody talks about it, because we are social beings who need acceptance in society in order to survive or at least to feel comfortable.
With this foreword in the back of my mind, I now dare to interpret the concept.
The concept of the untamed portion
Basically, people and people who consider themselves to be vampyres do not differ here – the difference is not whether this part is present or not, but that the vampire is aware of it. In his confrontation with himself, he dares to penetrate earlier or even more intensively into these rather dark chambers of his soul and to actually look at what lies dormant there. Some people explain this with corresponding experiences, others do not call worse traumatic experiences their own, which could be the basis for an explanation. So it is less about what we have experienced – or not – but rather about the way we understand ourselves and our behavior, whether we cling to the light or allow the shadow to play its part.
Bad experiences, a psychological imbalance or an acute phase of stress can leave their traces, some remain present for a lifetime, others fade away – but they always remain a scar. The “right” way to deal with these triggers and their consequences must be explored subjectively – what works for one person does not necessarily work just as well for another.
What is certain is that, in order to understand ourselves as a whole, we must turn our eyes away from the sun for once, in order to finally be able to see ourselves in the shadow that light first creates. This costs energy and should at best be done in awareness of the possible consequences. Help from outside may also be necessary. Don’t be frightened, because the result is a completely new understanding of yourself and your place in the world.
This dark part now can show itself as a fantasy of violence, as deep sadness or in a completely different form. We can try to see this part, tolerate it, accept it and finally even use it as a source of strength.
I have never learned to argue. When it became difficult, everything was hushed up – the proverbial elephant in the room. One day I had my first panic attack – and fought for a year to get back into a normal life. The panic attacks were a more than clear indication that I urgently needed to learn to communicate my problems and feelings.
It took me some time to understand this, but when I realized this, I had the chance to look at it and understand the panic: This is a part of me that wants to tell me something. I don’t need to be afraid of the panic, I just need someone to whom I can tell just how I am!
And so the knot came loose.
Vampyres (and here again I never talk about all of them!) approach their true nature in their development, oscillating in phases. As you can follow here so well, I also radiate and doubt again and again, only to speak of myself as a vampyre some time later with all my love. This process takes time and energy and patience with myself. And patience is not one of my strengths… But no matter how the journey ends, I learn an incredible amount about myself and it is worth the effort.
FREUD’S CONCEPT FOR THE SOUL BUILDING – “The Ego and the Id”
“It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality; the little we know about it, we have experienced through the study of dream work and neurotic symptom formation, and most of it has a negative character, can only be described as the opposite of the ego. We approach the Id flat with comparisons, calling it a chaos, a cauldron of seething excitement.” – Sigmund Freud: New sequence of lectures
Now we want to take a closer look at the nature of the animal. Its most striking characteristic might be its uncontrollability, at least that’s what I associate here. According to my own understanding, the concept of the animal could be comparable to that of the “Id” in Freud’s psychic structural model, i.e. the part of the personality that acts unconsciously, but above all in relation to itself. There is a lust, a desire and this does not tolerate any delay. Here live affects, libido and “Destrudo”, as Wikipedia so beautifully describes the will to destroy.
According to Freud, there is also the super-ego, which in its behavior stands in opposition to the ego, i.e. it fights against the ego sensibly and downright with the weapons of its own mind. On a macro-level, the “id” embodies one’s own needs, while the “super-ego” wants to or has to follow given commandments and social norms (i.e. especially prohibitions).
And finally, the “I” stands between the two, so to speak, and tries to strike a balance between desire and impatience on the one hand and cool mind and calculation on the other. It acts in critical awareness and tries to stop its own drives – which in turn is a mandatory prerequisite for a healthy social structure, but leads to inner conflicts when an imbalance is provoked.
The animal now moves more on an instinctive level, it embodies the ego and its needs. It proceeds wildly and impetuously, even against its own “landlord”, who then tries to keep it in check with means it has learned on the one hand, and those which are innate to it on the other – sometimes with great effort. It is necessary to give him leash, to give him a leeway without losing control.
The real danger now would be to take the leash off the animal – usually this is hardly possible to the full extent, at least for all those with an intact moral compass. Murderers and sex offenders are often enough diagnosed with a brain injury or a structural psychosocial change due to trauma. An injury or a birth defect can certainly lead to behavioral changes. Consider the case of Phineas Gage.
In our case, however, I assume that the moral compass works very well and that every reader knows his conscience. This instance, which makes life difficult for you when you have eaten the last cookie of your partner, for example. So in order to be able to create a balance between instinct and mind, this control instance is needed.
But what if this instance starts to falter?
To my shame, I have to admit that it hasn’t been three years since I did and said some questionable things myself. At that time, I was very much concerned with the rather darker parts of the human being and recognized these in myself. With every book I read and every documentary I watched, I sank deeper into a swamp of questions about the existence of an universal morality and my own limits. After only a few weeks I noticed how my moral boundaries shifted and as a result the animal grew within me. My conscience became quieter and quieter and when I write about it today, my heart sinks. Obviously a kind of desensitization took place, which I could only turn around with difficulty in the end. The price was deep-seated shame and, to be honest, a deep shock at what I was capable of and at how much joy it had given me to exceed the limits of others.
I had given the animal too much leash.
However, in my honour I must also admit that my conscience is one of the more persistent kind. I usually move within narrow limits, perhaps more narrow than some others. What I have given of myself this year would only bring a tired smile to Hannibal Lecter.
But since then I feel my limits more clearly.
The goal – a healthy handling of the own animal
During my research on the topic I had some inspiring conversations with vampyres who told me about their experiences with their own animal.
A vampyre probably rarely comes closer to his animal than in a drinking situation. It rears up, the desire for blood becomes unrestrained. The focus is on the here and now, on the red warm wet that runs over skin, looking for a way down, bright and promising. Where I myself write these lines, I imagine such a situation and feel agitated. There is this tension in my jaw again.
The mind closes in and fog covers the borders to the outside world like absorbent cotton. The otherwise omnipresent feeling for one’s own physical boundaries blurs and makes way for a new unity. The animal is allowed to leave its cave for a few moments.
This state can be accompanied by all kinds of different mental states of consciousness and physical changes. Trance, which reaches to a dissociative state, inner peace and focus, which are similar to meditation, but also effervescent and dominant moments arise. Growling, scratching and biting (not for blood! 😉 ), scuffling, tingling goose bumps, heavy breathing, bared teeth, physical dominance… and the deep satisfaction and silence that the animal leaves behind when it withdraws once the desire is satisfied.
Integration and Consensus
The metaphor of the animal is perfectly suited to establish a relationship with your own animal. Instead of a nebulous dark figure, this part becomes tangible. One can occupy oneself with it in a way, which makes an integration possible into the own “mental house”.
For me at least the idea of a dark companion helps, who stands by my side and gives me strength and in return also roams freely. It comes to a consensus with myself, which enables me to reach a consensus with others.
My heartfelt thanks go especially to Cessedy, who gave me an insight into her own being.