Vampires have always fascinated me and exert a similar fascination over many - they are one of the most romantic and sensual of the mythic creatures and their lifestyle is enticing either despite or because of the darkness of their natures.
They are like the nightside of our own human souls, dwelling always in the darkness beneath the stars. Something wild and yet very in control of itself. A true predator, and beautiful because of that. Meanwhile, we, the domesticated apes, go through our short mundane existances with the monotony of our work to make us forget that we are not totally tame.
Below is a short article of mine drawing parrallels between the modern vampire myth and mystic transfiguration. This article has been bouncing around in my head for some time, and whilst it is not in a truly polished form yet, I am so glad that it is finally out of my head that I'm putting it here anyway!
It is all conjecture, very much a personal opinion (and not strongly held, at that!), so take it as it is.
In the modern mythos, vampires go through a process of transformation that changes their mortal human body into an immortal, lighter vampire body.
They can only go out at night for if they go out by day the light of the sun will burn up and completely consume their vampire body.
They live on the blood of untransformed mortal humans. In the old European myth (as well as in other traditions elsewhere) they live by sucking out the life-force in the form of breath from people. In the more modern western vampire mythology (post Countess Bathory and Count Vlad Tepes) they live by sucking out the life-force in the form of blood from their victims, or the very soul, as blood is believed to be the carrier of in many places.
I think the mystic idea of transfiguration, of the mortal body and soul changing into the divine body and soul, could in some way account for the vampire myth, as divine transfiguration gone wrong, or somehow waylaid/stunted or aborted.
Could a vampire be a person who has set out on the path and achieved transfiguration (or even something like it?) but has not gone the final step and re-joined the godhead, but is still living here on this earthly plane instead? Perhaps vampirism is the unnatural suspension of a natural stage in a person's spiritual evolution.
And then, perhaps, the vampire is "in the abyss", so to speak - the symbol of a mystic who has failed to cross the bridge (which could indeed be the same as the above paragraph).
I think that the vampire's fear of the sun is because the sun is a symbol for the divine godhead, and the burning up of the body by the sun signifies the final stage in the process of transfiguration.
If the transformation into a vampire body uses up its mortal body and soul, as mystic transfiguration can be said to do, to remain on this earth plane the vampire would need to continually replace the human soul as it is eaten up, and since the vampire cannot do that itself, it steals them from untransformed humans
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© Lynette F. Watters 1997-2005
To contact me, my email address is "lunetta777" followed by "@bigpond.com", less the quotation marks (of course)