The Bloody Rites of Ecstasy: Immortality and Vampires?

“Goodnight sweet prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest.”
― Anne Rice

“O Dionysus, we feel you near,
stirring like molten lava
under the ravaged earth,
flowing from the wounds of your trees
in tears of sap,
screaming with the rage
of your hunted beasts.”
― Euripides, The Bacchae

Of late these alien theorists harp on the exsanguination of cattle and human mutilations over the decades, and the fact that salt is poison to them of which our world is permeated by in both organic and anorganic existence down to the molecular level. Maybe these beings are after all the Vampires we have for so long mythologized under our own need for immortalization by death. In ancient times, sacrifices were made to the gods, and the blood was reserved for them as well as certain polluted organs. These bloodthirsty gods needed blood to continue their morbid monstrosity of death-in-Life. The literalization of such practices would culminate in the Mayan sacrifice of tens of thousands of conquered in a ritual bleeding and extraction of the heart in a blood festival of murderous ecstasy to the Underworld (Xibalba) gods. The Roman cult of Mithra’s adepts – mainly soldiers, would sacrifice Bulls and drink their blood in imitation of their god’s ecstatic rites which some say can be traced back to the Asiatic cults of Dionysus-Shiva. I’ve read books on Vampires and Vampirism that delve into this strange world of human blood rites and its associated myths and histories. It is strange and weird how humans have literalized the basic systems of immortalization to the point of absolute absurdity. But so it goes with humans… I’m glad I’m not human anymore. Being a monster and monstrous has its advantages. Even in Greek Tragedy we have the women of Thrace who attacked and cannibalized Pentheus in their orgiastic rites of blood and music and dance of time and death.

As one scholar put it: ”

As commonly understood, the characteristics shared by all of these vampire entities is their need for blood, which they take from living human beings and animals. A multitude of creatures from the world’s mythology have been labeled vampires in the popular literature simply because periodic bloodsucking was among their many attributes. When the entire spectrum of vampires is considered, however, that seemingly common definition falls by the wayside, or, at the very least, must be considered only supplemental to the overall nature of some vampires. Some vampires do not take blood; rather they steal what is considered the life force from their victims. A person attacked by a traditional vampire suffers the loss of blood, which causes a variety of symptoms: fatigue, loss of color in the face, listlessness, depleted motivation, and weakness. In this aspect, it is similar to unchecked tuberculosis, a wasting disease.1

The Vampire is the fate of those who would seek to live forever in a universe of death. The bleakness and enervation of an eternity without life, or a being who exists on the blood and life of others for its immortality. This is death in life without end, a bitter eternity, indeed.

  1. Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead.© 2011 byVisible Ink Press®

Suffering Life

“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
― King Solomon Son of David

I strike out the notion that “God” has given me this life. I say no to this later revision. I often think that the original Koheleth (Preacher) did not add “God” to the statement, but that some later priestly redactor interpolated it into the text. So it goes. Life is a mistake, an error of time and a cosmic fatality, nothing more. All my thoughts, writings, poetry, essays, etc. are mere ramblings and echoes of a mind lost in a cosmic misunderstanding. We are mistakes, errors of time, who will vanish out of the cosmos, our existence, just as we came into existence – never knowing “why” …. humans have spent thousands of years seeking an answer to the “why” of their lives in this thing we do not understand and will never fully comprehend. We are. That is all. All the words are meaningless excess of a creature’s suffering at having been called out of nothingness, the abyss; and, conscious and aware, that it will as Blake said: “seventy years a worm and then you die”. Knowing nothing but one’s own singular thoughts at the perplexity of this thing we are.

Most turn to someone else’s answer, someone else’s meaning for comfort and hope that it was not for nothing that we lived. Whether to religion, philosophy, or any number of thoughts humans have sought answers to the deepest sorrows of the heart. But in the end, we are all alone and in solitude when confronted with our own suffering and eventual death. All the comforting thoughts of others drop away when we are confronted with the existential fact of our own mortal death. Some find comfort in the grand illusion that something will survive, something will go on, remain. They’ve invented whole religions based on redemption and salvation from Buddhism to the main Monotheisms of the West. If people find comfort in this, we cannot blame them. We can only say: we don’t. We accept the nothingness that is and is not this thing we are and the cosmos. What will go on after the dissolution of our body no one can say definitively, one can publish fictions about it; that is all.

In “The Last Messiah”, Zapffe described four principal defense mechanisms that humankind uses to avoid the truth of existence – Isolation, Anchoring, Distraction, and Sublimation. All the pain and suffering we feel day by day we try our best to isolate from ourselves, build walls of thought and belief against its suffering to our body and mind through distractions of family, work, exercise, entertainment etc. Or we seek through expression and artistic pursuits to purify this pain into music, painting, drama, poetry, prose, mountain climbing, or any number of other forms of sublimation to assuage our misery and suffering. But in the end, we are alone in our suffering, boredom, pain, and anguish. All those who suggest otherwise, who say “Oh, but I’m a happy person, I’m full of hope and joy, I’m an optimist about life,” etc. all turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering of existence in themselves and others. They seek through the mechanisms and defense systems above to distance themselves from the truth of existence, hide in their convenient fictions in an ‘as if’ world of faith, hope, and belief. That’s fine, we all need our comforting lies to get on with our existence. I can’t blame them. But that’s not the truth…

Even E.M. Cioran who spent a life in torment and despair wrote in his absolute lyricism of pain so great that only a cosmic confrontation could if not amend it at least allow one to obliterate it:

I would like to explode, flow, crumble into dust, and my disintegration would be my masterpiece. I would like to melt in the world and for the world to melt orgasmically in me and thus in our delirium to engender an apocalyptic dream, strange and grandiose like all crepuscular visions. Let our dream bring forth mysterious splendors and triumphant shadows, let a general conflagration swallow the world, and let its flames generate crepuscular pleasures as intricate as death and as fascinating as nothingness.

But this, too, is delusion and illusion… in the end we all bequeath our bodies and minds to the cosmic dust. No one escapes the destiny and fatalism of this universes ultimate decay into nothingness and the abyss.

“I LEAVE IT in writing for those who will come after me that I do not believe in anything and that forgetfulness is the only salvation.”
—E.M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair