I love being part of the information network of the Vampire Community.
We share practical information about feeding, along with other material, to help Modern Living Vampires live healthy, fruitful lives. Another part of our function is that we educate the non-vampiric masses about the reality of what it is to live with vampirism–what it constitutes and what it does not.
Much of our information is readily available on our blogs, websites, online groups…a lot of it for free. But, how much good are we actually doing? Are we actually making a difference to anyone?
The amount of negative response seems almost overwhelming, at times. It often makes me question whether I am offering accurate, helpful or positive information. For the most part, I am sharing my perspective as a completely personal one. I am going by my own experience and sometimes those of my friends, who also share their original content online. I often reiterate that I am not any sort of spokesperson for the modern Community. I am not a textbook Modern Vampire. I also make it clear that while I have my ideas about what I consider Vampirism–there are many others who hold their contrasting and varying opinions and interpretations.
As part of an unofficial collective of writers, I am aware of the large amount of written and spoken material available on Sanguinism, Energy Vampirism and a variety of other vampire-related topics. It would seem that with all that information so easily accessible, one might think that we should have a lot more smoother interactions in our online and in-person groups.
I suspect that because I am so focused on information-sharing, on the groups that share information and the teachers and speakers…it seems almost odd to me that other people would come into the community and not want to focus on taking in as much information as they possibly could on vampirism, weighing it out and coming to their own working interpretation of the spectrum of experience.
As it currently stands, The Vampire Community and The Online Vampire Community are not carefully and rigidly structured–regardless of what they were ORIGINALLY intended to be. The Community is a loosely connected web of groups (virtual and in-person), people and events.
On the part of the teachers/educators and every other person that enjoys sharing information–my interpretation is that we share that information which we sincerely feel brings a benefit to other Modern Vampires’ lives. The hazard is when we look for positive feedback to let us know that we are sharing relevant and helpful information. We can make the mistake in assuming that the people who need our information the most, who benefit from it (immediately or in the future) are also able to articulate themselves or simply are not too shy to speak up. It is difficult to speak through and hear through the larger amount of negative feedback, response and drama that floods the communication lines…simply because Modern Vampires are still human….and most humans are negative.
At risk of sounding cynical–it seems that there is a lot more negativity in this world than there is positive energy and encouragement. Just by virtue of people tending to express more of this negative energy, we will run into more discouragement than encouragement from others. This negativity seems to outweigh (and sometimes drown out) the positive reinforcement and encouragement that we also receive for our efforts.
When I share my observations and my perceptions, I speak from my personal experience. I share what makes sense to me on an intellectual level. I share which experiments I perform on a magickal, energetic level and which working conclusions I have thusfar come to. When I come up against criticism and/or contrary views or information–I give myself time to process whatever my initial reaction/response is….then, I question and analyze everything.
On my side–I question whether what I share might be helpful to someone in a practical way. By this, I question whether it might be some piece of information that someone could apply to their life in some way (on a mental, emotional or physical level) or that it might simply be something inspirational, affecting their mood in a positive way.
With any criticism that I receive for my articles, I do consider if there might be any truth behind that critique. Before I consider those words, I look back at what I’ve written. Is what I wrote relatively true, according to my interpretation of my personal experience and analysis of that experience? Even if this personal account or interpretation is not common among the masses, is it possible that my account or perception might validate or be helpful to someone else in the world? If the answers to my set of questions are that I was being true to myself and that I can honestly perceive that my information will find the right person that needs it at the right time for them, then I am at peace with my sharing.
How practical is it to reiterate the guidelines of common sense, disclaimers of safety and responsibility (physical and/or energetic) with each of my articles? What about the idea that anything that I have to say could be “dangerous” or “unethical” to the reader or student? My answer to that is that I won’t ever share anything that any reasonable adult would endanger themselves doing. I am not responsible for any other adult not having common sense or using their ability to research any activity and its safety parameters before they engage in that activity. I cannot be responsible for anyone’s recklessness or for someone who is not of their right mind.
If I had the responsibility to keep someone safe, I would be able to control what sort of information they had access to and what sort of activity they engaged in. I cannot be responsible for someone that I don’t have control over. Give me absolute control over someone, then I would be happy to be responsible for them.
As a teacher (someone who offers information), I will act in a way that is respectful and true to what I feel is right, at all times. I do not need to perform in any way, with the intention of gaining approval…nor am I going to perform in a way of trying to gain someone’s disapproval, as a stealth act of rebellion.
Here’s where I admit that it gets tricky. On one hand, I want the freedom for all Living Modern Vampires to be able to live freely in a way in which we can easily share information relevant to our real-life scenarios. This includes being able to speak of, find and engage with willing donors and the uneducated/unenlightened vampires in a much easier fashion. This would be the ideal.
However, while we are still working towards these ideals of safe/practical networking in the world, we need to be aware of what we are currently working in and with in the present moment. What we are working with is a society of varying personalities, belief systems and prejudices. In terms of the non-vampires, we need a certain degree of normalization of Vampire activity–to where we can reveal ourselves as necessary for purposes of practical function in the world and to make ourselves available to awakened/unawakened kindred, when we see it as fit, on a case by case basis.
As long as we educate with sincerity and constantly weigh the value of revealing and sharing information against any possible desire to shock our audience, we might be outweighing the negative feedback with benefits in the world.