Edumucating The Masses: A Golden Apple For The Teachers

 

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.

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“Sweetie, Shouldn’t You Have A Talk With Timmy About Turning?”

One of the problems with the Online Vampire Community is that we don’t have the equivalent of a “children’s table.”  We have many groups in which we have mixed membership–seasoned, reasonable, mature, practical Modern Vampires…in the same groups as those who do not have a realistic view of modern vampirism.

Specifically, I am referring to those “aspirants” who request to be turned, no matter how many times we tell them that we won’t or can’t…or that being “turned” won’t get them what they really want.  The subject of being “Turned” can be a controversial topic.  It is not even a topic on which we all completely agree–whether or not it is possible–or even on how we should define it.

When we talk about the concept of Turning, some of us say that it has the classical meaning–to produce the condition of vampirism where it was not present before.  Others say that “turning” is more of an activation of the recessive trait of vampirism, to bring its symptoms into full manifestation in those who possessed latent vampirism.  In the classical sense, a formerly non-vampiric being is transformed into a vampire.  In the “activation” of latent vampirism, only vampires can be awakened, not non-vampiric humans.

Reasonable, practical members of the Community sometimes discuss the prospect of Turning–either and both forms.  We discuss the possibility of both forms of Turning in terms of Sanguinism and Energy Vampirism.  We sometimes even share personal or second-hand accounts which we think validate our belief or skepticism in the process, itself.  The problem comes when “aspirants” come in from a side angle, wanting to be Turned into vampires.

A simple request from someone who is young, uninformed and is NOT heavily invested in the belief of the Fictional Vampire; but is more of a vampire-fan is not that much of a problem.  It is when someone is insistent that they NEED to be Turned and so stubborn about wanting to be transformed into a super-powered Vampire that they will jump from person to person in the community, aggressive in their search to be Turned.

Here is the little problem–among the more analytical of us, in our discussions, we refer to Turning within the context of our larger understanding.  Among Modern Vampires, we have more of an intellectual relationship to the concept.  Those of us who are already Obligate Feeders don’t need to be “turned”.  Those of us who are not Modern Vampires, but are still reasonable and mature members of the VC, are usually not interested in being “turned” because those members know what a Modern Vampire is and are not confusing that with any Fictional version.

However, when the less-intellectual, more-impulsive, less-informed, more-delusional “aspirant” merely hears the word “Turned,” they take the mention/discussion as confirmation that the classical, fictional process is a reality.  Even when some of us explain that classical/fictional Turning is not possible OR that Vampires are not granted extraordinary abilities, these “aspirants” can’t hear anything beyond the word “Turned.”

These Wannabe-Turnees are thinking of POWERS, powers found in movies, television shows, folk tales and modern vampire fiction.  Should we be more explicit when we talk about “powers,” “talents” and “abilities” in front of the kids?  In the Magickal and Pagan Communities, when we refer to the “powers,” it is within the context of inborn or developed/exercised abilities.  I was clairvoyant as a little boy, because of spiritual karma.  I was born with a level of natural talent because of past-life karma or pre-life spiritual agreement.  The level of skill I have in glamour projection came with my conscious practice as a witch.  Although there are “rituals” available, most experienced magicians don’t take many “instant transformation” spells seriously.  In the Magickal Community, what is not recognized as inborn is earned through time invested, along with hard work.

In the Magickal Community, there is no quick fix or instant transformation.  Even in the seeming appearance of a magickal working having “instant results” or “miraculous effects,” it is because of preparatory work or pre-existing conditions which allowed for the manifestation of such change.  It seems that many Modern Vampires have backgrounds or understanding of these principals of metaphysics, so that we often do not feel a need to reiterate the details when we talk about “powers.”  The “aspirant,” sometimes coming into the middle of our conversations, comes away with an incomplete picture.  To the uneducated audience, we seem like we have super powers…abilities well beyond the range of non-vampiric magicians and psychics.

Also, let’s be completely honest, there are SOME of us that qualify as Modern Vampires–we have the genuine obligatory need to feed; observable benefits when we feed; observable detriments when we do not feed–AND despite this, still exaggerate or embellish on our real experiences.  Instead of bragging about how many push-ups we did or how little carbs we ate on our diet–our Community version is how we drank a two glasses of “red” every day for two weeks running or how we drained the lifeforce of the local church pastor, causing him to drop dead of a heart attack.  Exaggerated accounts are taken with a grain of salt or called out by other Modern Vampires, who have their own experiences to gauge the range of possibility against.  However, for those “aspirants” who have an emotional investment in someday experiencing the fantastical, WANT and NEED to believe in those exaggerated accounts.

Is there any reason to be more careful around the “aspirants”?  For the most part, I’ve noticed that the standard response is to attempt to educate or correct said people.  With such an emotional investment and need to believe in the possibility that they will have eventually have powers, once they find a “real vampire”….are they even in the state to where our attempts at education will sink in?

Here’s another factor to be aware of–with the “aspirants” strong desire to meet what they think of as “real vampires,” is it more likely that they will run into a genuine Modern Vampire?  What if the “aspirant” meets up with an unawakened Vamp or awakened Vamp….what happens when the Vamp is uneducated or under the same delusions?  What about when they cannot fulfill the desire of Turning–because the Vampire must “just be holding out”?  Instead of just responding to the requests of being Turned as the requests appear…would there be any benefit to directly addressing this particular group of Turning hopefuls in a different way?

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