To all of us, who speak different languages, the legends were given in order that we could teach as well as learn to find and go on the path that leads towards our true vocation. Not a mere flight of fancy, symbolism of the ancients acts a double part: keeping truths from the uninitiated and at the same time discovering the truths for those who understood the language of symbols. Those who cannot tell difference between lies and truth will see only a fairy-tale. And a wise man can draw the curtain open and perceive the point.
We shall draw the curtain open now, in order to research some aspects of symbolism and the origin of so-called folklore.
The cosmogonic and mysterium-related myths, which survived in the form of tales, parables and legends, often relate to creative works by a folk, but contents of the folklore evidently indicate the myths’ descending from spiritual teachings which include universal symbols. We shouldn’t regard nature of folklore as a source of spiritual traditions: like an individual mentality, the collective mentality is reduced to memory, in other words, it can conserve and save, which folklore’s function is in, but it is not able to produce anything, especially on the transcendental level. The folk saves the lore or information, without its own knowledge, functioning as a subliminal collective memory, and the folk’s natural unawareness of a true sense of the lore, which the folk passes verbally or in writing, from generation to another, and which is clad in the bright dress of symbols, is a good guarantee of saving the spiritual legacy intact, in its true value, till the times when someone is able to understand it.
It’s known that many spiritual orders, like anybody else, trying to survive in their difficult times, often used this way of saving their system of symbols. Ultimately, it could be the only way of the last bearers to save their teaching, at least partly. For example, it’s reckoned that in this way domino, cards and Tarot have survived till our time, being entrusted by the ancient Egyptians initiated to human “vices” of passions and fear of the future. Knowing laws and capabilities of the emotional and vital powers, adepts could wittingly choose fearsome symbols for better guarantee of saving a spiritual system. Also, it must be said that in their small circle, the initiated never stood upon ceremony with mental notions, and in this connection, there may be one more version of the origin of some symbols, which are so inadequate to the Puritan ideas of Good and Evil. When a spiritual order was disintegrated for some reason, all contents of its spiritual “cuisine” well might be thrown out to history. For example, calling a body “coffin”, the initiated named their scientific and charitable activity among laymen “adorning coffins and tombs.” About mother-nature, hardly forecasted and unruly therefore sacred and fearsome to the most of humans, the initiated could simply say as about a “whore, eating carrion and blood”, meaning the chaotic processes adopting experience and spending human vitality. Therefore we’ll take as guidance the words: “There is nothing secret that cannot be evident; there is nothing hidden that cannot be discovered,” and we’ll discover mysteries and restore sense of symbols, treading in footsteps of enlightened people of all centuries. We’ll try to penetrate in symbolism of one ancient spiritual system, which was robbed of a proper attention of philosophers and esoterics, supposedly because of the excessive exploitation of its symbols and fantasies by fine art makers and their ignorant fans. The point in question is vampires.
Regardless of the true origin of the words (which is not ultimately known), I venture to suggest that “vampire” comes from “empire”, all the more that the further researching a vampire’s habits well corresponds to the sense of the word-symbol. Who could the initiated call “imperious”, “grandiose”, “great”? Obviously, these and other titles indicate the one who has achieved a grandiose, that is a great, whole and illumed consciousness. To those who, using a traditional spiritual teaching, woke, carried a Great Work and reached their goal, the point, where the teaching of mystery itself has become the means and method of achievement, because mysteries always were and still are an institution, established for transforming a mere ignorance to the precious enlightenment. Therefore a vampire, in other words, a man with illumed mind and whole consciousness is almost immortal -- which is perfectly natural -- and almost omnipotent, since he has an enormous strength and supernatural powers. He commands spirits of nature and animal instincts as powers of consciousness. He “lives alone”, that is, he realizes and fulfils his own individuality and wholeness. He “hunts alone”, that is, he is aware of his own responsibility for his choice. A vampire’s works indicate activity of all secret societies, such as Rosenkreuzer or alchemists; they know and foretell things to come, penetrating in mysteries of nature and life (the story of Frankenstein), turning metals in gold, making the elixir or cure-all, and looking for the philosophic stone. Thus, by all these signs, we see the question is a direct description of attributes and ends of a whole divine consciousness and illumed mind. And we have only to decipher all the rest notions of this kind of folklore.
“A vampire feeds upon human blood.” Blood is a universal symbol of vital energy and strength of resurrection. A whole consciousness can live consuming the spiritual energy that flows through human consciousness. A whole consciousness can transform an ordinary consciousness, which ordinarily suggests death of a brain or mind sponging on the blood is an inevitable process.
“On a full moon night, a vampire is especially dangerous.” As a body that reflects the sunlight, the moon is a symbol of subconsciousness that reflects the light of spirit. At a full moon night, at the most favorable moment of a fully reflected light of truth, an ordinary man can get enlightenment, and it goes without saying that any vampire is ready for offering his help to save any human from ignorance. A sad empiric cannot be more inspired and inspiring.
“From a vampire’s bite a human dies, and then he returns to life as a vampire.” From a contact with a whole consciousness, an ordinary mind transforms, experiencing a symbolic death and consequently becoming whole too. A vampire’s bite on a neck or carotid artery of a victim symbolizes the influence of the illumed consciousness upon the ordinary one via the speech and ear, which leads to throwing back the former ideas or notions, at first, and to death of a human as a “welter of contradictions”, and then to his resurrection as an immortal and mighty entity, that is the next vampire.
“A vampire sleeps in a coffin by day, and he goes for hunting by night.” For a human who has a whole consciousness, the revealed universe or “day” is a “coffin”, in which one can only sleep seeing the illusive dreams about “realization of wishes”. “Night” or internal world, on the contrary, is a field for activities of the illumed mind, for creative works or “hunting” as listening to divine intentions.
Also there is a version that a vampire sleeps “head down”, which is right too, because for a whole mind, the usual world is as though turned over. The mind creates when leaning on the heaven, and its logic, ends and values often are contrary to an ordinary mind’s.
“A vampire can be recognized by the fact that he doesn’t reflect in a mirror.” The one, who has achieved the whole consciousness, reflects in the mirror of the world no longer; he has neither the past nor his personal history, nor the future. He wholly belongs to spontaneity and magic of the current moment. Although living in the world, the human is free from limits of time, expanse and human notions.
“A vampire can be killed by driving a silver stick or silver bullet in his heart.” Silver is a symbol of the material or female. All spiritual teachings warn their neophytes: if a human with whole consciousness is “tempted” being fascinated with a material end or thing, forgetting of the fact that he is the light, center and heart of all, then his “fall to life” takes place, and consequently, his loss of wholeness and immortality.
“The sunshine does harm to a vampire.” According to spiritual systems, the daylight is only a reflection of a true source -- spirit or the “midnight sun” of adepts. Although the earthly human notions, which give life and assurance to ordinary humans, mean nothing for the enlightened man, but he has to defend his body (soul) and eyes (divine sight of beauty) from the influence of cruel emissions of the world’s “Augean stables” in disguise of pop-culture.
“From a vampire’s attack a human can defend with garlic, holy water, prayer-bead and crucifix.” Garlic is a good herb for cleaning a human organism. Holy water is a symbol of purifying a human mind. A crucifix in hands or on a neck may be regarded as a reminder of the union of spirit and material. A crossing of streams of strength. Telling beads is a symbol of a purposeful concentration upon creation and of a discipline of mind. However, we shouldn’t think of any defence from a mighty vampire. That’s amusing, at least.
Even such a detail as a vampire’s hairstyle bears an important symbolic sense. The long curly hair of vampires and vampiresses, cascading on their shoulders, is an ancient symbol of wisdom and playfulness of a free illumed mind.
A story of a vampire-hunter describes a mystery of a search of his own wholeness. The hunter is an ordinary but fearless man, who has sublime ends, and who has to wish to kill a vampire, and as a rule, he has to spend much time in search of the “monster”. When his desire leads him finally to a vampire, he has to begin fighting with the “monster”. A result of the fighting is predestined, because the vampire is unconquerable, so the hunter becomes a vampire. Thus, mortals achieve the wholeness of mind through conjoining with their own divine ego.
It looks like all symbolists have chosen the labour (“adorning tombs”) on the summit of “sofia”, clearing for us the hidden sense of symbols and metaphors. In our time of information, integration, communication and open knowledge, there is no use of wasting time for some unfounded superstitious fears or energy-wasting contradictions. The highest summits must be visible; the call must be heard; and the path towards them must become a realized aim of a human. So, an offer to become a “vampire-hunter” should not seem so absurd for us any more. To search and to find him in order to act our divine part.
All of us are flame-born children of the galaxy. Around the flame, we build shields that hide the light. Becoming pupils or hunters, we can find our place among the true insiders of the universe, those who have given themselves to the search for the sake of the ancient flame that burns within them.
The full moon approaches. Vampires are waiting.