Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dark Good

Writing Blood Mother prompted me to visit a number of sites online dedicated to vampires. I’ve perused countless meanderings into the dark and tortured soul of this enduring archetype of humanity. You read me correctly: vampires underline all things human.

The vampire examines his prey the better to survive, and in the process provides us with a philosophy of good and bad, right and wrong, and dark and light. The juxtaposition of the undead with the living plays right into our shadow selves. The descendants of Dracula are capable of love, of thought, and of making choices. They have free will, and perhaps even a soul. They’ve retained some element of humanity, of their better selves even as they must drink blood to survive. Through them we learn not to automatically equate darkness with evil, or goodness with light. They possess a dark good.

The dark goddesses symbolized death (Medusa, Kali, Hecate, Nyx), which for the ancients was only one point in a spiral which began with life and continually renewed. Their role was neither good nor bad; their fearful aspect evolved later. This doesn't mean that evil people don’t exist. Some of them wear a mantle of goodness, barely embracing the turgid depths of their humanity. When a vampire struggles with her drive to survive, seeking balance with an equally intense fascination with all things human, we understand her turmoil. Undead and human intertwine. Vampires cannot exist without us, and we will never let them die.

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