Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Moderator: Doug Marman

Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby SDP on Sun May 09, 2010 10:37 pm

Vampire myths have swept across the U.S. again. We seem to be visited by vampires at least once a generation. This time, the new Twilight series of books and movies, by Stephenie Meyer, are sparking the imagination.

The first book came to Stephenie from a dream. She woke one morning, having just seen an incredibly handsome, sparkly vampire falling in love with a girl, while the desire to drink her blood raged within him. He was torn between love and the instinctive drives of his body.

Her books stir up interesting spiritual discussions, especially for teenagers, whose bodies are going through their own transformations. Will this new animal nature coursing through their blood take over? Will they lose who they are?

Or can they overcome what is now changing their bodies? Will they rise above the urges for sex and the desire to have power over others? Can they sacrifice their own needs for the sake of love?

In other words, these stories deal with the age-old issues of living honestly, being who we are, and caring for all of life, not just ourselves. It just happens that these questions are important to teenagers because of their own transitions, where the power of their bodies and the emergence of new instincts are forcing them to make choices. They know that their lives are being shaped by the desires they choose to follow.

Every teenager has seen friends who rush after the new powers of their bodies without once asking what they are losing in the process. Some are pulled down by these forces, like swimmers caught in the undertow of an ocean. They are changed by the taste for these new powers, the taste of blood you might say, and desires rule their lives.

Meyer's books and vampire myths use the imagination to explore the greater potential for what we are. Most in society are just followers, unaware of what is possible. It takes self-confidence to break from the pack and to take a stand. It takes an inner strength to not allow ourselves to be limited or trapped by the subconscious desires of our own bodies.

We face similar dilemmas throughout our lives. It is not just teenagers. For example, will we adopt the taste for competition in business, and what is it we are looking for when we do this? Will we be sucked in by the drive for success, fame, and power? Will the love for money and wealth change us? Will we become consumed by addictions? Will anger rage through us and take us over?

How do we give up the taste of blood once bitten? Once we have taken on a physical body, how do we overcome such powerful urges? We are all in the same situation. Our lives tell the same story.
It's not easy for young people to talk about spiritual issues these days, even though these are some of the most important choices of their lives. So, even if vampires can't be seen in mirrors, they become great mirrors for teenagers to see their own lives in.

A thousand years ago, a different kind of story spread across Europe and the Middle East. At first, it doesn't seem similar at all to vampires, but the parallels are fascinating. In those days, tales of Chivalry suddenly became popular, especially amongst the youth. Tales were told by traveling troubadours, who sang and read poetry about sacrificing for love, and fighting for what was true and honorable. These were not just bed time stories. They changed the world.

This was when marriage for the sake of love established itself as the standard in our culture. Before then, people married by the choices of their families. People discovered a deeper happiness and sense of purpose with love, even if it meant the loss of wealth and power.

The practice of Chivalry lifted people's imagination to live for noble purposes. People were willing to die for the sake of honor and doing what was right. This took place at a time when wars touched everyone, and there were real dangers in acts of Chivalry. It won so many people over that it became recognized as the supreme act of bravery. Those who practiced it discovered a power to overcome their fears and give them a taste of something immortal. This evolved into the search for the holy grail, the immortality gained by living the spiritual life.

Those are clearly religious images. Very different from the secular age we live in today, where open discussion about spiritually is taboo, especially amongst teenagers. Therefore, religious icons of sainthood are out, which means vampires fit right in. So, it is natural that vampires would become the modern day valiant knights fighting for nobility and love. They are the new spiritual icons.

No matter what cover you put over it, the story is the same. In every age, we just change the names.
Will we let social pressures or our physical bodies control our imagination? We have all tasted blood, because it runs through our veins. Yet, we are something more than this.

The scope of our spirit has no limits, except the limits we put upon ourselves. Edward, the vampire, chose to overcome the taste of blood for the sake of love and discovered something even more powerful than immortality: Freedom of spirit and the power of a noble life.

We do indeed find saints in the strangest places.
SDP
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby mountainangel on Thu May 13, 2010 4:18 pm

Thank you, Doug,
I appreciate this article. It gives me a new perspective. I usually just cringe when I hear about another vampire book or show. I don't know any teenage girls at this moment; but you have certainly shown me a different way to relate when they tell me how much they love vampire stories.
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Marian on Fri May 14, 2010 1:32 am

Hi Doug,
something even more powerful than immortality: Freedom of spirit and the power of a noble life.


I am interested in discussing this aspect (in relation to everyday life) if you can open it up a little more please.

Regards
Marian
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby SDP on Sat May 15, 2010 11:07 am

Marian,

A few more thoughts on this topic.

The idea of immortality is a powerful one. In the vampire myths, there is this huge trade-off: You gain immortality but at the cost of having to live a mutated life. You are no longer really yourself, having been taken over by something external. You gain powers and can live forever, but is it worth giving up your true Self?

What is interesting about this is that when it comes to spiritual experience, reality is the opposite of the myth. Immortality is actually something that is an inherent part of Soul. The body dies, but Soul cannot. Nothing external needs to bring this to us, we can move into that state of consciousness of immortality and experience it now.

However, once we enter into that state of the Eternal and realize this is the natural state of Soul, we discover that something more is needed. Immortality is no longer the end goal, but the beginning. We soon realize that to live eternally we need a purpose and a meaning. How could you live forever without a purpose?

Frankly, I think that most beings reincarnate over and over to forget who they are, because they are not yet ready to take on the responsibility of their place in the spiritual hierarchy, if you know what I mean.

The vampire myth reverses this, because it is easier for most people to imagine something happening to them that forces immortality onto them, perhaps even against their will. But, then, they are faced with the same dilemma: Now, what will you do with all this time on your hands?

So, living the noble life and sacrificing for a higher meaning are the beginning steps toward learning a purpose and place in life. Until we are ready to accept our spiritual responsibility as a part of all life, I don't think it is possible to have any more than glimpses of immortality. We might attain the state or experience it for a moment, but soon fall asleep and drop down into the lower states, until we gain self-realization - which is the understanding of the full reality of Soul.

This is the paradox of spiritual freedom: Once we gain it we are faced with the greater question of what should we do next? All of the things we wanted suddenly seem less important, once we have anything. There must be something more.

This discovery of Soul's place in life is what spiritual growth is all about. This is what immortality teaches us, sooner or later.

There's no rush. We've got time...
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Marian on Mon May 17, 2010 3:34 am

Hi Doug,

Yes all this is very interesting. I've recently realised that it is possible to act responsibly despite the most challenging of circumstances. Infact the challenges, for me, flag up the opportunities for realising more of my potential as an evolving Soul. Having an awareness of my weak spots (darker/vampire nature) allows me more choice and when I choose to take the responsible route then the sense of growth is immediazte.

I am continually amazed at the way in which my shadow self produces greater challenges and I wonder if this is always a 'positive' thing? What are your thoughts about this?

Marian
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Doug Marman on Tue May 18, 2010 11:36 pm

Marian,

Interesting question.

Once I came to understand and appreciate my shadow self, I found it possessed a deeper wisdom than I ever realized. That's when I began to put more trust in it.

And the more I trusted it, the more it began to guide me and help me in ways I never would have expected.

In other words, the more Soul becomes aware of the subconscious, the more the subconscious trusts and follows Soul, and then the shadow begins to guide us in our human lives.

I think the times when people have a negative experience with the shadow, it is when they are afraid of it, don't trust it, or try to fight against it. Then it becomes what they expect - which is something against them.

It seems to me that our shadow, which is our subconscious, naturally creates whatever we are imagining. But when our imagination is divided, then our shadow seems out of control and dangerous. I think it does this because it can't help from showing us that this is exactly what we are picturing. That's just what it does.

Therefore, ultimately it shows us something important. So, yes, I think it is ultimately positive. But without the awareness of Soul it can seem like a maze of mirrors, if you know what I mean.

Does that fit with your experiences?
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Marian on Wed May 19, 2010 3:10 am

Hi Doug,
I am getting clearer - I think.

WHEN OUR IMAGINATION IS DIVIDED

Can you give me an example of the above please, so that I might gain more clarity.

Thank you
Marian
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Doug Marman on Wed May 19, 2010 6:21 pm

Marian wrote:WHEN OUR IMAGINATION IS DIVIDED

Can you give me an example of the above please, so that I might gain more clarity.


Sure, here are some classic examples:

A man is working hard at being a success in business, and is putting all of his heart into it, but there is a part of himself that doesn't feel he is worthy or worries that he is going to fail. In fact, in some cases there is even a more deeply seated feeling that being a success at business is not really that important.

So, a part of himself is working against his goals of being a success. He is divided within himself, like multiple people all working against each other.

Or take the mother who is worried that her young son might not grow up the right way if she doesn't correct him and teach him. This is a good goal and an important responsibility of parents, but she doesn't realize that her worries are communicating to her son the subconscious thought that he might do the things that she fears. Children pick up these things like sponges. So, he is hearing his mother teaching him how to act, but subconsciously he is hearing the fear that he might do something else.

Two separate messages, one conscious and one subconscious, that are at odds with each other. Children often do exactly what parents are afraid they might do because they are acting out the subconscious thought they pick up from their parents.

Here's another case: A person likes the feeling of accomplishing things. They gain a great deal of satisfaction from it. So, when a spiritual teacher says that they can gain happiness by attaining a new state of consciousness, they reject the idea, because there isn't the hard work and sense of accomplishment. Instead, they will turn the goal of trying to gain the new state of consciousness as a great effort that must be made, making it much harder for them than it needs to be, so that they can feel they have earned the new state. Then they feel they have accomplished something.

In this case, they are making it harder for themselves, because that sense of accomplishment is something they believe is necessary. They actually create problems for themselves, so that they feel good when they solve them.

You also sometimes see this when people try to use aphorisms, where they say positive things or try to think positively, but underneath they realize that these are just statements they are making and they don't really believe it. We really can't fool ourselves - not our deepest selves anyway - anymore than we can fool mother nature.

Truth is something we know, but we often go after things we want to believe without realizing that they are at odds with what we know deep within ourselves.

Do those examples help?
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Marian on Fri May 21, 2010 3:50 am

Hi Doug,

Two separate messages, one conscious and one subconscious, that are at odds with each other. Children often do exactly what parents are afraid they might do because they are acting out the subconscious thought they pick up from their parents.


I think some adults do this throughout their lives. There can be an overwhelming pull to carry out subconscious thoughts from parents. I wonder what you think about this and if you have any practical suggestions that one might use to negate the problem. Also if you have used techniques to clarify when your thoughts are being influenced from outside or from your own inner aspects/patterns.

Many thanks
Marian
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Re: Giving Up The Taste of Blood

Postby Doug Marman on Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 pm

Marian,

You asked:
Marian wrote:I think some adults do this throughout their lives. There can be an overwhelming pull to carry out subconscious thoughts from parents. I wonder what you think about this and if you have any practical suggestions that one might use to negate the problem. Also if you have used techniques to clarify when your thoughts are being influenced from outside or from your own inner aspects/patterns.


Yes, I think most people do this their whole lives and never realize it.

It really is a process of coming to know who we really are - our true self.

I don't think we should ever try to block all outside influences, because that is a part of living in this world. But we shouldn't confuse the thoughts of the world with our own. This takes awareness of what it is that comes from within ourselves and belongs to us, and what comes from others.

Even if we can start by talking about techniques, such as Soul Travel techniques, we need to end up far beyond techniques, since even those are just ways of getting to Soul. In fact, it is more a process of getting rid of habits and beliefs and ideas and getting to what is real and true. This recognition of truth only happens within us. We know it when we find it.

However, there is no bigger change in our awareness than when we have left this human consciousness and entered into the higher states of consciousness. This is what happens to those who have near death experiences, as well as those who have deeply spiritual realizations. You make contact with a whole greater state of awareness where you instantly see and understand without thought or belief. You just know.

In that moment, we are closer to truth than all the ideas, theories, beliefs and practices we might try to adopt. It just is what it is. There is nothing more to it.

So, I think it is direct experience as Soul that is the answer. It can come all at once. But it is better for most people if it comes gradually, a step at a time.

Here's all that is necessary: You decide that this is what you want in your life. Make this decision from the core of your being. If it is aligned with your true self, you will know it. It will ring true for you. You will not be divided, but all of you will be united. The moment you find that, then trust it and do whatever it takes to follow through on what it is that your own true self wants. Leave no rock unturned to get there. Even if that feeling only comes for an instant, trust it and keep up with what you learned from that insight and know that this is what is right for you to do, no matter how long it takes.

How does that sound?
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