The Gnostic Church of L.V.X.

The Vampire in Me


Paul Joseph Rovelli

Religion is a way of life. It's whatever we do and how we live our lives. It's something that needs to constantly re-invent itself if it is to be at all; wholesome. Dead religions are frozen rock-hard, and unchanging. They seek to maintain an old order bringing it into the midst of this new day. It doesn't much matter whether its as old as the Christist dogmas of two thousand years ago or the individual who habitually sleeps through the same old routine day-in and day-out ('time to make the donuts').

There are plenty of dead religions as there is a plethora of people who choose to move through life totally unaware of life's possibilities. They seek the comfortable and familiar on a path of spiritual death. It is hapless and predictable; each day being as easy as the last; and equally as bland. That inevitable change becomes disturbing and is treated like an enemy.

Spirituality is somehow, much deeper than religion. It defies dogma and theogany. It's the spark that can bring life to a religion. When this spark dances in the human heart, dogma and theogany become the tools we use to consciously comprehend this deeply psychic process. A spiritual path is one of uncertainty that refuses to quantify life as a stoic process of predictable milestones and landmarks.

Looking into this from another angle, there is a quixotic dark side to the spiritual path that offers up fear and dread. Together they form a whole. And with this not so obvious wholesomeness we then embark on an heroic journey that requires the utmost courage. We face the darkness of our being and lash out at the structure of our lives; sometimes with catastrophic consequences.

Yet there is a danger along the way. Most spiritual schools are wise in asserting that that danger is ourselves. Still, like the anthropomorphic process involved in creating deities -- which we use to invent ourselves, we create the devils that undo us. These are the vestiges of our being-ness.

Fundamentally, an examination of these structural components of our being are mythologized as a way of examining these archetypal energies and discovering their modus operandi. And then to explain how to approach and incorporate these energies in a useful and pragmatic fashion so that the psyche performs in a functional and healthy manner. The underlying spiritual drive then brings from deep within a certain spark of genius clearly out into our shared normal every-day world.

In Thelema, Thelemites are warned of the energy sucker that would intefere with this clear stream of energy; the spiritual tape-worm known as the Vampire. Now this is not the Dracula of literary legend and Hollywood fantasy. Rather, its the mythic being that sucks on our fears and doubts and consoles us in our weaknesses that we might not go on. And it has a seductive capacity that is both cunning and alluring. It resides in that area of our psyche that we are the most at ease with. It pushes those buttons that have become connected to the strong psychic habits that it finds us partially or totally oblivious to. This is due to the repeated and desired ease by which we exercise and use such energies.

As it hides behind this ease, we are required to arm ourselves for the hunt to discover its secret lair. So for me and I suspect for many, it is a very difficult and dangerous hunt. But the prey must be captured and contained before it destroys spiritual progress. We must drive into the terror of our darkness and battle through our own blindness. In essence, we then place ourselves in the strange position of also becoming the hunted as it's unchecked tendency is to tap into and absorb the life energy which informs our being. A constant vigilance is required.

Freud referred to this process in his assertion that one of the essential psychic drives is the drive towards self-destruction or death. In my life, the desire for death is aroused by feelings of loneliness and isolation. When these periods occur, the vampire in me is aroused and succored. It then seduces me with the excitement of all forms of self-destructive behaviour. The self-affirming habits of wine, woman and song become the dreaded mire of decadence and morbid fascination.

Still, as a creative person I seek out a certain privacy in which to ply the various crafts that I work at. I require a certain amount of time to myself and distinguish myself from others in the manner of my appearance and mode of dress. I long to be at odds with consensus reality if only to get a glimpse of the fire just over that dangerous precipice.

And my vampire is waiting at the edge or along the journey to the edge. It is only so happy to help me with my desire and to give me that fatal push over the edge. It makes the fire seem so bright, so warm, so holy. And it blows a soft wind at my back to make my journey so easy and comfortable that I might lose myself to its inertia.

The fight is not with the Vampire. It's not my enemy but my kindred self. It's service to me is to keep me ever vigilant of my own self-deceipt. The real enemy is my unconscious habits and desires; the tendency to go from moderation to extreme in acquiesence to the fundamental drives of my psyche.

It is a stern task master that practices a tough love knowing that to indulge these tendencies to a blind excess is certain spiritual dysfunction. When this happens it holds and stores the energy that it takes as it feeds on the marrow of my decadence. My struggle begins as I attempt to turn the tide and push back through my own inertia, when I discover what I have so blindly done. And when again I have mastered myself anew, I have again restored the balance of power and found new energy reserves. I then take back that energy that was sucked from me.

Indeed it is no wonder that that which doesn't kill me only serves to make me stronger.