“[the body] is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NKJV)
Ever since I was a teenager, I have had an interest in vampire movies, stories, art, music, and other such things that describe and romanticize the vampire mythos. Naturally, I’ve enjoyed the various Dracula movies as well as Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and am moved by Blutengel’s dark electro-goth music.
I know some of my friends, if they’ve made it this far, are snickering behind their hands at this point and ready to write me off as parent’s-basement-dwelling LARP addict or some such. The others are possibly praying for my soul to be rescued from the occult. I am going somewhere with this though; it may not redeem, justify, or change anything, but I think it’s interesting anyway.
Recently, I’ve introspected a bit about what it is about vampirism culture that attracts me. After all, I am an adult (at least chronologically), have a wife and kids, a mortgage, and a job workin’ for the man. What is it about vampires that captures my imagination and energies? I did some thinking and come up with a list:
2. Eternally unchanging body (never aging, decripifying, immunity to sickness or disease)
3. Strength, power, invulnerability greater than “normal” humanity
5. Strongly implicit sexuality
7. Strong individualistic personalities, self sufficient
Add to that aspects of my own personality – depressive/melancholic, addiction-prone, night person, preference for fall and winter, introspective and subject to bouts of self-perception as an outcast loner. In short, vampires (at least in the arts and literature that appeal to me) are portrayed as strong in all the ways I am weak and attractive to traits that I possess in some measure.
What strikes me about this, of course, is the similarity in this list in many points to the risen bodies of Christians as described in the Bible (particularly 1 Cor. 15:42-44). One major difference between romanticized vampirism and believers raised to incorruptible bodies is the goal and foci of the two. The vampire is a violent predator with self-interest as a primary goal, and (literarily) usually coming to grief of existence with the endless passing of years. The risen believer is a humble worshipper of God, living to serve and exist in the presence of God in joy forever.
In essence, could the vampire fascination be a reflection of the longing that God placed in our hearts as an dissatisfaction with life and the world as we know it, and a promise of things to come? Vampirism then would be our attempt to satisfy that need without the responsibility to another that is there when God is the focus.
God help me, if necessary, but how I love it though.