Dracula and the myth of immortality

When I got there, the shop of Loureiro, the shoemaker who loved books and wines, was closed. Philosophy and red were his favorites. So, I went to a cozy tavern nearby, where my friend used to go for a glass before heading home. I was lucky. He was there, seated on a comfortable armchair next to a lamp, entertaining himself with a book. I was greeted with the usual joy by the craftsman, always elegant in the way he dressed and acted. When he laid the book on the coffee table, I noticed it was Dracula, by Irish writer Bram Stoker, a classic of literature. I said I had never read that book, even though the story of the vampire was known by everyone, and I had seen Coppola’s film. I ordered a glass of wine to accompany the cobbler, and asked if the film lived up to the book. Loureiro returned to his seat and said: “This is the least important.” Before I could say anything, he continued: “The core issue of Dracula lies in its background; it is the myth of immortality. The fascination for vampires comes before Dracula, and stems from the uncontrollable desire of humankind, since the beginning of time, to overcome death. Among all inconstancies of life, death is the only certainty, and has always bothered people because it is related to the idea of end.”

I mentioned that alchemists have always pursued not only the quest of the philosopher’s stone, that allowed lead to be transformed into gold, but also the elixir of eternal life, hoping that life was endless and personal achievements did not get lost in the ether of existence. The craftsman arched his lips in a mild smile and said: “The difference is that while vampirism extols the continuity of the body, the alchemists have found out that immortality exists through the spirit, the true persona of each one. The spirit is eternal; therefore, we are all eternal. The body is just a temporary garb we put on to attend the university of this existence, on this planet. We change our clothes until we no longer need them.”

He paused to sip a bit of wine, and continued: “Once the matter of the elixir was solved, they went after the philosopher’s stone which, as the name indicates, is immaterial. It is just an idea that comes and melts into air. They realized the stone is but the ability of the spirit itself to transform. This is not bad. On the contrary, it translates the essence of life. The transformations they mentioned are those that leverage the evolution of the soul, the illumination of the shadows themselves, and the healing of sentimental fractures, which are symbolically represented in transmutation from the grey hue of lead to gold’s golden hue. This is not about material wealth, but the richness of spirituality. Gold is trifle; it may be lost, stolen, passed from hand to hand, cannot be taken to the next station. Light, on the contrary, is the heirloom that you may take to the infinite, and will teach you the power, the beauty and the magic of love.”

I asked him why vampirism still rises so much interest. Loureiro sipped a little wine and said: “Vampires are present in the collective unconscious because they are connected to the ego and the body. Without people realizing, the myth remains among those who have difficulties in changing their gaze and attitudes. They often fight furiously against the relentless ageing of the body, which is quite different from leading a healthy life. These are people who do not know how to relate to time or to the soul, whether because their ego deceives them by making them believe they are perfect or wonderful, or from fear of what will come, of the unknown, of the new. It is no wonder that in the infancy of evolution it is easier for us to understand and relate to the body, and among bodies, than to understand the soul and relate to other souls. This is why some crave pleasure while others seek love.”

“If you pay attention, you will see that a vampire does not want to evolve, because he has a huge ego, believes himself to be powerful, deceives himself into believing he is wonderful. In fact, he wants the world to adjust to his wishes and needs. While the soul is dynamic out of need, nature and philosophy, the ego is static. The vampire does not tolerate movement. He wants the past to remain eternally in the present. The present as transformation for the future is seen as the destruction of his world, and therefore of his over-dimensioned ego. No wonder in fiction vampires are averse to sunlight; it is the symbol of evolution in alchemy, the poetic representation of wisdom and freedom. For similar reasons they fear the cross, as it represents rebirth and transformation. But the world changes and humankind moves forward. Relentlessly.”

“The coffin he rests in is a metaphor of the abandoned, weakened being. In the darkness of the night, this means, when his own shadows are stronger, he leaves thirsty for the blood of others; he needs their energy because he is not able to sustain himself. He is unable to generate life in his core, something that is simple for a being of light. If it weren’t enough to drain other people, he forces them to adjust to his somber lifestyle, enslaving them in his gloomy environment. To become a vampire is not transformation; rather, it is stagnation, imprisonment.”

“The ancestral desire for domination is hiddenly embedded in the myth of vampirism. The vampire yearns for power over everything and everyone. The material wealth he amasses over centuries; the people he manipulates and whose lives he makes a hell of. Money and domination. It is the ball of darkness inflated egos wish to dance at.”

While I processed all those ideas in my mind, I told him I was impressed that this myth had lasted throughout time. The cobbler furrowed his brow and explained: “The myth will last while it speaks to the core of people. The vampire is the artistic representation that storytellers use to disclose the shadows of humankind. Have you paid attention to how many vampires you know? And even worse, more serious, can you realize how much of a vampire exists in you?”

Before I felt offended, the good craftsman brought me back to reality: “Whenever we value our ego over the soul, identify ourselves more with our body than with our spirit; trade with the shadows rather than with the light; turn someone’s life into hell to suck their energy; manipulate or dominate the other rather than respect their absolute right of choice we reveal the hidden face of the vampire that dwells within us.”

I jokingly said that I even thought vampires were charming. Loureiro then disconcerted me: “To find charm in sadness only works in fiction. Can you realize every vampire is unhappy? This stems from the dependency every dominator has. The eternal quest for power over the other wraps them in agony and suffering; it is bread that does not nourish, he is the prisoner of the dungeon he built for himself. The best of life is celebrated with joy. Entrancing is the quest for freedom; the beauty of walking on the sunny side of the road; the lightness of understanding the best of yourself is eternal, immaterial and dwells in the soul; that there is no evolution without transformation.”

“Dracula is the artistic representation of a sad reality that is present whenever we “vampirize” someone, sucking not the blood but the energy, the joy, the beauty of life, with the illusion that all of that will be transferred to us. However, there is no happiness in evil, its gains are short-lived and trifling. No wonder vampires live in poorly lit environments in fiction, a proper representation of the current status of their soul in reality.”

“In fiction, the vampire cannot see his own image reflected in the mirror, symbolizing he who cannot see who he really is, who cannot see the open wounds of the soul, who therefore is unable to understand the necessary changes. Hence, the vampire must be destroyed through renovation and light, represented by the cross and the sun. That is how we “kill” the vampire within ourselves whenever we give up the idea of domination in favor of ideas and practices that lead us to true liberation.”

I wanted to know how we can achieve this wonderful liberation. Loureiro raised his glass and added: “By reciting a mantra every day: everything, absolutely everything can be different and better.”

Kindly translated by Carlos André Oighenstein.

 

 

 

 

 

Discussions — Uma Resposta

  • Miguel 26 de August de 2017 on 13:18

    Never before viewed the story of Dracula in this light (no pun intended 🙂 ). Thank you for sharing this. It really makes so much more sense now; I really like how all that fiction is really not so fictional after all; for those who are spiritually awake, it should be very easy to discern its correspondence with real life. Now I like vampire movies even more!

    Please keep up the great work you have been doing in your blog so far. I’m a big fan and always learn something new from it. Sometimes I even post excerpts on my social media to spread farther your enlightening wisdom. Trust me, someone always reads what we write and makes a difference in their life, and that alone is already success.