Author Topic: Vampyrism vs Omnivory  (Read 87 times)

idgo

Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« on: November 05, 2018, 12:57:42 am »
The Vampyre is the consummate predator.

By adapting to a diet of more highly concentrated energy, the Vampyre gains more power to draw from in times of plenty. As with the cat, the eagle, the dolphin -- all pure carnivores hold the birthright of greater power than their prey, by making their prey do the work for them of collecting scattered energy from the world.

The Vampyres of lore and yore are set apart from the populace not from their occasional consumption of human energy, but from their lifestyle's dependence upon it. If a "predator" should see no change in their life -- no lessening of power -- if they ceased to prey on others, can they be called a successful Vampyre at all? I say they cannot.

If a rational person gleans no benefit whatsoever from an act or its consequences, how can they justify engaging in that act? Classical "selfless" acts are ultimately big-picture selfishness, after all: Philanthropes envisage the whole world they most desire to live in, and then turn every means at their disposal toward realizing that end. Martyrs maintain that their own death is more appealing than the torture of remaining in a world that disagrees with their cause. So, no reasonable individual should abide by Vampyristic principles if those actions do not produce the outcomes that they wish to see.

So the Vampyre is set apart, not solely because they know how to Feed on others, but because the exercise of that capacity is become an integral component of their lifestyle. If merely knowing how to Feed was sufficient to qualify one as a true Vampyre, every self-styled "Vampyre Hunter" would become one of their own quarry in the moment that they learned the nature of the acts that they so fear.

That Necessity lies at the heart of true Vampyrism. That Reliance -- that choice to step confidently into all the benefits of a set of needs that can only be fulfilled through regular Feeding -- sets the Vampyre apart from any other dabbler in the same knowledge and arts. The Pride of selecting a lifestyle which can only be upheld through frequent, consistent Success in Feeding shows the absolute confidence of a Vampire in their ability to attain such ends.

So, why do only a chosen few pursue Vampyrism to its full potential? With the benefits available, why wouldn't everybody who discovers it say "Yes, this is the path for me"? The answer might be called cowardice, might be called caution. It has no perfect term; perhaps the closest might be the look in the eye of the bear who, foraging for berries, spots a starving cat during a year when the area's prey population has been decimated by some disease.

Predation for nourishment that can be had no other way is a game with the highest stakes. If a Vampyre encounters circumstances where they cannot Feed when needed, whether through some change in themself or some change in their prey, what happens? In losing the benefits conferred by predation, the individual as a Vampyre ceases to exist. Even if the Body and lower Human self persist, make no mistake -- the Vampyre as the self defined by Feeding starves and dies, if ever that Feeding cease.

To some, such a death of the self may seem trivial -- "Just pick back up as a human and start again!". But to others, especially those enraptured by some Vampyric sects' descriptions of immortality, any kind of personal death is anathema, and its evasion at any cost is the highest possible calling.

The appeal of Vampyrism could be described as a matter of Temperament, then.  The question of whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks – whether the level of power available via Vampyrism is better had through it than any other way – has no universal answer, since the very nature of a “benefit” is tied so intimately to an individual’s private values and goals.

Temperaments at the extrema – the obligate carnivore Pure Vampyre; the psychic veganism of some sects on the RHP – are easy to define and quantify. Less straightforward to pin down is the vast middle ground between those absolutes. That realm of moderation may seem easy to dismiss as the sole territory of the uninitiated who mindlessly inhabit it as a default position due to knowing no other way, but banishing a belief’s potential solely for its capacity to be feigned by unworthy imitators is a sure way to miss many opportunities for power. Paths within that realm can be chosen just as carefully and consciously as those at either extreme.

I call the chosen paths of this middle ground Psychic Omnivory, to convey an adaptability and capacity to function equally well feeding upon both prey itself and that prey’s nourishment. Just as some narcissistic personalities can unwittingly and destructively meet many of the qualifications for Vampyrism, most who behave like Psychic Omnivores are simply opportunists with very little awareness of or conscious decision making about what energy they consume. And Omnivores can benefit from insight into their ways without necessarily changing them just as surely as inadvertent Vampyres can.

Where do the denizens of this forum fall, in the specturm between Omnivory and Pure Vampyrism? Ought we attempt to categorize techniques to assist those avoiding the metaphorical veggies?


idgo

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 06:04:06 pm »
To refrain from sidetracking the other thread, I'll reply here:

As for your assumption to one of your answers to your second question, if I may ask, is why do you believe these things?  Based on several of the things you have written, it seems (and I could be wrong) that you equate dependence of any kind with something negative. Have you ever asked yourself why that you hold that view? Then questioned the reason that you give for that answer and continue to question it down to the core?

Any immoderation in my discussion of dependence is a flaw of my attempt to stay concise and on-topic. To scuttle those attempts:

Dependence is integral to survival as we know it. As a Human, for instance, I depend on accessing a mixture of gasses containing oxygen at most every few minutes, and accessing solutions composed predominantly of water at most every 3 days. The tradeoffs that would be required to cease these dependencies are almost universally detrimental to the continuation of life as we experience it.

Other types of dependence are willingly chosen, and I have plenty of those myself. I depend on access to or ability to create electricity and internet connectivity to remain in existence as Idgo the participant on this forum, for instance.

Conversely, there are opportunities for dependence which suit many people but I choose to pass up: I could become thinner and more energetic by permitting myself to develop a nicotine habit, for instance, but the tradeoffs of health drawbacks and the inconvenience of maintaining a consistent supply of the requisite materials inspire me to remain without it instead. For circumstances where I make a choice about dependence that'd be more widely regarded as "wrong", we need look no further than my choice to dwell in a rural area rather than an urban one -- my fondness for partially decoupling my food and water supply from those of hundreds of densely packed neighbors loses me the benefits of access to certain jobs, public transit, nearby restaurants, cultural activities, and other incentives.

Quote
Likewise, would you say that you are not dependent on anyone or anything? If you are do you consider it a weakness? If so why?

I have uncountable dependencies, as does any other living thing. Every possible lifestyle, when precisely enough defined, has a certain list of dependencies and a certain list of benefits and drawbacks.

Any dependence is simultaneously a weakness and a strength. I depend on having air around me to breathe -- that's a weakness, for its resistance caps the maximum speed at which I can travel without help, and it limits me to existing in an infinitesimally small portion of the known universe without extra life support! It's actually far easier to frame that particular dependence as a weakness than a strength -- any arguments in favor of unconditional dependence on air ("you get to have the experience of being human!") get very subjective and flimsy, very fast.

The type of dependence introduced by higher-level choices such as Vampyrism, though, holds a closer analogy of the choice about where to live. I'd liken Vampyrism to the choice of residing on a sailboat instead of renting an apartment -- unconventional perhaps, glamorous, vastly superior to its alternatives in certain ways, but also inferior in others. The fact that the boat has highly compelling advantages -- you can travel anywhere at any time! -- does not preclude it from also having drawbacks, such as the expense of keeping it maintained and stocked with provisions.

Some sailors might scorn farmers as fundamentally incapable of understanding the superiority of the seafaring lifestyle, but fortunately they risk harm only to themselves through that myopia.

W_Adam_Smythe

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 06:54:09 pm »
Quote
I could become thinner and more energetic by permitting myself to develop a nicotine habit, for instance, but the tradeoffs of health drawbacks and the inconvenience of maintaining a consistent supply of the requisite materials inspire me to remain without it instead.

That presents a false dichotomy.  With sufficient Willpower one can be nicotine free as well as thin and energetic.  Having it all is possible. :)


Quote
For circumstances where I make a choice about dependence that'd be more widely regarded as "wrong", we need look no further than my choice to dwell in a rural area rather than an urban one -- my fondness for partially decoupling my food and water supply from those of hundreds of densely packed neighbors loses me the benefits of access to certain jobs, public transit, nearby restaurants, cultural activities, and other incentives.

Who says that your choice here is "wrong"?

Each individual must do what is useful to them.  If you are satisfied, happy, and find your living situation useful then you do not need other validation in my opinion.

Quote
Vampyrism, though, holds a closer analogy of the choice about where to live.

In the context of my above answer that is true.

Again, it is a matter of personal choice.

It is also a matter of subjectivity.

Each individual views strengths, weaknesses, limitations, useful, and useless as it applies to them.

While it is easy to get caught up in the claptrap of right or wrong, only the individual can each assess what best suits his needs.

Vampyres make no pretense of being perfect.

Quite the opposite really.

Vampyrism starts off on the premise that we are not perfect and offers us ways to strengthen ourselves in ways to benefit us. It also promotes total self acceptance of exactly who and what we are flaws and all.

Even having said that, I would still maintain that Vampyrism is clearly not for everyone.


The choice is always yours.

I have answered you to the very best of my ability.

Liu

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 12:48:39 pm »
While I don't identify as a vampyre, I can find some attractiveness in the concept.
May I ask what kind of feeding you are referring to?
In another thread you mentioned both blood and energy - but neither believing in a metaphysical power of blood, nor being able to perceive energy, and considering that the examples you give seem rather of the low-magick kind of techniques with much more tangible benefits, I wonder what it actually is you are talking about.

If by predatorhood you include any kind of using other people for your purposes, then I would strongly suspect that everyone does that, if conscious or not, and a vampyre would then being someone both conscious of and good at it.
Personally, I don't consider myself very good at it. I'd liken my predator class to that of a squirrel:
Taking whatever "food" I can get hold of, be it by harvesting fruits and nuts or by catching insects and stealing eggs, but more concerned with keeping my own ass safe than with trying to catch a proverbial big fish.

Quote
I could become thinner and more energetic by permitting myself to develop a nicotine habit, for instance, but the tradeoffs of health drawbacks and the inconvenience of maintaining a consistent supply of the requisite materials inspire me to remain without it instead.

That presents a false dichotomy.  With sufficient Willpower one can be nicotine free as well as thin and energetic.  Having it all is possible. :)
How? From my experience, will alone doesn't make one energetic - or perhaps I just didn't try hard enough (and thin I already am). If I want to be more energetic I normally instead try to achieve it (with only partial success) by providing as much sleep and food as my body seems to ask for (which seems to be a lot), and have never used any drugs like tobacco or caffeine (with the exception of rarely some green or black tea and the occasional beer that would rather have the opposite effect).
Sure, also for that, will is helpful in order to maintain e.g. a proper sleeping rhythm, but just willing myself to be energetic has the opposite effect if anything.

Olive

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 07:55:11 pm »
I suppose with this kind of terminology, I’d be more akin to what you describe as a “Psychic Vegan.” I don’t like to draw my power from the minds of men or from LBM methods. I try to use them skillfully if it becomes necessary to achieve my goals, but it’s not such a common thing.

I used to live a much more vampyric lifestyle and I was conscious of what I was doing. I thought it was great at the time, and I did manage to convert the results into some pretty amazing experiences - but I have changed immeasurably since then. Looking back on it now, I see that the rewards I reaped were never worth the time and effort they cost. Not only that, but throughout this time I was doing serious damage to myself and to others which I had vastly underestimated. It’s not that I was thoughtless about it - it’s just that I wasn’t yet developed enough to perceive the more subtle impacts and how far the repercussions would really reach. Some things just can’t be seen except from the back.

Don’t worry, as a magician and an occultist, I can respect the work you guys are doing here. I salute those who have become far more advanced vampyres than I ever did. But I’ve moved on to what are for me greener pastures.

I’ve learned that most men are deluded shades whose energy isn’t worth having. It’s unsavory to me compared to what I get from communion with my patron, developing the spirit, or drawing from primal chaos. Like ordering a steak and getting roadkill instead. Even for those who do have something special, now I’d rather see what can be produced by bringing us into harmony rather than drawing on what they have. I’ve got my own.  8)

We may be of different magical alignments, but best of luck to you. May you feed wisely.
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

W_Adam_Smythe

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 03:47:40 am »

@Liu
Quote
May I ask what kind of feeding you are referring to?
In another thread you mentioned both blood and energy - but neither believing in a metaphysical power of blood, nor being able to perceive energy, and considering that the examples you give seem rather of the low-magick kind of techniques with much more tangible benefits, I wonder what it actually is you are talking about.

For starters, I would never encourage anyone to believe anything.

Ever.

Instead, I would suggest if something seems as though it has the potential of being useful for you, test it to see if you can validate it.  If you don't feel it could be useful for you, then there is no need to force yourself to test it out.

As per energy, this could be emotional energy, sexual energy, vibes that you pick up from a person or a place.  One very simple way to notice a shift in energy is to visit an emergency room on a weekend night. Pay keen attention to various situations as well as the emotional outpouring. This could also be done at a funeral, or a concert or sporting event.

Likewise, it could also be money, physical tasks, or support in an endeavor.

Really the possibilities are as endless as the human population itself which is slightly over 7 billion.

The techniques can be done by touch, sight, or mental contact. It is a matter of drawing the life force in.

Quote
If by predatorhood you include any kind of using other people for your purposes, then I would strongly suspect that everyone does that, if conscious or not, and a vampyre would then being someone both conscious of and good at it.

Depending on the type of feeding this is quite correct.

Quote
How? From my experience, will alone doesn't make one energetic - or perhaps I just didn't try hard enough (and thin I already am). If I want to be more energetic I normally instead try to achieve it (with only partial success) by providing as much sleep and food as my body seems to ask for (which seems to be a lot), and have never used any drugs like tobacco or caffeine (with the exception of rarely some green or black tea and the occasional beer that would rather have the opposite effect).
Sure, also for that, will is helpful in order to maintain e.g. a proper sleeping rhythm, but just willing myself to be energetic has the opposite effect if anything.

The dichotomy presented by Idgo is rather explicit:

Quote
I could become thinner and more energetic by permitting myself to develop a nicotine habit, for instance, but the tradeoffs of health drawbacks and the inconvenience of maintaining a consistent supply of the requisite materials inspire me to remain without it instead.

Not only would I respectfully argue that it is a false dichotomy, I would also say that it would seem to be a rather self-defeating belief.

What it says is that to become thinner and have greater amounts of energy that developing a nicotine habit could be useful achieve this goal. The suggestion being that some kind of a trade off must take place.

This also flies in the face of the reality that there are plenty of overweight people who are low on energy and who also have nicotine habits.

To be clear, I did not suggest that someone could simply Will themselves to do anything. That is only half true.

What I did, in fact, say that through Willpower the above mentioned choice would be quite undesirable and possible to do with out, yet still having it all without the trade off.

That Willpower would be to develop healthy habits that could assist in weight loss as well as not relying on a nicotine dependence to do so.

For example, it may at first be difficult to wake up in the morning and do a few exercises. However, with sufficient Willpower, it is quite possible to do. Likewise, it may not be easy to adapt to a healthy diet, again, with sufficient Willpower it is quite possible. With sufficient Willpower there are plenty of people who have broken nicotine habits.

It is always more useful to realize that there are an unlimited amount of choices to be made without having to present yourself with a choice involving bad and worse. Discrimination is the key here.

Examining all choices and making those that are both useful and beneficial seems like a winning combination to me. :)


Liu

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2018, 07:20:52 pm »
For starters, I would never encourage anyone to believe anything.

Ever.

Instead, I would suggest if something seems as though it has the potential of being useful for you, test it to see if you can validate it.  If you don't feel it could be useful for you, then there is no need to force yourself to test it out.
I quite agree - normally my skepticism stops me from even trying out stuff, though.
And what if I feel it could be useful but don't see a way to validate it easily, and even encounter opinions that belief would facilitate validation?

Quote
As per energy, this could be emotional energy, sexual energy, vibes that you pick up from a person or a place.  One very simple way to notice a shift in energy is to visit an emergency room on a weekend night. Pay keen attention to various situations as well as the emotional outpouring. This could also be done at a funeral, or a concert or sporting event. 
So you are talking non-paranormal matters that can be explained in purely psychological terms.
I wouldn't have used that term energy then, especially not without explanation.

Quote
To be clear, I did not suggest that someone could simply Will themselves to do anything. That is only half true.

What I did, in fact, say that through Willpower the above mentioned choice would be quite undesirable and possible to do with out, yet still having it all without the trade off.

That Willpower would be to develop healthy habits that could assist in weight loss as well as not relying on a nicotine dependence to do so.
Yeah, took you a bit too literally there, just felt like complaining ;) And still do so. So please bear with me and if you want just ignore the following, feeling like letting of some steam.

Quote
For example, it may at first be difficult to wake up in the morning and do a few exercises. However, with sufficient Willpower, it is quite possible to do. Likewise, it may not be easy to adapt to a healthy diet, again, with sufficient Willpower it is quite possible. With sufficient Willpower there are plenty of people who have broken nicotine habits.
As I said, willpower is helpful.
Still it might not always be the best choice - I did wake up early this morning and got up fast, only, having already half-dressed myself deciding that I really am too tired (having had "only" 8 hours of sleep), and so I went back to bed for another hour, didn't have time for any exercises that I might have done otherwise, and came late to work (the last part not being much of an issue). Still was tired all day, almost fell asleep at work once or twice. Not that tired anymore atm, only a bit, otherwise I'd already be in bed, and it's just 8:20 here. With all my willpower I have no idea how to tackle that problem on my own. (As I mentioned in another thread, going to see a doctor on it this week - hoping they'll figure it out).
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 07:56:16 pm by Liu »

Liu

Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 07:55:39 pm »
I used to live a much more vampyric lifestyle and I was conscious of what I was doing. I thought it was great at the time, and I did manage to convert the results into some pretty amazing experiences - but I have changed immeasurably since then. Looking back on it now, I see that the rewards I reaped were never worth the time and effort they cost. Not only that, but throughout this time I was doing serious damage to myself and to others which I had vastly underestimated. It’s not that I was thoughtless about it - it’s just that I wasn’t yet developed enough to perceive the more subtle impacts and how far the repercussions would really reach. Some things just can’t be seen except from the back.
Why would using others for your benefits necessarily be bad for them?
You could also do so in a symbiotic way, and I have the impression you would agree that doing so would in many situations also be better for oneself.
It does require skill as well, though.