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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  AVA Discussion: Vampirism; Lifestyle, Religion, Counterculture, Something Else? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: AVA Discussion: Vampirism; Lifestyle, Religion, Counterculture, Something Else?  (Read 7151 times)
Merticus
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« on: March 27, 2008, 02:36:19 pm »

The following is a question that was posed for group discussion at TWILIGHT II in Atlanta, GA this past March 2008.  I'd like to continue the discussion here on the AVA forum to gather everyone's opinion and input on the particular subject.  Please answer the question (all parts) below and offer your perspective!


Vampirism; Lifestyle, Religion, Counterculture, Or Something Else?

Discussion:
  What are the different ways we define ourselves based on belief, practices, and personal identity?  What is “real” and is there any method to arrive at a definition that is widely accepted?  Which groups do we include or exclude when referring to the vampire community?  Sociologists sometimes refer to the community as a new religious movement – how can we counter this sweeping generalization and provide an alternative description in a diverse and often conflicted community?  How would you describe the perception of vampirism from within and outside the community in terms of parasitic versus symbiotic vampirism?  What are the benefits and drawbacks to the close cultural ties with the fetish and Goth community?
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BlackDragon
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 03:54:00 pm »

Very Interesting Topic. Society has a very hard time accepting new ideas such as energy work or vampires. All though to us these ideas have been around since the beginning of time. It is found in the myths and legends of every major religion. These myths give the vampire a negative image and has the general public thinking it is bad to be a vampire. I believe though education and tolerance that this image can be changed. Some believe we are a religious movement others insane with mental disorders. Thats because not enough of us have stepped up to educate the public to what we are really about. They don't know about the black veil or the donor bill of rights. If one is to come up to me and ask what i believe in i will tell them without fear. Most do not like what i tell them but they will be more educated on what its really about. i believe that the definition of real should be defined by a united comunity. One we are striving for but are not quite there yet. my personal definition of a vampire would be one who takes energy for a person to benefit himself. i think this definition is already widely in use. As far as the goth and fetish community goes. I believe the goth community accepts our views for the most part. Very open-minded comunity. This is a big benefit, but the pubic in general looks down upon it.
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Maloryn
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 06:29:56 pm »

Yes to all in the subject header.

Why conform to only one definition?  Grin

---Mal
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nightchild
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 11:02:34 am »

Any one can build a new religion easy anyone can learn to work energy what ever keeps them busy.
In either Luciferian/Satanic circles psi are seen as parasitical and more dangerous then a sanguin. Everyone has a fetish about something. It's very normal in today's society to be different. But as far as tolerance, there's still a lot who still will refuse anything else then thay are used to. And goth's like to use the story's in party's or there own life. Not only the blood but the immortality myth of the undead walking due to some ppl whom have a pale skin and can't take much sunlight.
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de libre
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 10:51:34 pm »

I certainly don't consider a vampire community religious. When I sang feed I there are no religious, sexual, or fetish desires involved. Again I make it boring as possible, 'get in and get out' sort of thing. It's what I am not who I am.

Hell you have a good amount of atheists in here, personally I consider myself in general an observer of all religions.
I try not to help the stereotype, since I am representing the community whether I like it or not I do not associate myself with being gothic to enhance that. I try NOT enhancing the stereotype as much as possible.

As for being a symbiotic or parasitic it actually depends on how the person feeds, if they do give back or if they don't. Lets face it vampire or not, some people are just freaking parasites. Then you have those that for example can feed from a large audience, but at the same time give back through their comedic routine.
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Gray
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Not at all what it seems to be...


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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 12:25:42 pm »

I tend to take a more scientific approach in order to allow myself to come to terms. It seems that our universe is simply "what it is" and part of that is simply the energy that exists naturally. As with any given life, some of us have more of one thing and less of another. My being Goth in appearance is really a separate thing for a separate reason and not necessarily attributed to being a Vampire at all (I am a performer and I'm simply presenting myself the way that feels right for me). I do believe that religious rituals can be used as props to put our mind in the right "frame" for focusing on...anything, really. Nicherin Diashonin Buddhists use a chant to focus in the same way and this IS considered a religion. Same with the Craft to a degree. I am constantly redefining myself as I learn new things (and you all have my permission to shoot me if I ever stop doing this) so I may very well change my approach in the future but for now, I will keep my more romantic notions of Vampirism at bay for the sake of practicality for I have not been Awakened long and I am suffering from some very strong emotional changes (no worries, I'll live...).
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pinkearthling19
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 11:45:49 pm »

What are the different ways we define ourselves based on belief, practices, and personal identity?

If the aforementioned 'we' denotes the vampire ''community'' then I say it is nothing concrete just yet. There are various and differing points of view within our members and even those close to us who may be affected in one manner or the other by our condition. Some do through science/genetics, others through spirituality/energy work, and others may do so through the aesthetic pole..
whilst others try to merge and mix these components, whatever they may be to reach a more unified whole. I am somewhat of fledgling to all this, although I have done my research...

*************************************************************************
  What is “real” and is there any method to arrive at a definition that is widely accepted?

''Real'' in its most rudimentary/basic/simple definition is that which can be perceived by the senses and held by the mind as being tangible, material and has depth...a simple concept of what is understood as being ''true'' and ''palpable'' by our brains. Generally, I need to say that the accepted parameters for something to be real need to be achieved and laid out by a group of people that possess the insight.
real can vary and change.Nothing, and I am certain of this...nothing is etched in marble.

*****************************************************************************
  Which groups do we include or exclude when referring to the vampire community?

"We" is a pretty broad term, monsieur...
but, speaking for myself, and as far as I know... we sort of disapprove of some, if not most lifestylers that prostitute the vampire identity and use it as a ''fashion'' statement. Although I may be wrong.
Oh, and there are also the criminals and sociopaths who appear to take on the vampire name merely to generate awe and shock amongst the media. Again, this is just as far as I am concerned.
*****************************************************************************************88


  Sociologists sometimes refer to the community as a new religious movement – how can we counter this sweeping generalization and provide an alternative description in a diverse and often conflicted community?

Sociologists refer to us as many things- and often they only take small (very small) samples of the vampire-identified population within certain groups, movements and so on. Vampirism ,per se, cannot be wholly contained within the word 'religion' since vampires in their majority(not counting percentages) do identify with alternative, varied and pretty mainstream faiths or lack thereof... whereas there are numbered few(I suppose) who belong to - and call themselves affiliated to vampire temples and churches.

So-- countering or reversing this may be a project all of its own given that we have access to speakers, workshops or support from more sociologists,researchers, field workers within the media and other scientific/sociological areas to broaden the definition, connotation and denotation of the vampire milieu... and community.
***********************************************************************************************88

  How would you describe the perception of vampirism from within and outside the community in terms of parasitic versus symbiotic vampirism?  I say the perception is neither wholly positive nor completely negative...
there are some who see this as parasitic-- less about equality,more about dominion.
Or symbiotic= equality and mutual benefit between the donor and the one who takes.



**********************************************************************************************
What are the benefits and drawbacks to the close cultural ties with the fetish and Goth community?

Like ties with any other group of people - presents its ups and downs...
these communities are more open, but they are a minority. Larger groups may not regard us in the same light and link us with Goths/Fetishists exclusively.

I am merely saying.

^^
good evening.
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dana295
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 08:53:08 pm »

What are the different ways we define ourselves based on belief, practices, and personal identity?
no idea i'm not apart of the sceen  for me myself i see the vampire as an archtype i have been to close to and have taken on some of the personality traits and for now i'll call them weaknesses


What is “real” and is there any method to arrive at a definition that is widely accepted?
 what is precieved self is alway real  to the preciever
Which groups do we include or exclude when referring to the vampire community?
that would above my pay grade
Sociologists sometimes refer to the community as a new religious movement – how can we counter this sweeping generalization and provide an alternative description in a diverse and often conflicted community? 
make people outside the culture think what they have alway thought that we are just a bunch of fringe loonies
How would you describe the perception of vampirism from within and outside the community in terms of parasitic versus symbiotic vampirism? i would need alot more datato answer this properly
What are the benefits and drawbacks to the close cultural ties with the fetish and Goth community?
upside we can wear them like a hat and use them to mask what we are downside they are the fringe loonies that are getting more mainstream some how that seem strange to me
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kate34
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 10:59:30 pm »


I speak only for myself here but I think the vampire community is a unique one, not to be put in a box really. We come from all walks of life, faiths, sexual orientation, standard of dress, etc...

Not all of us are "goths" and a good deal of us probably would not stand out in the crowd as "vampires". We all have daytime lives that may or may not counter who we are inside and what we struggle with. I doubt most of us go around advertising our situations or identification with the vampire community to those who don't understand. It is not that we are untrue to ourselves but rather a sense of common unity that doesnt need media attention to be validated.

Does one have to be into Goth or Satanism or dress a certain way to be considered a "Vampire"... I wouldnt think so. I think the community overall is mature enough to realize that this view on things causes us to limit ourselves and our unique contributions to the community as a whole. It is SO easy right now to feel open to identifying ourselves in such a way because of all the hype and media attention given to the vampire at the present time in literature, movies, etc... Now it turns out there is a reality show as well? I think that crosses a line personally at least. It puts the vampire out in the media as a mockery, somethinh to be made fun of or idealized. Again, I speak solely from personal opinion and experience but I dont know that I would want to come out to the world in a "reality vampire show". Do I really need that kind of validation from them just because it appears to be the "cool thing" to be?

For me, the vampire community both online and off line is a unique one, both together and individual at the same time. I appreciate all of you even if I dont know you personally. Each of you, whatever your religion or gender or condition plays an important part, one that could never be summed up by a reality show! No matter your struggle or your strength, your darkness or your beauty, your sanguine or your psi energy, whatever it is... you are beautiful regardless of what the media paints you to be!


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MrSnoops
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 06:51:19 pm »

When I had my first views into this part of the forum, I noticed that these questions are more up to date then ever before.
Well, this wont get easy to write for me... first have to make a brainstorming for myself and then have to translate my explenaitions into a foreign language. I hope you can forbear me if you can not understand what I am writing. In this case, please tell me, so I can correct it.

A widly defination of what is "real" is hard to find. In my mumbly oppinion the best compromise would be something like :
"Trying to regain energy, whith using other creatures to reach this goal."

As long as I think, i don´t get any further.
Because, if i follow this path about what is "real", there is a point where the facts mixes with
individual thinkings. And this is were it starts to became a kind of religious.
I think every one has his own explainations about what it means to be vampire.
And somewhere in this explaination there will be the answer for the "from where" and "why?".
Thats where the "problems" starts. In the last few years a Media-Hype about vampire started.
In this time the vampire community was first time available for people searching for answers,
and it became hard to seperate fact from fiction.
I remember a book a friend gave me as horrible example about vampire literature.
This book colored a religious picture of the vampirism.
The first thing i thought was : "This could be dangerous."

Whenever people startgetting a nearly religious feeling for something, they could lose the ability to
be open minded. Whatever the "religion" say is true.
A kind of fundamentalistic thinking begins.

My fear is allways that people, who mix up their desire for blood/psi-energy with their wishes of
being something more special ore even more supernatural, could start building up their own little sect.
It would be that easy and the same dangerous.The most awakenings are still young, often in the puberty.
And every one who survived his own puberty knows how strong the wish is to be something special,
and if young people are just a little bit to naiv, they got get into a trap where they arent able to get out
fully healthy in mind.
I want to remember about a story in another part of the forum, I hope you know wich.

And thats why - in my mumbly opinion- vampirism is something you have to deal with yourself,
and not with religios mates ore a god like reason for being vampir.

That leads me to the next question: "Sociologists sometimes refer to the community as a new religious movement
– how can we counter this sweeping generalization and provide an alternative description
in a diverse and often conflicted community?"

The best way to counter this would be , if i follow my previous written words above,
to work illuming. This could the ground for this "religious movement" stuff.


Thats all I have to say for the moment.
Thanks for your time.



 
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