In one of my earlier post “Learning to Love Yourself” I spoke of vampires being a mythological representation of a narcissist.
A good friend of mine invited me over to his house to watch the HBO series “True Blood” which is about vampires.
I watched two episodes and it was all I could take it was torture.
Throughout each episode people are methodically manipulating and taking advantage of each other. Almost always culminating in some type of revenge plot and subsequent drama that unfolds.
I will admit it makes for great TV but it doesn’t say much about our present cultures insatiable need to feed off of and manipulate each other. I was thinking to myself while I was watching this why are Vampires damned to eternity. I came up with an answer fairly quickly that makes sense to me.
They don’t get it.
You see I believe wholeheartedly that we choose to come to the earth and work on our souls. After enough trips ideally we become enlightened and transcend the need to incarnate and evolve into the spiritual realm. By fighting that and opting to stay on earth until eternity you are therefore denying the opportunity to learn to let go of the lesser human behaviors such as resentment, jealousy, anger and all the manipulative drama exhibited on that show.
Of course this is all mythological but that is precisely why this is so deep. My heroes Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung were very steadfast and convincing in the power of myth. It is in our stories and in our history that we find our true selves and who we are.
Isn’t it interesting that a vampire can’t see the light? I think I know a few vampires, hell I used to be one and I am still working on it. The first step to change though is awareness and I was lucky enough to have enough pain in my relationships to use as leverage to get my self to change.
I also think it is interesting that one of the ways to kill a vampire is to drive a wooden stake through their heart. That is very interesting to me. At first my hunch is that says something about what the vampire has done to the person doing the killing. Destroyed their heart as well, especially since all of this is fiction. And there is always more truth in fiction.
I have a couple of very honest friends who are not afraid to tell me when I must keep my ego in check. I also have as a close friend one of the best shrinks in the world and he does not and will not sugar coat things. He definitely didn’t when it came to holding me to a higher standard and exposing my narcissism.
You see movies and TV and books and popular media always echo what is going on in our society at present. When mobster movies were all the rage it said a lot about our society.
Look at this vampire phenomena, look how many women are reading “Twilight” and all my guy friends have been on me to watch “True Blood” so I finally did and it disgusted me because it reminds me of everything that is wrong about our society right now.
Everyone is “sucking everyone’s blood” The Federal Government is seizing assets from people, look at California. The State level Governments are feeding of the people with more and more taxes and look at what people are doing to each other in relationships. It’s unbelievable and disheartening to see.
Look what corporations and banks and Ponzi schemes are all the corporate fraud was about.
Vampires sucking the life savings of people straight from their investments. Greed and more greed.
You see as I mentioned before a vampire is simply a mythological representation of a narcissist. Someone who “drains your energy” and plays on your fears. The term “Energy Vampire” is even a household term these days. I am a recovering Narcissist myself so I know about all of this a bit.
A friend of mine recently said “If I had a dollar for every time I wondered: Why am I still single, I’d be a millionaire” It’s a question more than half of American women ask themselves, according to a report the New York Times put out in early 2007. This data includes women who live apart from their significant others, but all independent variables aside it’s a figure that’s rocketed significantly in the last couple decades.
Even as those 57.5 million women gather round cozy wine bars with their girlfriends, enjoying Bridget Jones, or Sex in The City during nights in sweats on the couch, or pack four different guys into one week (yes, it happens), we’re likely to be puzzled over what we may be doing wrong: “That one wearing three carats with the husband more loyal than a black lab—what does she know that I don’t?”—or if we actually need partners, as tradition (and Mom) seems to imply.
I hang out at Barnes and Noble quite a bit and just last week I saw a book entitled:
Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable—Than Ever Before (Free Press, 2007)
It is by Jean Twenge is a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of and co-author of the upcoming “Narcissism Epidemic” with W. Keith Campbell.
Isn’t her next book title prophetic?, I got goose bumps when I saw it. Am I the only one who sees the stuff? I sure as hell hope not because it is all around us. Unfortunately the conversations that come up in the circles I have been in lately seem to lean towards the more mundane issues.
I am going to have to fire some of my friends.
Based on recent research she has conducted to learn about current attitudes toward relationships, Twenge confirms, “There is in fact a massive cultural shift at work here.” She says the number of women who are romantically uninvolved is a result of one major factor: our culture tells us we don’t need relationships.
Call it the “singular-single syndrome”: We have it. Twenge recently conducted a study of 200 student participants at San Diego State, and 90% of them answered the questionnaire stating they live by grand individualistic philosophies like, “You shouldn’t ever need anyone else to make you feel complete” and “You have to make yourself happy.” Read: Can You Buy Happiness?
Based on this study and a handful of others Twenge has conducted in the last few years, she concludes that today’s young adults feel they need to be completely self-sufficient in their happiness.
The fact is, young American adults view deep emotional involvement with others as weakness and dependence. It’s not just that our culture accepts and accommodates the single lifestyle now—it’s that it actually disparages the individual who isn’t focused solely on her own personal advancement.
The ubiquitous teachings from our capitalist culture media, Boomer-generation parents who toiled to teach us the importance of pursuing personal goals, and teachers in an increasingly survival-of-the-very-fittest education system—all these emphasize the individual and her goals, not her need for involvement with others.
Twenge also said that a study she’s currently conducting with W. Keith Campbell leads to the conclusion that narcissism in America is higher than it’s ever been before, and by definition of considering themselves more important than the people they associate with, narcissistic people make terrible relationship partners.
Twenge blames this spike in narcissism on societal teachings like those aforementioned but also feels that purported social networking devices like MySpace and Facebook are less a method of connecting with others than a means of shameless self-promotion giving the individual limitless opportunity to think about themselves and advertise why other people should want to know them.
Amen Jean! I am going to pick her up and hug her for that statement when I meet her.
This is why I have taken somewhat of a sabbatical from the internet. I am in the music business where “social networking” is all the rage and I am beginning to wonder about it’s true validity.
Whatever happened to going out and genuinely meeting new fans face to face and talking to them?
Going out and earning them with the “sweat equity” of getting in a van and playing shows. I don’t date women I meet on the internet, I like to meet them in person. I am the same way with fans, I like the personal touch. I use the internet as a way to stay in touch but am a people person at heart.
Some users even employ social networking sites out of romantic malice, attempting to provoke jealousy or track the whereabouts of an ex. And for some couples, being on each other’s friend lists is a topic more taboo than first-date sex. “No way would I add (my new girlfriend) to my page,” one of my friends told me. “I think she’s pissed about it but if it ends, it will be too awkward if we’re able to keep tabs on each other.”
Any way you slice it, we’re all looking out for Number One. Here’s the trouble: the more time we spend thinking about ourselves, formulating clever responses to friends’ online comments about us, posting our most attractive photos, and “pimping our profiles” to leave impressions on our contacts, the less time we spend actually interacting with and caring about others.
In one of my recent relationships a girl I was dating gave me a framed picture of herself for Valentine’s Day. Talk about narcissism, I should have seen that one coming.
Even the word “friend” has transformed from an endeared noun used to describe an intimate, trusted companion to a verb that implies a quick click of the mouse. “Listen, I gotta run, it was nice to meet you. Remember to friend me tomorrow.” We lack the basic fundamental of all relationships – spending time together – and personal eye-to-eye contact continues to grow more rare.
Chris Morett is a sociology professor specializing in family and marriage at Fordham University in New York City. Morett echoes this cultural emphasis on the individual.
He says our communities and peer groups have broken down significantly in the last decade, and our consumer culture promises the singular single that you can “Have it your way.” Thus young Americans are less willing to compromise their own desires than ever before, and Morett goes so far as saying that the American dating process has become similar to other means of shopping for a product.
Because women don’t need marriage for the economic stability and source of identity the institution provided decades ago (because the majority of American women nowadays were not raised simply to be wives but to value personal advancement by self-sufficient means, and women are economically independent deriving their identity from their work and other societal roles, not just from being a wife) marriage is not a necessity but a choice.
So when a woman dates a man and he doesn’t possess all the “features” she requires, she briefly deliberates and continues shopping (Is passionate about his work, check. Loves to travel, check. Forgot to ask how my meeting went, uh-oh. Completely unacceptable.) No longer does a woman need a man or a marriage; now she wants a soulmate, a partner to share her interests and values and who provides passion and support and fun. She desires a man who won’t require her to sacrifice her identity or every aspect of the single lifestyle she’s come to enjoy.
See why the divorce rate is what it is? And I can prove to you that in reality it is about 1000%
See my post “Mating”
But until we meet an authentic person, (good luck in this quagmire) the solution to the single person’s isolation is simple: shut the lid on your laptops and get over yourself.
I am going to be blunt, but those of you that read this know by now that’s my style.
You do not have a gold plated pussy, so get over yourself. It’s not that special, if you think it is, you can have it.
And guys, you are not God’s gift to women so get over yourself as well. Grow some balls.
You don’t have to do it all on your own. We’ll only find the comfort to our singles’ loneliness by spending time in the physical presence of people we love. If we want love, we have to love. We have to open our hearts to connecting again.
Wake up Zombies and get off of Facebook today and look someone in the eyes and have a real conversation.
Just one man’s humble opinion.