Archetypes / C.G.Jung / Contemporary / History / Literature / Movies

Archetype of the vampire in todays culture of Narcissism


The vampire breaks the rules of the gods, society or nature, sometimes maliciously sometimes cunning or foolish or both.  This article wants to explore the connection between Narcissism, Vampires and contemporary politicians. We experience right now a difficult transition especially in Europe, led by an élite bred more than ever by an increasing culture of Narcissism  The psyche of world leaders, almost everybody in power (over us) can been interpreted narcissistic and the power behind (the money cluster and NWO matrix) as a sort of vampires.

I have written not much lately. The reason was, that I joined a start-up party in the upcoming German election. It is a major election, as Europe is standing on fiscal and value cliff. Basically it is about „Freedom or Euro“ or “democracy or serfdom”. The majority of those party members are highly educated and professional, but  I have seen so many fellow party members quit under flashy and sometimes infantile circumstance, that I could not help to diagnose that narcissistic disorders must be an important topic especially in politics. Therefore I decided to do case studies, based on my experience in this political party. This article is work in progress ro structure my bewilderment a little bit. Indeed, within this new Euro critical party “start-up”  I met more narcissistic hurt people I ever cared for. It was the first time, when I understood why politics is so sick – it lures sick people in a sick mental framework and gives the worst of them an advantage. This political culture reminds me of Ann Rice’s vampires or zombies.

In this new party, I experienced an active engagement with the tension between destruction and creation. With these developments, an individual – and a party and its voters – cannot easily engage in an effective dialogue that mitigates the coming apocalypse of Europe.

Vampire myth

The vampire myth has appeared over the centuries in almost every culture, beginning with the earliest recorded epic from Babylonia, about 2000 years B.C the Gilgamesh.  Although there are cultural variations in the various legends, there is always one defining trait of a vampire: a vampire sucks blood. Blood stands for life in Christianity, and is the archetypal symbol of the soul (life energy). The Sumerian vampires  Ekimmu, not to be confused with Ekindu, were a type of evil spirit (Utukku) riding on a wolf (you might recall a recent article of mine about the archetype of the wolves). The Assyrians of Mesopotamia believed the Ekimmu or Edimmu came into existence when their people died before their time. These unfortunate souls were refused admission to the underworld, causing them to become violent and ill tempered, hence the name “ekimmu” which translates to “that which was snatched away.I When the hero, Gilgamesh, prays to the god Nergal to restore his friend Ea-bani the request is granted, for the ground gapes open and the Utukku of Ea-Bani appears “like the wind”; that is, a transparent spectre in hishuman shape.

Gilgamesch-Epos

Gilgamesch-Epos

In studying analytical psychology we can begin to look at the vampire myth in psychological terms. It is a fatal symbiosis and a nourishing of one self with another’s vitality (two central points of vampire legends). As said before these traits are also inexplicable components of many human relationships. Most psychological interpretations of the vampire legend are Freudian, and see the legend in terms of incest, homosexuality, sadism and masochism. These interpretations miss a core meaning of the vampire, one of our oldest, most recognizable archetypal figures. The vampire has been cursed, denied eternal rest because of some unredeemed sin.  The Ekimmu, or Departed Spirit was the soul of a dead person who for some reason could find no rest and wandered over the earth seeking to seize the living. As inmost later vampire tales, the Ekimmu and its victim had some mysterious psychic connection, which made the victim particularly vulnerable to attack. The Ekimmu could walk through, doors or walls to take up residence in house. It would then drain the life from the household, usually killing the owner and many of his relatives and servants.

The earliest Sumerians didn’t have gods and goddesses in human-like form. Instead, the early Sumerians believed in spirits in every object. This type of belief is known as animism, which assigns spirits and life to all things-the rocks, the sun, plants, and all animals. The Ekimmu could suck the life out or could take over a person’s body. They mostly preyed upon the young and those asleep (like Dracula).  The Sumerians later worshipped four all-powerful creation gods. And their creation myth is similar to later myths. Even the Judeo-Christian story of Adam and Eve can be traced back to later Sumerian writings. Yet even in their creation story, the gods breathe life-or spirit-into men. So the belief in a spirit never fully leaves the religion.

In Babylonia, as in Christianity, the vampire archetype describes a collective darkness: a group of heretics and criminals, raging against mankind and ceaselessly devouring blood. The vampire is not primarily a personification of personal darkness of the Freudian unconscious, but a scourge of the society an archetype from the collective unconscious.  The vampire is therefore a religious figure like the Christian devil, but even older than Lucifer. The Vampire archetype and the Redemptive archetype (Christness) are the first polar opposites of the same archetypal energy (just note that we Catholics believe in drinking Jesus’ blood). They emerge from the collective unconscious as a dividable pair. Although the association is less clear today, vampires always have been closely associated with religions. In Babylonia, China, Greece, and Egypt, and Christianity, the person likely to become a vampire was one who neglected religious rituals, or defied community moral standards.

Vampire facts

First impressions or how behaves a political vampire or a person with a narcissistic disorder in a party environment? According to existential-analytical understanding, the narcissistic pathology has its basis in a disorder of the self-value. This point of view could indeed  illustrated with the aid of my phenomenological observation, of the personal fundamental motivations  in politics as well as of my  personal analysis.

If you go to a person with a narcissistic disturbance hits, one often discovers spontaneously a pleasant persona. One thinks here a very sympathetic guy! So refined, so intelligent, so charming, how can anyone be so perfect! When the presentation is stronger, it may also well happen that in a sense envy or eat least admiration is discovered – both are common reactions when one  has to do with a narcissistically wounded people.

The Self-concept of a narcissistic disturbed people between is determined between two opposite poles – the sense of grandiosity on one hand and the feeling of the notation for annulment on the other. Dominate outward a striking magnificence and mightiness. A narcissistic is attractive and impresses with its alluring manner. They have a good sense of how well he can come and what he must do to get admiration. In a politic business it gives an edge to draw all eyes to oneself and to place own achievements and successes in the focus. Even in party work, a narcissist gives initially a grandiose and powerful show of ability and wisdom, particularly if not under stress.

The male vampire

For Freud, the vampire is largely representative of brutal, primal sexuality coupled with images of death in dark attempts to reach immortality. The vampire to Freud was a very old archetype that compressed one’s projected fears and repressed desires. From a Jungian perspective, the vampire image could be understood as an expression of what he termed the “shadow,” those aspects of the self that the conscious ego suppresses and is unable to recognize during socialization. Some aspects of the shadow were positive. But usually the shadow contained repressed wishes, anti-social impulses, morally questionable motives, childish fantasies of a grandiose nature, and other traits felt to be shameful. Jung interpreted the vampire as an unconscious complex that took over control over the psyche like a curse or spell. I observed particularly auto-erotic, autistic, or otherwise narcissistic personality traits in some party members which behaved fact predatory, anti-social, and parasitic on the life energy to me and others. We had one candidate, who turned out not to advocate the political agenda of this party, but only his own emotional (and maybe financial) needs. His record was one of a long, long but largely unsuccessful political career of a minor politician. He was a basically a political vampire. After his speech was not greeted with warm welcome, he stepped back to preserve his “delusions of grandeur” and his behavior to everybody became destructive and erratic. I sensed a deep narcissistic disappointment which was held up only by a rigid super-inflated Ego.

I meet some other similar disturbed party members, but the old politician was a prime example what in contemporary psychology and psychiatry this type is called a “narcissistic personality disorder.”

Island_of_the_Dead,_AfDNarcissistic personalities are characterized by a “very inflated concept of themselves and an inordinate need for tribute from others.” Capable of only a shallow emotional life they have difficulty experiencing any empathy for the feelings of others. Their ability to enjoy life, except for their experiences of their own grandiose fantasies and the tributes that they can manipulate others into giving them, is severely limited. They easily become restless and abusive unless new sources are feeding their self esteem. They envy what others possess and tend to idealize the few people from whom they desire food for their narcissistic needs. They depreciate and treat with contempt any from whom they do not expect nurturance and their relationships with other people are clearly exploitative and parasitic. This description of the narcissistic personality sounds as if it were crafted to describe contemporary Western politicians: It is as if they feel they have the right to control and possess others and to exploit them without guilt feelings-and behind the surface, which very often is charming and engaging, one senses coldness and ruthlessness.

The female vampire

The female Vampire

The female Vampire

Jungian interpreters often highlight the parallels between the vampire image and narcissistic psychopathology. Some, for example, have noted that the vampire is both narcissistic and autistic and emphasize that the vampire experiences “narcissistic self-destruction as a result of their intensely selfish desires. In Germany politics at large, there is one “successful” politician whose imago fits perfectly the shadow of the narcissistic mother – the female vampire. She makes a largely symbolic politic which is clearly against the interest of her voters. But 65% of the German think she does a good job. The narcissistic mother, while appearing on the surface to have good will and a nurturing attitude toward the child, in fact drains the energy of the child and weakens the child through subtle (and not so subtle) emotional exploitation. This pattern provides insight into the psychological experiences that underlie the numerous folktales of vampires preying on children. There is reason to believe that the incidence of such predatory behavior toward citizens is increasing.

The Vampire and the Culture of Narcissism: Although Jung and subsequent Jungian interpreters have noted these and other narcissistic aspects of vampire myths, they did not adequately explore narcissistic psychopathology, the chief psychological dynamic underlying vampire narratives and the major reason for the current burgeoning fascination with the vampire image. However, others assumed the lead in psychoanalytic research into pathological narcissism and its social formation as a “culture of narcissism.”

The culture of Narcissism

Political VampiresThere is a rapidly spreading climate of moral self-absorption that has emerged in the wake of modernization and secularization – in Germany it’s the Green party which after decades of errors flourish and in the US the liberals (in power). Both have not the slightest self doubt to scan the internet and intimidate or use the free press. Our contemporary penchant for narcissistic self indulgence has resulted from the eclipse of any absolute ethic with its emphasis on spiritual involvement and temporal values. Contemporary alterations in culture indicated a fundamental shift in our psychological development. One Jungian suggested “that the dominant or modal personality of our culture has shifted to a narcissistic psychological organization.” He tied this recent phenomenon to the process of a gradual erosion of a religious view of the world. I agree, the collapse of any ethic restraint as a bulwark against pathological self involvement was only the last in a long line of cultural and religious developments leading to today’s increasing narcissism. Wall Street was always populated by vampires, but today we begin to discern the chief psychological dynamic underlying the increasing popularity of vampire images and narratives. “If our society is a culture of narcissistic self-involvement, then the vampire image is a perfect icon to express the psychological character configuration underlying it.”

What goes wrong to cause an individual, group or society to develop a narcissistic personality disorder? As C.G. Jung emphasized, the development of a “happy” personality requires a creative interplay between the innate potentials of the Self and the emotional environment.

An inadequate nurturing environment like broken families, corporations which treat their employees like cattle in the Global competition and of course our distorted political organizations cause significant damage in the form of “narcissistic wounds.” The development of the self is arrested and the emerging self is left in a weakened condition in an ongoing struggle with overwhelming longings and unmet emotional needs. When normal development is disturbed in this way, the resulting state of emotional disequilibrium necessitates that the individual seek to compensate for the resulting deficit or weakness in the structure of the self. Therefore, the person who has not successfully built a psychological internal structure remains pathologically needy and dependent upon others to perform functions, not able to execute. Others must be “used” in various ways to bolster a fragile sense of self and to attempt to fill an inner emptiness. This primal dependency is at the root of “vampiric” predatory patterns in relationship of our failed party candidate – the weak vampire.

Symptoms resulting from such emotional disturbances have characteristic features. Patients often report feeling depressed, depleted, and drained of energy. They report feelings of emptiness, dulled emotions, inhibited initiative, and not being completely real. Our weak vampire completely lacked empathy for the feelings and needs of others, had attacks of uncontrolled rage or pathological lying in blogs and mail attacks. However, we shall see below that the tie between narcissistic pathology and the vampire is much tighter than merely sharing the same set of symptoms.

Stage-hungry vampires

FRANCE-EU-ELECTION-GREENSNarcissistic wounds and resulting pathology manifests in a wide spectrum of clinical syndromes ranging from psychosis to narcissistic character disorders. At work they may find themselves constricted in creativity and unproductive. In social interaction they may have difficulty in forming and sustaining interpersonal relationships. They may become involved in delinquent and anti-social activities. Despite their discomfort about their need to display themselves and despite their sometimes severe rejection they must go on trying to find new self objects whose attention and recognition they seek to induce.

Such stage-hungry personalities often manifest arrogant superiority. There is one minister who arrogantly abused his press speaker before open cameras. If, as it was the case with the weak vampire, this arrogance is not affirmed and accepted they will often withdraw into what self psychologists call “a grandiose retreat” seeking refuge in isolation in order to shore up their self esteem. The dynamics of stage-hunger also helps us to understand the combination of grandiosity and immortality in the vampire mythology. Adult untransformed grandiosity makes unrealistic claims on others. The more disappointment experienced by the stage-hungry person, the more they resort to the grandiose retreat from social involvement. What is Dracula’s remote castle on the top of a difficult to reach mountain if it is not a “grandiose retreat?”

Stage-hungry personalities often manifest a kind of “counter-dependency.” That is, they will often seek to avoid expressions of emotional need and dependency. Underlying this reluctance to admit chronic unmet needs to self or others is the fear of a disastrous, even fatal, depletion of the person who is seen as a potential source of gratification.

Vampires and Sexuality

A archetypal symbol of vampire mythology has been the powerful erotic imagery accompanying the vampire attack. One can find that in politics too. The systemic pedophile behavior of leading members of the Green Party (one of them a current member of the European parliament) has been successfully suppressed for thirty years in the press even if openly admitted by some and one time party program. Only recently, more and more victims, who were abused by those archetypes of “pedophile vampires”, when they were children, speak out.

TheGreenMonsterSexual contacts, which are portrayed in these vampire stories utilize images of the innocent youth becoming the target of compulsive blood-lust.  Psychologically speaking, narcissistic wounds often lead the individual to seek narcissistic nourishment through sexual activity – be it so soft as begging to be fondled with an open fly. Still Sexuality and aggression fuse in a manner that leads to the infection and death of the victim or scars for a lifetime. A facade genital sexual behavior masks a quest for what Freudian’s have called oral (not genital) gratification. The compulsive quality of this sexual behavior is grounded in the individual’s narcissistic psychopathology. Today this pathology is widely understood to be the emotional foundation of sexual addictions. The Dracula story captures this combination of apparently erotic behaviors that are, in fact, expressions of a deep inner emptiness, not human affection.

Vampire Group behaviour

The projection of this image onto other social groups is undoubtedly one of the powerful psychosocial mechanisms that fuel malignant racism, anti-Semitism, political correctness, and other expressions of scapegoating . That has been very evident in this start up party, but is also evident in the EU-Crisis, where Germans are depicted as Nazis if not paying through the nose and the ailing countries as lazy folk punished by austerity.

Vampires and political correctness

Vampires and political correctness

In the dynamic of scapegoating, we find someone or some group that can be used as a receptacle for the projection of the vampiric image. Then the scapegoat can be blamed, cast out of the community, and/or persecuted with various degrees of violence. This externalization of the vampiric image enables the person or “in-group” to feel better-guiltless or “cleansed.” As a social dynamic such scapegoating both allocates blame and seems to “inoculate” against further disappointments by evicting or eliminating the cause of one’s “disease.”

Hate rhetoric is frequently fueled by the projection of the image of the vampire onto other social groups. An example of this recently became international news when a leader of an NGO publicly characterized Jewish people as “bloodsuckers,” imaging them as parasites draining the lifeblood of their community. The projection of this image enables the dehumanization of its target group-allowing the rationalizations needed to justify ruthless racial discrimination and violence. Narcissistic rage seeks the utter destruction of the independent personhood of the other-either through death or ruthless enslavement and exploitation. Thus the vampire within projects its image onto the other-thereby justifying its own predatory intentions – which is a standard procedure for politicians.

neverminddemocracy if you have the euro

neverminddemocracy if you have the euro

We cannot see the energies that these ‘political’ vampire draw from the human population, but we can feel them.  This energy is often described as ‘vibes’ – the good and bad ‘vibes’ that we feel emitting from people we meet. If we could switch our frequency to see deeper realms of reality, we would see that what we are feeling on the ‘physical’ level in emotional ‘feelings’ is the expression of an energy pouring from us (on frequencies outside of visible light) whenever we think or go into emotional states.  This is what the ‘political’ vampires are doing – feeding off lower vibrational human emotion like fear, stress, worry, guilt, hatred etc. These are, in fact, all subdivisions of the one energy that we call hate generated by fear.  The more that humans can be manipulated to feel and therefore generate the energy of fear, the more energetic sustenance is made available to these energy vampires. We hear about blood vampires, but what is blood? It is a massive conduit for human energy and as has been said an synonym for the soul.  Humans have indeed been turned, as Morpheus said in The Matrix, into ‘one of these’:

Conclusions

An attempt was made to trace the manner in which my brief stint into politics along with many unpleasant experiences in this culture of Narcissism can be interpreted by vampire archetypes. Each of these perspectives contributed to my understanding of the rich mythological and symbolic narratives of vampire lore, which views the vampire as a primary icon representing essential aspects of narcissistic psychopathology. Personally, even if I want to moved out of this matrix of darkness, I did understand for the first time the attraction of being part of a political organization. It’s not only the greed and lust for power which lures contemporary politicians to the dark side.

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