Sunday, July 31, 2011

Immortality

No, my book is not a vampire story.  But let’s get one thing straight.  I was “vampire” before vampires were ever this cool.  I know there are more of you out there, am I right?  You know, Lost Boys, Anne Rice, and let’s not forget the original, the great Dracula?  I’m not knocking the new vampire fans, not at all.  If it weren’t for you, all of these new "vamp" stories would never have made it to mass market.  I will add, however, that the amount of copy-cats out there in bookstores right now is becoming close to tiresome.

In my youth, I didn’t stop to think about what drove my fascination of vampires.  But I realize now that it isn’t only their extreme good looks and charm.  It’s their immortality.  They never die.  And if they do, it’s only through over-the-top methods of killing them.  Their ability to live forever intrigued me, and still does.  For a while, I even decided that if vampires did exist, I wanted to be one.  Ahh, to live the life of the seductive, ever-youthful, powerful walking dead…

According to the Terror Management Theory, the behavior of all humans is motivated by our fear of death. Ernest Becker, author of The Denial of Death, 1973, wrote:

“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity—activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man.”

Is this what drives us to worship a god?  Is this what drives us to seek meaning in our lives, to have and fulfill goals?  Is this what drives us to procreate and want our children to have better lives than we did?  Based on the Theory, every single thing we do as individuals and as societies is derived from our fear of mortality. 

But alas, theories are theories.  Something to consider, I suppose.  One of the greatest gifts we humans have been granted, and what sets up apart from other animals in the kingdom, is our ability as free thinkers to choose what we want to believe.  Sometimes I doubt I’ll ever fully decide.  I’m hoping I’ve got a long time to make that decision.  But if not, well, then I may not be able to tell you about it, but at least I’ll know the truth.


p.s. NO, my book is not a vampire story.

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