I’d like to share a true story, or at least attempt to. This story is about opposing beliefs, or diversity.
When I found my first organized group/forum and began *awakening* into the subject of Real/Living Vampires, I had no idea what to believe, I had very little real understanding, and a lot of doubt but I was full of curiosity and a desire to learn.
Now, among the subculture/identity group/online community that gathers under the umbrella of “vampire”, there’s been a long time debate (even self described “wars”) regarding what makes a vampire legitimate and which variety of vampires are The True ones. Is it energy/metaphysical? Is it blood/physical? Is it both or neither?
The particular group I gained my first basis of knowledge from taught the belief that it was all energy that vampires needed. That it was a condition of the soul (damage, deficiency, defect or something else). That even blood-feeding vampires (who were called “Sanguinarians”) only fed on blood by choice or lack of metaphysical knowledge/psionic practice (and respectively those who fed on both, did so out of preference), and that ultimately their need was for the energy within.
Due to a lot of drama, and bad press surrounding Vampires at the time, the little group I was with disclaimed any connection or affiliation with the greater Community (though, I later learned that at least 3 of the most active admins were elders or otherwise popular/recognized names of the Community). Sometime between the ages of 16 and 19, when I felt comfortable and confident in my knowledge base, regardless of my own identity, I decided to branch out. To seek out the Greater Community and see what information, experiences and further answers they might have, that maybe I didn’t expect.
I came across a well-recognized group – The Vampire Community Message Board. I didn’t assume or present myself like I knew everything, but did come across some information that contradicted what I thought I knew. There were claims, arguments even, that for some , it isn’t ever energy. That some felt, or believed, they had a very real, very physical need for blood. I questioned them, countered with the truth that I had previously been taught, was surprised that what was truth to me, nearly considered fact in my old forum, was not also truth to everyone.
I could have stuck to my guns, I could have refused to bend, to deny their claims as reality. I could have followed in the footsteps of those before me, saying that blood-*needers* were simply mentally ill, weak willed, metaphysically inept. I didn’t. Instead, I returned to my familial forum and presented them with the ideas, beliefs and information I’d gained. I asked them, what their thoughts were.
I suppose a part of me wanted some sort of support, explanations and ideas on how to explain to this new[-to-me] forum, that they were wrong. Instead, I was given explanation that different people believe different things.
Eventually, these blood-needers, over a few years time, branched out from the Greater Community. They no longer call themselves Vampires (most of them anyway), they instead call themselves Medical Sanguinarians, Medical Sanguivores or just Sanguivores. While they recognize their claims, of physical need to be a belief, or even a hypothesis. They don’t have proof. Anecdotal evidence. They have (usually unpleasant) symptoms, they have experience of blood alleviating these symptoms. They began a movement, a community of their own. Not for validation from their peers. Not for back-scratching or ego boosting. Not to rally against the energy-needers and feeders, but because they made claims of physical reality.
Their experiences, and beliefs. Are testable, and that is their goal. They, with help from professionals (some of them scientists and doctors themselves) to test, confirm, and perhaps one day treat, what they believe to be a physical, and Absolute Truth and they continue to progress to this day.
What have I learned? A few things, most importantly I’ve learned:
- Even if you disagree or even outright disbelieve someone else’s claims, it’s important to understand and be able to accept that people are different and that your views, your beliefs are not going to be shared by everyone.
- Diversity is important for personal and community evolution (progress or growth), because what may be considered Absolute Truth (Objective) by a person or single group, may turn out to only be Subjective Truth (Personal).
- That accepting the existence of others’ beliefs allows the opportunity for growth, change and well-rounded education and the formation of respectable opinions and realistic beliefs, opening the door leading to Absolute Truth..
- Questioning, Examining and testing Subjective Reality is the path towards knowing Objective Reality.
Also, I’ve learned:
Beliefs are beliefs are opinions. Such things are subjective until they are proven otherwise.
- We, as the human race, don’t have the technology or know-how to test and prove spiritual, non-physical and metaphysical things yet. Such things remain a part of Subjective Reality, or personal truths. Things that are only true to the individual, and may not be true for everyone. It is important to accept Absolute Reality as it is – Spiritual things, while real to us as individuals, may not be real to everyone. Spiritual experiences are subjective and personal and likely can not be recreated or proven in a way for everyone to experience in the same way.
- Claims made of genetics, physical need, physical transformation or metamorphosis, claims relating to the physical world/realm – Are beliefs, are personal truths, unless they are proven otherwise. Being physical allows for the ability to record, test and observe. Claims of the physical world have the amazing chance at being proven, and therefore graduating from Subjective/Personal truths to Objective/Absolute Truth.
- If you believe something of yourself, your body, or your “kind” that relates to the physical world, you should be eager to test it, prove it. You should NEVER expect, nor tell, others to believe your personal beliefs apply to them. This can be dangerous physically, mentally and/or spiritually, and potentially deadly.
– – Examples:
– – – Claims that you can breathe underwater or fly, then explaining your technique to someone as if they should be able to do it too, if they do exactly as you say.
– – – Claims that you are turned or can turn someone and explaining how to make that happen..
– – – Claims related to your bodily organs saying that such is a sign or absolute trait of an entire species or entity
– – – Claims that you can grow physical limbs, then proceeding to claim others can too.
– – – It is irresponsible and disgraceful to put your personal truth on anyone else before it’s safely tested and proven as Absolute Fact.
Expecting people to believe your personal claims as Absolute Fact without evidence, proof or explanation is expecting people to not think for themselves, to be gullible. Claiming personal truths as Absolute Fact is not healthy, nor is it healthy for others to blindly follow and agree with you.
Consensus and Common Agreement are not the same as Absolute Fact. *Many people believing something, doesn’t make it true* However, History with references can be Absolute Fact and can not be changed.