Blood Vs. Energy: an insight to diversity of beliefs and avoiding prejudice regarding Identity.

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.

Therian/Otherkin Bill of Rights

Summary

You have the right to identify as anything you happen to identify as, you have the right to be respected for who you are, you have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give them, you have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims, you have the right to ask questions, you have the right to say no to somebody trying to exert power over you, and you have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do.

Full Text

You have the right to be who you really are inside, whether that is a wolf, a bear, a big cat, a horse, a dog, or even a fish. It is no one else’s business to say or to judge. Sometimes you really do have to look and act like a respectable adult human in order to be successful in real life. But you don’t have to compromise on who you are inside even if you have to control how you look and act on the outside.

You have the right to be respected for who you are. No one else should be telling you what kind of animal you really are if that does not feel right to you, or what your aura really looks like, or what religion you should believe if you don’t want to. If someone tries to take power over you by telling you that they know more than you about who you are or what to believe, you can tell them no if you don’t agree. It can feel good to have other people tell you things about your identity that you want to hear, but be aware that you don’t have to agree with everything they say if it does not feel right to you. You are the sole owner of the real estate inside your own head.

You have the right to expect the same courtesy from others that you give to them. If you try to join a group that is disrespectful of you, or that wants you to bow and worship their authority, or that harasses and hazes newcomers, you can tell them no. You can find a community that is respectful to you and treats you the same as everyone else. No one else has the right to treat you like you are worth less than them, not even if they are bigger and older and more experienced than you.

You have the right to ask for proof of extraordinary claims. If someone says they can physically change into a wolf, or that green monkeys fly out of their butt, it is normal and reasonable to ask them to prove it. If they offer lots of excuses why they can not show you proof, you have the right to say you do not believe them and go find people to be with who do not feel the need to make up stories about how powerful and special they are. You may really want to believe that people can physically shift, but you need to think hard about whether you would believe a similarly extraordinary claim about something you aren’t so emotionally invested in (like, “I own an elephant that can fly”), and what standards of proof would be reasonable to expect under those circumstances. Then apply those standards. Keeping an open mind is good, getting fooled by people who can’t back up their grandiose claims is bad.

You have the right to ask questions. If someone gets mad because you questioned something they said, even in a polite way, or asked for proof of an extraordinary claim, you should consider whether they are being reasonable or mature. Being a therian does not make you so special that you get a free pass to be a jerk to other people, nor does it mean you have to put up with other people being a jerk to you. The therian community is actually a pretty big place, so if you find yourself in a section of it where people are being jerks, you can look for other therians to hang out with who aren’t jerks. You don’t have to stay in a bad friendship, even if you have an important thing in common with them.

You have the right to say no if someone tries to exert power over you without your permission. No one is your “alpha” unless you want them to be, and you should think very carefully about the maturity level of people who want power over others, especially if they try to demand it or take advantage of it in creepy ways. You especially have the right to say no if someone tries to touch you when you don’t want them to, or demands sex when you are not comfortable with that. Be very wary of any group or “pack” that uses power over people in an inappropriate way. You have the right to be respected, and you do NOT have to agree to be submissive to an “alpha” in order to have a close knit group of therian friends – a “pack” if you want to call it that – or a therian support community. Real wolves don’t actually behave that way in the wild. Authority based packs are a very human thing, and not always a healthy thing.

You have the right not to be pressured to do things you don’t want to do, especially if they are dangerous, harmful or illegal. Or even if they just make you feel uncomfortable. Real friends will not pressure you or force you if you say no, you don’t feel okay doing something.

Reuse Rights

You have to copy, use, reproduce, or modify this document as you see fit. You may use this document on your own websites, or in any way you choose.

This paticular version taken from: http://archive.is/X9kys#selection-1337.0-1385.147

**Edit of this specific document by Amelia Nightside

Readers of this piece may also be interested in:

Questioning in The Otherkin Community, by Seraphyna

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C19a_q5GTOi8zuylyBtBoOs1GeG_-fpTArrSzUjB5DQ/edit?usp=sharing