Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vampire Bride


“And Apollonius said:   ‘Have you heard of the gardens of Tantalus, how they exist and yet do not exist?’   ‘Yes’, they answered, ‘in the poems of Homer, for we certainly never went down to Hades’.    ‘As such’, replied Apollonius, you must regard this adornment, for it is not reality but the semblance of reality. And that you may realise the truth of what I say, this fine bride is one of the vampires, that is to say of those beings whom the many regard as lamias and hobgoblins. These beings fall in love, and they are devoted to the delights of Aphrodite, but especially to the flesh of human beings, and they decoy with such delights those whom they mean to devour in their feasts.’    And the lady said: ‘Cease your ill-omened talk and begone’; and she pretended to be disgusted at what she heard, and no doubt she was inclined to rail at philosophers and say that they always talked nonsense. When, however, the goblets of gold and the show of silver were proved as light as air and all fluttered away out of their sight, while the wine bearers and the cooks and all the retinue of servants vanished before the rebukes of Apollonius, the phantom pretended to weep, and prayed him not to torture her nor to compel her to confess what she really was. But Apollonius insisted and would not let her off, and then she admitted that she was a vampire, and was fattening  up Menippus with pleasure before devouring his body , for it was her habit to feed upon young and beautiful bodies, because their blood is pure and strong.” ……………  “Life and Times of Apollonius of Tyana”, Volume 2, Issue 1,  By Philostratus (the Athenian)

When I read this mythological event, I was overawed by the conceptualization of Quantum superposition and the take on false reality.

 Apollonius explains to his student Menippus the similarity between the attraction that the young man has for the apparition of the beautiful and sensuous lady who promises him all pleasures in the suburb of Corinth, to the gardens of Tantalus in the Hades which have fleeting existence and hence a doubtful reality. When Menippus intends to marry or be bonded to this false reality, Apollonius exposes the true nature of the bride. She is the personification of self aggregation and purely interested in feeding to the false reality added authentication.

This is the world we live in where intentions and thoughts which originate in the mind are oriented towards seeking pleasures of the senses and we become rooted in the false reality. This is symbolised by the intention of the vampire bride who fattens unsuspecting victims through false euphoria and then ingests them to augment the strength of the negative elements in creation.

The opening comparison to the gardens of Tantalus is very fitting in defining individual perceptions. Our perceived reality is purely a mental map shaped by our experiences in the material world and we do not even question whether there could be a subtler reality from which the material world emerges. Hades is the hidden dimension in which the material or sensory reality has only a probabilistic existence. This can be compared to the fleeting mirage which we know to be a pure illusion and yet very real to the starved senses, eliciting a hope of finding thirst quenching water.

Today we celebrate Guru Purnima and Apollonius role, in opening the eye of his student to truth, is an apt reflection of why we need a guru in our spiritual progress. Often we are carried away by the intense pleasure which the mind enjoys in the possession of sensory objects. It is the guiding wisdom of the guru which can redeem us from this trap.

May the wisdom of our gurus elevate us to a higher plane of living.

Love to you all

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