Zombies, vampires, aliens, and self-satisfaction

At heart, there is something that cuts across many zombie, vampire, and science fiction movies.

There is a certain genre.  Let’s call it “paranoid fiction” where, at the heart of things, everybody or nearly everybody has some secret thing that is spreading.  Some times people are vampires.  Sometimes they are being turned into zombies.  Sometimes aliens are replacing everybody.

I’ve been reflecting on the idea that people who suffer from this disease often times claim to enjoy it.  And that however the disease travels, it’s always super contagious.  And usually there is some nasty side to it all.  (At the end you find out the aliens are gross and icky; the vampires or zombies in some sense eat others to survive, etc.)

I think that these three facts speak to the heart of the appeal of these stories.  We suspect that there is some symbolic truth in them.  We don’t believe that their are physical zombies, hopefully.  We know that the real problem is not actual aliens.

But we fear that we’ll turn into zombies of the soul.  We fear that we’ll become alien to all that is good in the world.  There is even a sub-genre built around monsters trying to reclaim their souls.  (Consider, for example, Spike or Angel from the awesome “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series.)

In the end, it’s about our own recognition that we have something special.  It’s about our recognition that life has this tendency to crush the specialness out of us.  And we know that once we’ve had that special-ness crushed out of us, we will only be half alive.  We will only live by crushing the life out of others.

I fear that maybe I do this already.  How often do we tell people to “grow up” when we really mean “Let go of your special-ness”?  Whenever I judge somebody for living in a way that holds on to his dreams, what I’m really doing is trying to eat them like a zombie, trying to suck thier blood like a vampire, trying to replace them like an alien.

In these movies and stories and books redemption is almost always found in a like-minded community.  The last few survivors find each other and band together.  They take a stand.

And this is so true.  We need God to save us from the Zombies, but God knows that we need each other, like minded individuals.  He leads us to each other when we’re brave enough to let Him.

How is your battle against the zombies going?  Who are the vampires in your life?  To what extent have you already succumbed to the aliens?  How will you get your special-ness back?


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

2 thoughts on “Zombies, vampires, aliens, and self-satisfaction”

  1. My battle against zombies goes well … I avoid shopping malls.

    Obama and the Democrats are the big vampires in my life.

    Weird that I found your blog … weird and very profound.


  2. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I certainly hope you’ll do again. I’m always interested to hear how people end up here.

    Shopping malls may well be the breeding ground and home base of zombies in the real world.

    It’s interesting how we all will end up with quite different vampires… Obama, huh? I hadn’t been thinking about political leaders as I wrote that.


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