Vampire Chronicles Philosophy: Duality: Mind/Body Problem
Traditionally, many philosophers have struggled futilely over the exact principles of the mind and body problem. One explanation, materialism, is the strong belief that the structure of our minds and conscience are merely a part of a large scheme of neurological processes that we have not completely identified. This is the core element of atheistic belief where the mind itself is a construct: the identity of “I” is merely something that allows for us to recognize ourselves. Also, we tend to naturally be egotistical therefore we want to believe that a part of ourselves has divine properties and might not be bound to nature’s laws.
In the duality belief, there truly is a difference between the brain organ and the intangible essence of our minds. The intangible essence of our minds is commonly called our “soul.” Typical religious belief believes that the soul is the governing source of our being. Without it, we are demented like in the devolution process that humans undergo after receiving the dementer’s kiss within Harry Potter. Our minds enliven us with certain spiritual gifts and unique personalities. It instills us within a hope that we can be separated and salvaged from the eventual nihilistic process of natural death.
Within Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books, the vampires live beyond the point of the mortal existence. In that earlier one, they had no faith within the existence of the immaterial self. They were bound only to the bias of humanity where human structures and systems are our only attempts to try to properly define a life that seems to be only explained through the concept of weakly chained anomalies. In this world the two options for reasons for being lie with being accidentally placed within an accidentally created universe. Lestat describes as a verdant paradise where the only things we can solely believe in are naturalistic laws and the aesthetics of nature. Other than that, we can determine any sort of greater existence. Later, within Memnoch the Devil, Lestat is finally offered a glimpse of heaven and hell though he cannot rationally believe within any of it.
Therefore, though the vampire existence provides strong proof of the existence of a dual self in which a material and immaterial self coexist: this is still overruled by the mortal memories that still reside within the vampire mind. Certainly, the powers that vampires such as Lestat accompany those who are accepting of the possibility of a spiritual dimension to themselves. While Louis ruminates over his human memories and is fettered by them,therefore; he does not exhibit any of the vampire powers because he has not accepted his vampire self and his intangible spirit that lives within the vampire form.
So in some ways, Louis represents the vampire epitome of materialism because he remains closed off from his spiritual dimension. Lestat differs from this because he accepts it because he’s capricious by nature and open to new possibilities. For him, those things are titillating and therefore he warmly embraces them. Possibly, Anne Rice uses Lestat and Armand more because as the books progress, the doors to the spiritual world are opened and therefore Anne Rice can begin to explore all her deep questions about a realm that lies frustratingly unexamined within our real world.
Within the next edition of the Vampire Chronicle’s Philosophy series, I’ll be delving into the second book “The Vampire Lestat,” and begin to explore his characteristics and how they relate to spirituality. Also, I really want to highlight the elements of the novel that foreshadow the events that culminate within “Memnoch the Devil.” Increasingly, I have become delightfully aware of the interconnectedness of all Anne Rice’s books especially the first five Vampire Chronicle’s books.
Please be on the lookout for more and feel free to also participate in the Game of Thrones Readathon. Details for that are mentioned in the last post!