Monday, June 14, 2010

Real vampires


The aim of this post is merely to provide an explanation on the possibility of real vampires existence. This is not a roleplaying site. I myself am not a vampire so, please, don't write me an email asking to be turned. Yet I'm only an inquiring mind looking for answers. The content of this post based on the online research I have done in the past. I came to my own conclusions after reading some articles on the matter. And, therefore, the "knowledge" I share is also a personal view. I only ask you to be open minded by considering the following writings and, please, don't quickly misjudge me. Though any comments or suggestions are welcomed for you can contact me at anytime.

On real vampires

The myth go back thounsand years though the vampires we are familiar today are mostly based on Eastern European Myths. Moreover,the vampire is spread in modern worldwide media and society: cults of "vampires" have emerged as well as role playing games. But this is not enough to satisfy the bloodlust of some people. Aside from legends and lore,there are those who call themselves "real vampires". And now you may ask: what are real vampires? Forget about Rice and Stocker. They aren't pale, nor dead, nor evil creatures, nor invincible, nor possessed of supernatural abilities. A Vampire is a person who has energy difficulties that cause them to require energy from outside sources to get well-balanced. Reality differs from fiction on many levels.

Since I'm aware of it, there are a number of "vampiric" symptoms though it is important to consider that some of them are found in ordinary human behavior. What makes someone a vampire is a majority of the symptoms, not just one or two. Vampires tend to be the "night timers" for they have inverted circadian rhythms, with body cycles such as temperature peaks as well as menstrual onset. Most of them are photosensitive, avoiding sunlight and easily sunburning. These are some common traits. There are serveral different classifications of vampires and the main types are:

1) Blood/sanguinarian vampires;

2) Psychic vampires;

3) Immortal/classical vampires.

Blood/sanguinarian vampires:

This is a common type and easier to find at any vampire community online. Sanguinarian are vampires yet "humans", in a sense that they are essentially human beings. Nevertheless they have pronounced vampiric traits. They experience blood-craving but this is NOT related to any kind of fetishism. All real vampires need blood for nourishment. If they don't consume blood on a regular basis, they will experience some symptoms like: several mood wings, weakness, lethargy, anger,etc. These symptoms varies from each person. Blood vampires usually have willing donors to suply them with fresh blood. It's hard for them to keep such a "lifestyle" for they usually don't have any support or assistance when they go trough a period of blood deprivation. This is a serious matter. Though most vampires try to ways of alleviate their "hunger" by eating raw meat, high protein foods as a substitute for blood. The reason why their physical body requires blood is still unknown. I've never found any convincing explanation on the subject. Some people defend the idea that vampirism is a psychosomatic symptom. Others try to find a biological explanation. The origins of real vampirism remain obscure, nevertheless it doesn't mean this phenomenon is not real.

Psychic vampires:

PSI vampires have the ability to drain energy from an outside source, be it life force, emotions, thoughts and feelings from people. They are highly empaths (can sense people's emotions) hence they are quite vulnerable to have mood swings. I've heard that most other symptoms (like lowering of the immune system, irritability,etc) are brought about by not feeding properly. Psychic vampires are simply individuals who drain vital energy from the others. They can be divided into two groups: conscious and unconscious psychic vampires. Conscious psychic vampires are those who deliberately drain energy from people. Unconscious psychic vampires drain energy on a non-conscious level, they don't realize they're absorbing energy from those around them. I think this is enough on the subject for this is a site with the focus on "immortal" or classical vampires.

Classical/Immortal vampires

"Immortal" means in the case of a vampire that the life span is much longer than the human life span, nothing more, nothing less. Personally I don't like to use the term "immortal" for it may lead to a misunderstanding. They can't be forever and will die one day, like everyone else. Classicals/Immortals, like blood or sanguinarians vampires, must ingest blood and it is a BIOLOGICAL need, not a psychosomatic symptom. There is an explanation about the VIRUS theory as well as many speculations on the matter.


The Virus Theory

I have heard that a viral vampire (or immortal if you will) is an infected human. The DNA in the human has been altered yet the organism remains human in a sense that the number of chromosomes has not been changed.Immortals are much alive yet they are not humans. I am not an expert at genetics though I assume that vampirism is not viral (based on a medical reality). Why? Because the virus invades a cell, kills it or changes its DNA and replaces the uninfected cells with its replications. The body fights to destroy these same infected cells, if it fails the body can become ill or die. I contend that any process which goes against natural evolution might cause an imbalanced state; nature itself always fight to preserve any specie from harmful consequences (nature does what is the best). Still there is a more plausible theory about vampirism caused by a retrovirus (the difference between the retrovirus and virus is the DNA and RNA factor). In a retrovirus the RNA (genetic material) is incorporated into the host cell that releases its RNA and then makes DNA using the viral RNA as a pattern. Each time a host cell divides it makes a new copy of the DNA with its genes. So probably the vampire virus works in a similar way but it does not destroy the immune system. This is the point. I am not sure if the human DNA can be so drastically altered in such a way without causing any severe reaction or destruction.The body always fights against any intrusion, and this is a natural reaction. Anyway, the infection (if it is possible) can be gained from a person who has the virus and passes it on.

There is also a theory that a person might be genetically predisposed to develop vampirism, not all infected people can be really turned.

Is immortality possible”? Once again I will try to give a scientific argument based on a research I once did. According to a medical research into the extending of human life:

“The deterioration of cell structure that causes aging can be prevented by altering the chromosomal chain by capping the ends of some genes so that the gene does not degenerate as it normally would.” (I do not question the authenticity of this statement since I am not an expert at genetics. So I take it as a truth).

It could result in such an increased lifespan. So “immortality” in a sense of an increased lifespan might be indeed possible according to this view. But then again I question myself if the chromosomal chain can be really altered without causing any aftereffect in the living organism since this drastic alteration is against the natural process of aging. I am of the mind that any “artificial” or induced genetic change brings consequences to the body like a reaction. It is believed that immortal vampires have been going through this same alteration that would increase their life spans. And in this case it would be a natural alteration caused by a type of “virus”. But as I said on my previous post, longevity is not only a matter of genetics. There are many factors which contribute to extend or shorten your lifespan: personal habits (from nourishment to hygiene), environment conditions, the way you lead your life and especially your state of mind. A normal human can prolong his/her lifespan if he/she is careful. Aside from the genetic difference, the length of the lifespan of any immortal vampire also depends on these variables I mentioned. Not only on genetics.

If you are referring to physical immortality in a literal sense (to live forever and never die)…I will dare to affirm that it is impossible. The degeneration of elements is a natural/universal law; everything is perishable on the physical realm. I do believe that nothing goes against this law, nothing can possible break this cycle. Not even man can gain real human immortality through genetic experiments simply because he cannot change nor govern any superior principle. But these are my thoughts. Please, do not take this as I have all the answers. Actually I leave these words up to interpretation and speculation of the readers.

There's another theory which could explain "immortality" on a scentific view:

"On the ends of chromosomes are caps called telomeres, they also function as counting mechanisms or molecular memory keeping track of how many times a cell divides. Aging is in part cellular division. That means each cell has a predetermined number of divisions. Then it stops dividing and goes into senecence (aging) and eventually dies. In other words we are young for as long as those cells continue to divide, and then we get old. Genes that control the aging process in mortals that are located near the telomeres appear to be inactive in young cells. As the telomeres or caps shorten during the aging process the aging genes are activated. Whatever damage has accumulated from heredity and the environment may then mutate the cells abd cause molecular disorder. Thus everything breaks down and leaves us vulnerable to disease. Aging in Mortals appears to be a matter of quality control. The cells continue to reproduce but they end up with diminished function. Eventually they slow down and die. It seems that through the activity of an enzyme called telomerase, the youth protecting activity of the telomeres can be extended. There is an actual chemical in our bodies that may hold the secret to eternal youth. Scientific studies of people with Werner syndrome a genetic disorder involving premature aging were treated with telomerase. The enzyme treated cells lasted indefinitely. (so far) A second study showed the regrowth of capillaries that functioned fully and normally."

(Excerpt from the book "The Science of Vampires" by Katherine Ramsland PHD)

The problem with this logic is the cancer developed when one's cells divide quickly. As for to prevent aging by capping the ends of the genes, if it is indeed possible …this process might not cause cancer due to the fact that there be no increased reproduction of the cells (based on probability). It would “safely” prolong the lifespan I suppose.

From what I have read most theories based on genetics fail to explain how the individual can possible survive the turning process after being infected (the real medical community have already criticized the V5 virus theory). The point to really confirm the existence of traditional vampires is not only a matter of theories/proof to support the evidence of immortality (increased lifespan). A valid explanation about the turning process would be also necessary to confirm their existence; an explanation about how the living organism is drastically altered in such a way without causing any severe reaction to the body (like an ill condition or even death) considering the fact that instead of dieing the infected human is turned. I think no theories go really further on this aspect (based on what I have researched). Perhaps the individual needs to have the right body chemistry to be turned.

As for the enzymes, still I think it is a plausible explanation about how “immortality” or “slow aging” could be possible achieved though this theory contradicts itself in a sense that the increased activity of the enzymes can cause cancer. The increased lifespan (or “immortality” if you will) is only one of the classical/traditional vampire’s traits. Thus that "enzyme" theory does not explain (and many other theories don’t either) the cause of the secondary traits or physical changes developed after the turning process (like faster healing capabilities, improved immune systems and especially the need to ingest blood to name a few) nor it does explain how the individual can be really infected and survive the process.

I cannot deny nor affirm the immortal vampires existence; there is always a possibility. New scientific discoveries may contribute to more plausible explanations on this subject, I am sure it is only a matter of time.

Classicals' origins


The turning process

I am not sure if being turned is really possible (I question myself). If it is possible... I believe the turning process cannot be caused by a single blood exchange. This is not about drinking vampire blood; the human stomach cannot digest blood (a medical fact) and the individual will not be turned if he/she drinks blood, this is pointless and illogical. To be turned (to transmit the "virus" or enzymes to the host cell) a person needs to receive the vampire blood into their circulatory systemby undergoing a transfusion like process. After being infected the genetic material is altered as to cause physical changes in the function of some aspects of the human body such as digestion, increased physical strength, longer life, improved immune systems, etc. I assume that the turning process is not only physical/genetic. Thus it might be also a psychic/ mental process of sorts like a kind of "evolvement". Think about puberty, your body goes through some physical/organic "changes" which affect and influence your behavior as well emotions. Any individual has a psychological reaction to adapt to new circumstances. According to this reasoning the surge of developing senses and emotions might be overwhelming after "being turned" so obviously there might be a mental response to these conditions. Then a psychological reaction occurs.

The source

If traditional vampires are turned and not born...then there might be a "native" source. No. I tend to see it as a remote possibility and a fantasy; how can one single individual originate this different "specie" ("immortal" vampires) or what have you. Analogy: do you really believe that one single individual originated the human race? In regards to the turning process, it is an induced act as I said in my previous post. "Forced" somehow; not natural nor spontaneous and this is pointless to tell you the truth. I do not believe there is a first vampire, a "source" in a literal sense just like in Anne Rice tales. Take this as what you will; everyone is free to believe in whatever they want. If the mutant virus is not the primal cause of this type of vampirism then this talk about the first infected vampire will be more pointless. Not to mention this nonsense. If you stop and think you will come to the conclusion that it is improbable. As you asked: "how did all these turning processes started to occur? And when?" Fiction. I do not believe that one single individual really originated a whole lineage, impossible. To compare with the Ricean vampires- they are supernatural beings and "demons"; the fictional source or cause of vampirism is an evil spirit thirsty for blood (if you read the "Queen of the Damned" you know of what I am talking about). Pure fiction. Forget about the first one. And why the first one to be infected…couldn’t it be a simultaneous ocurrence?

As for immortality...

As I stated before,It means in the case of a vampire that the life span is much longer than the human life span, nothing more, nothing less.But longevity is not only a matter of genetics. The length of a life span is the result of many factors (such as environment conditions, personal habits, state of mind and healthy to name a few). This is scientifically proved.Aside from the genetic condition/mutation... Living so many hundred or even thousand years on these earthly conditions would be almost impossible if not utopian due to these same factors I named and to the lifestyle which man usually leads. "Immortality" is not only about physical resistance. It is also a matter of "mental" resistance as well of a psychological flexibility to adapt and endure any "shock" caused by any drastic change. I assume that the turning process (if it is really possible) is not only physical but also mental on some level; in a sense that a psychological reaction/evolvement does occur. But these are only my thoughts based on my limited knowledge.


Well, these are my thoughts. They are uncertain facts that I leave for you to reflect and come to your own conclusions

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