A Faerie Haven: Living in Myth, Being Magic

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Zombie Plague Morals

The zombie apocalypse provides a metaphor for moral plague. When a great deal of the population stumbles around like spiritual zombies, can other individuals still live a principled way of life?

Let's use the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor thusly: There's a moral plague in our society and, as time passes, more and more people fall prey to it.

Here's a way the metaphor might play out: When infected by this moral illness, people are no longer human, but feed off humans, including those they once loved and protected. We fight the zombies, chop off their heads, so they cannot hurt us—these once human but now spiritually derailed monsters.

As time passes, they rot, becoming less and less recognizable as human, and more and more terrifying. Despite our valiant efforts, more and more people are lost, even our loved ones. To protect ourselves from loved ones, we must decapitate them.

In this time of moral lethargy, when many people stumble around like spiritual zombies, what do we do? 

 And, if there's any truth to the metaphor that even our loved ones might become deadly enemies, can individuals embrace a moral way of life—exemplifying human decency instead of becoming yet another brain-dead marauding zombie?

I'd love to hear what you think the solutions are. Here are a few of my ideas.

I don't embrace the bleak worldview my metaphor spelled out. Instead, the metaphor shows prevalent dysfunctional perceptions. For example, the metaphor dehumanizes people, to illustrate how society often dehumanizes anyone who is spiritually ill, which serves as a jumping off point for this essay. By and large, my following solutions deconstruct the metaphor, by substituting a loving, positive viewpoint. 

Human decency comes when we stop blaming a plague and start taking responsibility for how we treat each other. 

Human decency comes when we give up excuses like "It's just business," or "I don't have time for spirituality, I have to survive." These are the same excuses that humans have always had. It is one of the essential spiritual dilemmas that our species faces: stepping up to the plate in the face of risk. 

Spiritually stepping up to the plate in the face of risk is scarier than zombie movies.

But it is not as scary as going down the spiritual toilet. I've seen so many people become spiritual "zombies." It was terrifying in a way no horror show every could be, because I think it could happen to any of us. My Gods, please give me the power to always choose stepping up to the plate instead of making excuses.

Human decency comes when we realize that nobody is lost. Ever. When one of us becomes a monster, we are all monsters, because we, as a species, exist as one entity. So everyone must be treated with the cure.

Once an individual has found their own moral grounding, they will lose it unless they realize that no one is lost. They will lose it if they discount anyone, because as humans we are one moral being—we are collectively a single body, and that body is collectively our moral ground. 

Human decency comes when we do not see anyone as a monsters, but recognize the monstrousness in all of us. Note I am differentiating between monsters and monstrousness. I read an essay I'll never forget. I apologize for not being able to give its name or author, but my papers are packed away, in preparation for my move. The essay discusses communities taking responsibility for the crimes of individuals, and at the point in history that stopped happening is when the horror genre emerged. The idea of criminal and monster emerged. This criminal or monster was considered the other, rather than a community member who had been failed by the community. Prior to this point in history, the community as a whole felt they had caused any evil done by one of its members. 

So, yes, human decency comes when we do not see others as monsters, but recognize the monstrousness in all of us, and collectively heal ourselves—the energy of each of our beings, and each of our beings as part of the larger human whole.

I believe that the solutions I suggest can happen without condoning atrocious crimes, burying our heads in the sand about wrongdoings, or allowing evil to go unchecked.

And I understand that sometimes a given individual has to give up on someone; for example, I'm not going to let anybody take me down with them. But when the community as a whole takes responsibility, it's not up to one individual to care for everyone.

My suggestions are a partial remedy. Please post your additional remedies below!

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Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny is the bestselling author of "Be a Goddess!" Founder of The Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis says, "I'm a trickster working for benevolent chaos Gods, so I don't play mean tricks." Bard, painter, mystical innovator, and busy elf who works part-time for Santa Claus, she blogs here and on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com


  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Tuesday, 10 February 2015


    This resonates with our cultural paranoia about psychopaths, which has been taken advantage of and aggravated by such wildly popular TV shows as Criminal Minds and CSI (not to mention news coverage of the Islamic State) - those "soulless" people who don't have the same sensibilities and boundaries that "normal people" do. It was revealed to me, a while back, that it often happens that people who live from their highest chakras are killed by people who live from their lowest chakras. But this doesn't mean that those who died did anything wrong, or that they should have made different choices. Once you have seen the view from the mountain top, even though your physical life may be cut short by people who haven’t made the climb, you can never go back to their way of seeing things.

    I was also given the insight that Gandhi's "Be the change you want to see" does not guarantee any change in the behavior of others - it just shows a way to light more candles against the darkness.

    As you say, seeing the aggressors as Other allows us to duck the responsibility of admitting that, deep down inside, we understand how they feel and could turn into them ourselves.

    Which dovetails nicely with your "Spiritually stepping up to the plate in the face of risk is scarier than zombie movies. But it is not as scary as going down the spiritual toilet."

    I love the Sprint commercial where the scary zombie just turns out to have a frog in his throat, and is only there to find out about the latest deal; don't you? http://www.marketmenot.com/sprint-unlimited-my-way-undead-zombie-commercial/

    And yes, we do have to resist evil and not allow it to happen. That's just attending to Dharma.

    All of our remedies are partial, because our knowledge is. We do the best we can.

    Thanks for the great post. Where are you moving to, by the way?

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 11 February 2015

    Thank you so much!

    You, of course, understand what I'm trying to say. That always feels good. Especially since I read the article to someone last night, and they misunderstood it. They started debating, thinking that they were debating against my premise, but they were actually arguing for the position the article actually states, LOL.

    Your information about low and high chakras is very interesting.

    i've never seen the sprint commercial, thanks for turning me onto it, it is silly and fun!

    Your remark about partial remedies rocks!

    I'm moving to California hopefully. My house goes on the market in two weeks, and I won't know where I'm moving for sure until I find a place.

    Thank you for always being so supportive. Take care!

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