Why are there so many movies and stories about vampires and zombies in the last twenty or thirty years?
As if people have lost their faith in an afterlife except for some corporeal form, but don’t want to struggle with what that means. So zombies and vampires infest our dreams. The idea that we can live forever as magical beings, isn’t that what religions have been saying for thousands of years in more incorporeal terms?
I have been dreaming about zombies and vampires lately. I know there are plenty of mass media sources for these dreams, but it feels more personal and deeper than that; Besides the media extravaganza of the undead has been going on for many years without particularly affecting my dreams. I suspect it has more to do with my current studies of the physical body and psychology. In fact, the scientific study of human beings may be responsible for the popularity of the undead in recent mass storytelling media.
Mortality is a tough concept to wrap a brain around, but it seems more and more, the sources of the processes we thought were spiritual can be found in the machinery of the body. The terrible fanaticism of religion against science could be linked to the increasing evidence that we are our bodies and thus our individual existence will end with physical death. We, as a species, don’t usually like to be afraid or uncertain about events that are inevitable. This is a difficult concept for most of us to be comfortable with. Often we build stories and fantasies around concepts that frighten or mystify us involving the personification forces of nature that we can’t control, thus the elaborate tales of gods and demons representing the frightening and often unfathomable doings of the natural world. Even a frightening vision is better than a uncertain void out of which unknown horrors might appear. We see the evidence and try to distract ourselves with games and sparkly visions, but can’t completely erase the looming experiential experiment we all must participate in without seeing the results of previous billions of subject researchers. We can only gather evidence from what remains after the event, but there will be no surveys or comparing of notes on the effects of death from the deceased’s point of view, no photographs or sound recordings. So 0ut of the darkness of this final unmappable land beyond life, the zombies and vampires have come to scare and comfort us in our dreams.