Sources: Michael Tsarion, Mark Passio, The Corpus Hermeticum, The Kybalion and Personal Experience.
In recent years the idea of the zombie apocalypse has become extremely popular, it was kicked into gear by films such as “28 Days Later” and the remakes of the “Dawn of the Dead” film series, since then all manner of TV series, movies and video games have dealt with the topic and the idea has become ubiquitous. This is my attempt to unpack the underlying meaning of this idea on the level that I have come to understand it. “There is nothing new under the sun”.
In trying to explain my understanding of this idea it is difficult to know where to start, so forgive me if it this article may seem a little rambling at times, it should all come together at the end.
Starting with the Corpus Hermeticum, of which, Wikipedia states “The Hermetica are Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD”, one of the big ideas that is put forward in this book is the idea that the soul must be earned and refined in life. If memory serves, around the early 2000’s, prominent people were discussing, via the media, the idea that human beings were basically slaves to their DNA, in other words (as I took it to mean) we were considered to be nothing more than a walking urge, completely subject to our DNA’s desire to reproduce itself. The Corpus Hermeticum basically confirms this idea as the fate of individual, if the work required to gain and refine the soul is not undertaken. Most people will know a person like this, the ‘walking urge’ type is an individual who never seems to change or evolve, has an extremely fixed and narrow view of them self and their possibilities, is extremely petty, has low self control and usually possessing a particularly negative and unrealistically skewed world view. These people tend to give no thought to themselves, their views or their behaviour, they seem to spend no time at all examining their own consciousness and motives and appear completely unwilling to look past themselves and their own desires. Their whole life just seems to be a reaction to the stimuli and machinations of the world around them and they are extremely venerable to the particular collective of people around them, to quote Michael Tsarion, “They have no inner light”. Mark Passio, a former priest in the Church of Satan, has stated, numerous times that during his time in the church, people like this were referred to as the “the un-begun” or “the dead”
Media programming is very influential on people and this influence can be extremely subtle but huge in its implications for the outlook of the viewer. Take, for example the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of the 80’s and early 90’s. When a person is viewing this type of film, they are very keenly guided to identify with the hero, in this case Schwarzenegger as he dishes out his own brand of justice, mowing down everything in his way. One could take the time to consider just how it has come to be that mass murder could be thought of as”heroic” but perhaps another time. Arnold Schwarzenegger has played larger than life, capable characters for most of his career but the reality is for most people this is a fantasy, a faint aspiration of what they may wish to be one day. For the average person to identify with a character like the Schwarzenegger hero is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Most of us, if we were to have any association with the story of the Schwarzenegger hero it would, in reality, be either “Goon 10” the guy who appears in the doorway with no aiming skills who gets killed before you get a good view of his face, “Bystander B” who nearly gets run over in the car chase or”the Whispering Naysayers” who Schwarzenegger interprets as talking about him behind his back. The villain, the friend, the hero or the love interest, for most of us, is just a pure fantasy.
When we view the zombie genre, especially the movies, we are giving to thinking about the fear of that kind of situation, not wanting to become a zombie, wondering whether the zombie has any humanity left, how we would survive, what was the cause of the outbreak and what would be our weapon of choice to hack them up, we seldom stop to consider the situation of the survivors. As the last vestige of humanity they are truly liberated from the mundane nature of modern life, their lives are given clarity and true purpose and they are truly free and alive. The bullshit of life is wiped out and survival becomes the priority, it is in these kinds of moments in a persons life that the character is truly tested. Will the individual discover their morality and do what is right or will they ignore the inner voice and try to survive at all costs, this really comprises the difference between a person motivated by fear and a person motivated by love.
In conclusion, the Virus that starts the zombie plague is, in reality, the media and the general facets and programming of the upbringing which induce a state of semi hypnosis whereby the individual never really thinks, examines or questions. Modern life also has the tendency to beat all of the will out of a person before they reach adulthood, rendering them incapable of any kind of defiance even in their own minds. The consequence of all of this is that the individual is defeated and feels powerless and fearful.
The zombie and the zombie film are metaphors for modern life. The zombie is the type of person who I have defined as “the walking urge” (my definition of this type may sound quite extreme and may, in fact, be the extreme end of the scale however most of the people I have known fit this type in some way, the biggest difference I have noted in this ‘walking urge’ type of person is the degree of resistance that they put up when you try to make them aware of their fixed attitude and the difficulty of this task tends to be very tied up with the age of the person). Unfortunately this type of person, in the extreme and to all its varying degrees, comprises the majority of people, creatures of habit, asleep and to all intense and purposes, dead to the their own potential, they walk around only really responding to the stimuli of the world never really trying to act on it with any purpose and as such they can be extremely malleable and easy to control in the right/WRONG hands. In other words, We are already living in the Zombie Apocalypse.