( The cover design comes from a pen and ink drawing I made when I was seventeen entitled, “Parasites.”)
Subtitle: Theory and Authentic First Hand Narratives of Encounters with Mind Parasites and Vampires
© 2006, Jonathan Zap
Edited by Austin Iredale
“The Sick Rose”
O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
—William Blake from Songs of Innocence and Experience, Plate 37
“Two things we will make you; smooth between the legs, smooth between the ears, and what we take from you, will feed the kings of this earth.”
—Grant Morrison, The Invisibles
“Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not all to his advantage.” —William Burroughs
“Mind Parasites” has a fanciful sound to it like something contrived by an overwrought, paranoid imagination. The term was coined by British scholar of the occult Colin Wilson in his science fiction novel of ideas entitled The Mind Parasites, written in 1967. The novel is alternately fascinating and silly, spinning out of control with over-caffeinated egomania, and much of the “science” in the science fiction would seem absurd to anyone who didn’t sleep through their high school biology class. In fairness, Colin Wilson intentionally wrote the book in a hallucinatory, Lovecraftian mode, and HP Lovecraft is actually mentioned throughout the book as a visionary who, in the feverish depths of his imagination, tapped into secrets of the collective unconscious.
“Mind parasites” is such an obscure topic that if you google it you will find that an email I wrote on the subject a few years ago, A Mind Parasite Encounter in Dune, turns up in the top three or four hits. My intuition is that this seemingly obscure subject, hard for some to take seriously, is a glimpse, through a glass darkly, into one of the most powerful hidden movers behind human experience, and especially our long, tortured descent into history, the nightmare from which we are trying to awaken.
Recently, I happened to pick up a couple of books that brought this topic, once again, to the foreground of my attention. The first book is entitled Eyewitness to History, and is edited by John Carey. It consists of eyewitness narrative accounts of historic moments, ranging chronologically from a plague in Athens in 430 BC to the fall of President Marcos in Manila, 1986. As I read some of these eyewitness accounts, I noticed that most were reports of the madness of warfare and genocide, culminating in horror with accounts of Nazi concentration camps, still in living memory. I couldn’t help but to notice how surreal, how over-the-top was the ghoulish grotesqueries of human evil. Putting down that book, I picked up another I’d been meaning to get to since the Seventies—Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago —an appalling account of the Soviet forced labor camps, where throughout the Twentieth Century millions upon millions upon millions of completely innocent Russian citizens were arrested, tortured, and thrown into the most brutal captivity imaginable by their fellow Russian citizens. What was the reason for this barbarism? Much like the “reason” for World War One, no one can really say for sure. It may very well have been for the sheer ecstasy of inflecting terror and horrendous suffering. To this day, law enforcement officials are sometimes infected with this sadistic ecstasy. Solzhenitsyn documents the “imagination,” the fancifulness with which arrests and interrogations were often conducted on innocent citizens, so as to make the surreal horror that much more weird, terrifying, and bizarre. He also points out the strange, paralyzed passivity of the numerically superior victims who almost never resisted.
These readings caused me to reflect, once again, on whether there might not be an unknown constant in the extremity of human darkness, this surreal sadism exploding from purportedly the most intelligent species on the planet, the one apparently most capable of self-awareness and a developed moral sensibility.
The possibility of mind parasites is not merely off-the-wall speculation for me, because I’ve had real life experiences with these organisms and they have been reported in all cultures and in all human epochs. Of course, they haven’t always been called mind parasites. A better term might be “energy parasites,” but this is also not quite right because it is redundant. All parasites are energy parasites. “Etheric parasites” sounds too Theosophist, and has the ring of antique occultism. If anyone can suggest a better term, feel free to superimpose it over my nomenclature. Meanwhile, I’ll use “mind parasites” and “energy parasites” interchangeably.
The possibility of energy parasites should not require a huge, willing suspension of disbelief. Parasitism is one of the three most classic types of relationship in the organic world. The other two are predation and symbiosis—my favorite. Notice that these are all relationships of energetic transaction. Also notice that human beings, collectively, and individually, may be classified as all three. Certainly, as evidenced by our devouring the biosphere and bringing about mass extinctions, we have emerged as the ultimate predators and parasites on the planet.
Parasitology may sound like an obscure branch of biology, but it is actually central to the evolution of life. Many biologists now believe that sexual differentiation—the existence of separate genders that mate to propagate the species—had its origin as an adaptation to parasites. Parasites themselves evolve so quickly that in order for hosts to stay ahead of them enough to survive they need the greater genetic novelty and innovation that is generated by sexual differentiation. This theory of coevolution has come to be known as the “Red Queen Hypothesis.” C.M. Lively, a biologist at the University of Indiana writes:
At the top of the hill, the Red Queen begins to run, faster and faster. Alice runs after the Red Queen, but is further perplexed to find that neither one seems to be moving. When they stop running, they are in exactly the same place. Alice remarks on this, to which the Red Queen responds: ‘Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place.’ And so it may be with coevolution. Evolutionary change may be required to stay in the same place. Cessation of change may result in extinction.
You can read more mind-boggling information about parasites in a recent book entitled, Parasite Rex, written by Carl Zimmer. By one of those strange twists of fate, my father was a parasitologist for the U.S. Army during much of World War II.
In Parasite Rex, examples are given of how much more sophisticated, evolved, and sinister parasites are than is generally known. Parasites have the ability, in some cases, to take over the will of a seemingly much more evolved animal. For example, there is a parasite that attacks a certain type of crab and eats up all nonessential soft tissue inside of it, but leaves the basics that allow locomotion—key muscles, the optic nerves, etc. It is then able to take over this partly hollowed out crab and use it almost like an Imperial Lieutenant in Star Wars manipulating an Imperial Walker. Rabies is caused by a parasite, and it produces a particular sort of madness that will cause an infected mammal, even a human being, to want to bite or otherwise cause bloodshed with other mammals, thereby opening an avenue of transmission for the parasite.
Follow this link to several carefully document examples of how parasites can zombify other animals to further their lifecycle:
We know from biology that wherever we find life we find these classic relationships of parasitism, predation, and symbiosis. Not too long ago, not much more than three hundred years, our species was completely clueless about the microbiological realm. It was not until 1674 that a Danish shopkeeper developed the first microscope capable of resolving protozoa. Surgeons would wash their hands after surgery, but not before. Imagine if anyone had claimed that there were these incredibly tiny animals, too small to be seen, that were major players in human destiny. Imagine if they claimed that there wasn’t just one kind, but a whole cryptozoology of millions of strange species, fantastically varied, of both plant and animal. Imagine if they further claimed that our bodies were actually made up of a cooperative colony of a sixty trillion such animals! Anybody making such fantastical claims would have been condemned to a lunatic asylum or burned at the stake.
Presently, in the West, we have a blind spot in our awareness as huge as the species-wide blind spot we had for most of our existence about the microbiological realm. Unlike Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and what would be common knowledge to any tribal Shaman, we are blind to organisms that exist on the energetic plane. Dr. Samuel Sagan is a medical doctor who has researched this subject and written a book entitled, ENTITIES: Parasites of the Body of Energy (Read my review of this book: Energy Parasites—the Sagan View ) He’s part of a school in Australia that a friend of mine attended and spoke highly of, though I know next to nothing about it. In an excerpt available on the website clairvision.org, Dr. Sagan writes:
The topic is both old and new. Old, because in all traditions and folklores of the earth, one finds references to spirits and non-physical beings which can interfere with human beings. Thus Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, is divided into eight sections, one of which is entirely devoted to the study of bhutas, or entities, their influence on health and sanity, and the ways one can get rid of them. This places bhuta-vidya, or ‘science of entities’, on the same level as surgery or gynecology. If we look at traditional Chinese medicine, we find that in acupuncture, among the 361 points of the 14 main meridians, 17 have the word Kuei (disincarnate spirit) as part of their main or secondary name.
Call them spirits, incubi and the succubi, they have as many names as there are cultures and languages, but they have been widely recognized by everybody except us. Disincarnate organisms are far more generally recognized than the microbiological realm ever was until the invention of the microscope. And there isn’t just one type of course, but a fantastically varied cryptozoology of parasites, predators, and symbionts. Everywhere that we find life, we find endless variations on those classic energetic relationships—parasitism, predation, and symbiosis. As the alchemists put it, “As above, so below.” As it is on the mircrobiological plane, so it also is on the energetic plane.
If there are organisms on the energetic plane, we should expect to find many highly evolved species of parasites. And what every parasite is looking for is a host with a rich deposit of energy—like the warm-blooded mammals, which attract female mosquitoes that will use them to fertilize their eggs and complete their life cycle. What is the richest deposit of organic energy that we know of? This would have to be human psychic energy/sexual chi—the energy that dominates this planet. What types of human beings have the richest deposit of this energy? Adolescents, particularly male adolescents, have the greatest overabundance of sexual chi, and highly creative visionary types are thought to have the strongest psychic charge. Although the evidence is entirely anecdotal, these also seem to be the types most likely to experience mind parasite attacks.
From my work with dream interpretation, and as someone known to be a student of paranormal phenomena, I have listened to dreams and strange occurrences from people of all ages. A consistent trend is that it is usually adolescents, or adults recalling an adolescent episode, who tell me of the classic nighttime parasitic attacks. These attacks tend to be highly stereotyped and entirely lacking, as far as I can tell, in psychological content. Should we discard all this human testimony because Western science is so far unable to satisfactorily explain it? We should always be wary when any area of human testimony is automatically discarded by a ruling collective. How many generations, how many millennia, was the testimony of child abuse rejected by the collective?
Adolescents are the age segment of the population that generate the strongest excess of sexual chi, and are also the group most associated with parapsychological phenomena. Poltergeist activity, for example, is usually associated with adolescents undergoing puberty in a household in which there is strong sexual repression. F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his first novel, This Side of Paradise —written when he was barely out of adolescence himself—wrote that people were attracted to the young because they were giving off “calories of innocence.” Calories, as I’m sure you know, are a unit of energy, of heat. When someone is attractive we say they are “hot.” An interesting correlation I’ve noticed is that those most likely to report energetic attacks also tend to be especially good-looking. It is as if their dream body or energy body has an attractiveness that parallels their physical body.
(For more hidden aspects of appearance and body image disorders see The Glorified Body—- Metamorphosis of The Body and the Crisis Phase of Human Evolution )
One could also conjecture that these especially attractive individuals are more likely to experience attacks because of sexual attention or erotic fantasies generated by people whom they have attracted. Could autoerotic fantasies, highly energetically charged events culminating in orgasm, get loose and somehow be experienced by their target person during the boundary dissolution and heightened telepathy of dreaming? In her book on projection, Jung’s brilliant colleague, Marie Louise Von Franz, points out that in traditional cultures, projection, like “the curse of the evil eye,” was depicted as an arrow or missile going out from the projector to the target person and penetrating their energetic field. Any woman who has gotten the creeps while being cruised by sexually predatory men knows that this is not merely a metaphor. The effect of these sorts of sexually charged projections may also explain some of the madness of celebrities who become the targets of colossal amounts of projection.
Although I have no way of confirming or disproving this possibility, we do know from quantum mechanics that even on the subatomic plane, to observe a thing is to change a thing, so the highly charged sexual projections and autoerotic fantasies directed toward a person can be reasonably supposed to have an effect on them. For example, studies conducted by British biologist Rupert Sheldrake have confirmed that the eyes on the back of your head feeling of someone staring at you is a real effect confirmed by controlled experiments. But to take the next step and suggest that the heated attention of desire is a vector for energy parasite transmission, or even an origin of the parasites, is purely speculative at this point.
In addition to being speculative, it may also be rather dangerous, as a literal-minded person who has an erotic dream involving person X might falsely assume that person X is stalking them on the etheric plane. This assumption resulted in more than a few witch burnings in this country during Puritan times, when a sexually repressed man could have an erotic dream about Sarah Goodwife and this would be admitted into court as “spectral evidence” that she was a witch. Some of my fellow Jungians would also say that what I am calling mind parasites would be better described as autonomous complexes of the collective unconscious. I would have to respectfully disagree with them, at least in many cases, because if these were autonomous complexes of the collective unconscious, I would expect to see their occurrence embedded with more psychological content and associated mythological motifs, and usually this is not the case.
At the end of this essay on mind parasites I will offer some more speculations on the origin of mind parasites and the etiology of parasitic attack, but first I would like to ground the subject with some real life experiences. I will start with three cases I can report first hand—attacks I experienced myself.
Case History # 1 Vision in the High Desert
About seven years ago I was camping with friends near Taos, New Mexico. We had spent the previous night in a cave, and had planned to heighten our experience of the high desert during the daylight hours with a spirit medicine of the sort associated with dampness and the subterranean. Going for the heroic dose of what turned out to be especially potent medicine, I quickly realized that hiking the high desert in a social context was not where the ally wanted to take me, which was back to my tent and what Terrance McKenna recommends with such medicines—silent darkness. As soon as I shut my eyes, I was aware of an alternate dimension that was vivid, complex, high resolution, fully realized, and alive.
I seemed to be looking into organic chambers that my intuition told me were organs of my body. One, I felt certain, was my heart, but seen on some plane of alchemical energy. The heart was a chamber with portal-like valves, and everything was woven of infinitely detailed filaments of living energy. Colors seemed to reveal secrets of the function of different structures. The heart was revealed as a complex nexus and alchemical transformer of cosmic energies, not merely a fluid pump. But suddenly there was a change as definite as the click of a switch being thrown. I felt that some malign force had become aware of my forbidden seeing, a breech in the inner eye was detected, and an immunological response, a sharply aimed attack, was launched at me. This attack successfully disrupted the forbidden seeing, but also provided another form of forbidden seeing, a revealed instance of mind parasites at work.
What I experienced was an attack that occurred with a definite periodicity. About every sixth heartbeat or so, a highly charged thought-form projectile, like a red diamond bullet, penetrated my psyche, and with explosive intensity it generated expanding concentric ripples of fear and disturbance. The languaging part of my mind registered this projectile with a contracted word phrase: CANCERKILLER CANCERKILLER CANCERKILLER. Accompanying the linguistic aspect would be a terrible image: a chicken lying at the bottom of cellar stairs with its throat cut, illuminated by a single hanging light bulb; an emaciated concentration camp victim lying passively while being slid into an oven; etc. These horrific images overpowered the forbidden alchemical view of bodily organs.
Since this attack, I have often wondered if certain other anxiety attacks weren’t generated more subliminally by the stinging injections of fear energy coming from mind parasites. A constant theme of the scanty literature about energy parasites is that they live off the energy of intense negative emotions and dark sexual desires. They have also been associated with (see clairvision.org ) cravings for certain foods, especially sugary or sweet foods. It seems as if mind parasites can feed off the red color temperature of hypercaloric metabolism, excess emotionality, and sexual excitement. They may not be able to feed off the bluer energy of the hypometabolic diet, what in Ayurveda would be called the sattvic diet, which emphasizes small portions, live foods, and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. They are especially unable to feed off the bluer color temperature of heightened consciousness in a state of emotional equanimity.
Case History # 2 Encounter with a Vampire
I’m going to put in as much detail as I can recall of this strange encounter, excluding any details that might reveal the vampire’s identity. Each time I’ve reflected on the experience, I see new connections in some of the details and I want to give the reader a chance to make their own connections, to connect the dots themselves.
I first met my young friend Nicholas—a pseudonym, and yes, I still consider him a friend—when he was seventeen or eighteen years old while I was doing I Ching readings for people in a public place. The encounter related here would have occurred two years later, and Nicholas would have been nineteen or twenty.
In retrospect, Nicholas looks remarkably like an Ann Rice vampire. He was exceptionally good-looking in an androgynous way and everyone commented on this. More than anyone I’ve ever met in person, Nicholas looked like a living Japanimation or anime character. He had enormous eyes, very high cheekbones, straight hair—dyed various colors—and a very small nose and mouth. A serious martial arts student, he trained constantly, and was thin with very high muscle definition. His metabolism was so high that he ate enough for four people but had a body fat below 5%. This was a big problem for him because he had been abandoned by both parents, was always broke, and whatever money he did have had to go to the huge quantities of food he had to eat.
Also, much like an Ann Rice vampire, Nicholas was keenly intelligent and with an impressive array of talents. He had educated himself in a surprising number of areas for someone so young, and was well informed about the occult, Eastern philosophy, and psychology. And although he apparently came out of a horrible trailer-trash background, he was mannered, eloquent in speech, graceful in movement, and exotic in appearance. Some people instinctively mistrusted him, but to me he was unfailingly honest, thoughtful, and considerate. Of course, I have no doubt that he presented me with his very best side because he valued me as a mentor. Still, I want to acknowledge that his conduct toward me was exemplary, and he was, strange as it sounds, a completely innocent participant—as far as I’ve been able to tell—in the vampiric attack I experienced. This will become clearer later in the narrative.
On the evening of the encounter, I hadn’t spent time with Nicholas for at least a year, with the exception of once bumping into him and his girlfriend, Jessica—a pseudonym—at a local health food store. This was because I had been traveling and hadn’t been in the part of the country where they lived for over a year. After I returned from my travels, I ran into Jessica sitting at a table in a coffee shop. Also exotically beautiful, and racially unidentifiable, Jessica was a couple of years younger than Nicholas. Although her appearance hadn’t changed much, she seemed completely different than when I had first seen her over a year ago. A year before, she was someone with whom I would never have expected to have a conversation. She was extremely shy, or at least so inwardly shut up inside of herself that I never saw her relate to anyone, except in the most perfunctory way, besides Nicholas. Once she had complimented my artwork, but otherwise we scarcely exchanged a complete sentence, even though I saw her almost every day. And it wasn’t just me; in the past there had been this powerful keep-away aura surrounding her like a force field. But then on seeing her at the coffee shop, I noticed an amazing change, she made strong, friendly eye contact, greeted me like an old friend, and she seemed completely relaxed, open, and eager to talk. I was astonished. I’ve almost never seen such an extraordinary change in someone in a year’s time.
We had a great heart-to-heart talk, and two or three more such conversations would take place over the next couple of weeks. Jessica was only about seventeen, but now had the poise of a much older woman, was highly intelligent, articulate, precociously wise, and her exotic beauty turned heads wherever she went. She acknowledged the profound change in herself and credited most of it to the influence of Nicholas. She explained that, with painstaking effort, patience, and insight, Nicholas had helped her to work her way out of her problems.
On the evening of the encounter, as part of a revelation of his own life story, Nicholas told me that Jessica had been brought up in a cult, and from the earliest age had been subjected to constant sexual abuse, had been raised to be a Kama Sutra trained sex slave. When I first met Jessica, I felt she was a borderline personality type, a person with a fragmented center who seemed likely to remain that way. Given her horrendous past, this wasn’t surprising. But the improvement in her was little short of astounding.
Much of our conversation that day in the coffee shop was about her relationship with Nicholas. They had been together for three or four years, which at their age was practically a lifetime. A traumatic aspect of the relationship, for her, was that she wanted to be monogamous, but Nicholas insisted on an open relationship, and he had affairs with other young women. He was never dishonest about this, did all he could to ease her discomfort, and always related to her as his principle lover, but, nevertheless, it was traumatic for her.
In the last conversation I had with Jessica, she mentioned that some guy she had known in the past, who had been abroad, had returned to town and was madly in love with her. She was apparently considering having an affair with him, since she had always been the monogamous partner in this open relationship.
A few days later, it was a freezing cold night and I was hanging out in my RV when Nicholas called me on my cell phone. Although I had had several heart-to-heart talks with Jessica recently, I still hadn’t spent any time with Nicholas outside of the five minute run-in at the health food store. Jessica told me several times that she wanted me to spend time with Nicholas because it had helped him so much in the past, but we had conflicting schedules, and it hadn’t happened yet. Nicholas told me on the cell phone that he desperately needed to talk to me that evening, that Jessica was leaving him for this new guy and was going to live with him in another country. He was close by and I told him to come right over.
Soon Nicholas was sitting across from me in the back of my eighteen-foot RV, drinking yerba mate. Outside, the wind was howling, and it was one of the coldest nights of the year. The lighting in the RV was rather dim. It had been a gray, overcast day, and my solar panel hadn’t fully charged the deep-cycle batteries. With the propane furnace running, which uses an electric fan, electricity was low and I lit a couple of candles for more light. Nicholas looked quite stressed compared to how he looked just a couple of weeks before. His complexion was what Ann Rice would have called, “preternaturally pale,” and he was thinner, his face looking drawn, and his elfin Japanimation features seemed ready to morph into Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Naturally, the first thing we talked about was his relationship with Jessica. He reiterated some of the things that she had said about his successful efforts to help her, and told me about her abusive past. Although he had always insisted on an open relationship, and even though he knew it was hypocritical, now that the shoe was on the other foot, he felt terrible. She was spending the night with this guy right now. He might have been able to work through that, but now that she was suddenly leaving him to live with this guy in another country . . . He had come to view Jessica as family, and her leaving him now was a traumatic return of the feelings of abandonment he experienced with his parents.
We talked about this for some time. I gave him the best advice I could, and we did a couple of I Ching readings on the subject. After the readings, Nicholas told me that he was ready to change the subject, that he had spent the whole day talking to his closest friends about this traumatic breakup and he felt talked out on the subject.
Nicholas’s change of subject was rather unexpected and abrupt.
“I think I’m a vampire,” he said.
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“I feed off of other people’s energy.”
“Everybody does to some extent, can you give me an example?”
“For example, you,” replied Nicholas. “From the first time I met you, I wanted to feed off of your energy.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
“I’ve always wanted to learn as much as I could from you, to absorb your ideas, and there’s always been a sexual undercurrent to it.”
This last part surprised me, seemed to come from left field, otherwise his explanation didn’t sound particularly vampiric. I assumed he had the hunger of a narcissistic personality type, always wanting more attention, which was very understandable considering how unparented he had been.
This may sound too obvious to be stated, but it’s always a good idea to pay attention when someone tells you they are a vampire or evil. Many years before someone warned me that they were evil, but I was too young and too busy being sympathetic to realize that I was getting a very serious warning from someone who was indeed evil but had a subordinate part of himself that possessed enough love for me to give me a heads up. This evil mutant even told me about the exact moment in his life, at age sixteen, when he experienced “the death of his soul.” Foolishly, I ignored the warning and this resulted in a vampiric energetic attack with lasting consequences, among an array of other dark consequences. But this is an even more bizarre story that might take hundreds of pages to unravel. And if that wasn’t enough of a prior lesson, when I was ten years old I survived a still more dangerous and bizarre, nearly fatal, paraspsychological attack that resulted in a dog mauling and hundreds of stitches. The point is, I should have known better; I had been there before, been bitten before. A classic pitfall is that if you have survived weird darkness you may develop a fatal vanity that you know what you’re doing or that lightening won’t strike twice—an especially foolish notion if your last name is Zap.
It may be true that most evil entities and vampires don’t tell you what they are. They’re often too busy being deceptive—“the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape”— and you have to be able to see through the guise, the enticing aura of glamour, beauty, and power. But a surprising number of vampires and evil types will tell you what they are, often just once, like a subtly placed calling card, and you’d better pay attention. Often people make the mistake of thinking this person’s just a punk trying to show off; if they really were evil, vampiric, etc. they wouldn’t admit it. But many times they are both showing off and they are evil or vampiric. And don’t forget that narcissistic punks can be evil or vampiric too. Another dangerous delusion is that if you are what I call a “mutant”—a self-transforming round peg off the accepted scale of normality—then other mutants must be your allies. As a mutant myself, I have had the blessing and privilege to be a magnet for other mutants, but I have sometimes forgotten that mutants are not just dangerous to the collective, they can also sometimes be dangerous to other mutants. This is especially true if you underestimate them, or are glamorized by their charisma into overlooking their shadow.
In Nicholas’s case he was not showing off, was not a punk—except sometimes in style of dress—and was not toying with me, not playing the game of leaving the calling card hidden in plain view. He was seeking help for an actual condition. Unfortunately, I was busy being sympathetic, rather than empathic, and absorbing what he was telling me psychologically rather than bioenergetically. We passed over the vampire part, and I failed to notice the significance that the life story he then narrated well into the night had begun with that one stark statement: “I think I’m a vampire.” The revelation came and went too quickly, and I failed to recognize its continued relevance to the life story that followed. But in just a few more hours I would be taking it very seriously indeed.
Nicholas told me that he had no memory of the first four years of his life—it was a complete blank. He was pretty sure this was because his father, who later abandoned him, had abused him. There wasn’t a trace of incest survivor self-pity or victim glamour, and his hunch seemed plausible. A classic symptom of the abuse, which he noticed about himself, was that he had been extremely promiscuous with members of both genders from a very early age. There was a great deal of violence in his childhood. His mother went through a series of abusive boyfriends who were also abusive to him. As a young child he witnessed a brutal murder right inside his trailer home. His mother abandoned him at an early age, and he had to make it on his own as a street kid in a big city.
Much of this was a surprise to me, because even though I knew Nicholas was separated from his parents, he had a rather polished manner, was so intelligent and well-educated, and was always stylishly groomed and dressed in surreal costumes of various sorts, from Gothic to futuristic punk to fantasy Renaissance Fair attire. Presently, he seemed more elf-like than vampiric. He was wearing some sort of elaborate, laced leather jerkin, a finely made Renaissance Fair item that looked like what Orlando Bloom wore as Legolas in the Tolkien films. He did not seem like someone from a violent, trailer-trash background, though I vaguely remembered that he might have told me some of this a year before, but it never quite gelled in my mind because the detail was left out and it was so incongruous with the Nicholas I knew.
Nicholas’s life story didn’t have any feeling of fabrication about it, much of it depicted him in an unflattering light. He had been a victim of violence from the earliest age, but as he got older, and learned how to fight, he had also been quite violent himself, and with shame and anxiety he admitted that he had severely maimed one or more persons. He was a street kid living in a dangerous urban environment. For a while he lived with a man who was a major dealer of a designer drug in the rave world. Apparently he was this man’s companion, protégé, object of infatuation, bodyguard, and probably his lover. There was a certain park he went to in the city to have anonymous encounters with members of the same gender.
By the time I met him, Nicholas’s looks, intelligence and charisma—my observations, not his—had obviously opened doors for him, and he was able to make his way off the street and into more favorable circumstances, though he still lived close to the edge. But now, with the loss of Jessica, who lived in more affluent circumstances, a big part of his emotional and physical support system was falling away.
We talked well into the night, freezing wind howling outside the RV. Sometimes the gusts were strong enough to cause the fiberglass coach to roll slightly on its suspension, like a ship at sea. At some point, much earlier in the evening, Nicholas realized that he had missed the last bus to the town where he had a place to stay. He was used to staying in this town with Jessica, but obviously that wasn’t happening tonight. He asked if he could crash in my RV. Of course I said yes, my sleeping loft easily slept three, two with plenty of room to spare, and he didn’t seem to have any other option.
After recounting his life story, Nicholas said he was exhausted and looked it. I told him to take the far side of the sleeping loft, so I wouldn’t have to disturb him when I climbed up and took the near side. He lay down on the loft and seemed to instantly fall asleep. I followed sometime later. Usually I need less sleep than most people, and I am also a very, very light sleeper. This may be the result of years of training myself to wake up and recall my dreams. Often I have 100% recall, so I feel it’s a good trade off even though it is often a hardship for someone who travels as much as I do. I also tend to be hyper-sensitive to human energies, and it is almost impossible, for example, for me to fall asleep or remain asleep in a dwelling where anyone else is awake. So I knew it would be tough for me to fall asleep so near to someone else’s energy field, and I wanted to make sure Nicholas was sound asleep before I even tried.
When I did go up on the loft, I took the extreme near side so as to have as much personal space as possible. After I lay there for some minutes waiting for sleep, Nicholas rolled over in such a way that three different parts of his body, his forehead, knees, and toes, were lightly touching my body as he lay in a fetal position. I didn’t want to wake him, so I just lay there and eventually I fell asleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, an inner survival warning system jolted me wide-awake in an instant. I’m not sure how to describe what followed because so many things were apparent simultaneously, but can’t be described simultaneously. Describing one thing after another would seem to imply a chronological sequence, but the first several things were all apparent in the first heartbeat or two of awakeness; they were more like a simultaneous overlay of perceptions and realizations rather than a sequential cascade. Please keep this in mind as I relate the following.
I was awakened by one of the most shocking and intense things I have ever felt in a long life of shocking anomalous experiences. A massive, massive energy transfer was happening, primal life energy, chi, was pouring out of me and into Nicholas’s sleeping body, which was still lightly touching mine. I found myself paralyzed, and this paralysis seemed a more active, energetic version of ordinary sleep paralysis. I felt myself restrained with lashings of fiery energy, much the way Gulliver, in Gulliver’s Travels, awoke to find that the tiny Lilliputians had restrained him with lashings of rope over his whole body.
There was a parasitic entity in the sleeping loft hovering just below the roof near our feet. It was like a dark lenticular cloud, or vortex, with a somewhat double-convex lens shape similar to the way a spiral galaxy looks from a great distance. My visual perception of it was not definite; it was dark and amorphous with fractal boundaries and rotating movement. I felt it energetically, a direct perception of it, and there may or may not have been an overlay of conventional, anatomical eyesight. I knew that this parasite was living in conjunction with Nicholas and was directing the massive, massive energy transfer while he slept. I felt that if this energy transfer were to continue for even three or four more heartbeats I couldn’t be sure if I would even be me anymore, if there would be anything left capable of resisting. (At least this is the way it felt.)
All of the above was a multilayered simultaneous realization. You may have experienced—I certainly have—that in life or death situations our psyche can step outside of slow, linear time thinking ego mode and go into an enhanced mode where profound layers of perception can unfold in a heart beat.
After this first heartbeat of recognition, there was a change in me, my will to resist emerged like a sword pulled from a sheath. In my mind a blue fire sparked, and instead of fear there was an intense curiosity and fascination; I had been studying mind parasites for years and now I was able to see how they actually worked!
With my mind fully awake, and my will activated to stop this vast, insidious suction of energy, the color temperature of my psychic energetic metabolism switched from red to blue, an energy that is apparently unnourishing, even dangerously toxic to parasites. The dark spiral cloud entity made a distinct sound at that point, and the only way I can language this sound—its meaning was instantly apparent—is to say that it was the sound of primal frustration of a very hungry animal that has been interrupted in the middle of feeding.
With my mind and will fully awakened, the parasitic cloud entity vanished like a puff of smoke, leaving not even a hazy residue. The energy transfer had already stopped and it was just Nicholas and I on the sleeping loft. All of this occurred in a space of less than six heartbeats, possibly as few as three or four, but it had indelibly etched itself on my memory.
Now perhaps you can make sense of my earlier statement that Nicholas seemed an innocent participant in the vampiric attack (as far as I can tell). Nicholas has never consciously acted to harm me in any way, unlike the other vampiric person who warned me he was evil. Even the attack did not appear to be harmful, because I had successfully resisted it. I didn’t feel drained the next day, or ill in anyway. Again, this was a dramatic contrast to the other vampiric attack, many years before, that left me ill for weeks afterwards. Months after I recovered from that illness, which much resembled giardia—a parasitic infection—the vampiric person called me on the phone from South Korea while I was in Manhattan, thousands of miles away, and within two minutes, before I hung up the phone, the illness returned!
Ultimately, the experience with Nicholas was a peak learning event revealing much about a very significant phenomenon. This does not mean that I encourage anyone to approach vampires to learn from them. Studying the dark side is one of the most classic ways to get sucked into the dark side, and that remains one of the most likely pitfalls for me.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” —Nietzche
Returning to my narrative, I stayed awake on the sleeping loft for some time, possibly the rest of the night, thinking about what happened and reinforcing the experience, both the conversation with Nicholas and the attack, into memory. I felt perfectly safe afterwards, though as an extra precaution I did an inner practice called “Theater of Memory,” which, among other virtues, is very effective in sealing and protecting energetic boundaries.
The following morning I told Nicholas what I had experienced and he seemed interested, but not the least surprised. He reminded me that he had told me the night before that he was a vampire, that he fed off of other people’s energy, and that he had always been attracted to mine. I could hardly accuse him of pulling the wool over my eyes. My tone was not accusatory or asking for apology, but one of fascination with what I had learned. We parted on good terms, though I have not seen Nicholas or Jessica ever since then.
There are many interesting details in this case study to comment on. The first that comes to mind is the paradoxical complexity of Nicholas as symbiont/host to a vampiric parasite and the many positive, even exemplary, things about him. Ann Rice’s vampires have much this same uneasy mixture of the admirable and the horrific. Nicholas had clearly had an astoundingly positive effect on Jessica, though he also suggested that his vampiric nature may have been unsatisfying to her erotically, and may be what caused her to seek fulfillment with another lover.
As an extremely attractive young male, Nicholas was a classic candidate for parasitic attack and infection. He may have been repeatedly raped as a small child, and was certainly highly promiscuous as an adolescent. Just as physical sex is now known as a great disease vector for microbiological parasites—as above, so bellow—it is also a likely vector for energetic parasites. Similarly, a voracious appetite for food, with an inability to put on weight, is sometimes a symptom of physical parasites, like tape worms; perhaps it is also a symptom of energy parasites that want to rev up the metabolic fires of their hosts. In the movie The Matrix , Neo is derisively called “Coppertop,” a reference to Duracell batteries and a reminder to him that he exists to be used as a disposable energy source for parasitic machines.
The way Nicholas’s vampirism worked had remarkable parallels to the origin of vampires that eventually unfolds in Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. In her vampire cosmology, a spirit, a disembodied entity—spirits are often said to be jealous of those possessing physical bodies—who has an affinity for human blood, is able to merge with the bodies of an ancient King and Queen of Egypt through the apertures of bloody wounds opened in their bodies by the stabbing knives of assassins. The King, Queen, and the disincarnate spirit become bonded, merged symbionts, and a new species is created, neither flesh nor spirit: the vampires. Nicholas, a self-proclaimed vampire, seemed to be a symbiont/host of a disembodied parasitic entity.
Case History # 3 Witch Hunt on the Full Moon
My third first hand case history of mind parasite attack happened just two weeks after I wrote the first draft of this essay. This brief account is a possible example of mind parasites taking over the susceptible and leading them to perpetrate an hysteria-driven persecution. The people involved in this attack have turned out to be decent people who, apparently ashamed of their behavior that night, have gone out of their way to help me out since then, so the story has a happy ending. The fact that they are decent people makes this an even more likely attack of mind parasites inserting their minds or thought forms into susceptible psyches. This attack came at night, and when I was already in a somewhat vulnerable state of mind. It happened on the 13th of the month, the night of a full moon. Here’s my first person account written as an email the day after the attack:
“Last night something occurred that seemed like a Twilight Zone episode, or like being inside an overwritten Stephen King story or Shirley Jackson play. I’m sending this out because I think this incident has a general meaning with some implications for many of us.
Yesterday I returned to my campsite very late in the afternoon after spending most of the day in Ione. In the two or three days preceding, I had very pleasant experiences at this campground. I met a middle-aged couple that invited me to dinner and breakfast. I relocated to a better tent site at the edge of the campground, away from where there were families with noisy small children. The couple relocated for the same reason, taking the spot right across from me. The next morning, shortly before I left for Ione, they packed up and left, and when I returned a family with noisy kids and a boom box had replaced them. I sat quietly reading at my site. As dark started to fall—this was the 13th, which was also the full moon—a second couple, an obese woman in her late-teens/early-twenties and a beanpole guy with a crew cut, came up to the new family across from me, and I overheard bizarre sound bites of some dire warning being given, something about a ‘psychopathic guy . . . staring at all the children . . . writin’ weird symbols in his own excrement on the bathroom walls.’
The weirdly tomboyish matriarch of the new family said, ‘I’ve got knives and hatchet,’ pronouncing it ‘hetchit,’ as though it rhymed with ketchup. Then the obese/beanpole couple said, ‘Just give a holler if you need us.’ And the matriarch replied, ‘He better stay on his side of the road.’
Suddenly I realized, I’m the only one on the other side of the road, they must be talking about me! Inwardly I debated with myself about whether I am either being victimized by my own paranoid imagination or by some sort of actual redneck witch-hunt. Some anxious minutes passed by while I tried but was unable to resolve this or to think of any appropriate action. Then the obese/beanpole couple returned to the family. Dark had fallen by now, but in the flickering light of their fire pit I could see that the obese/beanpole couple and the family were all standing together, looking like a posse.
‘Where you from?’ the obese woman called out to me in a challenging tone.
‘Colorado.’ I respond. Suddenly the obese/beanpole couple was standing in front of me.
‘How come you been starin’ at all the kids?’ The kids in question were fat, inbred-looking redneck kids that probably no one, least of all me, had any interest or history of staring at.
‘What?! I haven’t been staring at any kids. I’ve been gone almost all day in Ione. I’ve only been over to that side of the campground once today to fill up my water bottle!’
A six or seven year old girl, with a Salem witch-trial glint in her eyes appeared from the shadows and said in an accusatory tone, ‘That’s right, I saw him comin’ right at me wit’ his was water bottle an’ he was starin’ right at me.’
Next, the obese woman claimed that she was the host of the campground—I later found out this was a complete lie—and said, ‘And somebody been making weird symbols on the bathroom walls with their own excrement!’
‘That’s weird and gross,’ I responded, ‘but it certainly wasn’t me!’
Later I recalled that there were a few random streaks of mud on the bathroom walls, which to the serial-killer movie/ TV news—‘if it bleeds, it leads’—addled imagination of an IQ challenged amateur detective could only mean one thing: an evil serial killer making satanic symbols with his own excrement!
I tried to apply more reason and explain certain facts to them in a reasonable tone. Violent crime in this country has gone down by about 30% in the last ten years, but the reportage of such crimes in the same period has increased 600%, so that kids are so frightened of strangers that a random glance feels like a potential abduction, etc. To this, the beanpole/obese couple seemed a bit swayed, but the weirdly tomboyish matriarch had a violently negative response to my reasonable approach, which might have been too intellectual for her.
‘He’s just tryin’ to use facts,’ she said. ‘I know people who are in prison for life who try to use facts.’
She spit out the word ‘facts’ as if it were a vile obscenity. The beanpole/obese couple walked off, but the matriarch, caught in some version of auto-echolalia, began repeating herself, emphasizing angrily the connection between those who use facts and lifelong convicts. When this tape ran out she took to a more hostile loop.
‘If he tries to touch any of my kids I’ll put this hetchit right through his heart!’ she said, holding said implement in her left hand. This tape repeated itself at length; in fact, I heard it as I was in my tent trying to fall asleep. Realizing that any more facts would just rile them up more, but also not about to pack up and leave in the middle of the night—a sure admission in their eyes that I was a serial killer—I had to spend my full moon thirteenth in a kind of horror story setting.”
There is, I believe, a more general meaning to this bizarre incident. What I realized is that if you are what I call a mutant, an unusual person that doesn’t fit the mold, you are likely going to be the target of some very polarized projections. In the right social venue, some place where there is a concentration of fellow conscious mutants, I often get great recognition and positive attention from people. But over a lifetime, I have found that when dealing with square-peg types, their unconscious immediately registers you as a mutant even if you are—as I am now—middle aged, with short hair, white skin, clean-shaven, and normally dressed. It is then that you become like a splinter in their mind they can’t get out. You are a subliminal shockwave threat to their unconscious equilibrium, and they have an immunological response to you; they want you out of the body politic, they want to burn the witch they sense in you. The USA has a bad history with witch-hunts and is now more fear driven than ever. So if you are a mutant, if you are living an alternative life that deviates from statistical norms in anyway, watch out! The lunatic majority doesn’t need a full moon to get medieval on your ass; they’re ready to do it all the time. So cloak yourself and be alert, the Babylon Matrix remains a very dangerous place.
The campground attack occurred during a full moon, and we all know there is some link between lunar and lunatic. The lunatic aspect may be related to the uncanny association of parasitic beings and the moon, which has also been noted by others. G. I. Gurdjieff described the moon this way, and frequently said that unconscious people were “food for the moon.” I’d known this fact since studying Gurdjieff in the Eighties, but also found it turning up in Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites, where one character asks, “Do you know the work of the philosopher Gurdjieff? He always said that human beings were food for the moon. He compared the human race to a flock of sheep that are being fattened for the moon . . .” The moon has a certain physical analogy to parasites in that it does not have its own energy source or illumination, and only reflects the energy of the sun. That’s from our vantage, of course, since the earth is also dependent on the sun for energy. In my earliest visions of the parasites, I saw what I called “moon worms.” They had a pale, unearthly, baleful luminosity. In a novel of the American West, Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, recently made into a major motion picture, the heroic protagonist, an adolescent male, in a moment glaringly incongruous with the style and content of the rest of the novel, looks up at the moon and wonders if there aren’t parasitic entities up there feeding off of human suffering. In Peter Can Greenaway’s 1973 novel, The Medusa Touch, the protagonist, a man with dark parapsychological abilities is described as follows:
“He was out there somewhere and I could visualise a mind like a shapeless parasite waiting for man’s first libation of blood to stain the moon (211).”
More Dots on the Mind Parasite Map
I’m going to jump around a bit now, throw out some more dots on this nebulous map of unseen parasites, and give you a chance to connect the dots as you choose.
In the last chapter of Carlos Castaneda’s last book involving his supposed relationship with Don Juan, a chapter entitled “The Mud Shadows,” Don Juan takes Castaneda out into the desert and helps him to shift into the “second attention.” From the second attention, Castaneda can see what Don Juan calls “the flyers,” shadowy worm-like creatures that feed off of human energy and have the ability to insert their mind into the minds of average, susceptible people. The physical description of these flyers sounds remarkably like the “rods,” the very high-speed flying organisms that have been video taped by Jose Escamilla (see roswellrods.com ). Consider the poem by William Blake at the beginning of this essay: “The invisible worm/That flies through the night.”
Don Juan is not the only one to suggest that there might be parasites, as there are microbiologically, that have an ability to insert their mind or will into a host. In the novel, The Mind Parasites, it is suggested that certain diabolic individuals like Hitler and Marquis De Sade—who encouraged the dark sexuality of the sort we see near the parasitic deities in Alex Grey’s painting Demons and Dieties Drinking from the Milky Pool ( see: Alex Grey and the Mind Parasites ) are puppets, zombies who have been hollowed out by the parasites and are now entirely under their control. When Jung met Hitler he described him as “a psychic scarecrow,” and some very evil figures have been described as having blank, doll’s eyes, and are said to have been on a kind of automatic pilot, like mechanical puppets. When a psychologist asked one serial killer what he was thinking about when he stalked young women in preparation for torturing and killing them, he replied matter-of-factly: “Takin’ care of business.”
Here now is a long passage from The Mind Parasites, excerpted to give you a feel for how Collin Wilson describes the mind parasite phenomenon:
In a few cases, the vampires have been able to completely take over a human mind and use it for their own purposes. For example, I am almost certain that De Sade was one of these ‘zombis’ whose brain was entirely in the control of the vampires. The blasphemy and stupidity of his work are not, as in many cases, evidence of demonic vitality, and the proof of it is that De Sade never matured in any way, although he lived to be 74. The sole purpose of his life work is to add to the mental confusion of the human race, deliberately to distort and pervert the truth about sex. As soon as I understood about the mind vampires, the history of the past two hundred years became absurdly clear. Until about 1780 . . . most art tended to be life enhancing, like the music of Hayden and Mozart. After the invasion of the mind vampires, this sunny optimism became almost impossible to the artist. The mind vampires always chose the most intelligent men as their instruments, because it is ultimately the intelligent men who have the greatest influence on the human race. Very few artists have been powerful enough to hurl them off, and such men have gained a new strength in doing so—Beethoven is clearly an example; Goethe another. And this explains why it is so important for the mind vampires to keep their presence unknown, to drain man’s lifeblood without his being aware of it. A man who defeats the mind vampires becomes doubly dangerous to them, for his forces of self-renewal have conquered. In such cases, the vampires probably attempt to destroy him in another way—by trying to influence other people against him
A couple of pages later, Wilson makes a very interesting speculation. He suggests that the parasites may seek out species that are on the brink of a quantum evolutionary leap, but that remain in the highly energetically charged, vulnerable position of not yet having emerged on the other side of that leap:
Now I suspect that these mind vampires specialize in finding races who have almost reached this point of evolution, who are on the brink of achieving a new power, and then feeding on them until they have destroyed them. It is not their actual intention to destroy—because once they have done this, they are forced to seek another host. Their intention is to feed for as long as possible on the tremendous energies generated by the evolutionary struggle. Their purpose, therefore, is to prevent man from discovering the worlds inside himself, to keep his attention directed outwards. I think there can be no possible doubt that the wars of the Twentieth Century are a deliberate contrivance of these vampires. Hitler, like De Sade, was almost certainly another of their ‘zombis’. A completely destructive world war would not serve their purposes, but continual minor skirmishes are admirable.
A few paragraphs later, Wilson states the intuition I had long before I read The Mind Parasites —that the parasites, seen from a sufficiently encompassing evolutionary vantage, are revealed to be symbionts in that they challenge an evolving host to become far more conscious in order to shake off the threat. Frank Herbert, in his fourth Dune novel, God Emperor of Dune, seems to have had a similar idea. The God Emperor who is following his “Golden Path”—apparently his personal revelation of an evolutionary Tao—makes himself into a supreme predator or parasite that dominates the human species for millennia. He does not enjoy being an oppressor, but is doing it purposefully so as to paradoxically create mutants who will be so resistant to oppression that they will able to lead their species out of bondage forever. In the I Ching, it is said that some things do not fully blossom or unfold unless they are fully compressed—or oppressed. Wilson writes:
I have another theory, which is so absurd that I hardly dare to mention it. This is that the mind vampires are, without intending it, the instruments of some higher force. They may, of course, succeed in destroying any race that becomes their host. But if, by any chance, the race should become aware of the danger, the result is bound to be the exact opposite of what is intended. One of the chief obstacles to human evolution is man’s boredom and ignorance, his tendency to drift and allow tomorrow to take care of itself. In a certain sense, this is perhaps a greater danger to evolution—or at least, a hindrance—than the vampires themselves. Once a race becomes aware of these vampires, the battle is already half won. Once man has a purpose and a belief, he is almost invincible. The vampires might serve, therefore, to inoculate man against his own indifference and laziness…
Elsewhere, Colin Wilson compares the insidious effects of the mind parasites to “radar jamming.” This is a metaphor or analog to their apparent ability to obfuscate, to generate confusion, wild dangerous rumor (as happened to me on the 13th) and otherwise make it hard for the host species to wake up. Mayan scholar John Major Jenkins and I had a dialogue very recently concerning the deceptive Dreamspell fad, and its obfuscation of authentic Mayan calendar and prophecy. (See Dialogue on Dreamspell ). Everyone has noticed that whenever a creative cultural trend tries to get started, any time a new scene, a new bohemia tries to get going, corrupt commercializers rush in to produce a degraded, counterfeit version that sucks all the life out of it. If a new visionary band appeared on the music scene they would probably be found advertising disposable Burger King cups by the end of the month. If a mutant is discovered they can be either repressed or imprisoned (like what the Feds did to Wilhelm Reich), or they can be promoted into a celebrity where they will be hollowed out by projections and parasitic temptations until they become a ‘zombis’ for the Matrix.
Potential mutants may be exactly the ones taken over by the mind parasites as Collin Wilson suggests. The school shooters, particularly the Columbine kids—Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are all male adolescents, usually good looking. John Lee Malvo seems to be another one. Their terrifying actions seem very intelligently and precisely directed so as to create the richest harvest of fear and negative emotion in the collective.
We have said very little so far about the possible etiology or origin of the mind parasites. One intriguing theory of origin is presented by Dr. Samuel Sagan ( clairvision.org ). According to this theory, at the time of human death, there are denser, darker fragments of consciousness that remain behind after the spirit departs the body. Dr. Sagan believes that many traditional funeral practices, especially those involving cremation, were originally designed to destroy these fragments. These lingering incomplete fragments of consciousness do not have their own direct connection to pranic or life energy, but must parasitically attach themselves to those that do. This seems similar to the Buddhist concept of the “hungry ghost.” The Sanskrit word for this type of entity is “preta.” A Buddhist Glossary defines the term, Preta: “(Sanskrit) Hungry spirit, a non-human being who experiences intense suffering of hunger, thirst, heat and cold.” Wikipedia gives a multi cultural reference to Preta:
“A hungry ghost is a kind of ghost associated with hunger common to many religions.”
“In Judeo-Christian theology, for example, the Book of Enoch (an apocryphal book of the Bible whose complete version has only recently been discovered as a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls) describes the fall of the Watchers and the demons who might be the fallen angels (Watchers) themselves, or the offspring of the union of the Watchers and mankind. These creatures are said to wander the world in the form of evil spirits—endlessly yearning for food though they have no mouths to eat—endlessly thirsty though they cannot drink. Endlessly seeking these things from the living, the evil spirits seek to possess weak-willed men and women to dispossess their spirits and to take over their bodies so as to partake of food and drink. On the positive side, in Judaic tradition, the good but obviously thirsty spirit of Elijah, the prophet, visits every Jewish house during Passover to sample the wine. At every Passover Seder, a Jewish family will put out an extra glass of wine meant to satisfy Elijah.”
“In the Roman religion, hungry ghosts of a family’s ancestors figured in the festival of Lemuria; it was the duty of the pater familias to appease the larvæ of his ancestors with an offering of beans. The Balkan tradition of the vampire is another malevolent sort of undead revenant, a corpse supernaturally animated which seeks to feed on the blood of the living.”
“In Hindu tradition, much as described in the Book of Enoch, hungry ghosts are spirit-beings driven by the passionate objects of their desire. Very detailed information about ghosts is given in Garuda Purana.”
“The same understanding has Buddhism, where Hungry Ghosts (pretas) have their own realm in the Wheel of Life and are depicted as teardrop shaped with bloated stomachs and necks too thin to pass food such that attempting to eat is also incredibly painful. This is a metaphor for people futilely attempting to fulfill their illusory physical desires.”
“Hungry ghosts also appear in Chinese ancestor worship. Some Chinese believe that the ghosts of their ancestors return to their houses at a certain time of the year, hungry and ready to eat. A festival is held to honor the hungry ancestor ghosts and food and drink is put out to satisfy their needs.”
“When Buddhism entered China, it encountered stiff opposition from the Confucian adherents to ancestor worship. Under these pressures, ancestor worship was combined with the Hindu/Buddhist concept of the hungry ghost. Eventually, the Hungry Ghost Festival became an important part of Chinese Buddhist life.”
“In Japanese Buddhism, two such creatures exist: the gaki and the jikininki. Gaki are the spirits of jealous or greedy people who, as punishment for their mortal vices, have been cursed with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as human corpses or feces, though in more recent legends, it may be virtually anything, no matter how bizarre. Jikininki (“man-eating ghosts”) are the spirits of greedy, selfish or impious individuals who are cursed after death to seek out and eat human corpses. They do this at night, scavenging for newly dead bodies and food offerings left for the dead. They sometimes also loot the corpses they eat for valuables, which they use to bribe local officials to leave them in peace. Nevertheless, jikininki lament their condition and hate their repugnant cravings for dead human flesh.”
William Blake painted (circa 1819-20) the most powerful image I have seen of a hungry ghost. It is entitled, Ghost of a Flea.
Ghost of a Flea by William Blake Tate Museum London, England, tempera heightened with gold leaf on a mahogany panel
“This sinister creature with a man’s body and a devil’s head appeared to Blake during a séance at the house of his friend John Varley.”
“Blake claimed that, while he was sketching the flea, it had explained to him that fleas were inhabited by the souls of bloodthirsty men. These bloodthirsty men were confined to the bodies of small insects, because if they were the size of horses, they would drink so much blood that most of the country would be depopulated.” —–From Tate Online
Related occult terms are “incubus” and “succubus.” Excerpted from Wikipedia:
“In Western medieval legend, an incubus (plural incubi; from Latin incubare, ‘to lie upon’) is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially on women in order to have sexual intercourse with them. A female version was called a succubus. Sometimes incubi were said to conceive children with the women whom they raped; the most famous legend of such a case includes that of Merlin, the famous wizard from Arthurian legend.”
“In some legends, incubi and succubi were said not to be different genders of the same demonic ‘species,’ but the same demon able to change their sex; the idea being that a succubus would be able to sleep with a man and collect his semen, and then transform into an incubus and use that seed on women. Nevertheless their offspring were thought to be supernatural in many cases, even if the actual genetic material originally came from humans.”
There is a principle of logic known as Occam’s Razor, which may support Sagan’s theory somewhat. Occam’s Razor says that hypotheses are not multiplied without necessity. In other words, we don’t adopt fancy, complex explanations where simpler ones seem to suffice. If there are energy parasites—for many this is a big if—and since they seem to both understand and be perfectly adapted to feeding off of human energy, instead of suggesting a more exotic theory of origin, say extraterrestrial or interdimenisonal parasites hunting through the multiverse, we can simplify our hypothesis by having us, human beings, whom we know exist, as the source of the parasite. Colin Wilson suggests at one point that we might be the parasites in his novel. I made a similar suggestion during the discussion of projection.
Employing Occam’s Razor to cut away the fanciful altogether, it is also possible to describe mind parasites in terms of memes, or units of cultural transmission. When people tried to explain the actions of the Columbine kids in terms of their obsessive addiction to the video game Doom, they were essentially relying on memes as the source of contagion. Although I think they were wrong, or at least wildly disproportionate, it can easily be demonstrated that memes are quite capable of functioning as mind parasites. For example, an adolescent male watching the endless blockbuster movies in which scenes of extreme violence are dovetailed with scenes that are sexually arousing—like James Bond making out with some exotic beauty moments after a glamorous blood bath, or, even worse, both violent and arousing, like the famous erotically charged shower/stabbing scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Other examples include the subliminal, and sometimes not so subliminal enticements in cigarette ads. These memes cross wires that should not be crossed—sex/violence, sex/cigarettes, sex/cars. Certainly in the cigarette ads it is the conscious intention of their designers to create a parasitical infection, a mind insertion meant to cause a virulent addiction that, in the shortened life of an average smoker, nets tobacco companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Using subliminals and sexually arousing images to sell known toxins should be outlawed to close at least one mind parasite vector. A psychologist I saw on a panel discussion wisely suggested that there be a cooling off period between sexually arousing scenes and violent scenes in movies, so that we stop conditioning adolescent males to perceive violence as sexy. However, I don’t advocate anything but voluntary self-censorship.
To demonstrate how memes can act as functional mind parasites, we can get even simpler and give an example of a single sentence—another cultural unit of transmission—acting to spread soul-consuming mind parasites.
Let’s say we have an adolescent male who has many good, compassionate qualities. He forms an attachment to an adolescent girl, and there is a genuine bond; he truly cares for her. The adolescent is genuinely traumatized and extremely vulnerable when he discovers that, in typical high school fashion, the girlfriend has cheated on him. He goes to his best friend for sympathetic council and his friend utters a single definitive sentence: “That’s just the way they are, so fuck ‘em and forget ‘em!” In the painful confusion of adolescent eros, a single sentence like this, delivered from the right person and at the right moment, could be potently influential and seem like an empowered antidote to the pain and confusion. If the adolescent male adopts this soul-destroying mind parasite, transmitted in a single sentence meme, he may then spend a lifetime infecting others with the contagion.
Finally, in dealing with an important but nebulous phenomenon such as energy parasites or UFOs, the strategy I follow and recommend to others is to avoid formatory thinking or premature closure. This is the lazy mental habit of thinking you’ve got the answer and letting that notion harden into a perceptual dogma making you a true believer of a pet theory. Prematurely closed ideas create an enormous constraint on your observational powers, influencing you to corral the evidence to fit your theory.
I regard my thoughts about mind parasites to be speculative, and I will be thrilled to find an explanation for what I have observed that turns my thinking on its head with some new insight.
Dealing with a Mind Parasite Attack
If you feel under attack, one possible remedy is to try a mostly raw foods diet Eliminating all stimulants, intoxicants, and outsized portions from your diet can also be beneficial. If that dietary shift is too extreme, at the very least eliminate alcohol, refined carbohydrates, coffee, meat, fried food, and overly processed food. Shift your metabolism and the feeding will likely stop. I also recommend using the techniques for dealing with negative thoughts and emotions described in my Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler available. Check back as this document will be updated as I learn more about this phenomenon. My most thorough treatment of the subject is the free 8 hour streaming audio: Mind Parasite Matrix. For more discussion of mind parasites and the dynamic evolutionary context in which they are happening see the two DVD set (now available free in media section I did with Mayan scholar John Major Jenkins (produced by Lost Arts Media), Dialogues on Prophecy and the End of Time and Looking Toward the Event Horizon). I recently heard that someone I met once, and who seems credible, has had great success removing mind parasites. I can’t guarantee anything, don’t know much about what he does, and have no financial connection to this person, but if you want his contact info please email me. If you have any mind parasite experiences you are willing to share, please email me: email@example.com
Excerpt from Parallel Journeys
“Are you willing to look at the feeders?” And suddenly I wasn’t so sure if I was willing. I sensed the edge of the abyss, but I knew my life only allowed for one possible answer and I willed myself to say,
“Then look down.”
I looked down and it took several long heartbeats before I was willing to let what my eyes scanned fully enter my mind. Attached to my body, emerging from my body, running through my body, was a broken lattice of dark filaments, undulating filaments like a broken spider web spun of black silk, moving chaotically like the tentacles of a sea anemone.
I knew that each of the filaments was a kind of nerve cell, a shadowy black neuron with infinitely complex dendrites and interconnections with other threads of tissue. It was continually reconfiguring itself to create new interconnections and networks. Its activity was intelligently directed and oriented toward the efficient and invisible absorption of my life energy. It was highly aware of me as host, as primary food source, and adapted itself continuously to keep me as a blood pump and energy source within its neural network. I was like an organ living within a vampiric brain.
The dendrites and axons of black spider silk undulated, but also pulsated in a dissonant rhythm that had some particular horror for me. I stared at it for a moment and suddenly comprehended the horror. It was the inversion of my arterial pulsation, the anti-heartbeat of my heartbeat. This pulsating lattice of tissue was like a capillary suction pump. It beat in perfect counter-rhythm to my heartbeat because as my heart pumped blood out, the lattice sucked in—not blood, but vital energy. The rhythm and counter-rhythm were so perfectly aligned that it was not clear if I was merely tissue, an organ inside of its body, or if it was a parasitic tissue that surrounded my own body.
Something about the light absorbing blackness of the filaments made them insidious tendrils of energy suction and also rendered them invisible to ordinary human eyesight. At certain nodes of the web, a nexus of dendrites formed a densely entangled, bulbous thicket of black nerve tissue. There was space inside these bulbous nodes, and inside that space were pale, worm-like parasites. These worms had the pale, silvery luminosity of a hungry moon whose light was merely the reflection of a host energy source. These moon worms were part of a complex and delicately counterbalanced parasitic ecosystem, an ecosystem for which I was the food source.
The equilibrium of this ecosystem had been shocked, even shattered by my displacement to this green realm. This was why the web of parasitic life undulated in a agitated, chaotic state. It was a broken lattice. Its outer edges were loose filaments of spindly neurons whose dendrites had been yanked off. Only dismembered axons remained, waving in amputated torment as they sought to be reconnected to the larger web, the planetary matrix of tissue to which they had been so densely interconnected before I entered the portal. I had been displaced to a green realm, a realm which was not infected with this vast network of parasitic tissue. All that I saw was the broken remnant of the web that had closely surrounded my body and somehow survived crossing over. This was but the smallest part of the mind parasite matrix that had always harvested my energy, its perpetual suction a hidden, insidious taxation of my every pulse of life energy. But now it lay before me shocked and vulnerable and, weird as this sounds, I almost felt pity for it. It was torn asunder from its planetary matrix and unsure of itself, chaotically trying to reconfigure so as to cocoon around me and tighten its embrace of its only remaining host.
I have other writings related to mind parasites:
A Gnostic View Of Mind Parasites
A Mind Parasite Encounter in Dune
Vision at Chichén Itzá
Alex Grey and the Mind Parasites
Mind Parasites—the Sagan View
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts
Are You an Invisible?—Manichean, Mutant, Metamorphosis
I believe that an awakening to the reality of mind parasites may be a key aspect to the next evolutionary phase and a new cycle of time. To place this phenomenon in an evolutionary context I would also recommend reading:
Looking Toward the Event Horizon—-the Singularity Archetype and the Evolutionary Metamorphosis of the Human Species
The Mutant Versus the Machine and the Galactic Alignment of 2012
The Glorified Body—Metamorphosis of The Body and the Crisis Phase of Human Evolution