Anybody remember the Anne Rice classic Interview with the Vampire? Vaguely? Well, regardless, read it and keep some yogic principles in mind.
My boyfriend got me the first three novels in The Vampire Chronicles for my birthday back in August and this is truly the first time I actually made the connection between a book about…well…vampires and something so important to me as yoga. The main character, Louis, highlighted the principles of yogic living so well, like ahimsa (the principle of nonviolence towards all living things) and satya (basically the principle of truthfulness and living a life that radiates truth).
I love this quote from him very early on in the novel. He says:
“If I can live from the blood of animals, why should I not live from the blood of animals rather than go through the world bringing misery and death to human creatures!”
This is a huge shout out to ahimsa. Louis is projecting his desire to be peaceful and meek – if you can live life without damaging the precious bonds of humanity, why not live that way? And that’s truly what this principle is about. Practice nonviolence in every way – to your friends, family, pets, most importantly yourself. Practice nonviolence not only in your actions but also in your thoughts, which Louis continuously thinks on. Even when he caves and decides to feed on humans once again, this action breaks him. He sees the human life as precious and irreplaceable. If he would have stayed human, he would have taken ahimsa even deeper, as only a human can.
My most favorite of all the quotes from Louis is towards the very end. I can share this quote with you and not give away really any part of the story.
That passivity in me has been the core of it all, the real evil. That weakness, that refusal to compromise a fractured and stupid morality, that awful pride!
Really what he is saying here is that if only he had stood up for himself and not been such an observer, he would have changed so much. There are many things in the book that Louis remained very silent on – but if we think about what satya tells us, it’s to remain silent when we are in doubt. We should only say things when we can be certain we are truthful. In this scene, Louis declares that he will no longer be this “passive, weak creature!” His silence caused a lot of innocent people to be harmed and many a situation to have gone to shit. If Louis had only found satya sooner, his inner truth of his thoughts, and acted upon that, he could have potentially changed the entire novel.
But that is why this Anne Rice classic so deeply aligns with these yogic principles, and perhaps is worth a read (or re-read) to see what I’m talking about. For me, I found that reading Louis’ actions, thoughts, and what he actually says and thinking about these deeper principles simultaneously allowed me a deeper understanding of what those principles are actually are. A lot of times these yamas (one of 8 limbs of yoga, basically the social contracts we should all abide by) are very complex to fully grasp in our minds. I found that by reading such a fantastical work of fiction and setting these very lofty principles along side it made it all click for me.
Do you have a novel that suddenly make the philosophic world make sense for you?
Featured Image via Hartmut Tobies.