This excerpt from Anne Rice‘s book, Queen of the Damned, paints a rich and layered picture of the carnal and the spiritual. In this scene, the mother of all vampires (Akasha) is having a discussion with a handful of very powerful vampires regarding the future of humanity. She, posing as a goddess to mortals, has already begun implementing her plan to do away with 90% of the male population in order to rid the world of violence and oppression. The other vampires are trying to reason with her.
“Akasha, for two thousand years I have watched,” he said. “Call me the Roman in the arena if you will and tell me tales of the ages that went before. When I knelt at your feet I begged you for your knowledge. But what I have witnessed in this short span has filled me with awe and love for all things mortal; I have seen revolutions in thought and philosophy which I believed impossible. Is not the human race moving towards the very age of peace you describe?”
Her face was a picture of disdain.
“Marius,” she said, “this will go down as one of the bloodiest centuries in the history of the human race. What revolutions do you speak of, when millions have been exterminated by one small European nation on the whim of a madman, when entire cities were melted into oblivion by bombs? When children in the desert countries of East war on other children in the name of an ancient and despotic God? Marius, women the world over wash the fruits of their wombs down public drains. The screams of the hungry are deafening, yet unheard by the rich who cavort in technological citadels; disease runs rampant among the starving of whole continents while the sick in palatial hospitals spend the wealth of the world on cosmetic refinements and the promise of eternal life through pills and vials.” She laughed softly. “Did ever the cries of the dying ring so thickly in the ears of those of us who can hear them? Has ever more blood been shed!”
I could feel Marius’s frustration. I could feel the passion that made him clench his fist now and search his soul for the proper words.
“There’s something you cannot see,” he said finally. “There is something that you fail to understand.”
“No, my dear one. There is nothing wrong with my vision. There never was. It is you who fail to see. You always have.”
“Look out there at the forest!” he said, gesturing to the glass walls around us, “Pick one tree; describe if, if you will, in terms of what it destroys, what it defies, and what it does not accomplish, and you have a monster of greedy roots and irresistible momentum that eats the light of other plants, their nutrients, their air. But that is not the truth of the tree. That is not the whole truth when the thing is seen as part of nature, and by nature I mean nothing sacred, I mean only the full tapestry, Akasha. I mean only the larger thing which embraces all.”
I don’t believe that Rice intended to create the specific spiritual symbolism I see; nevertheless, there it is.
Jesus said explained that Moses did not give “the bread out of heaven,” but that the Father gave “the true bread” out of heaven, that is Jesus Christ, himself. Jesus said,
“The spirit it is that is giving life; the flesh doth not profit anything; the sayings that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life; but there are certain of you who do not believe;” for Jesus had known from the beginning who they are who are not believing, and who is he who will deliver him up, and he said, “Because of this I have said to you – No one is able to come unto me, if it may not have been given him from my Father.”
A forest is a beautiful living thing. Yet, some trees never make it beyond the sapling stage, choked out by bigger, stronger trees. Still others fail for lack of sunlight. The ones that make it eventually fall and decay. The forest is a graveyard. Humanity is like the forest in that we need bread from heaven to really live. Without the bread from heaven, we fall and decay. The earth is a graveyard. The way of the law of Moses is the way of the forest. Even with the law, the best we can do is to temporarily thrive, but in the end, we are no better of than trees in a forest of death. We are no more able to reach God than the trees are able to reach the sky. God must come to us. God must show us a new and better way. Furthermore, God must actually BE the new and better way on our behalf – a brand new kind of forest in which every sapling grows to full and glorious maturity and permanence.
Update 2/18/14: I’ve since quit my teaching job and found a job as a professional writer for website content. That’s two steps in the right direction!