Octavia Butler‘s novel Mind of My Mind, a sequel to Wild Seed, continues the story of Doro‘s frightening legacy of psychic children several generations into the 20th century. We see how Doro, an entity who literally feeds on the essence of his enemies before overtaking their bodies, prepares Mary to use her powers to become a powerful force capable of drawing his various descendants together to form an unbreakable psychic bond.
Butler touched on something that had an echo of truth with one of the minor characters whose psychic energy depended on her ability to “feed” on her audience while posing as a minister. For those of us who work with energy as an aspect of spiritual consciousness we have an awareness of what it means to “tap” into other people’s energy, as well as what it means to be tapped or drained by others, willingly or unwillingly. Even those of us with a certain skepticism tend to steer away from people who “drain” our mental energy and resources with an almost instinctual reflex. As someone who works with people as a professor I am aware of my state of mind when I step into a room to teach before I’ve opened my mouth to speak. In order to understand my students’ collective state of mind I think it is important to feel a room’s “energy” to gauge the audience’s reception to new concepts and adjust my speed and tone of message, accordingly. Mutual exchange becomes possible when we engage in conversation and we come away from class meetings feeling that a mutual sharing of energy has occurred. No one comes away drained or starved. Knowing of this process gives me a fair understanding of what can occur when the balance is somehow and inevitably shifted in an uneven sense, especially with regard to non-teaching settings, where one may be confronted by an audience who may congregate to feed upon a hapless subject, or who may be themselves a source of nourishment to a subject inclined towards draining a captive audience with a certain gluttony that resembles vampiric traits.
In the flesh-and-blood world we carry an awareness of energy that swirls around us: people, animals, plants, even seemingly inanimate objects like rocks and minerals. Could we imagine a fictional universe where images carry energy? Are images merely two-dimensional impressions? Could our “reading” of facial expressions, glassy eyes, and frozen limbs reanimate the flesh, or are these impressions already filled with enough energy to impose a certain demand upon its audience to feed the origin or center of focus, the three-dimensional being now far away from the impression cast upon microbytes? Could images of people become conduits to feed the original flesh, or are they instead food for the audience? Are mutual exchanges possible under such circumstances?
I’m jumping around a bit, but I think it is important to flesh out ideas and acknowledge sources of inspiration as they emerge with my writing…what say you, my faithful few followers? Glad to see more of you coming out of the woodwork and show love, by the way. Gives me impetus to share more of my thoughts and not be so selfish.