In the vampyre community, there appears to be a general consensus that most vampyres, later in their development, eventually follow a road (often referred to as a path). Most vampyres will discover that they have some traits of all of the roads, but generally, each will possess a stronger current toward one in particular. There are currently three roads that a vampyre can follow. The first is the road of the Ramkht who acts as the priest for the community. The second are the counselors for the community, also known as the Kitra. The third road is the road of the Mradu, who are the warriors of the community and it is this road that is the focus of this discussion. The Mradu act as the guardians and protectors of the community as it is the purpose of their caste to safeguard it. In addition, in ritual, they are the ones who generate the energy and help maintain the protective circle. What is not seen on the surface, however, is what lies within the spirit of the Mradu and in particular the war that rages within.
The war that rages in the mind and spirit of the Mradu is the war of the Id and Ego. The id is the part of the psyche that contains the subconscious mind. It serves as the source of instinctual impulses and is responsible for satiating primitive requirements. The ego, on the other hand, is the conscious mind. It controls thought and behavior and provides the individual with their identity. It is the portion that acts as liaison between the individual and reality.
It is the opinion of the author that the Mradu may be more closely tied to their primal nature, their Dragon, as it were, than the other roads. The reason I suggest this is that their very nature is animalistic and one of combat. The Mradu are charged with the task of protection and guarding. They are expected to be physically and spiritually tough. This type of mindset and lifestyle is closely related to what is known as the ‘reptile brain’. The reptile brain is that instinctual survival mentality that society has long since suppressed in its climb to civilization. This puts the Mradu in closer contact with their instinctual impulses, their primal nature. Further, the Mradu are tasked in ritual with the generation of energy. To accommodate such requests requires that the Mradu be capable of sustained energy output. It also means that they must adequately feed in order for this to take place. If there is a lot of ritual work that a Mradu is doing, this cycle of feeding further induces the primal nature. This constant indulgence in the id can be a dangerous place to live.
The Mradu, being a vampyre, must also find their balance. To give in to the vampyre side, their id, it would mean their eventual self-destruction. As a balance to those tasks that rely heavily on their id, the Mradu are also keepers of the law. That means they must be learned in the laws of both society and their community. Further, in order to be able to interpret and carry out the orders of the law, they must be calm and even-tempered. They should not be quick to aggression regardless of insult or taunting. They should also be of logical mind. As keepers of the law and keepers of the peace, they must be able to discern a proper course of action when there is a violation. They are expected to be investigators of injustices. This again requires deductive reasoning. Further, they are the ones who present evidence in cases against violators to the Elders of the community. The Mradu must also be diplomats. Though their nature cries for primal responses in times of crises, they should be diplomats first. If peace is broken, it is the Mradu’s job to help find a peaceful resolution prior to any act of aggression. For the Mradu, aggression is a last resort. This is a testament to the relation the Mradu holds with ego. This is the Hatfield to the id’s McCoy.
This war between id and ego seems to be more intense in the Mradu than in the other castes. How does the Mradu go about resolving this dispute in their nature? I do not necessarily think that there is an easy way to answer this. The reason for this is that each individual is slightly different. Some lean more toward their primal sides, while others have greater control and live more with their egos. I follow the path of the Mradu. I have been involved in combat arts since before my teen years, I have practiced harnessing anger, calming the mind; I have served in the military, and continue to train to this day. I am also a thinker, researcher, one who likes to participate in regulating and strengthening the community. I feel I have found a place of balance, so I will express as best I can what seems to work for me.
The first step is recognition. Another way to express this is self-awareness. You must know yourself in order to recognize and manage the different aspects of your personality and mind. If you cannot recognize the id and ego, then you will not be able to balance them. Once you understand yourself better it will be easy to see which part of your psyche holds more sway. This is where the balancing takes place. For those whose primal side is stronger, exercises strengthening the ego are needed. Exercises that build self-esteem and ground the individual in the reality and consciousness of the moment are good ways to begin. These exercises are expressed through thoughts, images, emotions, physical health, body image, and behaviors. For those whose ego holds sway, they need to become more in tune with the primal, raw side of themselves. Practices such as simply shutting the mind down and allowing the body to do what it will are good. Closing the eyes and thinking of a favorite song and allowing the emotional context of the song overwhelm you. Vigorous, monotonous exercise that allows the subconscious a measure of freedom is another way. Try participating in an aggressive sport or perhaps practicing some form of performance or creative arts.
Another way to play with the two sides is through meditation. Meditation allows the mind to focus its attention on whatever the individual feels is important. Through meditation you can build on the ego through focusing exercises, such as concentration on breathing, holding an image in the minds eye, counting, etc. It also allows for the freedom to walk into the darkness of the primal through imagery, or nothingness, or projection of intense emotion.
It is not the intent of this article to be the answer for managing id and ego. It is also not intended as the sole interpretation of the Mradu caste. It is merely my impression and my experiences with living in this caste and the personal battles waged on the mindscape. It is a high level overview of what has helped me walk this road. The battle of id and ego wage across every human’s mind. Most are unaware of this or are ambivalent. Those of us with higher sensitivities or on a path that highlights their differences are not always afforded such luxuries. It is my hope that this writing will provide some illumination for others following this same path.
This article is © 2003 ShadowMind. Please do not redistribute or reproduce without the expressed permission of the author.