Illusions by Richard Bach is an extremely hard-hitting book, in spite of the fact that I was getting progressively readied for the hit with every interaction with Barood. It's pretty dramatic to start considering oneself a Messiah and every action as a choice. Well, truth be told, denying these two facts about existence has been a very convenient excuse for taking the easy path in life, that of not having to take responsibility for every single action and every single decision of mine!
The Vampire episode, I felt, was specifically meant for someone like me who chooses to justify her actions on the basis of their impact on others, and who always believes that one has the freedom to do as one likes, provided it does not hurt anyone else! But, the truth is that I cannot hurt anyone till the point that the person chooses to get hurt by me. This is such a liberating thought, and excites me completely about my power to choose all that I have brought into my life. It is especially liberating because I have, so often, found myself swamped in guilt, guilt for how I have treated others, guilt for the pain I feel I have caused to others, guilt for not being “sympathetic” enough. And it is this guilt that drains me and the free spirit that rests inside me! But the moment I use the vampire framework, I feel so proud about my choices, where finally I did exactly what I wanted to, but carried the burden of guilt for being selfish! I quote Bach, “Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.” It's a philosophy that the others will never understand or appreciate, because it goes against the concept of “niceness” that we are all indoctrinated with till we begin to internally accept. So, even though I found the Ayn Rand-ish objectivism really cool and exciting, I couldn't a) see myself enforcing that in “real life” and b) it was a much milder version of the kind of freedom that Bach is referring to! Oh I really love this way of existence and am tempted to adopt and internalise it right away, but before I do that I have to reconcile it with Karma, the philosophy that I have so far found fool-proof no matter how many tests it has been put to! Simply put, I believe in Karma because there has always been disproportionate returns for actions in my life (even though the sum total, I'd like to believe, has balanced itself!), and it thus becomes essential to de-link each action and its consequence so as to retain the vigour and energy in life for all actions irrespective of the expected consequences. The energy and vitality that Karma gives you is one level less than that given by the “freedom” philosophy where you take responsibility for the action and the consequence and you remove the noise in the black-box called Karma. It was the noise in that black-box that I attributed the mixing up and disproportionating of consequences to and it is this noise that the “freedom” philosophy rejects, which is why Karma was about faith, whereas “freedom” philosophy is about imagination. So, the choice really is in my hands, as usual, and that is the choice between freedom and karma, which effectively boils down to the choice between imagination and faith!