“A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers.” ~ Seneca
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
“There is a spiritual hunger in the world today – and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms.” Adlai Stevenson
Pittsburgh is a city with an enduring love of all things scary, especially zombies. Every year there is an annual Zombie Walk and a Zombie Fest during October; free events organized and hosted by the It’s Alive show. This year, Zombie Fest was held in the quaint Market Square of downtown Pittsburgh. While these events are always a treat, and our family loves, like so many in the Pittsburgh area, to participate by showing up early and undead… this year we were spectators. This was the first Zombie Fest held outdoors, and there is something oddly fascinating and enchanting at being on hand simply to witness huge crowds of people pretending to be brain-hungry zombies shuffling down the streets of your hometown!
Watching folks shuffle around or even go about in their normal human fashion while dressed as the Undead got me thinking… what are all these people really hungry for that they turn out for events like this in greater numbers every year? Fun? Company? Community spirit? Brains? Are they all just Zombiephiles? Hmmm…
“From out of nowhere he’s there, flashing hideous teeth. panic in the crowd, helter-skelter, we’re brought to our knees back to the darkness, back on the mountain he stands…you can’t fight a shadow, you can’t kill a dead man.” ~ Eye of the Zombie, John Fogerty
“Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.” Dr. Paul Tournier
“Josh Billings said, “It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.” Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems.” John W. Gardner
It seems so many people shuffle through their day in a stupefying daze, sometimes just below the edge of panic. Heads down, oblivious to anything around them with their headphones plugged in, fingers flying as they text, phones clutched nervously, or noses stuck in books on public transit. And in such a rush too! MUST be first in line at the next red light! Must push forward with ill grace and bad manners to get what they think at the moment they “need”. Mindlessly lurching through our chosen routines, and seldom even noticing the details, small or grand, of the world and life going on around us.
What are we hiding from? What is this maze of illusory walls we build? Are we running headlong towards some desire we perceive as an actual need? Or, running blindly away from something that truly inexplicably terrifies us… even if it is within our self? What are we so fearful of that we allow panic, anxiety, and stress to control our awareness and reactions? If we live like the undead, relentless and mindless in our pursuit of distractions, then we are arresting our own development, preventing ourselves from acheiving our most worthy goals, and becoming the best we carry within us. It seems to me that a majority of humanity wastes time and effort in trying to fill up the empty corners of their soul with things... cars, clothes, phones and other gadgets.
Awareness… Perhaps this is why the zombies of our nightmares crave braaiinsss? An insatiable hunger coupled with a fear of self and Awareness? Hmmm, an interesting topic to ponder. What do you hunger for?
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.” from “Psychology and Religion”, Carl Jung
“Red like blood White like bone Red like solitude White like silence Red like the beastly instinct White like a god’s heart Red like thawing hatred White like a frozen, pained cry Red like the night’s hungry shadows Like a sigh piercing the moon it shines white and shatters red "