Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Escapism doesn't get much better than the Twilight book series. Written by Stephanie Meyer, this young adult story has become massively popular with younger and older women alike. It is the story of a vampire, Edward, falling in love with Bella, a non-vampire.
A friend talked me into starting the series, and I did not stop until I had read all 4 books. Her mother overheard us talking about the books and surprised me by saying that her daughter had got her reading them, too, and she was ashamed to have become completely engrossed - at the age of 61!

So what is it that is so appealing about Twilight? Undoubtedly,it is the unshakable connection that Edward and Bella have: like destiny, or two past lives meeting, or soul mates. That connection (does such a thing really exist, or is it a fabrication of the female Psyche?) is so appealing to women. To have a man that is completely and utterly devoted to us.
And there is the danger element, the constant tension, the restrained passion and the out of this world-ness. All rolled together women want to re-read the books, re-watch the movies and make stars out of the actors playing the movie roles.

Are the readers happy, though? Are they having fun?

Twilight is a fantasy more obvious than most fictional love stories. I mean, vampires don't exist. There is no chance, therefore, this story could become a reality for anyone reading it. I am not sure that undying, unshakable love really exists, either, in therealm of humans. Danger definitely does exist in the human world, but it is rarely romantic.
So, when we become involved with a story that is outside reality, like Twilight, we escape our own world. But we also begin wishing (no matter how far fetched the story) for a differnt life from the one we live. We hope for the passion, danger, excitement, only to be disappointed with the ordinary life we lead. We look to our partners and can only find them wanting compared to our fictional hero; we become dissatisfied them. We might ask them to be different, but our partner is just human and doesn't understand what we want.
And then we are a long, long way from being present in the Now, and a great distance from happiness, joy or peace. In this place we are in a realm directly opposite that which the Buddha suggests we need for non-suffering - acceptance and allowing what IS.
Twilight has been a great ride, but getting off is a bit like breaking an addiction. Refocusing takes some time and effort, as we suffer withdrawal.

I'm starting to think the ride isn't really worth the toll.

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