Zombie Struck

The other day, my new friend Steven said he likes to kill zombies. Raising my eyebrows, I looked to him for further explanation.

“You know,” Steven said, “like in Black Ops. I like killing zombies in Black Ops.”

Oh, I see – that makes sense now. A video game. A digital world where soulless bodies, bent on destroying all prey in their path, chase good guys across ever-changing landscapes – that’s the world of zombies.

But it’s also our world. Instinctively we understand this kind of carnage. Deep inside we know we exist on this earth in a struggle of good versus evil, mankind versus monster. Zombies provide an indulgent glimpse into the spiritual realm and a picture that sympathizes with the very real disconnect we see in daily life, when we can’t explain the puzzle given us, when jagged little pieces of our souls don’t fit and fall to the floor unnoticed.

That’s why the darker side of the spirit realm fascinates many of us. It’s mysterious. Welcoming, even. And zombies deliver, every time. I have yet to say the word “zombie” without eliciting an immediate reaction. For those of us who might not be well-versed in zombie culture, here are three basic requirements.

“They’re mindless and they know it,” Steven said. He told me that zombies are generally a ticked-off group, angry and bitter by nature. They might even be somewhat jealous of our ability to think and reason, since they’ve been reduced to mere killing machines trapped deep in the mire of animal instinct.

They want to feed on our brains. Like slackers who cheat off the smart kid’s test, zombies feed on the brain power of healthy humans. Their feeding process leaves the victim brainless. I could say quite a bit about this, but I’ll refrain until a later blog post. Let’s move on to the next point.

They’re physically alive but spiritually dead. According to Zombies: The Recent Dead, “the traditional zombie is a dead or living person stripped of their own will and/or soul who is under the control of a sorcerer.” The authors of this book then go on to say that our modern B-movie version of the zombie isn’t accurate because zombies are far more complex than the campy, ghoulish creatures on TV. They are spiritually and emotionally dead, even while their bodies live.

If that doesn’t resonate with you, then nothing will.