Monday, March 8, 2010

Avatar - A Metaphysically Spiritual Movie on Oneness

I admit I am not one to get caught up in blockbuster crazes. Even as a teen when Star Wars hit the theaters and hours were waited in the hopes of getting a ticket, I just wasn’t that into the hoopla; I bided my time until lines shortened before I saw the movie and became impressed. Not much has changed thirty years; I still don’t get caught up in the blockbuster hoopla and in fact, am usually content to wait until it comes out on Netflix. So when Avatar premiered, I paid little attention to it. I raised an eyebrow when my fifty-something year old gal-pal Jane, who I never thought was a sci-fi film fan said she'd seen it, fell in love with it, raved about it, and encouraged me to see it while in the movie theater. Well, okay then.

That’s been a few months ago, and I just got around to seeing it yesterday. WOW! WOW! And DOUBLE WOW! Aside from the technology used to create the film, and its sheer beauty enhanced through the 3-D experience, the film’s story is powerful! A story about the importance of Oneness, family, belonging to something that is larger than all of us. Surprisingly, Avatar was my kind of film, and I give kudos to James Cameron for producing such a powerful film that delivers a timely and powerful message to us all. The question is: are we getting it?

I imagine I am the last to see this film but just in case, here’s a brief synopsis. A paralyzed young man, Jake Sully, is recruited to take his deceased brother’s place in a science research project on Pandora, in which a human’s Intelligence (mind and soul) can be transported into an alter-ego body of the planet’s humanoid race called the Na'vi. On Pandora, we Earthlings, with little regard or respect to the Na'vi, their planet, or their way of life, are mining for resources beneath a key life foundation; why? Because Earthlings drained Mother Earth dry leaving her barren and lifeless. A military presence is there to protect the miners, and prepare to “remove” by any means the Na'vi out of their way to access the richest source of supply. The Avatar project is a diplomatic effort to negotiate for the resources, in order to facilitate peace and prevent genocide of the Na'vi; however, Sully is recruited by the military to spy and find their “weaknesses” so they can launch an attack to wipe out the Na'vi. But Sully falls in love with their world, their way of life which honors all of Life as One – even in the kill for food, and of course, Neytiri, his female mentor who teaches him the way of her people.

Sound familiar? The parallels are not coincidental as we remember the mass clearing of the Native American population in the late 1800’s; there’s even a General Custer character that fights until the end to win the war of greed, arrogance, and self-righteousness. In the movie, the Na'vi reclaim their planet and send the Earthlings packing. Not as happy an ending in our real world example.

So, how is this metaphysically spiritual? The Na'vi honor their Source, in this case, a feminine energy named Eywa. Oneness and connection of all is demonstrated in ceremonies. A respect for all of life is demonstrated for their planet Pandora, especially nature and the animals, even those that are hunted and killed. There are “spiritual blessings” that grace the Sully, signs from Eywa that encourage the Na'vi to embrace him into their lives and teach them their ways. There is a sacred place of souls that connects to ancestral history, where wisdom and knowledge many be gained through conscious connection and listening. There are so many beautiful reflections of the Universal Truths in this movie, to many to mention here but if you are at all seeking a higher way of living, of being One with all of Life, in showing up for Mother Earth and in our world for the highest and best of all in it, I encourage you to see this film. I’m not a sci-fi fan but this wasn’t about science fiction, it was about Life, and that Source that provides it and in which we are all connected.

I never pay for the same ticket twice to see a movie, but in this case, I will be paying $19 again to see Avatar before it leaves the theaters. I know I missed a great deal of the subtext, the beauty, and little touches that the filmmakers seemed to cover with a fine tooth comb. The magic of seeing this movie on the big screen is worth the ticket price for the at-home experience will never match it. And its messages are powerful, and my hope is that we all sit up and listen to them with great care. I encourage you to go see Avatar, taking your open heart and mind with you, and preparing them both to be touched powerfully like no movie has ever touched you before.


Pan Dancing said...

Although the animation and special effects were beautiful, and there were lovely scenes where the interconnectdess of life were shown. I feel that Cameron and his writers suffered a major failure of imagination.

I cannot agree that ending the movie in a huge gunfight with bombs and explosions going off everywhere shows very progressive thinking.

Why was he not able to find a different resolution? Maybe because gunfights and explosions are tried and true Hollywood stunts?

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn,

You have a very good take on Avatar on the level you are dealing with. You should know, however, that Avatar has mixed reviews in the Native American community. While it has exactly what you say, it also has the old, tired, racial stereotype of "White Guy Saves the Day For Inept Natives". It's that old story of Whitey coming along, having an epiphany, and somehow magically suddenly becoming not just a supporter of Native American views, but their LEADER!!! That scenario is only "real" to White America. To Native America it is a condescending replay and revisionist history of relations between the "Navi" and Whitey.