I’m sure you’ve all seen AVATAR at least once and have formed an opinion about it. I’ve read and heard many discussions ranging from total enthrallment to snide comments about “every cliché ever invented all rolled up into one film” – something like that. I thought it was interesting and fun with the violence and special effects reminiscent of the Star Wars series from the eighties and nineties – which to me becomes a little tiresome. But the depiction of the Na’Vi’s was original and charming -- a race of beautiful beings living in a world without violence and with a deep respect for nature. The “dream walkers,” of course have traveled from earth in their never-ceasing search for consumption. They want to develop the peaceful universe of “Pandora” both scientifically and militarily, to escape the negative utopia on earth in the year 2164. (It is August when Jake Sully makes his final entry in his daily video journal).
What can I say?
We’ve been exposed to similar stories of the destruction of our earth since the 1800’s with BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984 along with the cult movie, BLADE RUNNER. However, these books and movies show the dark and depraved side of humanity ruled by a force that controls the human spirit absolutely.
In my opinion, Avatar, the movie, tries to reverse that.
As many of you know, the word Avatar (Sanscrit) means loosely one who transforms from spirit to flesh. The Na’Vi is a race that lives within nature and becomes one with it; they believe they are all manifestations of Ai’Wa, their mother spirit. The idea does not originate with James Cameron, it goes back to many ancient belief systems, but appeals to the new agers and those of us who believe there should be more than one path to Divinity.
“I see you,” tells me the Na’Vi are recognizing the Divine in me -- their version of “namaste” perhaps, which expresses something like “the divinity in me greets (and sees) the divinity in you.”
Avatar, the movie, contains a welcome message: that we are all one, that we should be kind to our earth and fellow creatures, that we must conserve our earth’s resources and that the divinity in me sees the divinity in you. It’s a beautiful concept. I loved it.