Avatar and Messages From Spirit (part two)!
Updated: January 8, 2010
In Avatar and Messages From Spirit (part one), I introduce the Avatar movie, cite it as a spiritual masterpiece and promise to, in this article – part two of the series – examine the basic spiritual foundations upon which I believe Avatar is predicated.
Though there are the obvious messages of unity, interconnectedness, the plea to honor Mother Earth and Father Sky there are a plethora of more subtle omens, messages and oracular guidances.
Again, if you are walking a spiritual path – if you are working on remembering your divinity – I urge you to see Avatar.
First, and, perhaps…just perhaps…most important is the etymology of the name (title) of the movie.
Because of the computer age which is upon us, most think of an avatar as the thumbnail picture, image or character which represents us in, usually, an online identity.
But when you know the history and symbolism of the word avatar, its ‘etymology’, you begin to dive into a deep, deep well of divine messages from Spirit.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘avatar’ thusly:
Etymology: Sanskrit avat?ra? descent, from avatarati he descends, from ava- away + tarati he crosses over
1 : the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
2 a : an incarnation in human form b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
3 : a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
4 : an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game)
In the story, Jake Sully, a human, is chosen to replace his identical twin brother on a mission to the planet, Pandora (just wait until I get into an examination of the etymology of the name ‘Pandora!).
Jake, is an ex-marine and paraplegic, having lost the use of his legs in battle. Remember this point because it’s integral to the outcome of the movie and the specific spiritual message I’m writing about.
Because humans can’t breathe in the atmosphere on Pandora, all who travel to the planet either have to go as an avatar or wear special breathing apparatus.
In the movie, an ‘avatar’ is a host body synthetically grown but whose features are a combination of the human meant to inhabit the host form and a Na’Vi – the native culture of Pandora.
For a human to use the host body, the ‘essence’ of that human is sent electronically, via ‘radio-like’ waves, to the ‘brain’ of the avatar.
Jake’s directive is to inhabit the avatar grown for his identical twin brother and integrate himself into the Na’Vi culture so as to learn their ways that he may report all back to his command.
So, it’s an interesting juxtaposition.
The human, in this case Jake, has the physical limitation of being in a wheelchair…unable to use his legs. But, as an avatar, he has all the physical capabilities of the Na’Vi species – which are considerable and formidable.
Now…another juxtaposition…though, as Na’Vi avatar, Jake is the better physical version of himself (even when he had the use of his legs) he still has a human brain and, as the story unfolds, we see how much closer to ‘oneness’…closer to God…are the Na’Vi than are humans. (i.e.. how much more a
wake, conscious and aware are the Na’Vi compared to humans).
Jake, then, literally has to see the world through three sets of eyes.
1. Jake’s identical twin brother, whom the avatar was originally built for, died and because Jake’s DNA was a perfect match, he was chosen for the mission to Pandora.
2. Because the avatar host body is ‘grown’ from Na’Vi DNA, that which is ‘Jake’, has to ‘fit’ into a being not completely unlike himself yet alien.
3. Finally, there are Jake’s own eyes which come with their own ‘vision’.
How is it then, that Jake can reconcile all the sets of eyes he must see through to accomplish his mission?
In Hinduism, an avatar is the incarnation of a deity in human form.
And, isn’t that exactly what we all are?
Avatar’s as it were?
Just like in the Avatar movie, we are all one. We are interconnected with all that is and through all space and time.
Though we may not be aware of it on a daily basis – minute to minute – we do ‘see’ through each other’s eyes because we are each other. Part of all that has been and all that will ever be.
One day, we will remember this and truly ‘see’ again.
It is clear the names for both the title of the movie and the home planet of the Na’vi – Pandora – were chosen with deliberate care.
James Cameron and Spirit! What a great combination!
In Avatar and Messages From Spirit (part three), I’ll delve into the etymology of the word Pandora.
On a final note, the word Pandora and the spiritual message behind it may not be as obvious as you think…
Note: As it turns out, Spirit lead me in a different direction for Avatar and Messages From Spirit (part three). However, in Avatar and Messages From Spirit (part four) I write about the etymology of the word Pandora, its spiritual message and, fascinatingly enough, it didn’t even turn out to be what I thought it would be!