The Avatar: Movie Review and Comparison

Birth of an AVATAR on Vimeo by Peter Ammentorp Lund
Creative Commons License photo credit: marcotruiz

We went to see the new movie, Avatar, yesterday. I was riveted from beginning to end. Not just because it was in 3D with all sorts of special effects, nor because it was well acted and finely crafted (although it was!), but because I recognized through it a powerful metaphor for the work of transforming consciousness and attuning with energy.

The setting of the movie is another world called Pandora that is inhabited by all sorts of strange creatures, including a race of aborigines with an interesting combination of humanoid and animal characteristics like a long, and very useful, tail. The action takes place in and around a space center on Pandora and pits two very distinct factions against one another: the world of the intellect, represented by a group of highly advanced scientists and researchers, and brute force, represented by a powerful and brilliant military.

These two factions have very different goals. The researchers want to study life on Pandora by getting to know the indigenous culture that resides there. The military faction wants to take control of the local inhabitants so they can claim rights to the mineral riches found there. The two do not agree about how to proceed towards their various goals, but both factions are necessary to accomplish the goal of either.

Our hero is an ex-marine who lost use of his legs during war on Planet Earth, and who, due to his genetic likeness, ends up inheriting his twin-brothers (a member of the scientist group) “avatar.” An avatar is a living, flesh and bone replica of a Pandora native made by the scientists from Earth to be mentally entered and controlled by a particular earthling for the purpose of infiltrating the native culture to learn their ways and weaknesses. (Avatars were created by the scientists to further their research.) The imaginative, creative, and high-action saga that unfolds on screen between these factions as they interact with the nature-communing natives is well worth the two plus hours it takes to see Avatar.

For me, as I said, it was the metaphor that caught my attention.

For, we too have such warring factions within ourselves. We have the brute force ego that deals with life in very concrete and materialistic ways (as exemplified in the movie by the military faction that wants to control, through force if necessary), and then there's the intellectual aspect of us that constantly seeks to understand how life works ( as exemplified in the movie by the researchers). Both are out of balance, each an extreme opposite of the other. They represent two opposing orientations to life, the outer, materialistic, and very concrete orientation that gets what it wants by manipulating externals, and the internally focused orientation that turns inward to achieve its goals. The movie, Avatar, illustrates the spiritual journey we must all take towards integrating these two ways of dealing with life into a third option, or higher expression of life, which is what our hero achieves in the end when he becomes a “real” avatar.

Our hero blends these two opposing factions, brute force and the observing intellect, within himself. He is a military man, an ex-marine, with a background of brutality and violence but, because of his family genetics, he inherits the right to direct and control an avatar, an experience that only scientists had previously been able to have. The plot shows our hero going through a total shift in consciousness as he is initiated into the local tribe by the daughter of the head chief and his shaman wife. The demonstration of life experienced through energetic connection is the major factor in his transformation.

For example, I love the scene where the shaman mother of the tribe is deciding whether to kill our hero or spare him. She walks around our hero and, as part of her sizing him up, pricks him with a toothpick-like splinter and tastes his blood as a way of reading his energy to aid her decision. Throughout the movie this sort of validation and attuning to energy is emphasized. The aborigines in the movie even used their tails as clever hook-up mechanisms (using it in much the same way we use a power cord to plug an appliance into electrical current) to align and connect with the life force of plants and animals so to better communicate with them.

Avatar may be a science-fiction movie, but the premise is very real! Books like, Anastasia of The Ringing Cedar Series or the books on the Findhorn experiment teach about a similar energetic connection that is possible with the world of plants and animals around us.

I was talking with Daniel about our ability to recognize something by its energetic imprint just the other morning on our walk. We were walking through a patch of tall, golden colored grasses. We stopped to admire the beauty of the graceful grass as it stood waist high, glistening in the sunlight, and gently bowing in the breeze.

The tall grasses transmitted a regal and poetic energy that might easily have gone unnoticed, but didn't, and instead prompted a conversation between us about how every single thing has its own unique energetic signature that goes beyond what it looks like, smells like, feels like (although these are indeed a part of its energy field).

Our energetic imprint is what ultimately defines us. This defining energy is something we emanate. It is the sum total vibrational frequency of our thoughts and feelings, our likes and dislikes, our opinions and beliefs that comes together to create a uniquely individual vibe. The energetic signature is something we feel, not with our fingers, but with our inner feelers. The energetic imprint of a person, situation, or thing is what we pick up on through what we call intuition, a hunch, or gut knowing. In fact we are simply readng the energy in the same way the shaman mother read our hero's energy (but without tasting blood :)).

Just as in the movie, where there had to be a joining of two opposing forces (between the physical controlling force and the inwardly dominated intellectual one) before our hero could awaken his ability to align and connect with the living energy field surrounding him, we too must blend the dualities within us and awaken to our innate ability to read and align with the energetic signatures of all that surrounds us.

By the way, did I mention yet that I highly recommend this movie? 🙂



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.