The Raging Debate on the Spiritual Side of Avatar

avatar-movie-poster-smThere’s been a raging debate going on the past week or so about James Cameron’s movie Avatar.

Barry and I went to see it a week ago, and both agreed it was the best movie we’d ever seen… both visually and intellectually.

We chose the 3-D version, which has come a long way since the old green-and-red imagery they used to use, and it definitely enhanced the experience.

Extreme nutshell version: American military people are destroying the indigenous forests of the planet Pandora, in an effort to mine unobtainium (ha, ha) which is worth $20 million a kilogram. The Na’vi, the spiritual indigenous people, don’t want to lose their sacred land and trees. The hero falls in love with their culture, and one of their people, so ends up wanting to help them rather than destroy them.

We see all three classic storybook struggles: man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself as the hero embraces the ways of the Na’vi and their Goddess, Eywa (sometimes spelled Ai’wa).

And all of a sudden, everyone’s analyzing the message(s) of the movie… which is fine, because there were a lot of messages to be mined from it, and it gives writers something to write about. But over-analyzing can cause some friction, just like in high school lit class where thousands of papers have been written about who’s the better Christ figure: Simon in Lord of the Flies, or Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea.

And just as back then, it’s pretty interesting to sit back and watch the sparks fly when people are talking about Avatar.

(It’s about) pantheism — a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world,” wrote Ross Douthat in the New York Times. “The question is whether Nature actually deserves a religious response. Traditional theism has to wrestle with the problem of evil: if God is good, why does he allow suffering and death? But Nature is suffering and death. Its harmonies require violence. Its ‘circle of life’ is really a cycle of mortality.” By contrast, he says,  at least Christianity gives us an “escape upward” after death…

… Which shows that he apparently completely missed the spiritual side of the movie’s message: that we are all connected through unseen energy, and that energy lives on forever, as do we in our spiritual form — whether to be “with Eywa” (as one main character is) or to be reincarnated into another body (as the hero is at the end).

“(No, no, no, it’s) a combination of pantheism and theism, a view scholars today call ‘panentheism,’” replied Jay Michaelson in the Huffington Post. “Like mystics here on Earth, the Na’Vi have an experience of unity of consciousness with other beings, all of which (themselves included) are really just manifestations of one Being, which they call Ai’wa.”

He points out that the (highly overused) Sanskrit greeting, Namaste, means, “I see you,” which is the greeting used by the Na’vi people. But it doesn’t just literally mean “I see you,” so much as it means, “The God (or in this case, Goddess) in me sees the God in you.”

“Strictly speaking, the Na’vi are not pantheists. They worship a Godness — a Nature Goddess, to be sure, but one who hears prayers and sometimes answers them,” added Mark Silk of Spiritual Politics. “(And in fact) I’d say that Cameron has married some good old Christian grace-and-redemption theology to his eco-anti-imperialist parable,” he says, pointing to the character name “Grace Augustine” and the hero being “born again.”

avatar4Ahh, but wait… he’s not “born again” simply the way a “born again Christian” is, with a new belief. He’s also literally born again, as in reincarnated, into a different body — something that’s no longer talked about in the Bible.

Word has it that at one time, reincarnation may have been part of Biblical teachings — after all, every other religion seems to talk about it — but that it got thrown aside during the hundreds of years of playing “broken telephone”… when stories were being passed along verbally instead of being written down.

Or maybe the people of the day analyzed that part of the story, just as today we analyze Avatar, and decided that it didn’t need to be included.

While Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the James Camerons of their day — the storytellers who got their parables across in the best way they could — they didn’t have the chance to painstakingly edit the final version the way Cameron does. The monks did that for them, much later.

Anyhow, the really funny part about the “is Avatar pantheist, or panantheist, or Christian?” debate is that nearly any human, of any religious background or belief, could see elements they relate to if we’d just strip back all the labels and accept it as a “spiritual” rather than “religious” movie.

And in fact, that’s the beauty in what’s known as the “Universal Approach” to spirituality

See, the Conventional Approach — think “organized religion” — has us seeking God in a church or temple, on a specific day or time, whereas the Universal Approach says God is intimately connected to our soul and spirit, which exist inside our bodies. All God, all the time… wherever and whenever you want to feel connected, it’s within you.

The Conventional Approach says we’re born in sin, and need to be forgiven of our sins. We’ve got one shot at it, because we only have one life, in one body, and then forever after are sentenced to an eternity in heaven (if our sins are forgiven) or hell (if they’re, for some reason, not forgiven… by whatever measuring stick God uses).

The Universal Approach says we’re born in perfection, and resolve any unbalance through karma. We can keep doing so for many lives, and exist in one spiritual plane — not one divided into “good” and “evil” — between lives. Similarly, we don’t divide experiences into “good” or “bad” here, because it is what it is, and everything is an opportunity to learn, grow and develop.

But you know, once it’s laid out like that, it’s easy to see that the little black book has a lot of contradictions (and a lot of unintended comedy, like in the story about Soddom and Gomorrah, but maybe we’ll talk about that another day!)

After all, didn’t the Bible itself say “God is love”?

Well, if God is love, and love is everywhere, then God is everywhere. And if God is omnipresent, as the Bible says, then that’s further proof that God is everywhere — in the trees, in the rocks, in the dirt.

Why would someone need to go to church at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning if God is everywhere? And if everyone agrees that God is everywhere, how can we then label that belief as “pantheism” (or “panentheism”)?

And… why the heck do some Judeo-Christians insist on seeing everything in a black-and-white world where God can only be seen as one thing — that guy in the sky with a long white beard (or is that Santa Claus?) — and not another?

Wait, we’re not quite done with the rhetorical questions

Why does this little sticking point need to divide and conquer? What makes a white-bearded Christian God better than a black-bearded Muslim God or a non-bearded Na’vi Goddess? If He/She/It is everywhere, and can be in a rock as easily as a cloud, what does it matter what — if anything — He/She/It “looks” like?

It reminds me of a bunch of kids in a sandbox, all shouting, “My God is better than your God!”

Hey, think about it… people that have had near-death experiences always talk about a white light, anyhow. Quantum physicists support that everything is made of energy, which is light, and even that love is light. And in fact, the Christians also say that God is light (and remember, God is love, and love is light).

So that brings us back to one core truth, no matter what you believe: Everything = energy = light = love = God.

So He/She/It just looks like light: bright and white. Nothing more, nothing less, no matter what religious dogma you believe in.

Hmmm… yeah, kinda like what the bits of godliness looked like in Avatar.

The planet in the movie is called Pandora, named after the Greek legend about the world’s first woman — the Greek Eve, if you will. Zeus gave Pandora a box, and the gift of curiosity, which made her want to open the box. When she did, she released illness, diseases, labor and other “evils”… but in the bottom of the box was hope.

And that’s what we can leave Avatar with. Sure, hope can be pretty flimsy as something to hook your wagon to, but it’s something.

Bottom line, no matter how bad things get, there’s always hope.

Or better said, no matter how messed up the world around us seems, there’s only one way to go when you’re at the bottom, and that’s up.

Things WILL get better… and according to the principle of yin and yang, there’s no way it can ever be any other way but perfectly balanced.

So forget about the old viewpoint of good vs. evil and heaven vs. hell, because any “hellish” experience will always lead to something “heavenly”.

And it’s not some reward you have to wait for the afterlife to bring you… you can experience it whenever you’re ready to.

The magazine The Week writes, “who else but an American could spend $400 million making a heavily computerized movie that condemns modernity and capitalism?”

That might seem like a clever statement at first, but they’re missing a few key elements.

The punchline is, James Cameron is not strictly an American. He can never be president. He, like me, was born in Canada, and spent his first 20 or so years there.

avatar7-smAnd a man who makes record-breaking blockbusters like he does is certainly not condemning capitalism. Further, a creative genius like him, who always wants to push technology further, is not condemning modernity.

It’s the same sort of black-and-white view that some religious people, like Douthat, seem to take: “If it doesn’t represent God the way I see God, then it must be anti-Christian!”

Subtle ironic humor may not be as popular here in the U.S. as it is north of the border, but here’s another beauty of Avatar:

avatar8-smIt’s using technology to make a breathtakingly beautiful statement that technology should not be used as a weapon to destroy, but as a tool to create.

And that financial gain at the expense of human (or alien) lives is no gain at all…

But financial gain based on giving value to the Universe — for instance, in the form of a gorgeous work of art, and a highly entertaining means of escape for millions of people during tough times, that’s full of thought-provoking messages to boot — is the way life is meant to work.

Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life!

35 comments to “The Raging Debate on the Spiritual Side of Avatar”
35 comments to “The Raging Debate on the Spiritual Side of Avatar”
  1. Pingback: The Life Without Limits Community Blog » Dissecting Avatar’s Message… and Renegade Wealth

  2. Heather,

    outstanding!! You hit it on the nail! I totally agree with your assessment of how certain dogmatic religions see in black and white and God (Source, Spirit, Tao, whatever word you want to use) is nothing but color (as seen in the movie).

    What ancient spiritualities of the East have stated for millenia and what quantum science has proven shows the energy = light = love as you described. And yes, Biblical scripture did in fact discuss reincarnation but they were known as the Gnostic and were not included in the selection of what went in what the church leaders considered sacred writings (if they had included some of the writings then people would of had a personal relationship with Spirit and the church then couldn’t control people).

    As I said earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed your article and you are right on the money!

  3. Heather,

    I had finished writing a couple of sentences about the movie, when I received your email.

    I didn’t have a clue of what the movie was all about. I just knew that it was 3D and with powerful visual effects. When I left the theater I said: The most spiritual movie I had seen recently. Why?

    It covers aspects I am uncovering in my future book such as:

    The power of emptying ourselves, purity of mind/heart, being like a child, born again, energy is acquired and has to be given back, power of community, being plugged to source/energy/force/God and creating from that place, and many other concepts and ideas.

    Heather, I really enjoyed your review and perspective.

    “I see you”

    Esperanza Montalvo

  4. The movie reflects more of the old paradigm of limited thinking manifesting as violence, destruction, warfare, etc. Other than the visual feast and the amazing special affects, I thought the movie sucked. In my view, it was an hour too long and ultimately very boring and repetitiously violent. If the movie could have promoted the idea that “everything and everybody emanates from one infinite power,” (the tantric view of reality), it would have put out a much higher vibration.

    It could have been a rallying cry for everyone on this planet to recognize that we are all children of God, and we are all stewards of the earth. It’s time to promote peaceful and compassionate solutions to our problems and to focus more on our similarities rather than our differences. This movie lowered my frequency by putting forth the tired notion that we are all separate and in opposition to everything else.

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    LOL… Victor, apparently you saw a different movie than I did, or somehow missed the very blatant message that we are all connected! Maybe you were too overwhelmed by the “visual feast” and “amazing special effects” to see anything deeper than that… just like, sadly, many of the mainstream public will do (for instance, one of my acquaintances described it as “a story about cat people.”)

    But knowing your work, I expected more from you.

    You say, “If the movie could have promoted the idea that ‘everything and everybody emanates from one infinite power,’ (the tantric view of reality), it would have put out a much higher vibration.”

    Well, that’s exactly what it promoted! Everyone and everything emanated from Eywa, the one infinite power.

    You say, “It could have been a rallying cry for everyone on this planet to recognize that we are all children of God, and we are all stewards of the earth.”

    And that’s exactly what it was, on many different levels.

    You say, “It’s time to promote peaceful and compassionate solutions to our problems and to focus more on our similarities rather than our differences.”

    And that’s what the movie did… there was a definite emphasis on the peaceful way being the best and most mature way to conduct ourselves, as Sky People were “like babies” who didn’t understand (that comment was also subtly directed by the lead female Na’vi to people who don’t understand the spiritual message of the movie).

    You say, “This movie lowered my frequency by putting forth the tired notion that we are all separate and in opposition to everything else.”

    Ummm… I don’t know how you got this “notion” from the movie, or what kind of broken frequency meter you took with you to the movie, but it clearly stated how we’re all connected. Did you not see the way the Na’vi plugged in to trees and animals? How they treated all living creatures with respect?

    Did you miss the part in my article where I talked about how the Huffington Post writer explained the meaning behind “I see you” (Namaste)?

    Maybe you didn’t hear some of the dialogue, or couldn’t read some of the subtitles, or perhaps you just lost the storyline by letting your mind wander to something completely different (that would explain why you thought it was “too long” and “boring”, and also why you missed the spiritual messages that the writers I’ve referred to here, and myself, have talked about).

    I think, if you want to have your vibration raised instead of lowered, you might do well to see the movie again, but with an open mind this time, instead of preconceived notions and negative expectations. Or, maybe even just start by reading my article again… also with an open mind.

    With some background on what to look for, you’ll probably find it very enjoyable and enlightening next time around.

    Good luck!

  5. Wonderful observations and conclusions. In my eighty years of study and observation, along with a lot of formal education, (Certified Master Practitioner of N.L.P.psychology) and years as a life coach, college instructor, published author,I believe that the movie will produce a wide variety of reactions. People feel a need to justify their PRESENT beliefs, rather than see the possibilities expressed in the film.

    It is also very difficult for many followers of religions versus spiritual gathering places, to realize that so many churches are run like a business, for economic survival. WE have the answers, not you. So, show up and donate to try to buy your way into Heaven.

    Some believe that GOD by any name is in your HEART and the building is just some place you go to be with other like-minded individuals. Most people can truly have what others would describe as a religious experience when walking in a beautiful park, seeing mother Nature in her magnificence, the birds and animals in nature (We have a large deer population nearby) and just BEING without DOING, just observing can be a fabulous re-connection.

  6. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for the movie review.

    I don’t know how you came up with this image of God as “that guy in the sky with a long white beard”, but based on the Holy Bible –

    “No one has ever seen God, but the Only Son [Jesus], who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
    John 1:18

    Also, thanks to God that we all have been granted a FREE WILL to choose what/whom to believe in. However, all of us are going to die and we will be judged by God –

    “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
    Hebrews 9:27-28

    Praise God for Redeeming us from His Wrath & Judgment through His Son Jesus –

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
    John 3:16-18

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
    John 14:6

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
    John 3:36

    And there is NO Escape or Redemption except through Jesus –

    Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He [Jesus] is
    ” ‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the capstone.
    Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
    Acts 4:8-12

    So, let us consider God’s testimony about Jesus –

    “We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son [Jesus]. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
    1 John 5:9-12

    Please read the Gospel of John for yourself and see that Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12)

    Jesus Is Lord and He Loves YOU!


  7. Yes, Heather
    I could see Spiritual Light in this movie and feel sad for the blind sky people who we see everyday of our lives.

    One of the things that can be found in every religion and science is that God=Energy=Light=Love, and I will never understand why so many earth-people miss it. ???

    I want to encourage all of Children Of The Light, to keep on working with every opportunity you are given to help that special “Sky Person” , to understand.

    Peace to One in All.

  8. I believe this movie has great potential to lead a lot of viewers to a deeper, more expanded spiritual understanding. It may take a while if the current beliefs are quite ‘fundamental’, but the seeds will be planted and sprout when the time is right.
    I feel the message ‘god is love’ still comes through nicely in the new testament, despite all the adulteration, if you read it with the heart.
    Thank you Heather!

  9. yes u r right about the msg … this is the msg given to human from many masters of all the cultures … and all the prophets mention in books of religions … we are all one … we must live in love respect unity and harmony … look at jesus, moses does they preaching they are fighting for land or money … they just ask their respective govt to give equal rights to those who deserve … and then they stand and fight as their indivisual beliefs of right like moses fight in his own way and jesus fight in his own way muhammad stand and fight in his own way … all prophet basically after giving the msg of omni potent god (allah) … or what ever name u want to give … is to share and respect each other then when these govt or forces when not stop their assult on less previlage people … fight begins between natural order harmony and lust oriented curel mentality … who believe in might is right rather then other people have their own rights to belief and practice and live their own life … so it understandable … the msg in AVATAR might ignite the war inside the head and heart of all those who carry the might is right approch to life or anti natural , anti sharing taughts and beliefs …

    any way great film with great massege … true science fiction with blend of spirituality and quantum physics advance theories visualized marvalously
    Dr. Sadiq

  10. Dear Heather,

    I really like your conclusion:
    “It’s using technology to make a breathtakingly beautiful statement that technology should not be used as a weapon to destroy, but as a tool to create.”
    I had not seen that and had been podering about it. I still thought (and think) that the movie was fun and really valuble, many of my friends think it is the best movie they have ever seen as well.

    That being said, I(emphasis on the I) don’t think the script is “great” by a long shot. The characters are one dimensional, and at the end the peacefull Na’vy have to fight and kill to save their planet, a message that is definetly can be confusing and CAN lower someones frecuency if that person is very sensitive at that moment.

    This is not the first time you write about “getting” something that others don’t get, and that is a very dangerous process of thought. That is what starts the religions conflicts becouse: “you don’t get what I have already gotten” try again until you “get it”.

    Everybody “get’s” different things from different experiences, and for me (and Victor) this was not the best movie ever as it was for you and my friends. I dont’t think I am better for getting that the script was lacking. I respect that we have different conclusions and can live harmoniously and I don’t want to convince you that I am right.

    Take care.
    PS. Good blog.

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    Hi Andres,

    The only time I (or Barry) talk about people “getting” something is when they attack something from a place of misunderstanding.

    Questioning and exploring is great… that’s what we do. But condemning outward, when the misunderstanding comes from inward, is not the best approach.

    Sometimes this judging comes from a place of thinking that they are “more evolved” than other people who got something different. That’s never where we come from when we point things out; I make the distinction in more detail here:

    Yes, the story may have been cliche in some places: typical “boy meets girl” stuff. But that’s the same journey we all go through in life, which is why it connects to so many people. And it forms a great backbone to pile on the other messages that Cameron did.


  11. Where to begin.Many people discuss God in an offhand manner but have never read the Bible for them self.I am student of the bible and the first thing is the problem of sin and condemnation.The Bible and the God it represents has been the most misrepresented book in the whole world.Reason I say this because the God of the Bible YAHWEH is the God of all.The problem stems not from what God says in His word but what people say He said in His Word.Which he did not say,yes there is talk of crime and punishment and how God dealt with it.Most denominations have misrepresented the Bible on the the question of acceptance of responsibility for Adam’s sin.Which is best understood were all born in Sin and shapen in lawlessness.

    To justify all people there had to take something place.EITHER God would hold each person personally accountable for their sins or He had to take responsibly for the whole human race.What He did completely laid out in Genesis 12 through 28 He began a process of recovery which started with the Jews then to the rest of the world including Hagar’s children the Muslims.

    What he did is He found the world completely guilty and abandoned them to their own devices. While the He behind the scenes prepared the path to full recovery of all humans by grace through His son Jesus Christ.

    This was sketched out in embryonic form in Abraham in Genesis.Through legal agreement made with Abraham He included all people.NOT A FEW BUT ALL God’s Word spells it out but people with a axes to grind have obfuscated the message of the Bible picking out here and there what suited them.

    THIS IS THE TRUTH:God abandoned all so that He might have mercy up on all.Don’t make comment on the Bible on hearsay read and be enlightened.In 1967 I received and experience which the church said did not exist the infilling with the Holy Spirit.

    I found out they had lied to me event though I was a student of theology and minister to boot.I was an ignoramus in spite of studying GREEK,HEBREW ARAMAIC.I believed what I was told what to believe and did not question. I sang the party line until my experience happened in a time of great sorrow and pain.

    Receiving The infilling of the Holy Spirit.I said to myself when this experience happened ;”WHAT ELSE DID THEY LIE ABOUT” I made it my business to find out by revisiting every inch of the bible reading it in in its context from beginning to end.

    What I learned is the real thing not what I was told it said but what it said.I learned as in ADAM all Die so in Christ shall all be made alive but every man in his own order.I read about all this search for meaning in life getting a God experience but most throw aside the things from the Bible because of all the lies they have been told.

    You want to know God’s name it is Jehovah.In Isaiah 40 He has a discusion with His prophet and the question He raises is “TO WHOM WILL YOU LIKEN GOD” It is the question asked over and over again.

    I loved the God I discovered for He is kind and gentle but can also be harsh on the crimes committed by some humans.He is the father of us all in Jesus Christ our elder brother. He was not the bogyman we were told about as children and adults.

    Most of what we were told was lies even though the people telling the lies believed what they said.Before any tell about God go find out about what God is really like. Y ah I know God He is my best friend in His son Jesus.I love Him with all my heart because I found out about Him by discarding the lies and find the truth.I talk to Him all the day long and He answers me.

    He provides for me and invites me to talk with Him.

    Get to know Him it will take a life time of learning to read all what He says about Him self in the bible, wondrous ways. Spiritual life and spiritual living has to include God.He gave us life and spirit. Yet most people have a faulty concept of Him.

    They would rather build a God model on their own standard because the standard from the Bible given to them, is flawed so the God who is only God of all is ignored for people are to lazy to investigate for them self what it says in the bible.

  12. On other thing your told the bible speaks about reincarnation.It doesn’t,it speaks about resurrection and restitution. Let me quote on verse EPHESIANS I :10″ The WEYMOUTH TRANSLATION”


  13. WOW! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I LIVE for movies like this one! And I also have to say that I DO find your writings incredibly refreshing, and always right on target, too!!

    Going based on you’re review –

    Certainly it won’t be missed that the separateness and violence belongs not to the more spiritually developed of the characters, but to the humans portrayed – and that when they learn the truth they, too, are capable of evolving.

    That’s the sort of message I can’t help but shed a tear of blessing when I see it passed along. Its also the message of the quantum physicists, the 2012 movement, the “New Age” and all the rest (not that there really IS anything “new” under the sun….)

    Makes me think I’ll feel the same way walking out of this movie as I did when I saw “Pay It Forward” for the first (few, lol) times – and that can’t be bad! Besides – I Love the techie art from what I can see here. A truly multi-sensual experience, and I can’t wait!!

    And thank you, too – for remembering the Divine in Namaste. Too many people divorce the word from its concept of shared and inherent Divinity in all. It is very good to see its true meaning “out here” for all!


  15. Heather,

    Again you have humbled me.

    Although you rant and rave, you truly do understand…there is no spoon! I have not seen the movie, but would very much like to, giving me a glimpse of the ending does not dim the editorial you have given me, not of the movie but the fact that you “know” and yet you still feel the need to write and speak too to the dimly lit too some how enlighten them with your brow beating.

    Tell me, What color is this light of which you spoke? When words are inadequate, What language will we speak?

    I find your articles “fun.” Keep up the good work.


    [Barry’s Comment]:

    Jerry, comments like yours always entertain us. Not because they’re so sprinkled with back-handed compliments, as much as they are full of do-gooder “Hall-Monitor” energy.

    It’s like I spoke of in the preface to LWL’s Hero #3 HERE.

    Brow-beating (as YOU call it), or better said… setting out to intentionally talk-straight and reel those in who speak in such cryptic ways that they make “getting in their own way” seem like child’s play to those of us can who see it, isn’t so much about critiquing from a place of “all knowing” as it is from a place of common sense.

    There’s a big, BIG difference (not a fine line) between judging something — some opinion, some act, some policy, someone — and being a “spiritual Hall-Monitor” — this pervasive, new-age collectivist belief that if you’re irreverently-real and raw you’re not part of the evolved.

    We make no apologies for the fact that we (along with many other movers and shakers and critical-thinkers, by the way) do the former (as in “judge”).

    BTW Heather goes deeper into the distinction here.

    And, trust me, whoever started the “don’t judge” ethics code eons ago was an idiot. As a matter of fact, if nobody judged — expressed an opinion about things they can’t stand or confronted irrational people, debilitating beliefs, and non-serving ideology — this world would be full of a bunch of lemmings with no conviction about anything.

    So, again, you so remind me of the very person I briefly talked about on the preface to our Hero #3 post.

  16. “You’re all going to Hell!!!!!”

    Isn’t that basically what you hear if you dare to differ with any religion?

    Thanks for your perspective…. your article was great!!!

  17. Has a lot of insight as to what it’s all about. My story,to be pulished later this month, focuses on man’s self search for who he is. Be happy to send you the latest e-draft. Regards; Jim Blaha

  18. Hey Heather,

    I appreciate and agree with the discerning thought that went into your piece on Avatar. I wrote a piece that resonates with your view, though much shorter and less eloquent 8 >) (

    Among the comments we received, again similarly echoing the conversation here, we had one reader respond by e-mail rather than comment on the blog itself with the following:

    “Avatar would not exist without its cold technology.
    It would not exist without the very capitalist system it hypocritically decries and uses to make money for Mr. Cameron. It’s message of dualism, antagonism and makewrong is both maladaptive and unsustainable. Your huzzahs for it expose you as leftwing fundamentalists first, and only THEN folks interested in relationship.”

    I am reminded of a fundamental psychological and metaphysical tenet expressed most succinctly in A Course in Miracles; “Projection makes perception.”

    It only appears that outer things and events produce our perceptions of them. In truth, our perceptions and interpretations are actually produced by projecting outward our own beliefs and attitudes, especially our own sense of self.

    There’s just no way around it except through our own unique experiences of personal and spiritual evolution.

    Of course everyone is entitled to their own perceptions, interpretations and beliefs. And, unpopular and spiritually incorrect as it may be to NOTICE, people can be and often are WRONG! (But see, I can say that, having been wrong so many times myself – recently, even – LOL)

    The world is not flat and never was, though it was the prevailing world view for a really long time. We still have “flatlanders” among us today.

    Anyway, we saw the movie twice, both times in 3D. We found it even better the second time because there was the opportunity to see deeper into the metaphors and symbology that can be somewhat obscured by the dazzling special effects.

    I’m sure we’ll see it, again. On many levels it stands as the best movie we have ever seen.

    I “see” you,


  19. I had just returned to Japan after a hard time of letting go of many dreams and saw AVATAR in 3D. I cannot express why but even its name now seems to manifest a deep sense of love. I feel such a moving alive love for all life, and the respect the Blue people held for all life even in taking it. That was a deep reminder that we all depend upon everything, even the unseen to sustain us. I loved that the people plugged in to the life of each encounter even in their need for food, by using their bodies. If the story did not include love or competition it would be a flat story which seems like a school for jelly fish.
    some say we are forgetful angels having a human learning break. This us the planet where we learn these material lessons. As souls we need challenges to develop our mastery on many levels.
    It was unfortunate that the negative characters did not seem able to guess from observation that the planet held more than an easy quick rip off for personal wealth. I had hoped the future held more advanced soldiers than the characters in the story, but now in 2010, is 2500 years after the Buddha and 2000 years after the Christ and still we kill for our own ideals and needs. I am not aware of the compassion in Allah so cannot include that. But this story has profoundly satisfied my hope and forgiveness and love needs and will inspire me to treat my encounters with more kindness, even as in Pay it Forward we give without expectation.

  20. Heather and Barry,
    My appologioes. I think that all of us are “judges”. I don’t think that we can stop ourselfes,very easily. I must decline the honour of “spiritual Hall monitor” at this time.
    My comments earlier were meant a praise for your comment on the movie and the comments about it.
    Your ability to so eloquently write and explain your position are far beyond my ablity to fully understand.
    I meant to praise your insight and intellect Not try to diminish you or your writing in any way.
    You have helped many people grow and learn with your many articles but I must admit that I have not been keeping up with your blog as much as i would like.
    I have this urge to heap more praise upon you but that would be counter productive, since you need no praise and would probably deem it as sarcasim I will try to stop now.
    Please accept this last statement as a preamble, I fit into the category of do as i say not as i do, group, and I think i know more than would be apparent by looking at me group.
    But then i move from group to group depending on my mood at the moment. What was that called, Cognitive Dis-associative or whatever. There are so many gropups i fit into that i don’t try to keep track of them anymore and i’m sure i don’t understand the meaning of them anyway.
    I do think that there is no spoon and that everything is a spoon.

  21. Pingback: The Life Without Limits Community Blog » Where Duality Meets Non-Duality

  22. I’m waiting to read Randy Gage’s review after he called “Titanic”, another Cameron blockbuster, the most evil movie ever made.

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    Randy says that about a lot of movies and TV shows… Spiderman is also the most evil movie ever made, with some of the most evil lines ever uttered. Same with the TV show House.

    Usually it has to do with people saying that money doesn’t matter, that it’s spiritual to be poor, and so forth.

    So, I’m thinking: WWRT? (What Would Randy Think?)

    He may think it’s a bad message that in Avatar the “spiritual” people, the Na’vi, don’t really spend money on anything, while the “bad” people are motivated by money.

    The key, with anything, is to learn to recognize those sorts of messages so you can look past them instead of being consumed by them… just like being able to watch the news without enveloping yourself in negativity.

    After all, Randy watches the movies, or he wouldn’t be able to analyze them. He teaches awareness, not avoidance.


  23. Your review is amazingly refreshing! I believed I was the only one who thought differently.

    I had read some of the ‘to and from’ analysis of the movie and its ‘message’ and was getting highly fed-up with the over analyzing going on.

    I took my kids to see it and my daughter turned to me at the end and said, “You see, this proves that God is everywhere and in everything!”. I don’t know what ‘message’ she got from this but I believe it was a positive one and I, for one, was very happy this outcome.

    My son, being older (15 going on 40), got philosophical and commented that we ought to learn to respect the earth we live on and everything and everyone on it cos all of it came from God – no matter what he/she/it looks like! I could go off on another tangent about the movie but I think I’ll just stop here. Keep up the good work Heather!

  24. Hi,

    It is really nice to read all this love for the movie -even from people that have not seen it(strange)- it’s great!

    Makes me feel a little bad for writting this, but I believe that being able to hear (read) diferrent arguments without our emotiones getting in the way is the key to evolving.
    (If you feel enormous positive energy for the movie, don’t read this. I wish to lower no one’s energy.)

    I really liked the movie, but had mixed feelings by the end.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the message about being one with the universe (as I felt before seeing it and feel now), and about living in harmony.
    What I dislike is that by having one dimensional characters -and a simple script- it was obvious who was killing the planet (the mean bad intentioned sky people), and who was protecting it (the kind Navy).
    It is always easier to blame someone else, and to indentify with the good doers.
    But in real life it is US, the well intentioned humans and our way of life that are killing the planet. It is WE who have to change our way of life. Corporations cause the harm they do in order to fulfill OUR wants.
    So we have to fight OURSELVES, our good, caring for others selves.
    I firmly belive that all the lovers of the film identify with the kind Na’vy, not the threatening Sky people(they weren’t even called humans). But we are BOTH.

    Second, the fighting at the end. Same thing. For all the “Namaste”, at the end Na vy and humans could not see each other. It is easy to “see the god in another” when that other person is similar to you, when they write something akin to your thinking, but what will allow us to evolve is seeing God in the Sky people. The people we really can’t tolare and don’t undersand. That person that insults, they are also God, but they are more difficult challenge.

    Fighting cannot be the answer, at the end nobody wins and the Skypeople usually have reinforcements. And the universe will not intervine, it does not judge (it was mentioned briefly in the movie, before that point was trampled on, literaly). The Universe let’s us determine the outcome, to “see each others God” and decide to live in harmony with each other and with earth… there is no Sky people stoping us, just ourselves.
    in order for the “difficult” peolple in our lives to “see the God within us” we first have to see the God in them.

    Take care, enjoy!

  25. Thanks Heather, this is a simplistic way of looking at our spirituality and so right. Watching Avatar, along with the Matrix and other films depicting other dimensions, they give a feel of what is really happening …it is like looking through a mirror at another mirror and another mirror ad infinitum. I had an NDE…..VV’S NDE…it can be googled or nderf. The NDE was in 1969 and I have had to grow in this “real time” to understand what happened to me and how to live now after making all the usual mistakes. The NDE showed me that the ME I was experiencing was part of everything that ever was…I have been in many mansions as many things, along with everyone and everything. We are all one and we are all crystal shards of love experiencing ourselves in this dimension……the more we are able to recognise the perfections and imperfections in ourselves and others, the easier it will be to make our transition back to where we came from without taking back too much trauma, misunderstandings and guilt to be reviewed by all.

  26. Great review/article on this breathtaking film. I’ve waited to read it until after I saw it.
    A friend and I went last week, finally, to an IMAX theatre with 3D. Though it did take a couple of minutes to just relax my eyes and go with the flow of the visuals. We do see in 3D after all.

    I believe the misadventure on Pandora was a corporate debacle, with the personnel being mercenaries/soldiers of fortune (think Blackwater) as opposed to being regular army. (There was a quick mention of “the company” right in the beginning, which reminded me of “Alien”.)

    Be that as it may, I really liked this movie. The story was very good, a bit predictable IMVHO, but better than most run of the mill sci-fi’s. It did have the depth of which you speak and I think that is just lost on so many people who either don’t have the ability or don’t care to use their brains to that level.

    You assessment is right on, Heather and while I don’t think I’m necessarily better or smarter than those who don’t “get” it, I wonder in amazement about them and at them. I have no idea what it will take for them to see that it’s time to get on the train. Nothing short of human health and happiness, not to mention survival, are at stake. We can’t go on raping our own planet at the present rate without serious consequences. Again, too many of us just don’t get it.

    As to the 3 hour length, I didn’t even realize it. The pace was on point and the story moved right along. I don’t understand how anyone could have found it boring. What exactly was it they were expecting?

    For one, I’m glad Cameron made “Avatar”. I seems it had been a dream of his for a very long time. How about THAT for a successful ‘manifestation’????

    Thanks for your insight. As per usual, you hit the nail on the head.

  27. Yes, OK, I understood much of what you wrote about and appreciated the movie in many, many respects.

    However, didn’t anyone else find it troubling that the sky person had to come in and be the leader over the indigenous people? As soon as I saw the giant red dragon-like creature skeleton (forget its name) and heard that only 5 others had been chosen, I knew that Jake would be the sixth. And my spirit sank. Oh, right, I thought. He can’t just assimilate, he has to preside. Any deeper meaning was negated for me at that point.

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    To me, that was symbolic of Jake making the final transition from sky person to Na’vi. And after all, he was the ONLY being who could have saved the Na’vi that way. The stakes were high for him, because he was partially the cause of the coming destruction. The Na’vis didn’t even believe him, so none of them would have stepped up to the same challenge.

    The fact that he risked his life to save the lives of those he had grown to love represented the ultimate sacrifice, and is a classic part of a hero’s journey.

    And yes, I too knew he would be the 6th… but my spirit rose in excitement rather than sinking.


  28. Hi,

    Didn’t see the movie that way. The way i interpreted is more political. The bad guys being the USA people in the government, the precious ore being petroleum or whatever valuable ore, and the blue people being the country or countries that possess it in the world.

    Was a nice film anyways.

  29. God is all and made all,the root of all humanity goes back one way or another to God.Christ came to bring us back to God.he is the way the truth and the light.nobody comes to the father but by him.even if the end of humanity went back in time and polluted the gene pool,or genetically altered dna or a seedline.the same would still be the same all from God.people say the queen of heaven,this might refer to 0 israel Gods lost off with lucy locket,while lucy is stripping Gods people by technology.who knows.personally i would stick to scripture,lots going on in this world ,and as our history proves not very good stuff.

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