Avatar

As I said in Monday’s post, I went to see this movie over the weekend.  I would give it 5 stars for sure.  To me any movie that I feel I am better for having seen is a 5 star movie.  It is an added bonus if I am thinking about it days later.  So here I am, days later, with Avatar and it’s messages still swirling through my head.

Everyone has said that you must see it.  A lot of people say that if nothing else you should see it for it’s beauty and effects.  I’m not much for effects, I personally like a good story.  I was so enthralled by the characters and the story that I barely noticed the effects.  At times I even forgot the movie was in 3D.

The movie touched on a lot of my favorite topics.  Some themes that were obvious to me, but maybe not to a lot of people included: oneness, energy, spiritual healing, consciousness and the ability to connect to everything (including spirit).  But it was the basic story (one we’ve heard before) that stirred my soul the most and made me ask “is there anything I can do to change this?”

Avatar takes place over one hundred years in the future on a planet called “Pandora.”  An American (assumed b/c of the language)  corporate entity has hired the military to go on a mission to this planet in order to dig and retrieve a very valuable resource found under the surface.  The only obstacle standing in the way is the natives of the planet.  The people involved in this mission are convinced that the natives are dangerous and ignorant, needing to be either exterminated or rehabilitated.  When the scientist involved in the mission begin to understand the race of beings they discover the beauty in their way of life.  These “people” are truly connected to one another and the “earth” they live on.  They treat their environment with respect, even blessing and thanking the animals whose lives are taken to provide them with food.  Those that become involved with the “Na’ vi” begin to understand that they do not need changing at all and what they represent is far more valuable than the resource on which their homes stand.  But the corporation and the military leaders hired by them can not be convinced and only desire to take the land.  Ultimately it becomes a battle between greed and love and the people that are forced to choose a side.

I won’t say how it ended.  This is one I don’t want to *spoil*, but it really touched my heart at a deep level.  I inwardly wept for every country or people that have had to deal with such a tragedy.  Wars are started in this manner, often times under the guise that a certain group of people need to be “saved.”  I imagined for a moment how it might feel if someone bulldozed my home for no reason apparent to me.  It’s easy to explain away with some “for their own good” excuse so that people will be passive and let it go, but how must it feel to be in the position of having your life (everything you have ever known) turned upside down?

Avatar forces you (or should force you) to ask that question and take a moment to be empathetic.  I’m struggling right now with the desire to take my girls to see this movie.  I know it is rated PG-13 and that they are probably too young, but I can’t help thinking they would benefit from seeing the truth put forth in this movie.  It is an opportunity for them to see the worst and best of humanity and hopefully connect with the best inside themselves because of it.

Advertisements

Thoughts on Equality

This is my post in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day.  I have just returned from seeing Avatar and I am processing yet another very deep movie with lots of layers.  One quote that stands out to me from the movie is:

“The strong prey on the weak and nobody does a thing.”

Unfortunately this is the truth about so much that has happened throughout human history.  It is the people with money or political standing that get to decide for the rest of us.  It was someone with money and power that sent explorers to the new world and encouraged them to steal an entire countryside from the Native Americans.  It was someone with money and power that sent ships to Africa to bring back human beings for slave labor.  Generations later it was someone with money and power that decided the descendants of those human beings, that were stolen from their home country and forced to America, were not human enough to have the same quality of life as white people.

And I think a lot of people get convinced it’s all OK.  They decide that because the “powers that be” are doing it, then it must be just and right.  Sometimes those “powers” convince them that it is for the greater good.  They turn regular people with feelings and beliefs into enemies.  Once you are convinced that people are a threat, you can ignore the tug at your conscience that tries to remind you they are just like you.

Sometimes though someone is strong enough to stand up for what they believe in and risk it all for change.  It starts with just one person brave enough to do this.  Eventually people start to take notice.  They hear the truth in the message.  We are all equal.  Flesh and blood.  Thoughts and emotions.  Souls.  In these ways we are all connected.  Anything I do to another, I do to myself.  Every prophet, mystic, Master has told us this.