Monthly Archives: February 2010

Avatars Fear to Tread

Avatar: what a thought-provoking movie about consciousness, energy, being, believing, seeing, touching… embracing the wilderness of “being-in-creation” and “being-in-the-more-than-human-world.” An Imax 3D experience that juxtaposes human greed and the artifices of techne with nature’s nourishing, all-renewing and all-restoring energies.

The storyline in Avatar is simple, rather the same-old-same-old story of colonization and exploitation that has occurred countless times on earth, and now on the fertile world of Pandora. Pandora is breathtaking with “floating” Hallelujah Mountains, bioluminescence in its flora & fauna, and a collective consciousness existing within the neural network of the forest. The Na’vi, the dominant species, have a radical respect for the equality of all sentient life forms, ecological awareness, spiritual virtues and a deep sacredness. My Avatar does not fear to tread in this elysian mental paradise.

A sad, sad contrast to the hungry, greedy, overpopulated, sick, ambitious and competitive matrix in which humans dwell and where “Angels Fear to Tread” (G. Bateson & M. C. Bateson, 2004, Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred). Why do we suffer so? Why are we unable to live responsibly, compassionately and lovingly? Why do we overfill our hearts and minds with self (and stuff for self) such that we have no room to love anyone/anything else? The seductive entrapments of narcissism, consumerism and hedonism keep us incessantly busy “looking after #1” such that we simply have no time to be still, no desire to listen… and no ability to see.

Upon second thought, we get glimpses of awareness in movies that cost over $300,000,000 to make with a further $150,000,000 for marketing and promotion to ensure that “we see”. With over $2 billion in revenue (so far), Avatar’s commercial success indicates that we are (at least) looking whilst being entertained. Ironically (or tragically) we need theatre tickets, surround sound and 3D glasses “to see” what it means “to be”.

We are one human family living together in a shared earthly home: it’s not mine nor yours, but ours. Mother Nature, Father God, sisters, brothers and sentient others: “I see you.”