Sunday, January 3, 2010

some thoughts on Avatar

It's funny I saw Avatar right in the middle of my VA Spinal Cord Injury rotation (since the main character is a veteran with a spinal cord injury). It must be Eywa (the Na'vi version of Mother Earth/God).

I'm glad James Cameron made this movie. It's got a lot of really important messages, none the least ranging from the dangers of conquest, harming the planet, and not understanding the spiritual connections between a people and their ecosystem. The Na'vi tell the story of an indigenous people who are completely in touch with their land, the animals, and their ancestors. They realize there is a spiritual connection between them all and do everything they can to try and preserve it. And then Man comes in and destroys much of it.

Then back to Earth and reality. This movie represents much of what is happening to our home, on this planet. The wars, disrupting the natural balance of the ecosystem, the failure to connect with God who keeps everything in balance. I really hope this movie moves mountains and gets people to change. Change has to come from within, but just maybe it takes films like this to nudge self-awareness along. The movie makes something that is inherent to spiritual people - an interconnectedness between all things living and nonliving on Earth - and makes it tangible, so everyone can understand it. The way the Na'vi literally form a bond with the animals they guide, with the Tree of Souls, the entire "bio-botanical neural network"... if applied to humans on Earth, that is something very abstract to most people, something they cannot easily relate to.

I hope people realize the depth of meaning in Avatar, in Lord of the Rings, in the Matrix. If not, there's another movie that is equally as powerful and makes the issues crystal clear, and you don't even need to go to the movies to see it. It's called Home and is available on youtube for free. I encourage everyone to watch Home.

It's sad that it takes multi-million dollar movies (or billion dollar ones such as Avatar) to get a point across, when you can learn the same story from watching Pocahontas.

Anyway, there's already a lot of people who care about the Earth and who know we need to take charge of the precious life God has given us. Maybe we just need the political will. And as Al Gore said on Saturday Night Live (when promoting his book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis"), if the politicians don't start listening, we may have to start planting trees in front of their houses with toy guns hanging from the branches so it looks like the trees have come to get their revenge.

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