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January 25, 2010


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"it's an open question whether the Na'vi are more akin to Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle than Spinoza"


It's not possible for humans to have a spiritual discussion without disagreeing, it seems, re: panentheism etc. In fact, I see a lot of sympathy for pantheism in the g0d of christians and jews, but that's another story.

I too wrote of my spiritual thoughts on Avatar if you're interested. Am about to update in the next couple of days.



yip, i thought 'pantheism' was the belief that god = universe, but 'panentheism' goes slightly further in that god is believed to be more than the universe.

The question whether the universe is non-dual or a multitude of forms seems a different one. Not sure modern science has accepted a nondual ultimate reality, but Einstein seem to have had at least a feel or hint for this imo. Perhaps at these boundaries of science, eastern philosophies like taoism or zen can help in offering paradoxical explanations like the tao and yin/yang opposites which are not that accurate but get as close as one can to hint at a description of it.

'Deism' is the belief in a creator, but whose truths are observed naturally (science) not found through revelation or manmade teachings. 'Theism' appears to differ in the belief of a god capable of intervening (or sometimes superceding) nature.

Its quite interesting to see at what one various religious traditions have their cut-off. That is, do they believe in a creator god who does not intervene or a more personal creator god? I suppose this is also the difference between the 'intelligent design' argument as compared to the more rough 'creationist' debate. Tho both are meant to teach alternative to evolutionary theory, and so imo are rubbish.

Wow. I didn't think about Avatar much, but now I can see that much can be made out of it if you're so inclined. I just liked all the pretty colors, sounds and action, man. I was just tripping.

I think that was an interesting review, Brian. James Cameron would be flattered if one who's cup of flatteration that runneth over could be further flatterated.

Now that I think about it, why do the Na'vi need a plug? Who needs a plug when you are the plug? If all is unity, how can you be outside of unity? Where would that be? How could that be? How could unity be unplugged from unity or need a plug to plug into itself?

This is the perpetual problem, the plug looking for the plug.

tucson, I can assure you that I also was "just tripping" when I watched Avatar. It was only afterward that I started thinking about the philosophy underlying the movie.

To me, the plug is like a Eywa afterburner. The Na'vi always felt a connection to Eywa and other beings on Pandora, but "plugging in" formed a really intimate connection. Kind of like how I almost always feel positive toward life, but when I have a 20 oz latte I feel really, really positive.

The Na'vi killed other creatures on Pandora. The moon wasn't a non-stop love fest. So clearly Eywa wasn't a state of "I am you, you are me, we are all together" 100% oneness bliss. There were degrees of togetherness and separation.

Thus I saw the plug-in, like when Jake learned to ride the horse-like creature, as a means of temporarily ramping up the connectedness. If that level of psychic intimacy was present all the time, individuals wouldn't have been very individuated, making for a boring (and probably unlivable) Pandora.

I've unpublished a thread of comments on this post after the person who put up the first comment, tAo, asked that it be removed.

This made a string of other comments irrelevant. Mostly they involved "flame war" sort of stuff which I probably shouldn't have allowed in the first place, since this goes against my blog's comment policies.

This is my first visit to this site and I have little disagreement with what the author says except for the point regading Eywa answering Jakesully's prayer. When he finished praying Nytiri said Eywa does not take sides...she will only act to restore the balance. The sky people created (with their violent gun wielding assult) a terrible imbalance which all of nature (Eywa) rose up against.
Bonny L. Cameron

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