Special thanks to John Manley of MetaphysicalSF for this guest post!
Whether intentional or not, James Cameron’s film Avatar contains many spiritual analogies. Here are seven examples I observed:
- The Na’vi race have a striking similarity to depictions of Hindu avatars like Krishna and Rama. Coincidence? Apparently not. James Cameron admitted to Entertainment Weekly that he made the Na’vis blue “because there’s a connection to the Hindu deities, which I like conceptually.”
- The paradise world of Pandora represents the higher realms of spiritual consciousness or the “Inner Garden of Eden” that we all aspire towards.
- Just as the humans came to Pandora for its mighty ore so we often turn to spiritual realms for superficial and material motives.
- The way the avatar drivers would slip into those “link-up” devices, enter a trance state and lose identification with their physical bodies sure reminds me of meditation.
- At first Jake is impressed by the superficial experiences of his avatar life as a Na’vi – just like those who start to meditate are hung up on seeing some light, hearing astral sounds or having a vision.
- As the movie progresses Jake begins to appreciate the mystical ways of the Na’vi people – just as the meditator starts to discover the subtler joys of the “inner life.”
- And just as Jake’s exploration of Pandora is disturbed by vicious animals, bulldozers and military conquest… so the spiritual seeker’s exploration of the inner world is often attacked by wild desires, the bulldozing effect of material consciousness and the mind’s battle against it’s own armies of restlessness.
In effect, Avatar is an eternal story retold in futuristic trappings. Like the Bhagavad-Gita’s symbolic war of Kurukshestra Avatar depicts the battle within the spiritual aspirant to reclaim their inner kingdom of God-realization.
About the Author…
John C. A. Manley writes meaningful science fiction and fantasy novels with a spiritual backbone.
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Tags: Spiritual Movies
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