An 'Avatar' for All the Oppressed
by Shen Shi'an, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 15, 2010
Singapore -- The epic movie ‘Avatar’ is a must-see – for every generation, every kid and adult. Its dramatic and educational messages are direct and simple, but portrayed in probably the most powerful and inspiring manner to date on the silver screen.
In the future, after fully milking the Earth’s minerals for energy, humans travel to another planet to mine a more precious mineral. What’s next after planetary exploitation? Interplanetary exploitation! Or is it universal exploitation? It is downright exploitation because it disregards the already present harmony of its indigenous people (’aliens’ to us), animals and vegetation.
Seeing the Nav’is as uncivilised savages, the human conquerors are the real savages instead, who terrorise their home planet carelessly. Despite having more advanced technology, the humans had long lost their spiritual resonance with the Earth, much more to say other planets. Being short-sighted mercenaries, the invaders do not realise that the true and total wealth of the planet was already all around, as it is in the wholeness and interdependence of nature’s elements; it was not just hidden in some buried minerals. When a human takes on the avatar of a Na’vi’s form to blend in and understand Na’vi society, he literally becomes one of them when he opens his heart and mind to them – turning his back to the inhumanity of humanity.
With their great respect for animals, the Na’vis never see them as savage creatures, but as sentient beings with rights to live too… according to the law of the jungle though. While they chide those who kill them needlessly, perhaps the Na’vis should evolve to be vegans! Interestingly, they let wild animals ‘domesticate’ them too, when they strive to win trust to become win-win partners. In a final bid to win back the planet against their attackers, the Na’vis summon the animals for their assistance in casting them out. When nature is abused, the forces of nature, with its environment and beings rebel in unison. It’s ‘natural karma’ in action!