Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Avatar Gospel

Avatar is a spectacular platform for preaching shamanism. The story line is neither unique nor complicated. A distant moon planet called Pandora is colonized by a corporation that is mining a metal of great value for the earth, which has been ravaged by the exploitation of its own natural resources. The enterprise, however, is hampered by a tribe of indigenous humanoids called Na'vi, whose village and land cover the main core of the precious metal. Diplomatic attempts to persuade the Na'vi to resettle elsewhere have ended in failure, primarily because of the Na'vi's religion of shamanism. They worship Eywa, a goddess akin to what the Greeks called Gaia, or Mother Earth. Eywa appears to be an impersonal, godlike force that is responsible for maintaining the balance of all life. Everything in Pandora is linked to Eywa mystically and biologically. The biological emphasis amplifies the critical nature of preserving the planet's physical ecological system for future survival. Demonstrating the connectedness of all life forms, the spirits of animals that are killed for food or in self-defense are addressed by the Na'vi either in thanksgiving or apologetically. (Read article)