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(Created on February 20, 2010)
Seeing the movie «Avatar», many people went really sad to live on our today grey Earth, compared to the magnificent planet Pandora. I want to speak to these people, and tell them that their hopes can be fulfilled, although not simply and not immediately. It is very clear that this fictional world arose a huge interest (For evidence the number of Na’vis that we already meet in Second Life), so that it may become a kind of spiritual/social model or reference for our actual dreams and projects.
That this movie arises the desire for living in a beautiful world is perfectly normal: it is a fundamental characteristic of the human mind to be attracted toward a more happy life. We don’t need to spare even a second to heed sad morons telling us that such a desire would be an «illusion», «old fashioned» or «irrational» or that we need to be «awakened» and «to come back to reality». It is these people who are asleep, and in more dangerous, as it is shown in the movie. However it is clear that we shall never go to Pandora, which is a fiction. So what can we really do, or hope for?
There are three kinds of things we can do, although none brings immediate results:
1) Prepare an after death in a marvellous world.
The recent scientific validation of NDE and parapsychology tell us that such things like an after death paradise may exist, and are within our reach. However we don’t know for sure what kind of place we shall actually reach: the only sure thing is that, whatever happens after death, it depends only on our consciousness, as our brains and bodies shall stop functioning. So, if we want to find a beautiful place inhabited with kind people, this probably requires that our consciousness has matching characteristics, in order to be attracted by such a place. From here the need of a training, such as visualising nice things, and being kind ourselves. This is the topic of this site.
2) Work for a better Earth.
Join one of the numerous movements which foster a better world, whatever it is in ecology, art, social, etc. However this is an investment for the future generation, don’t crave for an actual result within some years. Don’t feel deceived either, if people in these groups are not perfect. It is already good that such groups already exist. When I was a kid, there were NO such groups, the world was just a terrifying grey silent desert.
3) Join a virtual community of Na’vis.
Several already exist in Second Life, and others may appear. However, in doing so, don’t forget that other members of these communities are humans in the physical world. Those groups may provide with good experiences, but they may, at any time, turn to the usual Human’s social drama and limitations. Don’t make a life stake of any of them.
As seen above, the path to a life as magnificent as the Pandora world is open, and practicable to all. However it is a long path filled with traps and false directions. So, if we want to engage in, we must think at it, from the beginning, as a long term endeavour. But still this is the SHORTEST path.
This MUST NOT discourage us: it is with this matter, exactly as with sport training, body building or such things, where we merrily engage into difficult, tiring or unpleasant exercises, for much lighter purposes. The training of the mind is exactly the same thing, save that it is strongly discouraged in a world where dominant ideologies are pushing us into selfishness and «accepting us as we are».
So we need to engage into a thankless job, bear falls backs and long spans of seemingly meaningless life, where we see no visible result. This is however the shortest path, as long as we keep climbing, as much as we keep training into being a kind person, into loving and imagining beautiful things.
We shall be strongly tempted to think that we are just losing time. Alas there is no faster way. It is the path. The path starts where we are, and we are advancing on the path each time we think to be kind with somebody, each time we imagine or create something beautiful. Just that the path is long, and we don’t see our daily progress, as when we are moving into a large landscape.
And when we fall, when we suffer, it must encourage us to train more, instead of stopping us. Because training is the only solution to, one day, reach a state without suffering. This state of mind is like a spiritual judo: a judoka uses the very impetus of his attacker to make him fall, instead of trying to withstand this impetus. In the spiritual domain, we can do the same thing: each time we are hurt, each time we fall, each time we are deceived, instead of just sitting and crying, instead of cursing the world, we must think that this happens because we are not yet free of our mind defilements, disillusions or ideologies. So that getting rid of those is the only efficient way to get out of this mess. If se thing in this way, then any suffering or adverse situation becomes a challenge, and an encouragement in our work to dissipate our mind defilements, disillusions or ideologies!
To achieve our purpose we may, or may not, engage in a psychotherapy, religion, spiritual practice, group, etc. Which to choose is a matter of personal preference. But we must think at these as tools, not as purposes by themselves.
Do not give up ordinary life.
We shall have to study, to work, take care of our family, have friends, hobbies, etc. To reject the world will not ease up our task, right on the contrary this will deprive us of indispensable occasions to train to kindness. Let us accept these situations as tools, as occasions to train.
Don’t place all your hopes on a given community.
Whatever in the physical life, virtual life, real or roleplay, if we join a community or group of people, never forget that they are constituted of ordinary humans, whom personality defilements may bring dispute or failure at any moment. This can be very painful when a petty dispute breaks a beautiful ideal, but this happens, and will continue to happen as long as people are considering their psychological defilements as «their personality». So be prepared to this, and, when it happens, just turn the page and go to another group.
Beware of false gurus and cults.
False Gurus and cults use the hopes and expectations of people as a bait, to bring them in submission, money schemes or abusive sex. So it would not be surprising if some try to surf on the Avatar wave. Small groups can work as a cult too, when they gather around a narcissic pervert. Learn to recognize them. Today only Buddhism, and a few recognized Yoga masters, provides with true Gurus in western countries, and still we must not think that all of them are Gurus.
Never use drugs
ALL drugs more or less damage our brain, including «soft» drugs like marijuana and legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco. The supposed «benefits» of drugs are largely superseded by the real destructions they operate in our minds, of which we often are unaware. Drugs ARE NOT a shortcut which would save years of spiritual training, but a contrary a TRAP linking us to a long cycle of suffering (A long time is needed to repair the havoc, and this just to recover our start position). It is mostly drugs which trapped and destroyed the Hippie movement, and cancelled their vision of a nicer world, forty years ago already. This simple fact should be enough to make understand who encourages drugs, and for which purpose.
The idea of a better life beyond death may lead to think that suicide would be the shortest way to end a dull life and start a better one in a nicer place. This reasoning is just not valid, as one element is missing: we just don’t know how the switches will be placed for us, at time of our death, and where they will lead us: we may fall back on Earth, or even land in a still more unpleasant place. The good reasoning starts to prepare the path, with training for a better life, training in visualisation of beautiful things, training in kind actions, training to eliminate our mind defilements (egocentrism, ideologies, bad temperament...). This only will set the switches of our minds in the right position. And the more time we take to train, the safer the result. So the later we die, the more chances we have.
A blunt formula is that we deserve paradise only if it is still the paradise for others, once we are in... We don’t need to be a saint or angel, thought, just being a fine person will be enough.
The Vatican issued a warning against this movie, as it is, after them, fostering an «idolatry» of nature. This Middle Age-looking warning probably made many people laugh, but we must be wary that it bears some sense. If we look at the movie, there is nothing such as a real god: everything is explained in a material way, including the «Goddess» Eywa, who is just a collective brain of interconnected plants, animals and persons. This is fascinating, but right at the opposite of a spiritual view irreducible to anything material. To understand this, just consider one thing: if Pandora is destroyed, then Eywa is destroyed too, and all the dead Na’vis who are still «living in Eywa» are really dead, losing consciousness for eternity. This is right at the opposite of the promise of eternal happiness of the religions, as it is today confirmed by the scientific validation of NDE and paraphychology.
Another serious issue is the naive view of the 1970’s marxist ecologists, justifying violence and predation under the pretext of maintaining the ecological balance. In the movie, it is pushed at a caricature level: we see only top level carnivores, and nearby no herbivores, so that we wonder what these carnivores eat. A world where we can be torn alive at every minute is all but a paradise! It is just the well known idea of the rule of the strong over the weak, recycled and painted in green. This issue, together with the irreducible opposition between nature and technology, contains the seed of a fundamentalist environmentalism, which would be just the opposite course of today’s mindless fascination for technology. We would just pass from an extreme to another, but as dangerous. I much prefer the approach of Marc Bati in his Vishdane world, as beautiful as Pandora, but completely peaceful and free of any predator: the collective mind keeps the balance by controlling births, not deaths. Also, in this world, the agents of the Galactic Confederation use high technology in a very discreet and non-invasive way, to protect the planet. Some landscapes of Avatar, and even Eywa herself, seem inspired by Vishdane. What I want to see is movies makers using the same means than with Avatar, but on 100% positive themes.