Sr. Wantabee watched Avatar three times this weekend in phases with different children while running back and forth to her daughter’s concerts in a neighboring city. WHEW. For an old Trekki from the 60’s the concept of flying to some unknown planet to set up communication with humanoids who structure reality differently was actually much more intriguing than she had anticipated. In fact, it was delightful. the scenary was enchanting with all energy field, neon light sort of affects, and the idea of setting up communication with other life forms through your pony tail was fascinating. Absolutely delightful but one of the scenes that captivated her was during the crisis at the end when the hero kneels to pray at the holy tree to invoke aid for the battle that is about to unfold. His “chosen woman,” the next high priestess comes from behind and says something like, “The Great Mother does not take sides. She only maintains the balance in life.”
Sr. Wantabee has often puzzled thinking of the Christians on both sides of whatever war praying to God for victory. Or perhaps both teams on the football field pray before the game. Does the “will of God” only find meaning in end times theories as we seek to make sense of the catastrophies of our lives and the suffering in our world?
The people on Pandora, the planet where the Avatars interact with the natives have a reality that is a deeply interconnected energy field where the memories and lives of the ancestors are absorbed into an eternal ebb and flow of energy. The alternative and the contrast in the movie is the very Western, scientific, mechanistic, militaristic, fight terror with terror “aliens.” They are totally undesireable in their sell out to greed, hatred and fear. The viewer cannot help but be repulsed by their obtuseness to other life forms, lack of respect for the environment, and total utilitarian approach.
As a Christian, I believe the “Great Mother” spirit has personality and will. God does not exist to maintain balance. Sigh, I see through a cloud darkly and it is bedtime. I shall have to ponder some more.