The Mind-changing Myths of
Shamanism and Goddess
By Berit Kjos - February 7, 2010
Lower right corner: Jake riding a powerful bird he
7th avatar of Hindu god, Vishnu, carrying bow &
"...the whole world is under the sway of the evil
one." 1 John
"We...need to reawaken something
very old...our understanding of Earth wisdom. We need to accept the
invitation to the dance -- the dance of unity of humans, plants, the Earth." Deep Ecology
"I propose that Cameron is
alluding to that tenth avatar of Vishnu becoming manifest as the US
marine in Pandora's universe. The deliberate choice of the blue skin
instantly, magically and metaphorically relates our protagonist to two
previous avatars namely Rama and Krishna." Sita Wadhwani, Mumbai
"When I woke up this
morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world
seemed... gray. It was like my whole life, everything I've done and worked
for, lost its meaning.... I live in a dying world." Avatar-forums.com
a new world! Visualize its beauty! Flow with your feelings!
Become one with all!
But what about
to aid your Understanding
The tall, long-tailed
natives of Pandora, a distant earth-like moon, fit into a unified spiritual
network that links all of nature. They ride through the skies on powerful
birds, climb the stony walls of magnificent hanging mountains, worship their
goddess, and despise the corporate monstrosity that has invaded their habitat
in search of priceless resources.
Those earthly intruders intend to excavate
Pandora's most sacred spot. To avoid war, they brought a scientific team
trained to befriend the indigenous Na'vi people and persuade them to move.
That team includes latecomer Jake Sully, a
paraplegic Marine replacing his slain twin brother. After some training, his
mind and consciousness would periodically be transferred to his Na'vi-like
avatar -- a body originally made to match his brother's DNA.
Remember the Hindu word avatar? It
refers to an incarnation or manifestation of a Hindu god. The most common
avatars are incarnations of the god Vishnu, and they include the mischievous
flute-playing Krishna (pictured below) and the bow-and-arrow carrying Rama
(pictured above). Both are pictured with bluish skin -- just like the native
Testing his new avatar legs, tail and
body, Jake heads for the forest, admires the flowers, and faces a rhino-sized
beast. This strange world is nothing like the gray, polluted earth he
Moments later, a snarling
panther-like thanator chases him deeper into the woods where he meets
the beautiful Neytiri who aims her bow and arrow at him. Fortunately, she
receives a message from her mysterious goddess through a cloud of white
flower-like creatures that settle on Jake -- a clear sign that the goddess
[Eywa] wants Neytiri to befriend this ignorant stranger. But first she scolds
him for causing the death of other terrifying pursuers.
Hmmm. Do you wonder why Neytiri
carries a bow and arrow when all life is one?
Jake does his best to follow
the sure-footed Neytiri (climbing, leaping, etc.) back to Hometree, her clan's
sacred domain. She introduces him to Mo'at, her psychic mother who happens to
be the tribal tsahik (shaman speaking for Eywa). She tells her daughter
to train this "dreamwalker" in their native ways. Some of the clan warriors
Jake is a good pupil, and his lessons on
pantheistic unity soon shift his loyalty from his worldly mission to the tribe
and Eywa. So when his commander prepares to destroy Hometree and much of the
sacred forests, Jake springs into action. Through psychic linkage, he tames
and rides the fiercest bird of all -- the mighty Toruk, who became his
"spirit animal" through a ritual Spirit
Quest. Speeding above the forests, he gathers Pandora's
tribes for war.
He prays to Eywa for help, and she answers
his plea. She summons birds and beasts of every kind. With such an army, how
could they lose?
Her final "miracle" is to transfer Jake's
life from his injured earthly body to his Na'vi avatar. Now, he's one of
It all sounds good to earthlings who love
the myth of pantheistic oneness!
No wonder thousands of viewers became depressed (even suicidal) after their
virtual experience of Pandora's wonders. To them, dropping their 3-D glasses
into the recycling bin at the exit means a dreaded return to a dull reality!
Ponder the potential effect of this seductive journey on those who love
fantasy more than facts:
"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar'
I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the
Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the
things that happened in the film... I even contemplate suicide thinking that
if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to
Pandora...'" (Mike at Avatar-forums.com)
The reality behind this mind-bending,
feeling-based mythology is the existence of an occult spiritual system.
Avatar's promotion of pantheism and panentheism
(see Glossary of
Religious Terms) point to the "spiritual unity" at the heart of Hinduism,
Native American shamanism and the worship of Mother Earth. They all
clash with God's truth.
to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and
light for darkness!" Isaiah 5:20-21
1. Hindu gods and their
Writer and director Sudipto Chattopadhyay
believes that Cameron's choice of the title (Avatar) reflects a Hindu
"The ancient Hindu scriptures have
forever reiterated that whenever the world would be on the brink of disaster
and mankind faces extinction... the divine Lord Vishnu would consider
it his duty to manifest himself in mortal, palpable form to save
mankind from the impending doomsday. ...the Avatar is meant to be the
savior, the messiah of his own race and people."
In Cameron's mythical movie, planet
Pandora was certainly facing a major disaster, and Jake -- incarnated in his
Na'vi avatar -- seems to be the saving avatar. After all, he was chosen
and approved by the goddess herself!
Chattopadhyay is not the only one
affirming the Hindu suggestions in this movie. Rajan Zed, president of the
Universal Society of Hinduism, repeats the need for intervention
through an avatar -- though he may not approve of this movie:
“'Avatar', a Sanskrit term, means
descent or incarnation. Hinduism is shaped by its traditional belief in the
incarnation of Vishnu (the Preserver in Hindu trinity) into ten forms to
establish dharma (divine law), which include Matsya, Kurma...
Rama, Krishna, Buddha.... Hindus believe that without
such intervention, the entire created universe would have gone into
For a glimpse of the dark side of
Hinduism please read Let the Little Children Come.
2. Goddess spirituality
"The spiritual sense of our place in
nature... can be traced to the origins of human civilization," wrote Al Gore in
his 1990 book, Earth in the
Mr. Cameron would probably agree. Since he
and Gore seem to think alike on some issues, ponder this next statement. Here
Al Gore suggests that,
"a goddess religion was ubiquitous
throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today's
religions.... The last vestige of organized goddess worship was
eliminated by Christianity. ...it seems obvious that a better
understanding of a religious heritage preceding our own by so many thousands
of years could offer us new insights..."
Useful "new insights" from "goddess
worship"? What might they be? In his next statement, Mr. Gore gives us a
"The richness and diversity of our
religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored
by people of faith [Christians?] who are often afraid to open their minds
to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief. But the
emergence of a civilization in which knowledge moves freely and almost
instantaneously throughout the world has... spurred a renewed investigation
of the wisdom distilled by all faiths. This panreligious perspective
may prove especially important where our global civilization's
responsibility for the earth is concerned."
Finally, Gore quotes Dr. Karan Singh, a
Hindu environmentalist who wrote, "The Earth is our mother, and we are all her
children." That should arouse
fear rather than comfort, for when we look back to ancient goddess-worshipping
cultures, we see unspeakable cruelty. [Read more]
"...they speak a vision of
their own heart... They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The
Lord has said, 'You shall have peace' and to everyone who walks according
to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon
3. Native American pantheism, animism
According to Al Gore, Native American
religions "offer a rich tapestry of ideas about our relationship to the
earth." He quotes Chief Seattle, who supposedly asked this
"Will you teach your children what we
have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? . . . This we know:
the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are
connected like the blood that unites us all."
Sounds like Pandora, doesn't it? And
it's just as unreal. Those words were actually written by Ted Perry for a 1971
environmental movie. It was just the message they needed to persuade viewers
of their point of view!
Likewise, the mythical Na'vi present
"right" ideology. Largely patterned after today's idealized views of Native
Americans, they draw viewers into an unforgettable encounter with the
"illusions of oneness." Few realilze that behind the "beautiful side of
paganism" lie the same human tendencies that bring pain and destruction to all
parts of the world: greed, violence, competition, and war.
The late Dr. Clark Wissler, Curator
Emeritus of the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural
History, was recognized as a world authority on Native Americans. In his
book, Indians of the United States, he describes all the
admirable aspects of their culture: their love for their children, their
hospitality and their beliefs.
He also had the courage to expose the sad
facts. Stripping away the popular myth of perfect harmony, Wissler shows us
that Native Americans struggle with the same human nature we do. Look at
some popular myths in the light of additional facts.
nature? To stampede a herd of buffalo, hunters might set the grass
on fire behind the flock. The escaping herd would "flounder into a swamp
or tumble over a cliff."
life? "The early Indian hunted the wild horse for food, which may be
one of the reasons why they became extinct long before white men came to
Peace with each
other? "The elders of neighboring tribes talked peace... but the
marauding traditions were so carefully fostered that raiding for blood,
captives, and plunder was on the level of second nature."(p.63)
Respect for all
life? The Iroquois, noted for democratic self-government, "planned to
destroy the Huron. It was not to be a war of subjugation; they hated the
Huron intensely.... After taking the first town, the massacred the entire
population. If they took captives, it was to torture them to
I don’t want to diminish the wrongs
committed against Native Americans: killing, selling alcohol, taking
their land, ignoring treaty obligations… Yet our children need to see these
tragic violations in the light of the whole truth. Apart from our
Creator and Savior, human nature everywhere will express its selfishness and
violence. If we dismiss uncomfortable facts in order to prove a false
ideal, we perpetuate the lies. We also hide the only solution that
works –- trusting and
Filling minds with occult visions will
surely immunize the masses against the Truth of
God. His reality is incompatible with mystical fantasy! Yet
people have, through the ages, chosen to compromise God's truths with their
imagination. Remember the moral condition of
the masses back in Noah's days:
"...every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was
only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
Similar conditions will prevail when Jesus returns. (See Luke 17:20) Today's occult movies and computer games, playing on
the imaginations of impressionable children, could open a "Pandora's Box" of
paganism and spiritual bondage. So let's heed His warnings:
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and
empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic
principles of the world, and not according to
Christ." Colossians 2:8
1. Bill Devall and George Session, Deep Ecology
(Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1985), p. ix.
religious backdrop to James Cameron's 'Avatar'" at http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/play/avatar-hindu-perspective-961455
3. A comment by "Hill" at Avatar-forums.com
4. Avatar: The Na'vi Quest, Adapted from the
movie by Nicole Pitesa, (Harper Festival, 2009), pp. 1, 57. This small
book provides some details not explained in the movie.
5. The above book answers that question: The Na'vi
were meat-eating hunters, but they had to had to understand the pantheistic
oneness before they could take life. When Jake kills a hexapede, he
prays: "I see you, brother, and thank you. Your spirit goes with Eywa, your
body stays behind to become part of the people."[p.39]
ask for a disclaimer with James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ at www.entertainmentandshowbiz.com/avatar-hindus-ask-for-a-disclaimer-with-james-camerons-avatar-2009111822418
7. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance; Ecology and the
Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992), pp. 260, 258-259, 261.
8. Clark Wissler, PILD, Indians of the United
States (New York. Anchor Books, Doubleday), pp. 270, 14, 287, 63,
Provided by Berit Kjos
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