Avatar Movie

I saw the Avatar movie a few days back. Beautiful concepts were presented in the movie.

After seeing the huge robot being operated by a man sitting inside it, after the movie I felt like my body was a robot and I was sitting inside and operating it. And when I drove my car back home, I was wondering how different is my body than the car. One of the central themes of movie was about the nature of the person operating this physical entity called body. In the movie, there is a machine by which a person can be transfered from a human body to that of an alien. People switch between the two bodies easily at will. This keeps happening throughout the movie. This drives the strong message that I am not the body, but the person who resides in and activates the body. The body is just a vehicle and an instrument.

It was interesting to think what was common and what was different between the bodies. The different bodies have different physical characteristics and abilities. What is common is knowledge and the sense of values. When a man sits in a robot, the sense of values of the man is the continuing factor. So the capabilities of the robot is used to manifest the good or bad values of the man operating it. This gives a clear message of what is mine and what is not mine in life. The world, friends, relations, physical abilities, and to an extent even secular knowledge are all only adjuncts that help me to manifest myself. My sense of values is the one that defines me. So, that is where I should put in maximum effort to develop. Real development is refinement and elevation in the sense of values.

Another nice concept in the movie is the clash between two cultures. One is technologically advanced, but spiritually stunted. The other is spiritually advanced, but technologically primitive. The former has destroyed their home planet and has come to the alien planet in search of minerals. The latter lives a very harmonious sustainable life with due respect to every plant and animal on its planet. The former is driven by greed and conflict. The latter is driven by magnanimity and trust. The stark contrast between the two cultures is highlighted beautifully.

And the grand finale is when the feat of transferring a person from one body to another temporarily, which was achieved by great technological advancement, is done permanently by the other people by their religious rites. The technologically advanced culture has not yet found how to do the transfer permanently, without having to maintain the original body in a machine.

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10 Responses to Avatar Movie

  1. S.Das says:

    Respected Gomuji

    Though i do not view the movie yet, but want to see it now. The body is really a machine, we are operating through it. It is just like a monitor of a computer. Through which we can establish a relation with outer and inner world. We merge ourself with body and start moving in wrong direction. So, we have to learn the real technique of using this machine so that we could able to smartly operate this instrument. All the senses should be well balanced, not hankering after objects. The example of chariot is most appropriate.

    Thanks for the Friday Review.

    Regards
    Das

  2. Mohan says:

    Gomu

    there is another very central concept that struck me as being very profound – that of ‘eiwa’… or Prakruthi devi as we, hindus, would have protrayed… that concept came out brilliantly as well – the way the pandorans worship her, the way those jellyfish like objects move around (and hence is interpreted as the wish of ‘eiwa’… as well as the way no living entities are killed or the way the ‘soul’ is transfered from human body to that of the pandoran body…

    Loads of Universal Vedanta in the movie …. I guess …that immediately captivates the mind of the humans where ever they are…and have watched this movie…

    • gokulmuthu says:

      Yes. Personification of nature and the concept of living with nature as opposed to confronting it, conquering it and exploiting it have a lot of relevance today.

    • Anand says:

      I have a problem associating Eastern culture with Navis – “spiritually advanced & nature loving”. Of the two characteristics mention within the quotes, I don’t understand the meaning of the former and I am sure India is not known for the latter. I have seen both India and America. I would say India is a warming example on environmental matters. As greedy as western nations. At least the western nations have preserved their forests and tree cover. Environmental destruction is so complete in India that there is no hope for the reemergence of its ancient forests. Present day India is as far from ancient day India as America is from it now. I am very pessimistic about India’s future – no matter what its growth rate is. Unless we bring down the population to a tenth of its present value and sustain it there no hopes for nature in India.

      • gokulmuthu says:

        The problem you mention about India is the degradation of the Indian culture of nature-friendliness by the Western culture of nature-exploitation. The original Eastern culture and also of the Native American is to treat nature with reverence and friendliness. The Victorian idea of taming, conquering and harnessing nature is the root of the problems on Earth. I agree with you that things have to change. The root of the current problems in India is greed and corruption. Though the government has various good schemes to preserve the biodiversity, things are not working due to greedy public, corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

        • Anand says:

          Gomu,
          Hope you are not getting annoyed with my pessimistic world view and my pessimism about India’s future. To be honest, I think India and we Indians alone, are responsible for its environmental disorder. I agree that the western culture has no respect for nature and see it as a commodity. But they quickly understood that destroying nature will put them at a disadvantage and so they stopped doing it in their own countries. Prior to independence, we could blame the British for whatever happened in India. But we alone are responsible for whatever happened after independence. The following are what I consider are the reasons for the current sorry state of affairs :
          (1) Indian culture blindly adapted western technology without a full grasp of its consequences whereas western nations experimented things and learned from mistakes and were wise in handling technology.
          (2) India did not foresee the problem of over population and failed to check the population growth. One billion is a ridiculously large number for a country like India. Our own culture is the prime reason for this mad growth. Our present day culture considers a bachelor as a loser and marriage without reproduction as a failure. This has led to a state where everyone has to marry and beget a few children.
          (3) Too many people sharing a dwindling resource made people greedy, cunning and less polite and all good things vanish one by one.

          Sorry about the negative remarks. But I am very displeased over the way things are evolving in the world.

          • gokulmuthu says:

            Hi Anand,

            You don’t need to be sorry for being pessimistic. Looking at things, I see the core problem in India is corruption. The entire government machinery is not running effectively because of that. If that is fixed, everything will become fine. But no one knows how to fix that.

            Second problem is lack of human dignity. In US, even the sweeper is proud of what he is doing and looks at others on equal terms. Today’s paper carries a news that a business man was beaten up by a Minister for overtaking his car.

            Population is high in India. However, with right policies, it can be turned into an asset. There is enough for everyone. The problem is the wide and ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural.

            • Anand says:

              “Population is high in India. However, with right policies, it can be turned into an asset.”

              With all respects I disagree with this view. Huge population is always a bad thing. It taxes the eco system and will most certainly result in environmental degradation. The temporary short term benefits of huge population is trivial compared to the problems due to it. India, if it wants to educate all its citizens, must bring down its population drastically. If any aspect of Indian culture comes in way of that goal it needs to be abandoned, no matter how ancient the practices are.

              “There is enough for everyone.”
              I have no questions about the availability of food. One can even synthesize food in case of non availability.

              • Bala says:

                Hi Anand,

                it doesnt take a lot of people to damage the eco-system. the West has managed to inflict much more damage than India with a fraction of its population. this damage is only a function of how we live. Are we living in harmony with the world around us or are we in conflict with it.

                To give a very simple example, a 100 people walking would certainly feel uncomfortable due to the crowding but is still less polluting that 1 person driving a car…you get the point ?

                But for simple harmonious living for which many things we considering necessities will actually not be needed, there is plenty for all. Population then is not a problem. As Gandhiji nicely put it, “there is enough for everyones’ need but not for everyones greed”

              • Anand says:

                Hello Bala,
                Please write to my personal email at b.anand.b@gmail.com. This place is getting more and more clumsy.

                Thanks
                Anand.

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