Monday, April 26, 2010

Wisdom and Avatar


Wisdom and Avatar

By John Taylor; 2010 April 24, Jalal 15, 167 BE

Yesterday we reviewed the movie Avatar. As with everything else, I saw this movie in terms of the triple division of society that Comenius made, into politics, science and religion. The leader of the earth colony on Pandora is the CEO of a mining company. He stands for the voracious breed of capitalism that is ravaging mother earth right here and now. His right-hand bulldog is the head of a group of mercenaries named "SecOps," for security operations. Together the capitalists and trigger-happy soldiers stands for a politics that cares nothing for peace, much less the environment. They take the first excuse to pick a fight with the apparently technologically-inferior natives. Their sole goal is to mine for the strangely named mineral "unobtainium."

Matched against them, playing the role of religion, are what the bad guys contemptuously call the "blue monkeys," the Na'vi, a tree-loving, spiritual race of humanoids who inhabit Pandora, the moon of a much larger planet. Science is personified by Dr. Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver, who struggles valiantly for funds and permission to study the aliens, teach English to them, and maintain good relations as their land is stolen from under their feet. In the film, then, science and religion are the underdog enemies of a politics run by corporate minions whose sole concern is short-term profit for the corporation's shareholders. In other words, a government just like ours. At the end of the film, science and faith, against all odds, win out over the political element. The military loses the war, mining operations are shut down and the human aliens are deported from Pandora.

The reason that this movie has been so wildly popular, I theorized in yesterday's movie review, is because the imbalance is ours. We feel it in our own lives. It threatens our happiness and survival. The battle in Avatar is the result of conflicts among faith, science and politics. This war we fight every day in our hearts, in the workplace and the environment. What fulcrum will balance what is making us topple over?

I think the answer is wisdom. Wisdom would have made humans successful on Pandora. We will have to learn wisdom if we are to survive much longer, even on our own planet. Fortunately, I am writing an essay series on wisdom, so stay tuned to this blog.


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