At my husband’s 50th birthday party, his friend gave him a gift certificate to the movies and told him with deep seriousness, “You have to use this to see Avatar. As soon as you can.” Brett smiled and thanked him – then we mostly forgot about it.

Probably just a lot of hype, we’ll get to it when we do. So on Saturday night we finally did – and our three hour stay at the Carmike near Target evaporated in a swirl of magic. I’ve been drifting in a pixie dust afterglow ever since. You probably already have an opinion about Avatar – it’s been out for 2 and a half months – but I can’t help it, gotta say my piece!

One of my yoga students scoffed in disgust when the movie first came out. “They go watch a movie like Avatar,” he said of people in general, “Then they just go back and keep doing what they’re doing – nothing changes!”

What? A tough marine is depicted in a movie as converting into a tree hugging dirt worshipper and nothing has changed? Okay, let’s break this down – before Avatar, the biggest grossing movie was Titanic – made by the same guy.  So about 13 years ago, James Cameron and all the people he influences with his work are caught up in a soppy love/disaster story and that’s what captures the generic attention. Not so interesting really to us yoga types. Now the same guy shifts his awareness into a visionary, futuristic, gorgeous mythic epic (I’ll have to put the Hollywood blow-up-shit part out in the parking lot), which is essentially about the elevation of consciousness. He comes out with the highest grossing movie ever, and nothing has changed? BTW, us yoga types have perked up a bit.

Consciousness is shifting. This is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever witnessed in the mainstream. People responded to this movie not only because of the effects or the 3D glasses, but because something is shifting within us. We are ready to move forward – in fact, we don’t have a choice. Our minds must expand if we are to evolve, if we are to survive. People responded to Barack Obama because he promised us “Change you can Believe in.” Regardless of the lukewarm delivery of that promise, regardless of whether most teenage boys just enjoyed the shoot-’em-up violence of Avatar, and regardless of the wars and environmental devastation we are mired in – something much larger than our own little craniums can fathom, is shifting.

This is the change that is on the lid of every third eye out there – consciously or not, Consciousness is changing. Avatar is monumental because it is the aesthetic expression,  as always, out in front of rational discourse, of the shift that we are undergoing.

And if consciousness shifts, then actions will necessarily follow. I’m not saying the Age of Aquarius is upon us and we should all get out our love beads and start dancing in Golden Gate Park. I’m not saying it’s all good and getting better. I’m not saying stop trying to transform yourself and the world. We have to keep supporting this shift in every way that we can. But if the mass consciousness is welcoming this kind of entertainment, we can be sure there will be a response.

The title of the movie is in Sanskrit. The avatars are Krishna blue. I’m thinking Mahabharata here, not Second life. Everything on Pandora is connected by what Sigourney calls a neural network. Psycho-neuroimmunology depicted macrocosmically. Pandora has almost what Teilhard called a noosphere – a bio-active atmosphere of consciousness. We are not alone in our quest to make things better. It doesn’t have to do simply with how many petitions you sign or protests you attend or letters you write or checks you send to Haiti – that’s all important, but there is a support, there is an Avatar – there is a force that is helping us.

A guy with stunningly long dreads at the checkout at Earthfare told me yesterday that the movie has been slammed as un-american all over the media. Hmm, now if they had taken out the real bad guy, the corporatist who pushes the bulldozer at Jake, then I could see why the powers that be might get their knickers in a twist – but he gets off without even a slap on the wrist. What planet is he going to exploit next – maybe that’s where the sequel is going? I thought they might make a slave out of him or at least send him to Pandora rehab and make him wear a loin cloth.

Here’s the other thing – because there is contention and polarization around this movie, you can be certain it matters. Those who say it’s un-american are doing this consciousness shift a great service. And if they keep pushing, the momentum will continue to grow. The question is what exactly is un-american about cooperation, sustainability, intuition, interconnectedness and the fight to maintain those principles? The military, I want to reiterate, is not the problem, it’s the guy who controls them.

The sky seems bluer today and I am enjoying the smell of my tea more than usual. There is a reality that waits patiently for us to take notice. Madhuvidya, is what I would call the essence of Avatar, the sweet secret knowledge that everything in every moment is an opportunity for swimming in ecstasy.


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