Thursday, January 14, 2010

14 / Plugged In

The movie Avatar is all about a confrontation between the World of Nature and the world that humans create. The conflict between these two worlds is taken for granted, and is the essence of the story line. The "happy ending" in the movie is that the World of Nature "wins," with flying dragons defeating helicopter gunships. 

I wish that this fantasy were more convincing to me (as it was, for instance, to my son). I had a hard time believing that those humans deported at the end of the movie, sent back to where they came from, would not be returning in a very short time, in ever greater numbers, and that they would not conquer, in the end, the Natural Paradise inhabited by "The People." After all, I was an American History major. Goodbye, Cherokee. Goodbye, Apache. Goodbye to the buffalo, and to the plains themselves.

"The People," who lived in a completely harmonious and sympathetic relationship with even the most fearsome aspects of the World of Nature, including the pretty terrifying dragons, wild dogs, and triceratops-like beasts of the jungle, were able to achieve this effective and sympathetic relationship with Nature by literally "plugging themselves in," utilizing a braid of their hair to forge a living connection between themselves and other creatures, and the trees and the earth itself. 

Can we, without such a physical mechanism to assist us, get ourselves "plugged in" to the World of Nature in time; "plugged in" to the World that supports all life? 

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