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Avatar: The Archetypal Message Is "Get Back In Your Body!"

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Cathy Lynn Pagano       (Page 1 of 10 pages)     Permalink

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There's been so much written about Avatar since its release last month that hits the target but misses the bulls-eye. Right wing conservatives fear it is a call to eco-terrorism, the Vatican is afraid that it calls for a return to Paganism and Nature worship, minority writers see it as another example of white supremacy. Certainly many see it as anti-corporate and anti-military, and even more people see it as a call to defend the environment. So many perspectives and all right in their own way.

So let's look at some of what's being written before I get to the archetypal message of the movie.

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Josh Schrei so aptly notes in his article (Avatar and the Vocabulary of Evildoers -- Why James Cameron's Script Isn't as Bad as you Think - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-schrei/avatar-and-the-vocabulary_b_413853.html) the dialogue in Avatar is very true to life. Yes, corporate leaders think and say very much the same things as we hear in the movie. The truth is, corporations and their leaders are the real eco-terrorists, not the indigenous peoples who are trying to stop them. Corporate leaders are the savages who haven't developed a moral compass about life. And so they twist reality to re-make themselves into the forces of good and life. It's the same delusional hypocrisy we've been hearing from our leaders now for the past decade. C.S. Lewis brilliantly portrayed this mind-boggling nonsense in his book (from the 50s) "That Hideous Strength".

Then we have the Vatican dissing the movie. Vatican Radio said it "cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium" Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship." Well, Nature is full of Divine Spirit, and while we might never be able to worship it as our ancestors did, we can very well understand that God/dess speaks to us through our natural world. I personally can attest to the healing power of honoring the Spirit in Nature, attuning to the seasonal changes, feeling how the Anima Mundi or World Soul is how the Divine Spirit manifests in all of life, not just humanity.

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This is what good stories do! They make us think; they bring up emotions; they touch on our beliefs. So even without the Golden Globe to tell us this was the best story going this year, we all know that it is, because Avatar has affected hundreds of millions of people around the world. It has become one of our new collective myths.

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Avatar's appeal is not just visual, it is visceral. Like the ancient myths, it gives form to new archetypal energies, new ways to see ourselves as a people. Woe to the corporations, because it speaks to people's hearts and makes us think about our lives and about our world. How it speaks to us and what we hear is filtered through what we believe and the emotions those beliefs bring up for us. This is what a good story does, makes us think about what we're feeling and valuing and hopefully teaching us to see a bigger picture.

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Cathy Pagano is the author of a new book, "Wisdom's Daughters: How Women Can Change the World". Cathy trained at the C. G. Jung Institut-Zurich in dream interpretation, then got her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in Feminine Spirituality, and along the way became a certified Life Coach. As an astrologer and storyteller, she weaves the Cosmic Stories written in the stars and from The Bard's Grove, comments on emerging archetypal themes in movies. Cathy works with the tools of the imagination - dreams, alchemy, myths, astrology, symbolic language, storytelling, ritual - to awaken the Soul's wisdom.

I believe that Americans are called to a higher consciousness at this point in our history. We are called on to live up to our ideals and create the country our forefathers imagined. Inner consciousness needs to be acted upon for social justice.

Cathy believes that our writers and artists must take up our responsibility to create art that inspires, teaches and heals our humanity.

Cathy writes about political, psychological/spiritual, and cultural issues.

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