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Old 03-18-2010, 09:30 PM
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Neytiri_Quest is dreaming again
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: at Neytiri's side
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Why We Love Neytiri-Part III



This commentary was inspired by a member of the Neytiri clan, but the more thought I gave to it, the more I realized he had merely voiced something that was undoubtedly on the minds of all of us. How do you go about finding your earthly "Neytiri"? And what do you do when you long for a relationship, but “terran” women just don’t seem to measure up to her standard? I’m no expert when it comes to matters of the heart, and am on my own journey (note my forum name). But I will do my best to offer some direction and balm for those of you who are plagued by these and similar questions.

In Plato’s ‘Myth of the Cave’, several men are bound together in a dark and dank cave facing a wall. A source of illumination is located behind them, and as objects pass by, shadows are cast on the wall. Since they can’t turn their heads, the men are forced to look only at the blank wall in front of them. The play of dismal gray and black shadows is the only reference point they have for the construction of their world view.

But miraculously, the shackles fall away from one of the men and he is able to stand up and move around. He sees the light source behind the men, and the true forms of the objects that create the display of light and shadow on the cave wall. He doesn’t have to speculate about what they are anymore. And he also observes the plight of the imprisoned men. He sees clearly that the shadows cast on the wall aren’t reality at all, but only a very limited perception of it.

When he tries to explain what he has seen to the other men, they don’t believe him—primarily because they simply have nothing similar in their experience that allows them to understand what he’s describing (sound familiar?). Thus, they are forced to continue living as they have been. But since it’s the only life they’ve ever known, they don’t experience distress. He, on the other hand, can no longer be satisfied with the shackled life because he had seen the higher, more sublime reality behind it.

What has been referred to as the ‘Pandora Effect’ or the ‘Avatar Blues’, is simply the disconnect experienced when the beauty and harmony of Pandora and the Na’vi people are contrasted with the images of selfishness, egotism, military madness, and corporate greed in the modern world. But even more powerful and disorienting to many is what I would call the 'Neytiri Effect'.

After seeing AVATAR, we are all looking for a Neytiri-like woman (which I will refer to from now on as an NLW). Our previous images of women, and what they can be, have now been revealed as hopelessly inadequate—just as the flickering shadows on the cave wall were revealed as only partially true and thus no longer satisfying to the freed prisoner.

There are many amazing and beautiful women out there, no doubt many of them in this forum. But Neytiri has set the bar so high, it’s now nearly impossible for them to measure up in our eyes. They haven’t changed; our perception and expectation of them has. We’re searching the world over, looking for an NLW in much the same way Diogenes was searching for an honest man.

If the bar for an acceptable relationship were set at 3 feet, we’d simply hop over it at the proper time and live a relatively happy life. Well, the 'Neytiri Effect' has changed all that. Now the bar is set at over 7 feet, and we’d need the talent and training of an Olympic athlete to even think of making that jump. This huge gap is almost impossible to overcome, and we’re left with a sense of frustration and depression because of it. The problem is that we’ve now seen the ideal woman (or at least an image of her); we’ve seen the true form behind the flickering shadows—and we don’t want to settle for anything less.

Here are a few recommendations for coping with the 'Neytiri Effect' (which I’m trying heed as well):

First, realize that finding an NLW is unlikely, hurtle the 3 foot bar, and make the best of that situation. This is the “realistic” approach, but probably won’t be satisfying in the long run.

Second, try to use your current (or future) relationship as a training ground for a more Neytiri-like relationship somewhere down the road. The more you can learn about yourself and the nature of relationships, the more likely you are to be ready for an NLW.

Next, try to transform your current (or future) relationship into a Neytiri-like one by learning to see your woman as representing Neytiri—essentially as an incarnation of the Goddess from ancient cultures. A way to understand this is to stare at a bright blue light for several seconds, then look away. You’ll notice that for a short time everything you see will have a blue tinge to it, courtesy of the powerful effect the light bulb had on your eyes.

The more we reflect on the beauty, nobility, and other attributes of Neytiri, the more likely we are to see our women in a more positive way. Rather than noticing the differences between them and Neytiri (and how they fail to measure up to her standard), we can now start noticing the similarities between them and honor and celebrate them for those similarities. If we can start seeing them through Neytiri-colored glasses, my belief is that they will start becoming more like her in our eyes.

An last, we can hold out for an NLW and risk having a life filled with loneliness and unrequited longings. But if we do this, we must ask ourselves a very simple question: If an NLW showed up, why would she be interested in me? After an honest assessment of our lives, we can then begin the process of developing those qualities in ourselves that we so greatly admire and respect in Neytiri. So that one day, if an NLW does appear, we will be worthy of her (see Why We Love Neytiri-Part II).

So my advice is to cherish the relationships you have, trying to see as many Neytiri-like qualities in the women in your life as you can. But always hold in your mind’s eye the image of that sublime azure beauty we’ve all come to love so fiercely.
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Neytiri Love Poems (by me!)

The 'Why We Love Neytiri' commentaries
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