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Old 12-06-2012, 09:57 PM
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Default Na'Vi, therianthropes and ayahuasca

I have been watching a talk called "Aliens, Elves and Ayahuasca" recently. Here is the link to youtube: Graham Hancock: Elves, Aliens, Angels and Ayahuasca - YouTube

In it, the speaker describes a fascinating convergence of human experiences over many thousands of years connected to altered states of consciousness. As the title says, he also talks about mind altering drugs like ayahuasca - he also talks about mushrooms and LSD but also about rythmic trances and other ways to reach altered states of consciousness (I might add that heat, hunger, solitude and sensory deprivation are common techniques as well).

What he describes is, that in many of these states of consciousness, people describe similar patterns they see or experience. That is geometric patterns, but also visions that share certain properties. He draws a connection between Spirits (palaolithic, indigenous people), Elves (medieval Europe) and Aliens (industrialized societies) and concludes that they are basically culturally appropriate descriptions of the same thing. He does not say that it is aliens by the way. People throughout (pre)history have reached these altered states deliberately or occasionally by chance and experienced similar visions, describing them according to their cultural context, but they share similarities.

Now what strikes me are several common elements:
1 There are therianthropes - beings that are a mixture of humans and animals (deer-people, mermaids, lizard people)
2 These beings among others (including the observer) can somtimes fly
3 Other times they climb up vines or rays of light into levitating objects (UFO's in modern cultural interpretation)
4 Sometimes they are living underground or under the sea (elven mounds)
5 There is a sense of a motherly spirit that is powerful and goddess-like
6 There is a sense that everything in the universe is alive
7 There is a sense of seeing beyond what is normally visible, including visual shimmers of light around people (in the talk that is only visible in the paintings made by artists who had these experiences with drugs - often blue, purple or green)

Now I have written before, that I had the feeling that Avatar was in part so great because it was like a "trip", especially in 3D with all the bioluminescence and such, but looking at these 7 points (and I am sure I missed some that hopefully someone else will remind me of in replies), ALL of them are reflected in the movie.
1 The NA'Vi are humanoid but have also feline features. They bond with creatures to form hybrid beings, half animal half humanoid
2 They can fly if they are in the form of being half-Ikran. Jake has dreams of flying before coming to Pandora
3 The initiation to flying is to climb up Iknimaya, a path made of vines that crawl up to massive rocks levitating in the sky.
4 The initiation ceremony into the tribe happens underground. Avatar 2 is said to happen to some part under the sea. The link chambers are a bit like caves (this is the least conclusive connection)
5+6 Well - Eywa and NA'Vi spirituality are based on a mother goddess that is actually alive and a world in which all is alive
7 On Pandora, many plants and animals have such a glow in the form of bioluminescence, often blue or purple

Adding to this is the fact that originally it was intended to show the initiation ritual consisting of a mix of two drugs to create visions of Toruk in Jake. Similarly as was described before, Ayahuasca is a mix of two ingredients.

So what I am saying is, that for me there is increasing evidence that Avatar, Pandora and the NA'Vi all are deeply connected to archetypal experiences of humans that reach altered states of consciousness. This to me is THE reason why many people are deeply sucked into it, why we feel at home there, why we think of it as remembering something, like we have been there before and why we want to go there again. It is because it contains so many elements that ARE part of our experience when we have altered states of consciousness. In a way watching Avatar really IS like a "trip" because it basically contains many elements of it. As a scientist, I would put out the hypothesis that a brain scan of a person watching Avatar in 3D for the first time may significantly resemble that of a person entering altered states of consciousness like taking ayahuasca or doing rhythmic dancing for a night.

Now what that means, we can only speculate - Did Cameron have such a state and this is where he got the ideas? Is Avatar the movie equivalent to the paintings in the video I linked? Does this explain why we find similar elements in many different paintings and stories and books and other movies?

What does it mean that humans all seem to have the same archetypal experiences when they have such states of mind? The mechanistic view would say that it has something to do with brain chemistry and biology, more spiritual people would say that it has to do with an alternate reality, another dimension, past lives or others - but I dont want to discuss this here, I want to know if you think this is a valid theory and if there are even more matches.

Thank you
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:50 AM
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Implying there are commonalities between all hypothesised aliens, or does he just mean the stereotypical 'greys'?
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:01 PM
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He means the "greys" - or generally aliens with a slender stature and a elongated head. He points out that these properties are similar to what people described to be "elves" or "spirits" in the past - including their ability to fly. I think he also talks about angels as they are described originally (not the more modern baroque fat baby angels ). His theory then is that this archetypal figures that people see in these drug or trance induced "trips" (and probably also in some dreams as DMT seems to be involved in dreaming as well) is something common of many cultures and times, but the interpretation is always in the context of the culture. Our culture is one occupied by space travel, so it would be logical to describe these figures as "extraterrestrials".
By the way, the last 10 min or so of the talk are maybe not the best. I think he tries too much to interpret the results in the form of some paranormal or spiritual meaning. Which is cool, but it may push away some people from the logic in the rest of the talk.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:47 PM
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I've never seen a depiction of flying greys - they are typically the species used by people who invent 'abduction' stories (which almost all have interesting commonalities with the well publicised ones, as well as popular culture of the time, e.g. 'flying saucers' in older times, giving way to 'black triangles' and stealth craft more recently), which typically involve medical experiments and/or breeding more than anything else, while flying (sentient) species are less humanoid and typically confined to science fantasy or very hard scifi.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:43 PM
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Hmm - aren't they levitating in these beams of light that come from the bottom of the flying saucers? Or maybe they are teleported - I guess however this does not have to be taken that literally like flying with wings or such - it is more the concept of leaving the solid ground and go "up" to a place in the sky in which they can live and walk around somehow. This correlation here is not about very well defined concepts, it is about archetypal stories and concepts that are for some reason within the human minds. Why would humans that live on the Earth have over all times similar concepts about such things when it is not in their realm of experience. OTOH if these humans have indeed used altered states of consciousness and those create visions of such things, this would be a link. These concepts would then of course be interpreted according to the myths of the culture. Instead of Aliens floating in beams of light from flying saucers to take humans up there to do tests with them, another culture may describe this as being lifted by an angel in a beam of light into the heavens and then questioned or given a message.
Angels originally did not have wings in the descriptions by the way. This was a later addition, presumably due to the idea that if something levitates or flies, it has to have wings, so later "visions" of angels had wings.
"I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor" what do you think is described here? Sounds like an "alien encounter" happening in some shady motel in Nevada, right? But it is the description of an encounter with an angel.

Now I (and the guy speaking in that video) do not say that either of these (aliens or angels or the other things) do or do not exist. But I find it curious that there are these similarities in what otherwise would look like a rather absurd meme outside of human daily experience. I think it is feasible that these people in different times "saw something" in a certain state of mind (that does not have to be drug induced!) that may or may not be real but that they interpreted in different ways. An atheist would now maybe say that it is a certain type of hallucination or dream that is created by some subconscious human nature - a person of faith may say that it is some sort of supernatural beings that interact with humans when they are in these states of consciousness or could even create such states... this is not the point - the point is to look at how this is correlating...

P.S.: I found another one. Jinns or Genies or Dschinns - the typical "spirit in the bottle" - it is also levitating/flying. It occurs concurrently with flying carpets (levitating objects) and they live in a lamp (representing light) and/or are made of "living smokeless fire" (=light). They also deliver messages to people, abduct them occasionally and they can appear in animal form.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:52 PM
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I think I'm missing whatever point is being made here, other than that you're pointing out trends and how they relate to cultural experience. What are you saying this means?
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 PM
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The idea of a beam transporting up/down is actually a valid point, although I'd say that the whole 'doorway opening, with bright interior (sometimes with shadowed occupant(s))' is used as much if not more - again, the levitation aspect is found far more in older depictions than modern ones.

People who are on drugs are likely to find their experiences mirror their expectations to some degree, on the other hand. If they've heard other people see something, they are more likely to. The other point about flight is that it has fascinated humans simply because it's out of reach - so have the depths of the sea, for instance, or other continents.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:04 PM
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@Moco - I dont know what it means

What the guy in the video say is, that these visions are somehow inherent to humans - and that they are accessible by altered states of consciousness, for example by drugs or trances. But that these visions have common elements that are not passed on by memes or culture, as they are similar in many cultures including the ones that did not have contact. These common elements are the ones I mentioned above. People from different cultures experience these visions and interpret them according to their own cultural context. Avatar has all the elements of these visions.
Now there are two points I guess.
One is where do these visions or elements come from - why are levitating objects or flying, beams of light and the rest so deeply rooted in human nature that they are part of these deep visions?
And the other one is basically the statement that these things are so deeply rooted in our inner selves, in the visions and dreams that humans all over the world share and that are very ancient - and that because Avatar has all of these ancient and deep elements, this is what makes Avatar connecting so strongly to people. When watching it, especially in 3D, one basically experiences something that could be a vision experienced in such an altered state of consciousness - and I would think that maybe even it causes the consciousness to experience something similar and thus it may even count as a somewhat changed state of consciousness - which again I can imagine is why people are so drawn into this movie, why we go there over and over and why we feel "at home", why we "remember" things in the movie - because it is a mirror of these "common dreams".
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
@Moco - I dont know what it means

What the guy in the video say is, that these visions are somehow inherent to humans - and that they are accessible by altered states of consciousness, for example by drugs or trances. But that these visions have common elements that are not passed on by memes or culture, as they are similar in many cultures including the ones that did not have contact. These common elements are the ones I mentioned above. People from different cultures experience these visions and interpret them according to their own cultural context. Avatar has all the elements of these visions.
Now there are two points I guess.
One is where do these visions or elements come from - why are levitating objects or flying, beams of light and the rest so deeply rooted in human nature that they are part of these deep visions?
And the other one is basically the statement that these things are so deeply rooted in our inner selves, in the visions and dreams that humans all over the world share and that are very ancient - and that because Avatar has all of these ancient and deep elements, this is what makes Avatar connecting so strongly to people. When watching it, especially in 3D, one basically experiences something that could be a vision experienced in such an altered state of consciousness - and I would think that maybe even it causes the consciousness to experience something similar and thus it may even count as a somewhat changed state of consciousness - which again I can imagine is why people are so drawn into this movie, why we go there over and over and why we feel "at home", why we "remember" things in the movie - because it is a mirror of these "common dreams".
Many of these "connections" very likely come from the Inner core root of our primal understanding its very likely an instinct "we are all born with" but in our "Life Way" this "Connection" is driven under the surface from a very young age due to our cultural and religous upbringing If one takes a honest look at , many native cultures around there world one will find they "share" many deep comon roots because of this "core part of our understanding" is the same for "everyone", I have made an honest effort in the past to speak on this subject and find it very intresting , as it may directy be tied in with "Avatar Depression" but people may be suprised that the "source" in some people is not the film itself but a battle with our own inner core heartfelt understanding , Lets start With Avatars "connection" to our core "Dream" inside "This core connection is not topical at all" and deeply represents our inner connection to our Core Sense of place and purpose for exsisting in our world today or many native people say "Our true Core Dream or Vision" This is not topical spiritual mumbo jumbo either and Represents many primal core connections to our true path in life and a strong connection to our inner Accountabilty to our people, This connection is part of the heart and core spirit of a native persons "Life Way" our culture "Broke most of the links to this Bond",, Native peoples hold this core heartfelt connection as "absolutly essential" to mantaining ballence in there spiritual and global family and with "all our relations" (The Living Plant And Animal World) Avatar is a very imersive film with Shamanic examples, these help point to our true dream inside , I beleve at least in some people "So called Avatar depression, is the result of a very real battle fought betwean "our core primal dream" that has been held repressed inside , this part of us now sees a real conflict with the Life Way our Intellect thinks we should live. We think its because we can't ever visit Pandora "But" dont realise these thoughts and emotions are a true reflection from our primal core "Dream" or Vision through which we now "see". and reflect apon our deep core human heartfelt values "inside" I beleve this issue is very importent to talk about and debate, if others share this intrest
we could create a thread on this topic. I have some very down to earth examples I would like to share and would like to know others opinions negitive or positive.

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:12 PM
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I think these parallels are kind of superficial. Things floating and beams of light are not very specific as far as observation goes, and everyone is capable of imagining such things even if mountains don't float in the world we live in.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:19 PM
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Moco, surely everyone can do so which ties in to what I said and what alrook said in that these things are common to all humans in some sort of altered state of consciousness - be that dreaming, visioning or using medicinal plants or trances. Now I dont know what nonhumans dream of but I find it interesting to think about the concept that humans at least dream of things that are quite obviously not existing and that all humans share similar dreams in that sense. Where do these common themes like floating or flying into a light or on some levitating object, geometrical shapes, thierantrhopes, etc come from and why do people all over the world share them, seemingly without having a common culture that tells about such "memes".
And Indeed I agree that the "Avatar Depression" is linked to this because basically Avatar uses many of the elements experienced by people in this other state - dreaming or trances. So it tells the mind that it just had a very visual realistic dream basically that had many of the archetypes of dreams. And in that it differs from other movies, even movies like Inception that deliberately try to be dreamlike but that lack these archetypes. Many people tried to do lucid dreaming after Avatar - I dont know if that happened with many other movies as well - somehow I doubt it. I think that is because of this connection to the "dream world" and people all over history have longed for experiences in that realm and consequently they did things to get there - namely telling stories, practice lucid dreaming, do trances and medicinal plants. We in the western culture have not done this really (well except maybe some people in colorful shirts and long hair ), so watching the movie basically was a primer in that sense and the reaction of our minds and souls to it was similar to what it always was - the sense that there is more to it, that we want to go there again and see what else there is and that general sense of touching on some hidden truth or a story that is important...

alrook, if you open another thread, link it here, will you?
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:39 PM
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Graham Hancock is always interesting to listen to. thanks for the link and have you heard him talk about ancient Egypt and underwater ruins? interesting stuff.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Moco, surely everyone can do so which ties in to what I said and what alrook said in that these things are common to all humans in some sort of altered state of consciousness - be that dreaming, visioning or using medicinal plants or trances. Now I dont know what nonhumans dream of but I find it interesting to think about the concept that humans at least dream of things that are quite obviously not existing and that all humans share similar dreams in that sense. Where do these common themes like floating or flying into a light or on some levitating object, geometrical shapes, thierantrhopes, etc come from and why do people all over the world share them, seemingly without having a common culture that tells about such "memes".
And Indeed I agree that the "Avatar Depression" is linked to this because basically Avatar uses many of the elements experienced by people in this other state - dreaming or trances. So it tells the mind that it just had a very visual realistic dream basically that had many of the archetypes of dreams. And in that it differs from other movies, even movies like Inception that deliberately try to be dreamlike but that lack these archetypes. Many people tried to do lucid dreaming after Avatar - I dont know if that happened with many other movies as well - somehow I doubt it. I think that is because of this connection to the "dream world" and people all over history have longed for experiences in that realm and consequently they did things to get there - namely telling stories, practice lucid dreaming, do trances and medicinal plants. We in the western culture have not done this really (well except maybe some people in colorful shirts and long hair ), so watching the movie basically was a primer in that sense and the reaction of our minds and souls to it was similar to what it always was - the sense that there is more to it, that we want to go there again and see what else there is and that general sense of touching on some hidden truth or a story that is important...

alrook, if you open another thread, link it here, will you?

There are some core connections spoken about by people who have had experences with Avatar that go quite deep, I feel that Cameron through the films examples was for all essentual reasons trying to build a bridge of cultural understanding. that reflects on many of the issues spoken on here by an Iniut Shaman. Bridgewalkers (2011) - YouTube I had a very face to face experence with this after Avatar and I was forced to address this to understand the "source" of the core feelings and emotions I was experencing, I will honestly say I never attached to the films fantasy outside the cinima, But the issues the fillm mirrored in our own world where a very diffrent story.after the film I had very deep dreams on this human issue. This reflects collectivly on what I see happeing in our world and the core bonds that tie our people together and let them "see and respect each other" it also ties deeply into our feelings of our core sense of place and what drives our inner accountability to our people .
I have had issues with this since I was 5 years old and never expected A film to give such strong value to this repressed heartfelt core understanding held inside. I would like to share an example from a london talk show on a young mans experence with ayahauasca in the jungles of Peru it reflects apon a part of our deep core human understanding and is honestly effecting our childrens development and future , It has to do with the sublime loss of our peoples ability see through our heartfelt understandinding and effects how our people see and feel the world from our intellect instead of our heart many native wisdom keepers beleave this is profoundly effecting "All" our peoples collective and personal abiltity to connect and respect each other "I see you" This is tricky to represent through words but I think some people through there exprence with Avatar have had there core heartfelt understanding pulled to the surface and given real value along with all thr heartfelt feelings held repressed inside . After the film I saw the world through this core viewpoint and my life changed it took me quite a long time to realise the source of what I was feeling. It Did Not come from Avatar but from deep reflection on our very real world issues happeing today. of course others have diffrent experences and memorys. these issues I feel are running under the roots effecting our peoples personal and collectiive core primal humanity.and core sense of place. I have never expermented with any mind altering drugs or drugs perioud And I "highly caution" anyone thinking of doing so. The example I am speaking on is at 1:20 mark of this video from London real talk show. Ayahuasca - My Heart of Darkness | London Real - YouTube there are some very strange experences spoken about through out the video that are very difficult to interpete If one has Avatar the special edition and looks at the scenes cut from the film there is "The Dream Hunt" this has a very direct connection Reflectiong on Jakes Coming of Age Cermony through the Dream Hunt there are many conections in the film revolving around connections to the Shamans way and South America that reflect apon the Na'Vi people and driving Camerons creative storytelling examples. I would like to know peoples opinions on this issue It takes guts to share openly what I experenced there are others on youtube who have done so that refect on this from there own perspective
many relate to other storys and films. (Avatars Wisdom) this young man speaks on the same things I experenced
myself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc_60zune00

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:37 PM
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Do they have to come from somewhere? Does there have to be a reason? I believe because we are capable of imagining things that do not exist, we dream about these abstract ideas, and I don't think there has to be any greater reason than that.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:24 AM
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Do they have to come from somewhere? Does there have to be a reason? I believe because we are capable of imagining things that do not exist, we dream about these abstract ideas, and I don't think there has to be any greater reason than that.
This is tricky to speak on There does seem to be a part of primal core human understanding shared by all peoples that creates a core drive to see and reflect on things in a spiritual manor is this part of our animal instints ? good question. What does puzzle me for example is why people from our culture having never been in the rainforest before and living in most of there life in the big city share the same experences and see the same images as local native peoples from the amazon for example the snakes and creatures seen in ayahauasca visions and recalled through a drawing almost allways match a local species of snake for example that have never been seen before by the person having the experence right down to the sutle markings on the snake or creatures face, some of these creatures only come out at night and are rarely seen , How can a person recall such exacting detail as the detail of pattern of markings on a snakes back.

I had a dream where I saw a very clear image of a unique flag, I was told in a voice that was not english but I understood it anyway that it was very important for me to look into what it stood for,I made a drawing of it and it took me a month of research to find out it was the Flag of The Haudenosaunee "The people of the long house" there story of the "great peacemaker" ending a huge tribal war, came very close to Avatars story of the first "Turok makto" (The great peacemaker) and "The Time of Great Sorrow"
representing A great battle betwean the fictional Navi tribes mirrored in the mytholigy of the Onondaga tribe in New york. and the leage of 5 nations. I have allways been a been a critic of spiritual experences, But I sure had a hard time explaining this away as abstract fantasy or imagination.
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