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Old 01-04-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default Anyone else read The Spiritual teachings of Avatar book?

The Spiritual Teachings Of Avatar, is a book, inspired directly by Camerons Avatar, and seems to make reference to the movie, then goes into sharing the original East Indian traditional story.

I just picked it up and started to give it a read, so far the summary of points in each chapter is what's really interesting, as it really is quite similar to the plot of Avatar movie! Either way it seems to be an interesting find, and I'm looking forward to reading more and discussing!
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:38 PM
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Cute sense of humor on part of the author, Jeffrey Armstrong, as he wrote in the introduction to that book: "As I walked out of my first viewing of Avatar, I turned to my wife, Sandi, and said 'It appears that Mr. Cameron has opened Pandora's Box Office'. I'm prone to such puns".

The introduction, as can be read on Amazon, sounds interesting enough to make me order a copy of this book.

Wiggling bare toes,

~*Ganesha*~
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:50 AM
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thanks for mentioning this book, it sounds interesting!
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:45 PM
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I am at the moment literally gobbling up the blue-printed words (yes, indeed, it's printed in Avatar blue!) in that nice volume... Jeffrey Armstrong (or, by the name he was given by his spiritual leader, Kavindra Rishi, meaning "One who hears and speaks the Old Wisdom") quotes our favourite movie as a source for the same Wisdom as has been printed in the Vedas already.

His Divine Grace, Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the spiritual father of the Krishna movement, was one of Armstrong's main source of spirituality... and, judging by the first four chapter I've read in the last two days, one of providing deep insight and wisdom into the spiritual basis of Cameron's Pandora.

Addition: I have now added Armstrong's book rto my list of reading recommendations on my personal Avatar web page: http://www.barefoot-spring.net/avatar/index.html

Wiggling bare toes,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Si'ekong te'lanä, te'lanä le-Na'vi, oeru teya si.
And the beats of the hearts, the hearts of the People, fills me.

Last edited by txim_asawl; 02-27-2012 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Link added...
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:48 AM
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Default Update on the book...

by now I have finished thirteen chapters.... seriously, folks, you should get that book and read it!

I'm excited... the next chapter is entitled "The Secret of Secrets" - if I'm successful, I might end up the first Enlightened Avatard... Ayvitraya Ramunong Buddha (yes, I would honor this very Forum with my new name)


Wiggling bare toes,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:01 PM
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OK... I've dared to read the final chapter... the big enlightenment light bulb hasn't switched on as yet...


The final part is meditation practise about the individual chapter introductions, which consist of different "Namasté" greetings...

A wonderful book, giving insight to what the technical term (so to speak) Avatar stands for, in close relation to pop culture now having that word on its mind, thanks to James Cameron's movie.

Wiggling bare toes, eager to read it again,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:12 PM
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I just got it... will keep you posted.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:43 PM
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Wow! I had forgotten about this, and about finish reading the book! Feelign reinspired to get back to reading it!

THX!
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It was impossible not to have, It's impossible not to be, It's impossible not to still ...!



What this world really needs is more artists and environmentalists!



"Its only 'here' that we lose perspective, out at the Cosmic Consciousness Level things get a lot clearer. For example, there is an actual star pattern that is traced in the shape of a Willow Tree, across the breadth of the Milky Way! And no wonder Indigenous peoples refer to the 'here after' as the Happy Hunting Grounds! Has it ever occured to anyone why the bioluminescence dots, on the Na'vi!"
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2012, 11:01 AM
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Oh, it's definitely a book to read more than once... I've started my re-read of it, too... it is inspirational and also helps in realizing, that we're all in part divine beings... a nice collection of wisdom to help me bring a smile to my face and live happily...

Wiggling bare and happy toes,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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And the beats of the hearts, the hearts of the People, fills me.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:35 PM
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I have read most of the book and found it interesting. It has some flaws (especially in the etymology parts like tracing the Hebrew "Amen" to the Indian ॐ ("Om")) and it puts a lot of emphasis on Hinduism and ancient indian culture and religion, tryin to be syncretistic and mergeing this culture and spirituality with "indigenous cultures" in general and globally. It seems to search for a sort of unifying spirituality but tracing it all back to the indian Vedas. But I liked a lot of the book and found it interesting to read. What really struck me was, that a lot of the mythology presented was founded in the idea that all beings on this world are here to learn and have an adventure or an experience. Vedic mythology (as understood by this Yogi author) seems to say that We are all eternal beings of consciousness that have an experience of matter in this world and We do this in all kinds of forms, plants, animals, humans, enlightened humans. This is pretty nifty as it means that all beings on this world, including rocks, rivers, mountains, trees, plants, animals have a soul that is kin to us. I like that a lot even though I am not sure I could believe in reincarnation. I also found it interesting that the soul in Hindu is called "Atmas", which is similar to the German "Atem" which means breath and thus mirrors the connection Christian/Jewish as well as Native American spirituality sees between breath and wind to the soul. In the Bible, god breathes life into beings, in some NA spirituality the idea is that people are born from the winds (This is discussed in David Abrams book "The Spell of the Sensuous").
The whole theme that says that humans and other beings on this world have come to the world of matter and to Earth to have a special kind of experience that they cannot have in their etheral realm in which they spend eternity, reminded me a lot about what we discussed here: Thred "This is what I want to see" - to the point I am feeling incredibly strange because these stories are so much alike. The idea discussed there it how it would look like if humans would become masters of a virtual universe inside an eternal computer simulation and if this could have already happened and we are inside of this now. Clarke argued that we would then be able to fly and do all kinds of fantastic things and have fun in eternity, while I argued that this would be boring in eternity and people would eventually choose to play a game that has more strict rules to gain experiences. In that analogy, the human minds that have been uploaded to that computer are in all respects similar to "souls" as in the essence of a being - or "atmas". The virtual worlds created would be akin to the worlds of matter as for those within the simulation they appear all solid and restrictive but they are in fact only part of the greater universte (the mainframe). Souls would go into these virtual worlds to have a special kind of experience to learn something new - how it is to be a dog, a rat, a human, a tree, a NA'Vi flying an Ikran,...

This is very fascinating...

Back to the book and its author, there is an interesting video of him doing vedic astrology in a sceptics TV show
- and beating the odds. This is also fascinating, because I usually would not say that I believe in the regular type of newspaper astrology, but this is more complex. May be just a lucky situation for him, but still I think it is interesting.
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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!"

Last edited by auroraglacialis; 04-07-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2012, 01:40 PM
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Gives everyone on this thread a "BIG HUG*

Ok that might seem rather strange response, sort of, partly its because I've had a migrane or borderline state of migrane headache for a few days, and so the part of my brain that hurts, is the part that can't put into words, right now, what it wants to say ... But a hug sums it up!

I still haven't picked the book back up, but Auroraglacius, your post sums up a lot of where my intuitive thoughts have been of late.

Interesting enough, coincidently, I did a Vedic Astrology reading for myself this morning, and it was quite detailed and fascinating, even if I didnt' understand it!

Ok when my head hurts less .. I'll post something intelligible!

I guess I'm trying to say, I'm glad I seem to be on the same page as others!


Edit: I'm not sure that others would see the connection, but I do! I've been busy trying to digest a rather intensive subject known as AstroArchaeology ... particularily the information (not for the light-hearted/headed) from this site: Adventures in Astroarchaeology, Dance of the Gods

"Celestial metaphors are older than any human civilization. They contain ancient manna from the heavens used by humans to find their way as wandering hunter gathers in the subsistence garden of plenty called sidereal earth, or siloam. The science of astroarchaeology.

... To our ancestors the Milky Way was the dividing line, which separated day above and night below in the firmament of the heavens. Their separation of cosmic dreams into a Land Above and a Land Below, is joined at the Land Between, which is the scientific reality we are seeking. We deny the ancient science as mythology, as our own science strives to prevent the cosmos from communicating the story it holds. The gateways to the resting place of our ancestors can be visited when we stop to realize, "where they have gone, we will also go." The mystery to unfold is whether the science of the living can successfully reveal the science of the dead."

To sum it up another way 'as it is heaven .. so to it is on earth' would be an apt similie!

The site has numerous essays that explore and discuss what the 'ancient's really understood about 'reality' from the Cosmo's and the cycle of the 'Big Picture' of Life. A lot of the information although based on the Ancient understanding, seems to be Judeao/Christian focused on the cming of the King of Kings, but in context, it relates more to the maturation of humanity as a whole and individually, rather than the typical 'second coming' perspective.

What I am gleaning from this site, is that every ancient record, including and in particular, such books as the Holy Books, quite literally are 'Star Charts' of the Heavenly Bodies movements through the Galaxy, and the parallal of events on Earth the micro of the macro!

There is way too much information to absorb, but this is where I was seeing the connection to what Aurora was saying in her post!

Technically the whole subject could have it's own thread, but since its already connected to this and probably the other mentioned thread, I just thought would add it here!


~`~

Last edited by Mika; 04-07-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:23 AM
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I finished it. A good exposition of Vedic philosophy and not overly shamelessly piggybacking on the movie's popularity. I'd like to have seen more tie-ins with Avatar; sometimes it goes 20 pages without any.

On the whole, I'm feeling like I'd need to invest more work than I care to to get more out of it. It's not the first time I've read this material and I don't have the energy at the moment to dig into the stories more. Certainly, the Hindu (and Buddhist) philosophies are very inspiring and neither they nor this author beat you over the head to make their point. Some of the connections he made with Avatar were interesting, like the parallel with the queue.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:02 AM
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Indeed, Sempu - I have the same opinion. It was basically a summary of Vedic philosophy with some add-ins from other philosophies and a couple of movie references. To get more into this, there is the section in it about instructions for meditations which are indeed something that would need considerable time. Of course, one message of the book is that one should take that time instead of being too hung up in jobs and all that everyday clutter. But I feel I cannot make the choice right now to spend more time on this and hope that it will be there in a couple of months when I do feel like I want to know more. I was not so sure about the two very short adaptations/abstracts of two of the major Vedic epics - even though I dont know them, it felt to me like trying to tell "Lord of the Rings" on two pages. Of course the idea was to give people a teaser to what story is in there, but at least me it did not teaser as much and I was more a bit annoyed, so I actually skipped parts of that. If I ever want to know that epic story, I'd better get a book that tells it more detailed.
One thing that bugs me about these stories and the philosophy in general is that even though he says explicitely that the case system is misunderstood, in any case there is sort of a strong hierarchical thinking involved with more enlightened people being superior in many ways to less enlightened ones or even animals or plants, but they are told to not show that superiority in an arrogant manner. "Yes you are superior to all those menial workers, but be generous to them". This is better than not doing it, but I somehow dislike this linear idea of progress towards some singular goal. And I find it strange that in a philosophy that claims to be cyclical (cycles of rebirth, renewal,....) there is such a linearity. To me it would make much more sense if the highest enlightenment is at the same time the beginning of the journey back - that there is no "paradise" as it is described in the book - as the author says awaits one once one "graduates from the University" that is this world and then one goes into the light or lives as eternal being on a planet of light. That sounds almost a bit cheesy. Spend a finite time on Earth and then infinity on some light planet? I would expect that this would also by a cycle or a pendulum. That a soul would return to the "light" and do whatever souls do over there and then comes back to some other experience like another material world and so on...
Also I noticed that in the epics, the divine beings always incarnated into royal families because of course royal families are closer int he hierarchy to gods. This bugs me a bit - that pyramidal hierarchy. Even though the author tries to take off the edges of it by saying that despite the hierarchy, people are all equal in what they can eventually be and should be treated with dignity and respect despite their status - but the status itself is not questioned. Of course this stillis a lot better than a warrior society like the US where basically the ones with power and money are indeed in all aspects superior and let it show as well...
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"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 04-10-2012, 06:38 PM
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I guess, to really dig deeply into the vedes, the author would have had to fill several volumes... anyway, as a first reference manual as to what the term "Avatar" encompasses, it is a good read, still...

After all, many people only knew the term "Avatar" from online existence or by means of our favourite movie... I guess, for the really interested, it's good to dig deeper into translations of the Bhagavad Gita, for instance.

Wiggling bare toes,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:14 PM
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I havent read the book yet so only imho & the little I know about Hindu / Vedas philosophy (mostly from reading Autobiography of a Yogui & from Amma's lectures on peace & love during programs): I do see some parallels with Avatar.

Soul journey: right in the beginning, "one life is over - another is about to begin" (Tommy's face in flames & Jake's face in cryo). And even better, in the end of the movie, in the peak moment when Neytiri Sees Jake in his human body & she doesn't care that he is half-tall than her & not blue. 'Spirit is all that matters' - & she can See the same spirit in a different body.

When Norm greets Grace with "May Mother of All smile upon our encounter" - I nearly fell of the chair (as happened quite a few more times during the watching ) - cos it sounded Sooo familiar to Mother of the Universe that Amma talks about quite a lot. Or rather, a maternal / feminine aspect of the divine. Only that she calls All Mother Shakti, or Kali, or Lalita... she has many names. There is even a chant '1000 Names of the Divine Mother'.

Then Norm's definition of Eywa: "Who is this Eywa??? She's their goddess made of all the things, Everything they know!" - clicks just fine with '1000 Names...' chant. When I got the text in sanskrit + English line by line translation (maybe in 2007) I couldn't get how it could be when it said: "O, the one who is black" & in the next line "O, the one who is white" & then "O, the one who has neither color nor shape" - it didn't really click into my 'either / or' mindset (of then) but I wrote it off on a poetic exaggeration. Now then... if we apply Norm's definition 'made up of all the things'- it is understandable.

Ah, and what people call 'bioluminiscence' in Pandoran plants & animals - well for me (from Vedanta) is that 'flow of energy' thing, only that in Avatar it is made visible. In Healing Grace scene the glow is very strong & pulsating in the beginning, when Jake walks towards the Tree of Souls - but when Grace goes, the glow grows dimmer & turns to 'normal' night bioluminiscence. The intensity changes. So it was not only plants, something else was at work there...

Anyways, this is only imho. I am in a hurry now but I am sure I can think up more parallels all said I haven't even read the book. *oops*
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Knowledge is a chimera for beyond any knowledge there ever lies other knowledge that renders the previous knowledge false. (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever Vol.II- Stephen Donaldson)

What the bleep do we know!


I know only this:
Eywa has taken me on a ride...
... the one I don't want come back from

Last edited by apache_blanca; 04-23-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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