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#3774 - Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
A review by Jerry Katz
Im reading a book on conducting interviews and
one suggestion for a print magazine interview is to hold the
interview at the home of the subject. Its an older book and
an example is given of Fred Astaire. An interviewer noted
that in Astaires home there were no photographs,
mementos, keepsakes, or other reminders of Astaires past.
Except for two Oscar statues quietly on display, Astaire lived in
an ordinary home. You would never know it was the home of one of
The point was that one should note the surroundings of the interviewee, as they often say more than words. Clearly, Astaire lived in the present and must have felt burdened by tokens from the past. Anyone seeing him dance sees at once that Astaire was all about lightness and ease. Check him out here:
The advice of observing the surroundings I
carry to this review. Maybe that makes this no review at
all, but this is Avatar Im reviewing so I think its
okay to stretch and reach and see if I can pull everything
together. Lets look at certain surroundings of this film,
surroundings I happen to encounter and notice.
I saw this film in IMAX 3D. IMAX is a Canadian
invention begun in 1967. The first IMAX film was shown in 1970
and first IMAX 3D film was shown at the Expo in
Using computer graphics, the film traces the
development of life from the formation of atomic nuclei in stars
to the molecular structure of water and DNA, zooming the audience
through the five-billion-year evolution of our solar system.
The history of IMAX 3D, therefore, is rooted in a
film which connects the audience to their cosmic self, their
biological self, their molecular self and which would, I imagine
(I havent seen the film), give the viewer a sense of
interconnectedness with literally everything. That
interconnectedness and the intelligence associated with it, is
what Avatar is about.
But lets look at more of the surroundings of
this film. Im really indulging myself here as this review
should have been finished by now. So on we go. Interconnections.
I had heard so much about Avatar, especially within
nonduality circles, and had talked to several friends who had
seen it, that I figured I better see it. I went on the Internet
to find out the times it was playing. Then I bought my ticket
online and printed it out at home. Surroundings.
Then I checked my bus schedule and walked to the bus stop and got on the bus which picked me up on time. Interconnections, interconnections.
The bus delivered me early, so I stopped into
Chapters (aka Borders Books in the
I havent stepped into the theatre yet but I
feel Im living the movie at some level. Avatar is about
seeing interconnections and also the failure to see
interconnections. The theme of Avatar is told in three words:
I see you. Someone once sent me a book and inscribed
it, I see you. The question is, who is this you? Its
the interconnectedness, the vast and deep interconnectedness, and
the unknowable knowing that one is That.
Its not hard to see interconnectedness. Anyone
can see them with the Internet or a bus schedule or a
military takeover. Avatar requires you to look at another person
and to see interconnectedness as it was depicted in the first
IMAX 3D movie. It requires the seeing of intelligence
immeasurable and incomparable. I see you: I see nonseparateness;
I see the immeasurable, the incomparable, the unknowable. Thats
what the guy was saying when he inscribed that book to me. He's a
sage. What else is he going to see?
Thats the theme and message of Avatar. How was
it delivered? Pretty well. Fact is, it was IMAX 3D. You could
show an old sneaker in IMAX 3D and it would hold your attention
for about 8 minutes. The movie was a thoroughly enjoyable
experience, but not a great film.
There is one more layer to Avatar. After the story
was over I watched the credits and listened to Leona Lewis sing I
See You [Watch her sing it with scenes from the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4jYr4502M0] There were about 3000 names listed in the credits.
For me that was a back story worth seeing on the screen, a story
in names. Here was yet another layer of interconnectedness,
another sheath of intelligence.
And so I left the theatre and walked to the bus stop, my awareness filled with certain surroundings of the day. The most impressive and notable layer of interconnectedness wasnt the movie itself. It wasnt the rolling credits or the bookstore or the Internet. What was it? The running of the buses, the meetings of passengers, buses, and destinations. The coming, the going, the waiting, the sitting, the departing and arriving, that meant interconnectedness to me more than anything else.
However, seeing interconnectedness doesnt require a display of buses or anything else. It requires seeing something, which in this movie is called "you." This "you" is the other -- whatever the other is -- and you, at once. Our surroundings are deeply interconnected and saturated with intelligence and wonder. Those themes are what Avatar is about and they are delivered in a very entertaining way, but the same could be said for the day, any day.
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