When Katherine Bigelow's The Hurt Locker won for "Best Picture," many believed that James Cameron's Avatar had been robbed. Speculation focused on Oscar politics and the directors' ill-fated marriage. But noted psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Fine says the reason is simpler: Avatar didn't win because the Academy missed the movie's deeper meaning and chose a "real life" film instead.
Those who've argued that Avatar mimics Dances With Wolves or Pocahontas prove Dr. Fine's point. "The message in Avatar is not a simplistic return to nature or to a previous evolutionary stage," he argues, adding, "It may be the next leap in the evolution of consciousness, and the only one that may hold the promise of survival."
Pointing to the greed and cynicism that not only mark much of American culture but have hardened American hearts, he says that unless we wake up to Avatar's message, humanity will be lost. "This film should be seen by every man, woman and child," he says, suggesting that parents should take their teens and tweens to see it and discuss hidden meanings. "I see you," for example, comes from the Sanskrit Namaste, which translates to: "The God in me sees the God in you" or "I see myself in your eyes."
Like Star Wars, Avatar also appeals to our collective unconscious, or world soul. The Na'vi experience of unity of consciousness with other beings - all of which (themselves included) are really just manifestations of One Awa, or Yahweh - echoes our ancestors' belief in an interconnected, ever-changing intelligent web of life, symbolized by the World Tree.
Unfortunately, says Dr. Fine, Avatar's "everything is connected" message lies in glaring contrast with the culture of separation most Americans experience. Focusing on a rise of the feminine, and the importance of bonding, this movie offers a blissful alternative to a world where mothers are devalued and babies sent to day care at the ripe old age of six weeks.
In the end, Dr. Fine concludes, this film is about standing at a crossroads: What do we choose for our children - commercial materialism or reconnection with all life"Sadly," says Dr. Fine, "the bulldozers in Avatar represent what corporate, modern life have done to us - steamrolling our soul and consciousness."
A former student of the famed Joseph Chilton Pearce, and a member of the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, Dr. Fine says we can help combat this separation by engaging in conscious child-centered parenting. He suggests that new mothers breastfeed, sleep with their babies, connect with nature, and engage in simple low-tech creative play.
His book, THE ART OF CONSCIOUS PARENTING: The Natural Way to Give Birth, Bond with, and Raise Healthy Children (which he wrote with his wife, Dalit Fine, M.S.) has been praised by child development experts worldwide - www.thenewparenting.com