Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Avatar- "I can See"

One of the constant metaphorical themes in the movie Avatar is the saying “I can see you”. This is a statement often used in the Na’vi clans as a statement of recognition when greeting each other. Norm, Jake Sully’s Avatar driver co-worker, spent a great deal of time trying to get Jake to see that this statement is not only a greeting but it is a statement of spiritual awareness and emotional sensitivity, toward the person you are “seeing”. “I can see you” is one of those all purpose, multi-level greetings that go as deep as the relationship of the people will allow it to go.

This statement is also a Bible concept. God uses this phrase, this concept, in many different ways as well. God states that when people are in a state of rebellion they cannot “see”, or hear, or understand spiritual things. This statement is made when the disciples come to Jesus and ask Him why it is that He speaks in parables. They are questioning why He does not just come out and say certain things to people? Jesus answers in the following way:

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:13-15

Jesus, Himself, says that people, who are religious, conservative, state that they want to know the will of God, but they cannot and will not see spiritual things that disagree with their preconceived ideas. Therefore, God Himself has to use special teaching methods to communicate ideas to them in a way that hopefully their preconceptions will not interfere with the truths that need to be heard and then they will turn away from truth before faithfully and honestly evaluating the thought.

God also says that people, in a non-converted state cannot process spiritual thoughts. He says the following:

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which
the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:13-14

God teaches that when a person is spiritual, having had a conversion experience from a personal relationship with God, then they can hear spiritual truth and then respond logically and reasonably for they have a spiritual understanding of truth. But without this spiritual understanding then spiritual things sound just plain old
foolish. So, for example, Colonel Quaritch could hear the statement “I can see you” and he would evaluate it from the purest form of logic. Yes I can see you physically, or yes my satellites say you are there, but if it came to seeing a spiritual quality, Colonel Quaritch would “see” this as soft and unimportant and thus block off an avenue of awareness that could be helpful.

Probably God’s ultimate statement on the issue of “I can see you” is recorded in the Love Chapter of the Bible in I Corinthians 13. In this chapter God says the following:

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:9-12

God says that when we are in a state of spiritual love – fully in harmony with the mind of God – then we will see things and hear things and will understand many of the things around us.

These concepts especially apply to the movie Avatar. I have talked to many people about the spiritual symbols in the movie. The people look at me blankly and say “I didn’t see any spiritual symbols in the movie.” I am totally impressed with that statement because they didn’t see anything, they saw a movie about blue people on another planet and they saw it as a movie of entertainment. They did not see the spiritual principles. They did not see the potential for truth or error, they just saw a movie.

On the bright side of the picture, when I shared with them some of the observations I had on the movie, a little light began to dawn on them. They said “Really, I didn’t see any of that by myself, but now that you mention it, there could be some ideas like that. I think I will look at it again and maybe I will see something.” This is one of the major principles of the Bible, one shares thoughts with another and then if they are willing they may go back and look again. Then they may be able to share with God “I can see you.” If that happens to even one person, it will be well worth all of the time of writing to allow someone else to see God, and His truth, in a movie like Avatar.

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