“I’m trying to understand this deep connection the people have to the forest. She talks about a network of energy that flows through all living things…”
My third (and at least for now final) consecutive post inspired by the film Avatar.
Tsaheylu, in the Na’vi language, means bond. With the Tsaheylu, as pictured above, two come together, join. The Na’vi people can connect with the life around them.
With the animals they can form a bond, and become one. They can fly or ride or walk with one animal, and there minds become linked. They understand one another as they connect with one another.
As I wrote in my first Avatar post about the phrase oel ngati kameie, the Tsaheylu is formed when two Na’vi people who love one another come together before Eywa and bind for life. They link with one another and become one, as we promise in marriage to love with one another for all that we are.
The Tsaheylu is also used to connect with the plants. With the trees.
When they kill an animal to eat it, each kill must be a clean kill, a quick kill, and they thank the animal for becoming one of the people, as its energy changes form but continues to exist within Eywa.
Eywa is their deity. Their guide. Their mother. Eywa keeps the ecosystem of Pandora – their world – in equilibrium. Eywa is the Na’vi’s source of Life.
In Avatar, their love of nature and their connection with it is greater than ours, in that it is a physical as well as spiritual connection. There are physical connections between the living things of Pandora that are faster and more powerful than the neurons in our brains. But we can learn a great deal from the Na’vi people’s love of the things around them. From their appreciation of beauty. This interconnectedness is something we need more of.
The Latin religio – religion – means ironically, to bind. God is Love. God is the source of Life. And we need to bind more. With all living things.
I’m reading several books at the moment that criticise organised religion which believe that the world must be organised into people of their kind. I recently heard a pastor’s daughter inform me that it was preached that people needed brainwashing by religious authorities because of our dirtiness. That we needed to be literally brainwashed clean of our sinfulness. Not that it is ever possible to be clean enough of course.
Too many people use religion to claim that power belongs to them, to their race, their creed. But the world is so much bigger than that. What we really need to remember, what would solve so many of our problems, is to realise that life, not death, is the mystery we are here to put our attention into. Otherwise the end of the world will come not because God will come down on a white horse, but because we will start World War 3, tearing one another apart with our belief of self-righteousness.
God’s gift of life for us on this earth with the freedom to learn and to make choices, to love, must be recognised as hugely important. We are here to live. Death is something that we will think about, but living a life to seek an afterlife reward is wrong. Death is a part of our journeys, a continued life in another form, but we are here to live. Not to cast judgement, not to continually try to scrub ourselves clean with the blood of another, not to live a life of penance from the age of 1 second to escape eternally burning flames.
We are here to live. We are here to learn, to love one another as God has loved us, to find out who we are and help others to blossom. We are here to live. We have been given this beautiful life in which we may connect with one another and the world around us, and we must be truly thankful for it, loving the beauty in one another, in ourselves and in nature.
I’m studying William Blake’s poetry for part of my A Level English Literature. A BBC documentary about him explained Blake’s background and beliefs reminded me that Blake held that the key to the sublime is being able to lose yourself. Let go. Let down your shield. Do not be afraid. Ephphatha says Jesus, be open (Mark 7).
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.