Blue in A New World

The movie Avatar written by James Cameron is a movie based on a paraplegic, Jake Sully. After the loss of Jake’s brother, who worked for a scientific team, a woman named Dr. Grace Augustine asks Jake to become a part of this scientific project. The task of the team is to help meditate peace between human people and indigenous tribes. Throughout the movie, Jake becomes the Avatar when he enters a pod and falls asleep. In the beginning, he has trouble becoming one with the Avatar, but shortly after meeting Naytiri, an Avatar already in the indigenous world, he soon catches on.

After spending a great amount of time in the Na’vi society, and becoming close with Naytiri, he wonders if he should stay there or return to the real world.

This movie portrays philosophy in the aspect of the Buddhist religion as well as Plato’s theory of forms. Buddha himself was a philosopher who believed and focused on the idea that there could be a new way for an established society.

Jake, as well as Dr. Augustine portrays the Buddha in the movie Avatar by going to this Na’vi society to show the indigenous people that there are people on the other side who accept them for who they are. They also want to show the military that the Na’vi society is populated with people who act exactly like humans in the real world, and that these people also have families and homes. The Buddhist religion is also exemplified when Naytiri takes Jake to the forest where her ancestors speak through seeds of the secret tree.

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Another movie this Buddhist aspect is portrayed in is Pocahontas when she speaks to her grandmother through the tree of life. In the movie Avatar, it is also philosophically rendered that the mind can have a certain type of control over matter. This is seen when Jake enters the pod and falls asleep becoming one with the Avatar. Technically, his soul and mind leave his body, and he becomes this blue giant as if undergoing a sort of reincarnation. The Buddhists always believed there was a new way or a better way than anything that was deemed evil, and Jake was trying to find this way with Naytiri and the Na’vi people each time that he left his body and went to this new world. So outside of his body, his beliefs remained, and when he returned from the Avatar world, he remembered everything that had taken place which begs the question of what identity truly is. Jake truly indicated the form of the Buddhist when he leaves his body each time and travels to this other form of the world where family is the set root of all things. Metaphorically, it is seen as a vessel movement because he still obtains his original self in this new body.

The movie in relation to Buddhism presents the idea that each being living or non-living is connected to an object or being much greater and wiser than themselves. It also implies that our physical identity is separated with the psychic identity. Ultimately, our identity is not by our soul being one with our body, but our soul being one of an alternate source. Plato’s two theories of forms are also represented in Avatar. The first theory of form is the world of Becoming. This is a world of change in which one is born, lives and dies. It is what this movie’s message is. Plato has two ways of expressing these worlds, and the first was that the world of Being was at the top. The world of Becoming, however, was further down, because in this world everything was less than real in the ways things changed, yet it was still real. In a sense, you would think that Plato played a role in creating this movie himself. He expresses the world of Becoming as what appears to be almost a blur of the real world.

This theory expresses itself in the movie, Avatar. The world of Being is expressed in the beginning when Jake enters the science lab to begin training to become an Avatar. He is still in the real world where everything seems normal. He is in his wheelchair and throughout the movie, it is still a world of Being when the military gets together to discuss the Avatar world because they are not in the other world. The world of Becoming seems to be portrayed in majority of the movie, however, with Jake being in another world and changing. Not only does his attitude change, but his love for Naytiri and her people changes, and Jake begins to become one of them. He learns how to climb the trees and swing as seen in Tarzan, and he also connects with Toruk Makto, one of the mountain banshees that no Avatar has been able to connect with. What started with him trying to become an Avatar, has turned into him truly being one with the Na’vi society and growing.

In the entirety of the movie, Plato’s theories ultimately clash with the world of Being and the world of Becoming transforming into one world where reality exists with a world that is always changing. Toward the end of the movie, Colonel Miles and his men board planes and enter the world where Naytiri and her family live trying to destroy everything there. So ultimately, these two theories clash into one theory. Ultimately, Avatar sends a message through philosophy that a person may never know his or her true identity, and also that two worlds can either clash with one another or work together. In the end, Jake becomes an Avatar with Naytiri to help her save her world, her family, and everything they know. Like with the Buddhist beliefs, everything is always changing, and in the end, Jake changed the world of Pandora, the human world, and how people saw the Na’vi society. Now people could truly see them for who they were and not what they were.

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Blue in A New World. (2021, Dec 18). Retrieved from

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