Connecting with your beast

As a lover of spiritual symbolism, it’s no surprise that the movie Avatar is one of my favorites. Perhaps that’s also because the movie is described as an “action adventure journey of self discovery” which happens to be an attitude about our lives in general that I aspire to encourage. And while we’re expected to exist day-to-day in reality (or so it’s been stressed to me by others, anyway…often) there’s nothing wrong with dipping into the mystical manifestations gleaned from the brilliance of another person’s imaginative wanderings for the purpose of seeking enlightenment. That’s the purpose of art: communication! There’s no right, wrong, bad, good, etc… forget the labels! My belief is that all art is about the message. The artist communicated their message in the creation and we derive our own unique message upon receiving it. Every song you hear, every book you read, every picture you see, every film you watch, EVERYTHING you fill your head and senses with has the power to communicate with you if you tune into it. As always, that is your own choice.

 I am deeply fascinated by the powerful, reptilian looking, bird-like creatures called Mountain Banshees or Ikran, as they are known to the natives, that live on Pandora. The Ikran are intimidating flying beasts that are capable of decimating anything that comes near them, but are essential to a warrior’s livelihood. The Ikran will choose the warrior that could potentially become its master by trying to kill him. If the warrior is able to take control over the Ikran by connecting with him through a neural interface located at the bottom of the warrior’s ponytail, the two forge a lifelong, unbreakable bond with each other and the Ikran will fly with no other hunter for its entire life.

Only after extensive training does the time come for Jake Sully to choose his banshee. He couldn’t reach this point as a warrior without the faith that his abilities in taking control over this creature would overpower the ability of the beast to kill him. As he wrestles the banshee down, he is tossed aside and nearly thrown off a cliff. He is mocked by the other warriors, some of whom are not yet convinced of his aptitude. But regardless of the difficulties in the battle, Jake persists and eventually triumphs.

“The first flight seals the bond. You cannot wait! Think: FLY!” (Neytiri)

I use the power of this scene to fuel me in response to my own beasts. Much like the banshees, you don’t face them until you have journeyed enough to have faith in your abilities to do so. This is not a process that can be rushed. This does not mean you won’t have fear. You WILL have fear, but your faith will outweigh the fear. There will be those who question your abilities and aptitude, call you crazy or mock you in your endeavors. Let them. Just don’t allow them to stop you. When you’re eye to eye with your beast, things will probably get a little scary before you’ve actually wrangled it to the ground. You’ll be tossed around enough that you may not feel like getting back up and you might even question your ability to do so. Get back up. You have everything you need to take control. Believe it. I’ve SEEN it. Once you’ve made the connection, communicate where you’re headed to your beast immediately and allow him to aid in taking you there. You’re in control. It’s time to fly.

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