I finally saw James Cameron’s epic new film Avatar with my father and uncle this afternoon and we found it both visually and thematically striking. Yes it was just the Pocahontas story only with aliens and explosions, but on the other hand – it was the Pocahontas story with ALIENS and EXPLOSIONS! Besides, as one of the most expensive movies ever made – don’t you think you should do your part and pitch in?
The story took place in the distant future on a far away planet called Pandora but had everything to do with planet Earth right now. During one tragic scene when the human forces attack ‘Hometree’ (a giant tree the locals live in) in order to access the mineral deposits beneath it, I was reminded of the following words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Son of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, on the double edged sword of civilization (emphasis mine):
…on the one hand, material achievements and the development of the physical world produce prosperity, which exquisitely manifests its intended aims, on the other hand dangers, severe calamities and violent afflictions are imminent.
Consequently, when thou lookest at the orderly pattern of kingdoms, cities and villages, with the attractiveness of their adornments, the freshness of their natural resources, the refinement of their appliances, the ease of their means of travel, the extent of knowledge available about the world of nature, the great inventions, the colossal enterprises, the noble discoveries and scientific researches, thou wouldst conclude that civilization conduceth to the happiness and the progress of the human world. Yet shouldst thou turn thine eye to the discovery of destructive and infernal machines, to the development of forces of demolition and the invention of fiery implements, which uproot the tree of life, it would become evident and manifest unto thee that civilization is conjoined with barbarism. Progress and barbarism go hand in hand, unless material civilization be confirmed by Divine Guidance, by the revelations of the All-Merciful and by godly virtues, and be reinforced by spiritual conduct, by the ideals of the Kingdom and by the outpourings of the Realm of Might.