“Avatar: The Last Airbender” and Spiritual Awakening

As the Avatar The Last Airbender has regained an even higher worldwide popularity thanks to the new live-action Netflix series, the legend of Aang story will teach also more about spirituality than just entertainment. 

In my opinion, people who have had a spiritual awakening experience will enjoy too much this new live-action series, as we connect on how the air nomad goes through his own “Hero’s Journey” to achieve enlightenment, or the “Avatar State” and bring harmony among the four nations. 

Time after we have lived and understood our spiritual awakening experience, we resonate with the Michael Dante Nickelodeon show topics with a spiritual basis such as dark night of the soul, higher selves, ego death, letting go and everything is connected. Some of those concepts are not literlly said in every episode but certainly are shown with the actions and experiences that our main characters are having. 

Following up my dear reader, I share my opinions about Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix Series and his spiritual journey that certainly also impacts our collective unconscious, term accounted by Carl G. Jung. 

And to be said, spoiler alerts of season 1.

Avatar The Last Airbender and Spiritual Awakening
Image by FREDI ARIF from Pixabay
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Table of Contents

The Hero's Journey

The american writer, Joseph Campbell, has described the Hero’s Journey through his work about mythology and spirituality.

Heros journey
Image Source: Wikipedia Heros Journey

In a certain form, each of us walk our own personal Hero’s Journey.

Definitely, it is easier to spot it on a movie or cartoon as we observe a main character being developed through the plot, but in our daily lives, it also happens in a different level, where our consciousness is the observer of our actions. 

We could either choose to live this cycle along our “normal world” or go out to the “external world” and follow the call to adventure.

This call to adventure was clearly shown in the first stages of the main characters, Aang, Katara and Sokka, Zuko, and even Azula.

Aang’s physical journey to master the Avatar State was the first call to adventure for Aang, as Gyatso, his mentor, told Aang that he was the Avatar. 

Katara and Sokka face the call to adventure when Aang was taken into the fire nation ship, either they could have stayed at their water tribe or follow their bliss and rescue Aang. 

Zuko had a different start, pushed by his father, he had to leave his normal world with Iroh to capture the Avatar and return home to regain his honor. In counterpart, Zula remained longer at the fire nation and could be said “normal world”, until she realised that she could also go out into the unknown world by confronting his father to show that she is the one who deserve the honor to be the successor.

The cycle of the Hero’s journey is a representation of how the personal growth cycle actually is.

We have seen it also in other movies with different plots, like Star Wars, and movies, cartoons and shows, who symbollically are based on this, plus these shows are the ones who eventually get so popular. 

Why? In my opinion, because there is a representation at an unconscious level of our soul in the image of the Hero following his bliss. 

Follow your bliss by Joseph Campbell:

“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see it, you begin to deal with people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."

Dark Night of the Soul

Going through the toughest moment of our lives can be closely described as a Dark Night of the Soul, although the whole experience I can say is merely indescribable.

The term of the Dark Night of the Soul has been accounted to St. John of the Cross poem.

The death and rebirth process is an important part of any Hero’s Journey.

By itself, the Dark Night of the Soul experience was not literally mentioned, nevertheless in the Avatar series, we see how the main characters go through tough times.

And literally, we see how Aang eventually “dies” or gets frozen, and his rebirth moment is 100 years after, when the ice gets broken and he is able to “come back to life”. It was observable in the sense of emotions, his fear and concern during his run away and denying the aspects of his Avatar call.

The Dark Night of the Soul can be triggered in different forms, and in the case of Katara, we eventually have the scenes when the mother was killed by the Fire Nation, in Sokka when he listens to his father being disappointed, as well in Zuko, when he had to deal with fire lord Ozai, a tyranical father. 

Eventually, time is the one that shows why do we go through a Dark Night of the Soul, which is neccessary in order to grow, to unite the broken parts in the self and become a better version.

Ego Death & Letting Go

At different moments of the series, we saw the Avatar predecessors, Avatar Roku and Avatar Kuruk talking with Aang. 

These moments were key lessons for Aang.

Avatar Roku ends his talk with Aang, advicing that he must take decisions by putting the world’s needs ahead of his own needs. 

Avatar Kuruk taught Aang about his experience in the spirit world and the spiritual war. As well, about stop thinking what was best for Aang, and think for what is best for the rest. 

And at a critical moment in the Spirit Oasis at the Northern Water Tribe, the “Ego Death” was applied when Aang decided to give himself to take the place of the killed Tui, one of the fish who represented the moon Spirit and a side of the Yin and Yang.

For Aang, it was a moment of letting go any attachment and decide what was best to mantain the balance to the world.

To go through a spiritual awakening, one also has to go deep down our own abyss, shred out all the ego layers that are holding us back in order to rise again.

Spiritual and Kundalini Awakening

As far as I know, religions from all around the world, in a sense, they teach about being awakened and to enlighten, specially eastern spirituality, but Christian Catholic religion is not literal and direct on teaching such topics, and certainly does not talk about reaching such enlightment state and activate the pineal gland or also known as the third eye.

The Avatar series have a basis from Buddhism and Hinduism religions.

Spiritual aspects are shown like chakras, meditation and the thin line between the “natural world” and the “spiritual world”.

Years ago, the last airbender’ might have been seen by me as a children’s show, but as now I know more about spirituality and experienced it myself, I am able to recognize the deep lessons and messages that it has.

The spiritual awakening experience is an intense experience, where people around the world have described it in different ways.

As I have heard, in the recent years there were energetical waves of people who had such awakening experiences in 2012 and in 2020, me included.

There are different ways to have a kundalini awakening experience, and according to Saddghuru, there are too many ways, 112 ways.

Some seek to be awakened through the use of Ayahuasca, Buffo Alvarius, Temazcal rituals with Shamans, and some others like me, eventually get surprised by “mistake”, “accident” or “coincidence” after doing a extended period of meditation and prayers. 

Along the Avatar series, we see the hero’s journey of Aang to master of all four elements, reach the Avatar state and save the world.

In a certain form, is a spiritual or kundalini awakening.

One of the scenes that I hope to see well produced for season 2, is when Guru Pathik explains the 7 Chakra to Aang, and how by unblocking them, he can reach the Avatar state.

In escense, this one clip summarizes the whole spiritual and kundalini awakening.

We are all one and the same - Everything is Connected

Once we have an awakening experience, one of the most common effects is to observe synchronicities.

Carl G. Jung described these “coincidences” in the external world and its relation.

In a world state in 2024, where most of the countries across the globe are going to pass through changes in their governments, stories like the Avatar come in good time to make people meditate about the actual situation, at least I think in a subconscious level there is a call for consciousness.

In the story, a hundred year war started by the desire of the Fire Nation to expand, and the Earth Nation and the Water Nation defend themselves from being extinguished, like the Air Nation.  

Politics has been an continous topic of division, rather than a bridge builder. 

The fights for the illusonary sense of power have come year after year, elections after elections, and have we built a better world?

In the story, what the Avatar represents is harmony, justice and a state of being among the four nations.

For me, the Avatar story sends us also the message to realise that even us, “divided by borders”, at the end we are all one and the same, and can live in harmony.

Is this fantasy world a possible world in our real world?

It all starts in the self; as within so without, as above so below. 

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