My Current Read is reviewing the Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar by Jeffrey Armstrong. Armstrong reveals how many of the teachings of the Vedic and Indigenous Cultures are illustrated by Cameron’s film, Avatar.
Like many of you, I have been studying metaphysics for more than a decade. I continuously explore what this means to me and make changes in my life and beliefs as I am ready. However, I have not always known the origin of these teachings- I just knew they felt right to me. As I read Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar, I recognize many of the beliefs by which I have come to live. Armstrong reports that these lessons were written in the Vedic records thousands of years ago. And, Avatars have incarnated to demonstrate these teachings to help us live in harmony with Mata Bhumi.
According to Armstrong, all ancient cultures have understood that humans are eternal beings who have come to Earth to learn about material existence. He explains that at the core, everything is an eternal being called an Atma, which “can neither be created nor destroyed”. Upon arrival on the Earth, “we simply begin to evolve by experience through one type of physical body after the other,” or reincarnation. In short, “we are individual atmas having a human experience, not humans having a spiritual experience”.
Earth is the great spiritual campus on which we test the use of our free will to learn the process of cause and effect. The results of our choices and thoughts reveal how we have used that free will, a process known as karma. Armstrong points out that the results are “never punishment, merely cause and effect”. And although the atmas of plants and animals reincarnate toward human birth, they lack free will and therefore do not develop karma until they incarnate in human form.
The purpose of our Earthly campus experience is to learn how our thoughts and choices can manifest into physical reality. As we recognize how great an effect our seemingly simple choices can have on many others, we gain eternal wisdom and grow spiritually. To have a meaningful learning experience, Armstrong points out that there is “no such thing as eternal punishment”. Some things have greater consequences than others, but “all karmas are temporary”.
Because at birth atmas forget they are not their bodies, they also forget their “eternal Transcendental nature” during their incarnation. Therefore, it takes repeated human lifetimes to understand “that we are not our bodies, but rather we are eternal beings whose consciousness is operating our minds and bodies”.
Although I have studied these principles for some time, I find I still have much to understand. I am easily distracted by the challenges of life. The current economy, job stressors, or irritating personalities can disrupt my day if I am not consciously taking care of myself.
It takes an effort to regularly connect with others on more than a superficial level as I rush from one responsibility to the next. But, the rewards are many and lasting for every small effort I make.
Take some time to consider how your spiritual nature attempts to guide your choices. What would it take to recognize and act on these messages? Let us know what you discover!
Stay tuned as we continue to explore The Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar by Armstrong.
About Jeffrey Armstrong:
“Jeffrey Armstrong has studied Vedic philosophy and Indian Culture for over forty years. He is the founder of the Vedic Academy of Science and Arts (VASA) and has shared his knowledge of ancient Indian wisdom with audiences around the globe. Jeffrey has degrees in psychology, English literature, history and comparative religion andis an expert on India and the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.”