Nickelodeon’s Avatar showed a generation how to act properly
Avatar State – Alexandre Porto
· 6 min read
In the animation created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino called Avatar: The Last Airbender, the watcher follows the main character, a boy called Aang that has a deep connection with a bloodline of people that can manipulate all elements of the earth. To the members of this reincarnation chain, the show gave the name of Avatars.
Aang is the present alive representative of this bloodline of Avatars and the show, consisting of three seasons, follows Aang and his gang through the arduous journey of mastery.
The Avatar has already the capacity to manipulate all elements, but he still must learn how to flow with the water, how to be solid as a rock, and, most importantly for him, he still has to learn how to limit and manipulate fire.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is a traveling show. In scenarios remembering landscapes from ancient Asia, the show covers many topics that, when properly contemplated, can reveal meaningful insights for a lighter healthier life.
One of the subjects that I found the show focused on was the control of a state of mind that is ideal for EXECUTION, but inadequate for ordinary verbal consciousness.
The show names this state: the Avatar state.
How to activate my own avatar state?
The avatar state is a type of shape of the spirit.
When the mind and body are shaped in a certain way, execution is powerful and overwhelming. In this state, there’s no space for verbalization and normal ordinary interests.
The Avatar state, when applied to real-life, remembers a type of mindset that I cultivate but keep it “under the cover” because I know how powerful it can be. Since it’s so powerful, this state of being must be the last resource.
The state of seriousness comes naturally when some phenomena risk damaging something I love. When I absolutely have to succeed I activate this state of mind.
I didn’t give a name to this state, but I reserve to myself a sort of seriousness and presence that guarantees that I succeed.
The trouble with this is:
A) It’s tricky to practice this state in real-life situations;
B) It’s difficult to succeed in practical matters when I pressure myself, remembering that I absolutely MUST succeed.
The practice is key.
The way to practice this is to put yourself in challenging situations that you feel safe and can’t damage anything you hold sacred even if you fail.
My objective when I train this state of mind, the Avatar State, is to find the correct body rhythm and mind “shape” to have absolute mastery in execution by achieving a certain personal state of flow.
In the flow state that is ideal for tactical execution, I must give up any earthly attachments. To enter and stay in the Avatar state I must also give up ordinary consciousness and self vigilance.
I found that self vigilance is key. I must be aware of how vigilant I am of myself while I’m executing some activity.
To illustrate, I walk distractedly walking in the streets and suddenly I notice a bunch of people hanging around just looking at me.
At this moment is common to be super aware. I need to watch myself and judge my behavior to decide if I’m acting properly in front of all the watchful people.
So, I start watching each movement as I walk.
One step after the other; this foot here, this other food there, and here and there, and and and… And I forget how to walk.
Suddenly it feels super weird to walk and it becomes embarrassing to try to vigilante myself and walk normally. Very frustrating.
This happens because some tasks are unsuccessful when executed with the vigilance of the analytical mind.
The only way for me to flow adequately is to let the tools nature provided me with and let it do its job without worries.
There’s a state of mind that I cultivate and is perfect for practical execution. To this state, I give no name, but the kid’s show Avatar: The Last Airbender gives to this kind of mindset the name Avatar State.
This shape of mind is of total flow and very little consciousness.
How can I be appropriate without being conscious?
Trusting the divine means that I must believe that the tools that nature made available to me are sufficient for my ends.
Trusting God means that I mustn’t doubt the capacities of the machinery provided by nature’s design.
Having the confidence that I don’t have to watch myself in real-life tactical endeavors because the perfect state of workflow is to don’t attach to anything in the way and let my being spread itself through the cosmos.
With enough practice, it’s possible to define a set of unbreakable principles that always trumps the Avatar state (like the wellbeing of people I love).
If while in the state of mind of total absolute mastery I find myself destroying something I love and need to conserve, I stop the Avatar State immediately.
Vigilance must be only applied when beyond the limits of safety.
When to turn Avatar State on?
The Avatar State is powerful and full of energy.
Most of life’s situations can be solved without the activation of the serious state of mind.
The state of mind necessary to activate the Avatar State is childish in the sense that has no prejudice and is merely observant as an adventurer kid would be.
The perfect flow state is serious and follows no other narrative than nature’s.
Meaning that when facing someone in this state of flow, the hair in my arms will stand up and adrenaline will be pumped into my veins.
The physical reaction is similar to meeting a real dangerous wild animal in front of me.
When facing someone who masters the Avatar State the narrative is the eternal natural wild divine story.
This state of spirit flow must be used carefully.
A human conflict that asks for the Avatar State is one that must be solved in all seriousness. To a little kid, this state of mind is often bought up when playing video-games.
In a video game, a child learns quickly that there is an appropriate rhythm of mind that is necessary for success.
Growing up I played a lot of platform games, like Mario, and very young realized that I have to place my mind in a broad plane and go slow without hesitation.
1) Place my mind in a broad plane
2) Go slow without hesitation.
I hope I wasn’t repetitive. I also hope that the “Avatar State” is just a way to give a name to something most people don’t give a name to the state of spirit necessary for absolute success.
In the world of Martial Arts, there are super successful warriors, especially in Japanese culture, that explore the idea of acquiring this state of flow for fighting.
The challenge is to keep this state of mind when I am facing an opponent with a presence of the spirit that equals or dwarfs my own state of spirit.
To deal with this is important to empty the mind of shape and let reality flow through me. If I break the state of flow during the battle I die.
During a deadly duel, if I hesitate, I die. If I watch myself and verbally analyze my action, I die.
Gladly humanity created several games and simulations in which I can practice how to get into the perfect state of flow.
And lucky I have series like Avatar: The Last Airbender to illustrate the way.