Becoming and Being an Avatar—Choosing the Transhuman
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También en español “I think when one sees something true and beautiful, one wants to tell people about it, out of affection, out of compassion, out of love. … Can you ask the flower why it grows, why it has perfume? It is for the same reason the speaker talks.” —Jiddu Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti was “discovered” at age 14 by Charles Leadbeater, a prominent Theosophist, who proclaimed him destined to become a spiritual teacher and a great orator, likely to be the “vehicle for the Lord Maitreya,” an advanced spiritual entity, according to Theosophical doctrine, who periodically appears on Earth as a World Teacher to guide the evolution of humankind.
Krishna was removed from his family and educated by the Theosophists, preparing him to assume the great role for which he had been chosen. His education in colonial India was followed by the worldwide development of the World Teacher project, of which he was the nominal head. Apparently he had more serious and personal thoughts about this matter than his sponsors in the Theosophical Society, for in 1929, at age 34, he publicly repudiated the project and Theosophy.
The remainder of Krishna’s life suggests that Leadbeater’s recognition of the boy’s destiny as a spiritual teacher and great orator was entirely correct, at least after he was educated and prepared by the Theosophists to be their messiah. Krishnamurti denounced the concept of saviors, spiritual leaders, or any other intermediaries to reality, and urged people to directly discover the underlying causes of the problems facing individuals and society. He declared allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world as an independent speaker. In the end, he came to be recognized worldwide as a noteworthy teacher and advocate of Truth.
Krishnamuti is unique among those who have claimed to be avatars, literal embodiments, of Truth. His story shows us that an ordinary person may become an avatar of Truth if only one’s potentiality is understood properly. Krishna truly embraced the concept, even though it overturned the entire foundation and supposed purpose of his life and education. By refusing to be proclaimed an avatar to serve a human dogma, he demonstrated the very quality of being a genuine avatar in the service of Truth.
But what do we really mean by avatar? The word comes from Hindi and refers to a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being. In the New Age of sexual freedom we are revealing through VenusPlusX, the supreme ideal of Truth holds a position comparable to that of a deity in legacy human religion and it is entirely reasonable to use the word avatar to describe a person who chooses to become an embodiment of living Truth. An avatar is most definitely not a messiah. True avatars arise as ordinary human beings who become sensitive to the living Truth that is always present in their minds, and resolve to live their lives in service to its direction.
Why would anyone want to be or become an avatar? There are plenty of wrong reasons born of the temptation to imagine oneself to have been “chosen” by some cosmic force to perform some heroic function, as is the case with the avatars known through the distortions of myth alone. Of course, as Krishamurti’s case shows us, there are two sides to this quest and its personal experience. Krishna received the material bounty and attention of being the publicly recognized avatar chosen to bring Theosophical truth to humanity. But Krishna did not take this on as a label of himself, so much as a life task to be lived out. By rejecting the distorted image of himself, overburdened with Thesophical doctine, he was able to live the Truth.
In effect, the path of personal development for one who would become an avatar is basically the same as the path of one who would transition to become fully Transhuman. The human state is hardly transcended by the installation of new body parts. The human state is also a shared consciousness—a common story of what our life experience is about or if it be about anything at all. Transition of this consciousness from simple reliance upon myth and fact to incorporate vision and truth makes the human mind become more than human, indeed, it becomes Transhuman. And this phenomenon is what separates visionaries like us from the simply human. Initially, this is simply a change of viewpoint, a commitment to a certain way of approaching challenges; however, with experience, as the response becomes automatic, completely new modes of coordination with physical reality are opened up to us.
In the virtual reality known as Second Life, each participant makes their selves visible to other participants in the form of an avatar, a three dimensional model of a human body or some other form that can be manipulated by an operator (who is, of course, a real human being). This experience is a powerful addition to the original avatar concept, which we will explore in our next post.