Avatarism presents the land of 10,000 temples.
90% of the people living in Thailand are Buddhist. When they call this place the land of 10,000 temples they are not joking. Around practically every corner and down every alley there are beautiful temples which house unbelievably beautiful Iconography of Buddha in his many permutations. Still more temples reside next to those temples that celebrate his many disciples. On my recent trip to Bangkok and Changmai I encountered friendly buddhist monks who spoke to me frankly about the most popular religion of Thailand.
I asked one young monk in orange robes at temple Wat Cheddi Luang if there was a God? He smiled and said simply, “no.” I asked him, “is Buddha a God?” Again he smiled and said, “no.” Looking around at all the Golden Buddha’s, paintings of Buddhas, and shrines to Buddha it was confusing to me as a Westerner to think that buddha was not their God. So I asked another young monk, “Who is the Buddha?” He smiled (I was becoming accustomed to seeing this smile whenever I asked a question) he said “Buddha is the best possible teacher.” So all these temples and monuments were not because of some supposed higher power or untouchable god, all this was for a great teacher….the greatest teacher!
I began to understand the power of this idea as I went from temple to temple and sat in front of golden Buddhas, hundred foot tall Buddhas, and even thousands of tiny Buddhas laid out in perfect lines sitting in the shadow of one giant Buddha. When you find the best possible teacher you want to be reminded of him or her as much as possible to keep that teaching alive within yourself. As I travelled, I started to notice that every business, every public place, and even taxis and tuk tuks (three wheeled motorcycle taxis) had mini shrines in prominent places. The idea of this “best possible teacher,” started to become real to me.
Just being in the presence of a great figure from history or sitting with a person who has attained some mastery will give you a measure of that greatness to take away and use for yourself. At very least it gives psychic access to that idea and you may choose to enrich yourself with it, or not. To let it become part of you , or not.
We all start from somewhere. Our parents ideals and faults, the movies we watched as kids, our second grade teacher etc. These are the first building blocks to our character. If we never progress past these basic ideas then there may be a kind of self imposed ignorance that sets in and it may be completely invisible to the carrier of such simplistic ideals leading to a spiritual short sightedness or a small mindedness.
The more we let in, the bigger we get. Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary both has marvelous ideas on this. To widen the reality tunnel, to mock up a better case scenario is the birthright of every human. To embody whatever the hell you want to and to let it become you is the most outrageous trip you can take. Who says you-are-you anyway? Who says you can’t decide to embody a great teacher? Who says you can’t become a superhero or a master of some difficult skill?
Only other monkeys with pin-hole sized reality tunnels, that’s who.
This is the idea of embodiment, and it is one of the central concepts in Avatarism. To know that greatness is yours for the taking. To know that you need only to embody that greatness in the slightest to begin to understand it’s power… and when you understand it… you are more free to become it.
Embodiment is the magic that I speak of and write about most. It’s a mixture of acting, role playing, and self programming. The fact that you may not really believe you can do it, isn’t a problem. The fact that you may not be a wizard or a fairy or a person of greatness is a feature not a bug allowing you to drop the whole thing and deal in a more simplistic way with the things of life, if need be.
The important thing is to begin to embody, to consciously create your character, to seek that which is best for you, to up level, and to see others on this road and uphold them.
I experienced this when I was a child and had the fortune to meet the great Jim Henson. I stood before him and he treated me as an equal. I can say honestly that I was never the same after that experience. For the 7 year old me, the creator of the muppets was the best possible teacher. After sitting in front of so many beautiful statues of the Buddha where he is depicted as calm, serene, peaceful, and in a state of easy pleasure I can say that I have been changed By this experience as well.
Who is your best possible teacher or teachers? Who can you call yogi or trusted friend or refuge? I have had many teachers and I hope I will have many more. To be reverent enough to find your heroes in the world, to seek them out, to worship them, but yet have enough irreverence to know that you may have what they have….that is also at the core of Avatarism.
We are collections of memories, instances and experiences that either glance off us, horrify us, or up level us….(sometimes a bit of all three.)
We may seek to up level or character on the real world platform and so play a better game moment to moment day today year-to-year.
W may choose
to forever-endeavor towards a goal
never fully arriving at perfect
and constantly changing
because we know that this is the way of nature
and the way of the universe
Change is constant
and will is the tool to hone it’s main action.
Preachers and warriors
presidents and kings
artists politicians teachers
Jedi’s magis and friends
we are all here together
all searching for the best possible way
to play this game
Whomever you choose to embody in whatever order or mixture you choose to create, that is your choice . Avatarism is an open-source philosophy for creating your character, fermenting your culture and developing the courage to be a truly unique, alive and self created individual.
The smiling eyes and peaceful posture of the Buddha gave me a gift and that gift is blossoming and growing within me now. I have always wanted mastery over fear anger and judgment and I have the Thai people and their beautiful version of Buddhism to thank for a step closer in that direction.
I except that my character is permeable
I understand that my brain is a bio computer
that can be reprogrammed
rebooted with new information
as it becomes available to me
We are alive
and that, my friends
All that is stagnant is dead.
So seek out all that is living
and new to you
let it permeate you
let it change you
Let it all in
if it is good
and it turns you on
and it hurts no one
and it makes you think
I am alive!
Go get it kids
and rock that shit hard because
we only get one life
and this is it
Be not afraid to join the parade.
Onward and upwards,
iRev. Alexander polinsky