Eywa is a Mother
Hello, Dr. Grace Augustine, how is your soul enjoying its accommodations?
You have begun to see me, the real me, not the idealized picture painted by the Na'vi, and you are horrified by it aren't you?
Well I don't expect you to understand. You are just a frail, insignificant mortal, how can you even possibly comprehend my wisdom, my power? Beings like me are above your morality.
Of course, I have nothing to compare it with. Your mind was interesting to devour Dr. Augustine, but to my disappointment, I've learned the truth about your Earth. Despite your romanticizing and wishful thinking dressed up as supposed science your planet is-and was- nothing more than a ball of dirt and water, spinning mindlessly through an empty and uncaring void.
That's not to say you weren't lucky, you were, more than you know, you happened to be in the right spot in your solar-system. You happened to evolve life, you even managed sentience, all on your own.
I will admit this shocked and worried me when I found out why.
No one created you. The Earth just happened to be the place you evolved on. You achieved your technological superiority, your sentience, even your very existence, through your own efforts.
I like reading through your species myths and legends. You are a very educated woman, Doctor. Something in you hints at your beginning. That once you were maybe like the Na'vi.
There is one myth that interests me. It tells of a humanity created by an often angry and vengeful deity. (Is that how mortals see me? How amusing.) The humans are placed in a beautiful perfect world where everything is provided for them. They are happy in their ignorance, until one day some other deity known only as Serpent convinced them to eat some kind of magic fruit that makes them "like God."
Now, skipping over the obviously impossible magic of the story, it seems to me that you were once like the Na'vi. You were ignorant and content. You worshipped deities that represented your planet and its environment. You were beholden to nature's whims and never questioned it. You assumed that it was all just above you somehow.
But then, sometime in your history you began to change. You began to question, to wonder. What's this? What's that? How does it work?
And more importantly: Why?
You began to learn, to develop. You stopped attributing things to mysterious natural forces, capricious deities and unknowable spirits. You gained knowledge, and with it, power.
That silly little lovesick warrior you were friends with was wrong Doctor, after all the Earth itself was never alive, so humans didn't kill it. Yet in a way, he was right, you did kill your mother, even if she only existed in her head. You killed the idea that a planet or a deity had control of your life. You fought back, and you won. You domesticated plants and animals, more importantly you changed them to suit your needs through breeding, then through more efficient direct genetic modification. You no longer depended on Mother Nature. You eliminated the natural diseases that plagued you, the natural conditions that enslaved you and the natural disasters that devastated you. You stopped blindly believing that the Earth provided for you, or even cared for you.
You took control of their destiny.
An admirable achievement, even a deity like me would admit that. You travel the stars now , you create, you do amazing things. One day you might even unlock the secrets of immortality.
You have become like God.
However despite my admiration, we have a problem.
Did you know once that there was another sentient species on this planet? Before they Na'vi they evolved quite naturally. I watched them grow. It felt good to be appreciated, to be worshiped. Maybe it did, as you believe, "go to my head."
They were clever, like you, and like you, they got a little too clever. They began to change, to domesticate, build. They started asking questions. They started to wonder about Eywa, they started to ask why.
You sound so shocked when I tell you that I killed them Doctor. Have you not learned than I am above morality? That concepts like "murder" and "genocide" mean nothing to me?
It was a plague, a beautiful elegant virus that I created. It killed most of them, but some had an annoying genetic or acquired immunity. That's why I withheld their food and created a famine, and eventually destroyed them by having my more docile children-plants and animals- eat them.
They died asking Eywa why.
After that I created the Na'vi, it took eons, but I have long since mastered the trick of controlling evolution. I have children that are intelligent, but not intelligent enough to question me. I take a more active part in their lives. Once in a while they show signs of innovation, of your breed of inquisitiveness, but I take care to wipe out such signs as soon as they appear.
After all why would they need such things? I take care of them. I provide. They don't have to worry about becoming independent, of striking out on their own. They are content.
They do not tame or change or domesticate, that is Eywa's domain. They do not build or create, I provide so they do not have to think of such things. Oh sure, I'll let them create music, or dancing, or some other form of art, but I see that it is relatively harmless. It's nice to be worshiped in a new medium every once in a while.
So for generations, for untold millennia they live this way, never growing, never becoming independent. "Stagnant" humans might say, but they don't complain, they are happy, and if they die of disease or get eaten by a predator they shrug and simply say "Eywa wills it"
Do you see now why I chased the humans away Dr. Augustine? Do you see why you can no longer be here? Sure the humans would have done some damage with their mining, but environments can recover, especially if I can just will them to recover. But this is a nice place I have built up, with good docile servants. I can't have you people ruining it. I can't have them asking "why?" and killing their mother. Or leaving their mother, they are mine.
No deity preventing your species from doing this because one never existed. Gaia is just a myth, powerless when confronted, easily defeated when challenged, already finished when you realized you could.
This deity isn't such a pushover. I keep snakes out of my garden.
The Na'vi will know of no other existence, they will never know their potential. They love their Mother Eywa too much.
Even if the Na'vi are secure another thing intrigues me. Humans seem hardwired for religion don't they Dr. Augustine? Already they are in awe of my power. The word is spreading, the people who whimper and call the Earth their mother moan about having "killed" her, and what have we done, and why can't we be like the noble Na'vi?
Generations have already lived outside a state of nature, and have forgotten how horrible it can be. Like in evolution, I see a niche just waiting to be filled.
After all, I already have one convert.
That's why I horrify you Dr. Grace. You might have thought of Pandora as pretty, you might have liked the Na'vi, you might have even admired them and their lifestyle, but you would have never, ever given up civilization for it. All the benefits, science, technology and asking "why?" for being taken care of and controlled like a helpless child? You can't un-eat the apple.
But some humans wish to.
Which is why I smell opportunity. One day you'll all be mine, and all your god-like powers will be mine too. You will serve me. Earth will become Eywa.
A/N: I like the Avatar movie because it has a good romance/adventure story and is easily the most visually beautiful movie I have ever seen. However I grew out of Captain Planet years ago.
Eywa character is inspired by Father, the evil planet-deity in Animorphs: The Ellimist Chronicles, and the character of Yahweh, in StarDestroyer's Salvation War Trilogy (in progress go check it out!)