Q&A WITH HARRY PALMER
How would you describe yourself?
I wouldn't...(laughs) Okay, I will. Hardcore visionary! The visionary part is because of my belief in an enlightened planetary civilization. I believe it will happen. The hardcore part is because I am actively committed to it, and I don't give up on things I believe in.
What is the real work to be done on this planet? It is to make ourselves more aware, to remind ourselves that oue essential nature in nonviolent, and to increase the amount of compassion and cooperation on the planet.
What does enlightenment mean?
It means you stop thinking of yourself as a limited, defined individual. It means that your self interest becomes so broad that it contains all facets and all viewpoints of life.
When you adopt the viewpoint that there is nothing that exists that is not part of you, that there is no one who exists who is not part of you, that any judgment you make is self‐judgment, that any criticism you level is self‐criticism, you will wisely extend to yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of the world.
As your own true nature is realized – undefined and ever present – all will recognize that there is no gain that we do not all participate in and no loss for which we do not all share the sacrifice.
Why set a goal to create an enlightened planetary civilization®?
I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my life, and I’ve been successful at most of them. But the job that really excites me, the one that makes me feel good in my soul, is contributing to the creation of an enlightened planetary civilization. It is a motivation that comes from something deeper and purer than service to self. Read Harry's article "Toward An Enlightened Civilization".
How do you plan to succeed when others have failed?
My plan is simple: help the people next to you wake up beyond their Darwinic mind dream. And after they realize who they really are, where they are, and what is happening, show them how to pass the lessons on. Of course, if you want their best, full‐time efforts, there are economic and social realities that need to be considered and addressed. People like to help each other, but they also like to live comfortably
and feel safe with friends. So the lessons must be valuable enough to the people who receive them that they are happy to pay a fair price.
One of the things that I have learned from life is that service to others, if it is done well and within a viable economic context, is contagious. Help someone; show kindness, and the next thing you know they are figuring out how to pass it on to someone else. That’s my strategy for contributing to an enlightened planetary civilization. I intend to create, within a viable economic context, an epidemic of compassion.
What is Avatar?
Avatar is a nine‐day self‐empowerment training delivered by an Avatar Master. The Avatar tools are a synergy of exercises, drills, and procedures that when properly understood and used increase your ability to live deliberately. They are remarkably effective and efficient tools for taking control of your life. If you need to identify and resolve a self‐sabotaging belief or behavior, the Avatar tools can help. If you want to create a harmonious relationship, or achieve success, or just reach a pleasant state of joy and contentment, the Avatar tools can help you. They are also effective for removing grief and stress from your life, restoring health, and achieving peace of mind.
Is Avatar a religion?
Avatar is not a religion. There are no members. Graduates of The Avatar Course belong to all religions and there is no effort to convert anybody's beliefs to anything else. The Avatar Course is a straightforward self‐development course that comes unencumbered by beliefs, sect memberships, or any quasi‐religious rites. For these reasons, it is the high point of the human potential movement. Its graduates are quick to agree, “It is the most powerful, purest self‐development program available at any price.”
Is Avatar a part of the New Age movement?
I don't come from that world. It is sometimes even a bit too bizarre for me. Most people who became involved with Avatar aren't from the New Age corner either. They usually have a practical professional background: doctors, lawyers, engineers, politicians, business people. A manager, for example, uses Avatar to align the beliefs of his employees and to prevent beliefs from entering his office that might sabotage his projects‐‐because it is beliefs that lead to success. The same is true in personal life. Somebody who is convinced that he is unattractive will find proof for his beliefs and stay lonely. But as the same person finds out where this idea came from and lets go of it, then other people will like him more. Avatar can help with this.
Why pay for Avatar?
When I started Avatar, I thought, "People who work for the good should be paid well." In general, the exploiters become rich and the Mother Theresa's of this world stay poor. I wanted to change this situation so that someone who works for a better world also would get paid well. Also, this way we get good co‐workers. It makes it more attractive to exchange a well‐paid job for Avatar activities. Moreover, it motivates the students to get the maxi mum out of the course. It is strange, but people are more willing to change when they pay for it than when it is for free.
For me, the money doesn't matter. Most of the money we earn goes to international expansion. I don't know one Master who gives the course because of the money. There are easier ways to get rich. No, the first motive is the intention to change something in this world. We only state that one doesn't have to give up having personal wealth for that purpose.
That goes for me too. I am not interested in wealth. I live very simply. Avatar was in the first place a way for me to give something back to the world. I had a very easy life, and I am grateful for that. But I didn't want to do nothing. And I didn't know of a better occupation than to work for a world where others are doing well too. When you ask for my ultimate goal, I would say to create a catalyst for the integration of all belief systems.
How does Avatar work?
Avatar equips you with the tools to deliberately restructure the beliefs that form the pattern of your life.
Your own beliefs are actually the most powerful forces that influence your existence. They determine what you perceive and how you perceive it. They influence your thoughts, your expectations, and your actions. They shape your personality. They even affect the outcome of your actions and the way others perceive you and respond to you.
Avatar helps you explore behind the scenes of your existence and discover the uninspected, unconsciously‐held beliefs that are causing your life to be as it is.
Who takes The Avatar Course?
Students come from all walks of life — from monks to captains of finance — and a wide range of belief systems — from fundamentalists to atheists. Most find that Avatar intensifies their understanding of life and increases their tolerance and compassion for others.
Is there a truth for Harry Palmer?
I don't know. There are facts. A fallen tree is a fact. Maybe even a truth. The problem is to assess why it fell. One thinks it is because of a storm. Another believes it had rootrot. A third holds the opinion that it was eaten from the inside by insects. And everyone will find indications for his being right. But what is the truth? As soon as we ask for a "why," we get beliefs instead of the truth.
People think beliefs are facts. For some, it may seem like a fact that one person is better than another person. Of course it is just a belief. But people hold on to it with a force that causes a lot of problems. My solution is this: if we see that we experience what we believe, and if we allow ourselves somewhat more uncertainty, then we don't lock ourselves up in one truth for the rest of our lives – a truth that makes us intolerant toward people who hold another truth. Then we are no longer prisoners, but explorers. "Knowing" is another word for believing that you are right. You define what is real. But at the same time, you shut the door for other possibilities. And for other visions. I think we can better enjoy each other's beliefs than fight over them.
Why are the Avatar materials confidential?
There are a number of simple reasons why parts of the Avatar materials are kept confidential, but the most important reason requires some explanation.
Avatar is much more than a philosophy, as any student who has experienced its transmission from a licensed Master will quickly tell you. There are word‐lessons, and there are world‐lessons. A word‐lesson is someone’s attempt to convey his experience to another via spoken or written symbols. A word‐lesson can be informative or enjoyable or inspiring. A word‐lesson can be a very nice thing, but it should not be confused with a world‐lesson.
A world‐lesson is something that a person lives through. It’s something he actually confronts and copes with in life, and from the world‐lesson he emerges changed...more experienced...bigger! A word‐lesson very rarely produces such a result.
A world‐lesson is a unique personal experience; it does not require translation into symbols or sounds to be understood. It is involvement in, and observation, of events as they occur.
Avatar is both a word‐lesson and a world‐lesson. It is a word‐lesson only for the purpose of introducing students to their own personal world‐lessons. The word‐ lessons that Avatar conveys are insignificant compared to the world‐lessons it opens to students.
The Avatar Course requires a well‐trained and disciplined Avatar Master to ensure that the Avatar techniques make it off the page and into life. Avatar becomes valuable when it is conveyed as a world‐lesson on how to assimilate world‐lessons. Properly presented, Avatar prepares one to integrate his or her own world‐lessons without leaving any word debris behind. Once initiated into the Avatar techniques, life will rapidly present the individual with the unique world‐lessons that he or she most needs to learn. Life itself becomes the teacher.
By keeping the Avatar materials confidential and permitting their teaching only by those trained to transmit them properly, each person receives his or her own unique world‐lesson from the Avatar experience.