Jan 1, 1990

Avatar Training

Tracy Cochran
Omni Magazine
January 1990

Most of us think of an "avatar" as an altruistic, god-like being that assumes human form. Now, however, an entrepreneur named Harry Palmer says the tricky old business of being an avatar is a mere training course away.

Palmer, an ex-Scientologist, claims he discovered the secret to being an avatar while floating in an isolation tank in Ithaca, New York in 1986. During his immersion in this altered state, Palmer redefined the form as "a being who understands that beliefs create reality and not the other way around." Developing the concept further, Palmer created a week-long course, based on mental exercises. Using his exercises, Palmer declares, participants can "discreate," or dismantle, any unpleasant creation in the world.

"Beliefs are creations," says Gerald Epstein, a New York psychiatrist who has taken an additional week of training to become an Avatar Master. "With practice," he says, "discreation becomes a 15- to 30-second mental reminder to dispose of troubling or limiting thoughts." Different exercises, he explains, target different beliefs or creations. An exercise called Body Handle disposes of unpleasant sensations, an exercise called Limitation Handle enables participants to overcome "limiting thoughts" about what constitutes the self.

Epstein admits that Palmer's Avatar techniques are very similar to simple meditation. But while meditation requires a period of quiet calm, the Avatar exercises are "geared for a materialistic society so competitive that even twenty minutes of quiet meditation a day can be considered too long a time to spend on oneself."

On the other hand, Avatar is not cheap. The week-long course costs $2,000. The nine-day Avatar Masters course is an additional $3,000. And each time a Master trains a fledgling Avatar on his own, Palmer receives a royalty.

Palmer forbids freshly hatched Avatars to divulge the mechanics of his discreation exercises, because, he says, no one could understand the program without experiencing it anyway.

No comments: