My experience with Avatar

By Niket van Zuydam
Published in the Dutch magazine "Onkruid"

Avatar is popular. Learning to create your own reality, to control you own circumstances... could this be really possible?

Who participates in an Avatar course has to sign and promise not to talk about the materials to others. Is this maybe the cause that articles regarding Avatar are always ABOUT Avatar? There is never someone who writes: "I have done the course and my experience is...". Or it has to be someone who is involved with Avatar. But this time things are different. In this article of "Onkruid" an Avatar-student complains about the course, the secrecy around it, the American marketing strategy and.... about the fact that he has heard before everything what is taught in the Avatar course...


Seven years ago I did the "results course". A course consisting of 6 evenings, with the message that you are responsible for the reality you experience. This course contained techniques to learn to change your beliefs in order to experience a new reality. Well, that was fine, because my reality at those days did not satisfy me.

The effect of this course was phenomenal. Within 3 months I had an absolute fulfilling job, I earned a top salary, I drove in a fast sport wagon, I ate six times a week in a good restaurant, with nice ladies by my side, I had the friends who I wanted, so I saw my own new improved self-image reflected in the world around me. I felt very vital and happy. I had discovered that I had the power to realise, effortlessly, all the dreams a young man has.

But, after few years, I had this feeling that there has to be something more. And that this "something more" I could not get from a course. This technique worked perfectly well as far as the fulfilling of my needs of my ego was concerned. (there is nothing wrong with a desiring ego as such; that is why we are here on earth for), but the techniques failed for deep seated essential issues like: the desire for desirelessness for instance.

One and a half year ago I heard about a new developed course that was so good, that it would leave every other spiritual course or workshop or meditation in the dust. I felt that my life needed a new impulse and I was thinking about giving trainings myself. So I oriented myself, and talked with some Avatar Masters. I heard only very good things about Avatar. After some hesitation, my feeling of curiosity became stronger than my feelings of suspicion, so I decided to do the Avatar course.



I finished Avatar after a week with mixed feelings. Shortly after that, I received, by mail, a plasticified pass of Star's Edge International (the headquarter of Avatar) with the official certificate that I have attained the state of Avatar.

I wonder: what do I need this pass for? To get a free trip across the boundary of Tibet maybe? To get discount by a shop? I felt flattered. The envelope also contains a letter with the urgent announcement to give Avatar myself (after following a course paying fl.10.000 [$5,000] for it).

Harry Palmer points with a firm tone voice, on my responsible to save the poor people who are lost in ignorance. Because he says: "only rarely in the history of consciousness have there existed individuals capable of guiding beings through the labyrinth of creation back to life source".

Well, my ego puffs up to huge proportions! Even further he says to me: "You are the missionary who brings the Light"! I feel really flattered. If Harry continues talking about the great wealth and power, riches and truths that will be entrusted to me I get tears in my eyes. Have I finally succeeded in anything? They keep sending me new invitations on regular basis, always with pictures of exulting Avatars who seem to shout to me: "Come! Join the family!"



Recently I received for the first time the Avatar Journal. Wow! This was my club-magazine! These are my people! I belonged to this family! It is a glossy magazine with lots of photographs and success stories about happy shining Awakening Masters and Wizards.

Somewhere in the magazine I saw, printed in Italics, a shocking testimonial: "The idea that I almost didn't have done the Avatar Course is horrifying to me..."

In the foreword Harry reminds us with a serious tone on the importance of our mission: "In the unimaginable eternity of time and space there are seldom moments which consciousness has the chance to awaken, and those who fail to recognise those moments will regret it."

Then page after page I see people who have seen the Light. According to someone, you are able to experience areas of consciousness with Avatar that even the most enlightened beings seldom, or by accident, experience.

Someone else declares that after 23 years of spiritual search within the Human Potential Movement he finally came home with Avatar. In a touching letter a woman tells how thankful she is for the course because she discovered for the first time in her life that she is a divine being, and that she got back what she deserved: the love of God.

The stories and the content and the words are so predictable that I hardly can believe that they are written by different people. It seems like they have an ad random computer program on the redaction because they sound just like cliché of joy and bliss.

After reading this Avatar Journal I felt: "enough is enough!". There is a lot written about Avatar, but never by someone who did the course himself. It was always second hand information, mostly from the mouths of Avatar Masters or critical sounds about the high price. Yes, Avatar is expensive, very expensive. I am allowed to say that, because I did a lot of comparable "create-your-own-reality-courses". Comparing it with others Courses, I would say that Avatar is four times too expensive. But, as I said, much is written about this already.



Before I begin the course, I have to sign a contract in which I promise to keep my mouth about the materials. I knew that I had to sign this before going into the course, so I decide not to make fuss about it.

At the end of the Avatar Course I begin to wonder why a student is asked to behave so sneaky and why they are not allowed to talk about the exercises. My greatest disappointment is because Avatar does not add anything new to what I learned already. The course exist of a series exercises you have to repeat again and again ad infinitum. All exercises were very familiar to me, and I had experienced all these exercises (in a slightly different form) in other courses already.

Half way the course, at the moment I could still stop, I say to the group that the course disappoints me so far, and that I am thinking of quitting. With some nice negotiation I decide to stay a day longer. At the end of this day, which was okay, I decide to continue. Because I know, if I stop, I have the feeling of doing something half-hearted, and deep down I have the hope that in the second section of Avatar there is the ultimate technique I hoped for.

But also on the last days nothing new was revealed to me. I did this in a slightly differen form before. Nothing new really. So why does Stars Edge hammer on this confidentiality? It is a course as many other courses, with exactly the same universal principles, with comparable exercises, but who are totally open, and do not do so mysterious as Stars Edge does.



Palmer sees great danger when the materials are being presented in the "lower social classes". "When you introduce the course to this group, you will create revolutions and end up with blood on your hands."

Is this the trust that Harry has in his own course who, according to their own promotional materials is about love, and waking up and recognising yourself as Source?

If Avatar really takes you to the place of paradise where love and bliss will be bestowed on you, why prevent "lower classes" access to this place of love and bliss? Courses such as NLP or Seth-work don't keep the door closed for lower social classes and there are have never been revolutions going on there.

IMO al this secrecy around Avatar is just a marketing trick. It is a very smart selling strategy. To present something as very mysterious makes people curious, people talk about it, and this is good PR.

More over: to let people sign a confidential-contract you protect yourself, and you can claim to sell the product. It is just a way to prevent that other people are going to earn money and doing business with your product, and undermine your monopoly position. In America lots of attorneys have earned their bread with new age lawsuits.



An important question is: Can enlightenment be caused by a technique? The mystics who I studied don't have doubts about this; your deepest essence, love, enlightenment, or howsoever you want to call it, does not belong to the world of control, you can not force or conquer it.

Techniques work on another level, the level of the manipulative, such as emotions, thoughts, behaviour and the body. The mystics applies them because they can still the chattering of our mind a little, so that there is some space for something REAL from the inside.

Techniques are useful, but they are always the product of thinking itself, so at a certain moment you have to let go of it otherwise it becomes a barrier, thus a modern enlightened master.

A technology can at the most give you an illusion of enlightenment. Is it not the typical obsession of the western man to want to have control about everything and reduce it into a technology? Just take a look around in the world and see where this has led to. Now it seems to be time to do this to the inner world too.

I feel concerned about this. Especially the American New Age movements suffer from an enormous overestimation of the power of our mental capacities. The power of beliefs is very strong indeed, the whole mental construction that you define as reality is a proof of that. You can paint and sculpture it; because finally it is all illusion. But on the plane of spiritual transformation this thinking is a barrier.

Is it not all about freeing yourself from the ego, to disconnect yourself from your identifications? And to look at reality without painting them with your private beliefs? All these typical American "self-improvement" methods are strengthening the ego: they are fixated on "having" and "becoming". American ears are deaf to the call of the mystic to do nothing at all, and just to "be".

A training as Avatar is in fact a sort of mental moulding course. As you wish unwanted beliefs gets "discreated" and replaced by beliefs who feel better. There is nothing wrong in that; if we are caught in a cage of identifications already, you can better make something beautiful out of it. It is better to live in a golden cage than in a copper cage. But a cage is a cage.

I would like to say something about the discreation-technique: this word sounds attractive, because it suggests that you can dissolve, on command, unwanted things (thoughts, emotions).

Palmer has seen clearly that it has no use to "work" on psychological problems. Once you are willing to feel and embrace a "problem" such as jealousy or grief, it can dissolve. (Dissolve in the sense of evaporating.) Only in the total embracement of something what you consider painful or unpleasant, transformation takes place. But when you are going to sit for something to discreate it, it becomes very tricky because there is still resistance; you want deliberately to get rid of something. And as long as your approach is hostile, howsoever subtle, transformation of your problems is impossible.

The paradox is, as long as you have the desire to discreate something, this desire perpetuates your problems.



Finally, to be clear, I want to go back to the point were I see a possible danger: namely, the discrepantion between the enormous promising expected results mentioned in the promotional materials and what the course actually offers.

As long as you are selling the course as a practical set of tools to get a better life, than there is nothing wrong with that. I think Avatar can be a good course, if it matches with you (it didn't match with me obviously, because for me the approach is too technical and cold).

But when you are using terms like "enlightenment" "Divine realisation" etc. and you claim to have a secret technique that reduces every living enlightened master into a living fossil, and also say that you feel the responsibility to create an enlightened planetary civilization, then, I get the creeps. Then it becomes IMO an embarrassing affair that smells more like exploitation of so many people who have the feeling not being "whole" than that it smells like a loving intention.



The group consists of ten students. The expected euphoria doesn't come over them too. The atmosphere is somber. If I ask a few "reviewers" about this exulting stories from the promotional materials I get disappointing answers: "no we have not experienced that. No, neither during the last course". (You can review the course for free).

After a while I make an appointment with one of the course leaders who was very friendly, and invited me to talk about my experiences. He himself was very enthusiastic and is honesty curious about my conclusions. Howsoever nice he was, our points of view were miles apart. "Avatar is just a course for gurus, a milestone in the evolution". Last time I created: "I am enlightened" unbelievable what happened!" he told me.

Another "master" told me that after a whole midday exercising, he succeeded to create a feeling of unconditional love for his ex girlfriend (who left him for someone else). I ask him if he still felt this compassion a few days later. "Eh... no.. not really, he grins".