Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has been President of the Philippines for only over two (2) months and he has already shaken the political consciousness of the Philippines.
Other people may take another approach in analyzing the situation. However I will consider PDU30 as an Avatar. It is an English term of word that has already an equivalent in Binisayâ, which is “abatá”.
The abatáw is more human in application than the mythical words dili ingon nátò, abyan, dángkoy, enkanto, sota, etc.
In Hindu mythology an Avatar is defined as an incarnation of a god. In other words an Avatar is a god that took a human or animal form. Using this definition Jesus Christ can be considered as an Avatar.
However, by a clever device in orthography or writing, the Christians claim that Jesus Christ is superior because He is a “God”, with a capital letter, and the others were “gods” with small letters. This is a very common explanation that forgot the fact that the Hebrew alphabet is all capital letters. The concept of an almighty power can be written only as “GOD” because there is no Hebrew spelling equivalent to “god”.
Since the Christian concept did not use Avatar to refer to Jesus Christ, the word Avatar eventually changed in meaning and application. In the modern esoteric thinking the word Avatar refers to someone who displays the “fifth level of awareness”. This interpretation will not be strange to Bisayans because it is similar to the abatáw of Bisayan mythology.
Level of Awareness
According to Scott Adams (God’s Debris, A Though Experiment, 2001, pp. 124-125), the following are the five different level of awareness. The first level of awareness is at birth. It is when you first become aware that you exist.
The second level awareness is when you understand that other people exist. You believe most of what you are told by authority figures and accept the belief system in which you are raised.
The third level of awareness is when you recognize that humans are often wrong about the things they believe. You feel that you might be wrong about what you believe and despite your doubts you still find comfort in your beliefs.
The fourth level is skepticism. You believe the scientific method is the best measure for what is true. You then believe that through science and education, you have a grasp of truth, logic, and your senses. You are arrogant in dealing with people in levels two and three.
The fifth level of awareness is the Avatar. The Avatar understands that the mind is an illusion generator, not a window to reality. The awareness of an Avatar does not come from receiving new information. The awareness manifest from what Emmanuel Kant describe as noumena. It is similar to an insight that is not the result of logical reasoning.
Sometimes society’s consciousness get out of balance and confusion sets in. When this happens, the Avatar steps in.
Since the ideas of the Avatar seem to come from nowhere, it will always come in conflict with the skepticism or fourth level awareness that is the result of the scientific and logical method. These two levels of awareness will compete with the second and third levels of awareness.
The Avatars We Had
Basing on the recent definition of what is an Avatar, we can say that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was an Avatar. He was the first one to call ourselves as “Filipino”. His two novels created the national consciousness of the Filipino that led into the Philippines Revolution.
In the field of religion, we have already many Avatars. Bishop Aglipay, the founder of the Aglipayan or Philippine Independent Church was an Avatar. At present we have many religious denominations that were founded by Avatars.
In the field of politics we can consider Pres. Carlos P. Garcia as an Avatar. In real life he was a mystic and a member of the Theosophical Society of the Philippines. When he was President of the Philippines he enunciated the “Filipino First Policy” and the “Austerity System”. These were ideas or concepts that were not common during his time.
We cannot consider Pres. Ferdinand Marcos as an Avatar. His ideas were deliberately logical and therefore belong to the fourth level of awareness or skepticism. His declaration of martial law was based on legal provisions and not an insight. It was therefore a fourth level of awareness.
Duterte the Avatar
Before the filing of candidacy for President of the Philippines, major political parties indorsed their candidates. The platforms of the candidates followed the usual promises what they will do if they will do if they will be elected President. One reluctant candidate was harping on a different issue. That candidate was Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City and his issue was federalism.
Political pundits and those with fourth level of awareness considered Mayor Duterte as out of context and irrelevant. However, many of the concepts of Mayor Duterte found a resonant chord among the different levels of awareness.
When the deadline of filing for candidacy came Mayor Duterte did not file. However, at the last possible time for filing for candidacy which was by substitution of another candidate, Mayor Duterte was accepted by COMELEC as a candidate for President.
It was then that Mayor Duterte became clear that he was an Avatar. The other President candidates proposed economic prosperity as the prime objective and poverty, corruption, criminality, and peace and order will follow.
PDU30 turned the issue upside down. His focus will be illegal drugs and criminality. In his awareness, if these will be solved, the economic prosperity will follow and the country will progress.
The fourth level and fifth level of awareness competed for the attention of the electorate and the fifth level or the Avatar won.
The fourth level of awareness or skepticism is not giving up on the success of the Avatar. It still tries to show that logic and scientific thought is the most desirable way. The skeptics still could not understand why the supposed “extra judicial killings” that is supposed to be the best legal argument does not produce a popular complaint from the people.
The awareness of the Avatar is really difficult to understand. President Duterte has a different awareness of the situation and coupled with his choleric personality, the majority of the people are convinced that PDU30 is doing a good job.
President Garcia as an Avatar focused on the concept of nationalism and the Filipino First policy. Many people also accepted nationalism and patriotism but the phlegmatic personality of President Garcia was not able to overcome the dominance of the American government over the Philippine government.
If you are somewhat disconcerted with the ways of Pres. Duterte, just bear in mind that he is an Avatar and operating in the fifth level of consciousness. Each level of consciousness has no advantage over the others. It is just the way it is and the Avatar just happen to be aware of a different reality. The Avatar or abatáw relies much on insight rather than analysis. [Note: The abatàw relies in tugá or divine will or intervention.]
By Jes B. Tirol