This IS the Show!

Avatarism Founder Alexander Polinsky

[Archived Blog Post]

Do not refuse the call, that leads to insanity and death. The call is your own destiny crying out to be realized. The fact is… you ARE here. This is the playing field, the platform, the stage. There is no tomorrow, no next moment, no future. The now is where everything takes place, and right now is the moment of truth. So let’s be truthful to our inner child who only wants to play, grow, learn and be loved. It’s time.

Look in the eyes, scan for playmates. Like-minded Avatars are everywhere. Those who strive to be awesome, responsible and powerful. There is a tribe waiting to accept you for all you are, and support you in all you want to be. Do you want to shine? Find us. Do you want to dance? Dance with us. Do you want to be a star? Burn with us. Do you want to really live? You are one of us… All ready.

Today I complete another Avatar task, JOINING CIRQUE DU SOLEIL! A childhood dream realized, this group represents the pinnacle of grace, adventure and whimsy in entertainment. I am, I am, I am alive and beautiful. Thank you universe and all my ancestors that came before me, thank you gods and goddesses for nurturing my spirit, and thank you irReverend Alexander for being my closest inner companion who pushes on despite adversity. 

Never give up the fight for excellence. The work is constant and without end. Live well, grow well, die well. ALL IS WELL.

You are Avatar,

irRev. Alex 

Originally posted on May 27, 2010

Avatarism Ancestry: Betty White

Betty White’s History of Character Embodiment

The myth of the self-created person is a lie. Every person alive today has been influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by everyone they ever came into contact with. The personalities we build over a lifetime are made up of millions of pieces of life, from entertainment and language to the people we love and the moments that stick in our memory. Avatarism Ancestry will aim to explore the influences behind great thinkers, entertainers and creators and dive into the moments that inspired them to build a character that other people aspired to emulate.

The entertainment industry recently lost a legend. She was an actress, producer, singer and comedienne, but Betty White, like most people, cannot be defined by a few words or summed up by a phrase. Aside from working in the entertainment industry for most of her life,

White was an animal welfare advocate for decades, a lover of game shows and a fan of movie musicals. The eight time Emmy Award winner also holds the Guinness Book of World Records for “Longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer” thanks to her onscreen work for 82 years. 

“Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young.”

– Betty White


Like anyone else, White became who she was thanks in part to the people in her life. She described her mother as a “cockeyed optimist” and as an only child, White said that she was “spoiled rotten.” Although she would go on to be a trailblazer for other women in the entertainment industry, White started out in show business by emulating another famous face.

Character embodiment does not always include physical emulation, aesthetic inspiration or vocal imitation. At some times, embodiment can simply come from the drive to step into someone else’s shoes and the desire to fill the role that they have carved out in the world. And in White’s character screensaver, there was an inspiration that stood out among the rest, actress Jeanette MacDonald.

“I didn’t like Jeanette MacDonald, I was Jeanette MacDonald.” – Betty White

MacDonald was an actress best remembered for appearing in musical films of the 1930’s alongside actor Nelson Eddy. White idolized MacDonald and personified her by imitating her hair, makeup and talents. White sung a song originally performed by MacDonald while wearing her best dress, the same one she wore for her high school graduation, during her first television screen test before she ultimately won her first job in entertainment. White explained in the documentary, Betty White: First Lady of Television, “She was my idol of all idols. [Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy] were as important in my world, almost, as my mother and dad.” 

It’s hard to describe the magic that takes place here between ‘I like it’ and ‘I am it.’ Between obsession and assimilation lies a murky spot. You cannot possibly become exactly like your idols or perfectly imitate them, nor would you want to. 

The magic of saying, ‘I am that which I seek,’ is powerful enough to break the spell of whatever darkness your character has held onto. Then you can enter a flow state and your embodiment will become part of your character. Your hope can turn into real moments of achievement. 

These spheres of influence are not unique to entertainers or creatives. Putting on a costume and feeling a change in yourself is something that has been done in human society for thousands of years. When you embody another character or archetype, you can be more spontaneous. You suddenly have a unique perspective and you can feel as though you’re living in a slightly sharper reality.


“My answer to anything under the sun, like ‘What have you not done in the business that you’ve always wanted to do?’ is ‘Robert Redford’.”

Betty White

Besides her talents in entertainment, White was also a pillar of optimism and endurance. After working her way up the ranks of television by appearing on low-paying TV shows, working behind the scenes on live shows and doing various bit parts, she produced her own daily talk show, The Betty White Show, in 1952 and became a staple of entertainment. Another constant in her life was her love of animals. Her work with animal charities started early in her career, and she once again thanked her parents for instilling a love of animals in her. Towards the end of her life, it is reported that White had as many as 26 dogs living with her. White showcased this love in one of her many television series, The Pet Set.

After the death of her husband Allen Ludden in 1981, she devoted much of her time to being an advocate for animal welfare, working with the Los Angeles Zoo, to which she donated nearly $100,000 in April of 2008. Her work with the zoo spanned more than five decades, beginning when White worked as a volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens in the ‘60s. 

Some of Betty White’s fans on social media have created a challenge to honor the actress on what would have been her 100th birthday, January 17. Fans are encouraging people around the world to donate to animal shelters to honor the late actress.


“The future is up for grabs. It belongs to any and all who will take the risk and accept the responsibility of consciously creating the future they want.”

– Robert Anton Wilson

Even early on in her career, White stood up for people and upheld them beyond what most people expect of others. As Joseph Campbell wrote, “When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” And Betty White wasn’t one to think only of herself. 

Tap dancer Arthur Duncan appeared on The Betty White Show in 1954, despite criticism among some audiences about a black person appearing on the show. White recalled threats from higher-ups at the show to take the series off the air “if we didn’t get rid of Arthur,” but White refused, saying, “he stays, live with it.” Duncan continued performing on the show until it was ultimately cancelled and continues to work in the entertainment industry to this day. 

Among countless tales of her compassion, director Nancy Meyers took to Instagram after White’s death to recount that White was “the first person who made me believe I could be a writer.” Continuing the story, Meyers wrote that at the age of 23, she mustered up the courage to ask Betty White to read a script she had written for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. White accepted the script, read it that night and later showed it to the producers of the series, who encouraged Meyers to continue writing. 

Although the two women never met again, Meyers recalled that this event was the catalyst that set her writing career in motion. Meyers went on to write films such as the Academy Award nominated Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride, and 1998’s The Parent Trap, which she also directed. 

Rejection is possible in all walks of life and avenues of creation, but the courage to introduce yourself and share your creations is the only path to encouragement and acceptance. Seek out your heroes and know that they’re not untouchable.

Upholding is a never ending cycle. There is possibly a person who is still unknown by the world who will base their character on the blueprints of kindness and optimism that Betty White showed the world, or base their endeavors on the moments of laughter that she created for the world to enjoy.

Even Betty’s views on death showcased her kindness and tolerance of people from all walks of life. As taught to her by her mother, Betty White believed that death was an unknowable secret. “Growing up,” she said, “whenever we’d lose somebody, she’d always say, “Now they know the secret.””

The Re-Emergence of Personal Mythos

This is an amazing article by Wesley Thoricatha that was posted on It outlines the connections between Avatarism, transformational festivals and our ability to change ourselves through consciousness. 


“We can become the stars of our own lives, instead of the downtrodden victims of life. Change the script, change the movie. Write your life. Speak the words. Hear your voice as the will of the living god manifest in action. I am here to create beauty, I am here to give healing, I am here to collect the mysteries of life, I am here to manifest, realize, and love, I am here to give myself back into the spring.”

— Alexander Polinsky, founder of Avatarism

Where do your dreams and visions come from? How about your daily behaviors, or the story of your life?  If you are like most people, these come from a variety of sources, some of them beloved and intimate, others banal, practical, and seemingly beyond our control. But what if your daily actions, your regular behaviors, your life story, and the very way you see yourself all came from a unified, sacred narrative that weaves through every aspect of your life? This is the gem that awaits those who take the reigns of their own story and cultivate a radically creative life through personal mythology.

Intuitive Art

One of the most direct ways we express ourselves as humans in through art, yet the art world, like many areas of our culture, suffers largely from commercialization and myopic trendiness. But beyond the walls of institutionalized art and patiently outlasting the latest trends persists a mode of expression that has been present since the brush of our oldest ancestors first touched a cave wall. Intuitive art, which encompasses outsider art, visionary art, and art brut, celebrates artists whose process is largely untamed by formal art training or the status quo. It is art motivated by a unique personal vision and the passionate compulsion to manifest it in reality, often in seclusion and without any thought of how it might be received by critics. It utilizes symbols and materials that map out the artist’s inner landscape, resulting in a transformational journey captured on canvas where the artist is both the subject and object of their art. Intuitive art carries the energetic imprint of personal metamorphosis as inner visions are honored and given form, not for fame or money, but for the process of expression itself. This realm of art is not closed to an elite or educated few; it is open to all, and it’s a powerful way to start expressing the story of your inner world.

When people adorn themselves with intricate costumes that takes months of preparation and work, are we seeing them out of their element, or in a rare authentic moment? 

Burning Man

Arguably the greatest intuitive art gallery in the world is the one that appears every year in the Black Rock desert at the Burning Man festival, as tens of thousands of (mostly self-taught) people create everything from art installations to mutant vehicles to fantastical costumes. Be the person you always wanted to be, dress the way you’ve always wanted to dress, assume the identity of any character you’ve ever wanted to become. This is the invitation that burn events offer, and while much of it is whimsical, any authentic, boundary-expanding leap of self-expression carries with it a profound impression that leaves participants with experiences that stick with them their whole lives. The reason the popular greeting “Welcome home!” is so often heard is that people are returning home to their original selves, with the permission and encouragement to create their reality and be exactly who they’ve always wanted to be. This is personal mythology at its essence, and in action on a huge scale.


So you begin to make intuitive art in your spare time, and you attend burn events, but these actions remain in the margins of your life – a special retreat, rather than the norm. How do you integrate personal mythos into your daily life? One exciting answer to that question is a new movement called Avatarism. Alexander Polinsky, with a big dose of inspiration from his experiences at Burning Man, coined the term Avatarism as a way to live one’s life with inspired levels of continuous conscious creation.

In essence, Avatarism is the practice of seeing yourself as an avatar, a character in the game of Life, and it invites you to take creative control of your own self-definitions and intentionally develop the traits, connections, and skills that you most want for yourself – just as if you were playing a video game or a pen-and-paper role-playing game. It is a methodology for self-actualization and self improvement, and offers a practical means to formulate and keep track of your goals through the use of a character sheet which lists both your current abilities and your future vision for yourself. As goals are met, they are added to the sheet and new directions are mapped out. As top-level athletes, business executives, self-help gurus, and cavemen painting game on cave walls knew, positive visualization can have an enormous influence in our lives and help us attain goals we set for ourselves. In this way, Avatarism is taking powerful ancient wisdom and translating it into the language of the video game generation, not just for manifesting specific changes, but to write the story of our entire lives in a way that comes from our most epic visions.

Personal Mythology

Mythology is not simply some quaint or antiquated form of fantastic storytelling; it is the tapestry of cultural, spiritual, and personal belief that together makes up the way we understand and interact with the world. Creating art from the soul, radically expressing yourself at transformational festivals, and bringing the magic of personal mythos into your life through avatarism are all exciting ways to embrace personal mythology and become the person we’ve always wanted to be… and have always secretly been.

So, what is your story?

The Definition of Avatarism

Avatarism had its start at the Burning Man festival,  but its roots are deep in the ancient sanskrit idea of “Avatara.” Loosely translated it means gods inhabiting human bodies and walking the earth, but that is a narrow explanation. Avatarism is how a group of people, all over the world, seem to have developed or learned God-like or superhero-like confidence, the ability to accomplish their dreams and goals with ease, and the ability to live out their highly personal vision that they themselves have envisioned. Encouraging and supporting the individual honing of the will through focused play and persistence, and the upholding of others on the journey is at the heart of this movement. Avatarism encourages people to begin to design in great detail, new and carefully chosen skill sets, characteristics, goals, and aspects of themselves. As the game is played, the player crafts a new and richly  embodied personality and finds themselves permanently up-leveled. Seeking and embodying gurus, teachers, archetypes from history and fantasy may be involved; the warrior, the poet, the god Pan, Rainbow Bright, Batman, Buddha, Jesus, James Dean, Kermit The Frog, Kali, Tara, Tesla, Dr. Who, Conan the Barbarian, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo DiCaprio and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle to name a few. 

The process of skill collection, archetype embodiment and the other ideas that comprise Avatarism don’t have to be taken seriously, but they are important. Avatarism is a dance towards personal excellence more than it is a march towards perfectionism. Avatarism is an open source game/philosophy for people attracted to radically changing themselves away from the current life/brain programs they may be running. We are, all of us, collections of moments and memories wet wired to a heart mind and body. You are not some stoic and frozen being unable to change!  It is your birthright to be changeable and modifiable. 

Avatarism is a great philosophical model for rebellious souls, hardcore gamers, fantasy players, festival goers, hopeless romantics, seekers of truth, lovers of beauty and anyone attracted to the idea that life is a game, meant to be played. The game of conscious character creation is easy to start and hard to stop, Simple to begin and hard to master. Think about how tough it is to change a habit or learn a complicated new skill. Usually people undertake to change themselves for a health reason or to learn a new skill to make more money. While playing the game may correct bad habits, and allow you the confidence to make more money Avatarism is not a means to an end. This game is a life-long pursuit in the direction of the betterment of self,  for the good of self and the rest of mankind. This game has no end. The ongoing goal is to consciously create a personally fermented culture of awesome, and never stop. 

Avatarism is the game that we have been playing since the beginning of our history and it is not just a Burning Man or a festival thing. Because we feel free to enact these alternate character traits at these events, there is a powerful and indelible change that happens in individuals when they do. If you decide that you want to play the game, you will experience this too. The change that happens to us when we go to an event and embody our avatar(s)or even just put on a costume and feel the change in ourselves is something the greeks understood long ago. Cosmetics, costumes, cos-play all have their root in the word, Cosmos. The ancients knew that embodiment lead to a kind of cosmic or higher consciousness. 

What can Avatarism do for society?

Look deep within yourself at the dreams and hopes that you have failed to put into action as of now. Who would you be if you reversed that pattern and began to embody those dreams with the kind of zeal usually reserved for zealots? How would the remainder of your life be played if you lost your fear? What is keeping you from starting now? If we were all confident and free to enact our dreams in an unashamed way, how fast could we cause change in society?

Wars, protests, and fights change the culture very little and very slowly. But when individuals begin to change the culture from the inside……..a groundswell happens. Because that kind of energy is infectious and viral, the culture moves fast and furious. The revolution is within, this is a revolution of spirit.  So while the patriarchal model of change may be  fight, fight, fight. The Avataristic model is Embody, Up-Level, Uphold. 

EMBODY the highest vision you can create for yourself. Use the Avatar Character Sheet or any other means of design to collect physical, emotional, magical, and wisdom based skill sets. 

UP-LEVEL  your current character away from the mundane and degenerate programs that no longer serve you and that you did not wholly choose.Use focus, study, ritual, emulation of archetypes and role models to impress your nervous system and turn on your deep memory circuits so that you can get the data in for good. 

UPHOLD yourself to your self created  model while communicating  to your tribe, your friends and groups of influence what those changes are. In this way, the people around you can uphold you and remind you of who you are creating yourself to be and not who you have been in the past. 

We don’t need to exert our power upon the world as much as we need to become powerfully inspired and confident individuals. Only from that standpoint can we hope to change the world for good.

“You can’t fake a phenomenon.”

— “Burning Dan” Gordon Levitt 1974-2010

Thanks for reading the Avatarism Blog! I sincerely hope we meet soon, down the dusty road, living our dreams in the glorious future. 

Onward and upwards, forever endeavor,

iRev. Alexander Polinsky, Founder of Avatarism