Higher Airbending

This is a fictitious story of Jinora and Guru Laghima discussing Zaheer and the Higher form of Airbending. It's short and I enjoyed writing it.

In search of help Jinora seeks aid form Guru Laghima and tells him about Zaheer.

Guru Laghima: You have told me much but I would like you to show me.

Jinora: Show you? How?

Guru Laghima: Put your hands in mine.

Jinora put her hands in his and their tattoos glowed

Guru Laghima: Just as all things are connected; all spirits and people are connected. And you can communicate if you know how to listen.

In Jinora’s mind’s eye she saw Zaheer, his ability to fly, and all the chaos he had caused.

Jinora: I don’t understand how he learned to fly.

Guru Laghima: He has been able to detach himself from all earthly cares, and although he can fly he does not have access to the true higher form.

To gain full mastery of Airbending one must achieve the enlightenment of Freedom. Freedom is not a detachment from governments, peoples, or even daily cares. It is to transcend these and embrace the peace and joy of the heavens. Love, compassion, do not tie us down but lift us up; only when it turns into covetousness or worry does it bind us down. Everything is connected, and breaking from this connection does not make us free.

Enlightenment is not simply abstinence from vice, but one must transcend into virtue. When one is free of worldliness all things are possible. One has only to reach out and be lifted up.

nope any kind of literature (so long as its PG) is allowed on here!

This seems like a pretty kewl story. Maybe not the most canon thing, but hey. It's fiction :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice simple read.

Here's how Higher Airbending works, at least in my head:

The higher form of Airbending is not flight as many people assume, but levitation. It is the power to unbind yourself (or others) from earth’s pull and defy gravity. Although it allows to yourself to float, or allows you to float others or even objects, it is not telekinesis and does not allow you to psychically move things. Instead, the user must use standard Airbending to move the object once levitated. This is why flight with levitation is similar to a kite.

To achieve the higher form of Airbending one must be detached from all earthly cares. One must spiritually be completely free. People often confuse this with apathy or complete detachment from everything. Rather one must be from of all earthly worries and vices. One must be free of all worldly vices such as anger, fear, covetousness, apathy, must accept the illusion of control, and has readied their mind for enlightenment. Once free of all vices ones spirit finds peaces and is ready for enlightenment. Peace separates you from the earth; joy makes you fly.

The power of levitation allows the use of the highest technique know as skywalking or cloudwalking. This technique is a combination of both levitation and standard Airbending. The user can form a cloud on which he and/or others can fly. He can also send the cloud out to catch falling people or move objects around.

Thoughts when making my own version of Airbending:

I didn’t think flight was enough of a step up to be classified as a higher form. It reminds me more of the difference between blue fire and regular fire. Although Azula’s blue fire is cool and very impressive it is not on the same level as lightning. Flight is also not new to airbending. All Sky Bison can fly and all air benders can fly with the aid of a glider. Zaheer’s flight powers seemed more like a slightly more advanced bending move, rather than a whole new level of power.

I also didn’t like the incongruity of learning the power of flight. For humans it seemed to be extremely hard to master flight, while every Sky Bison in the world can do it from a young age.

When inventing my own version of Higher Airbending, I often viewed it as a little like using the Force. Tapping into the cosmic energy and using that energy to affect the world around me. I didn’t want it to be strait up telekinesis because that would give too big of an advantage to the user. Rather it would be more like the power to defy gravity and do the same to other things. One idea is that you could make someone else fly if you were touching (Like shown in who knows how many movies and shows). Since I didn’t think flight was enough of a step up, I added that you could float other things as well.

I didn’t like the fact that Zaheer was the only one who mastered flight in season 3. I fear that it might become viewed as a “villain-only” power just like how lightning is in StarWars. Also, I wanted to demonstrate that there was a right way and a wrong way to achieve the higher form, and Zaheer’s was the wrong way. As I see it, enlightenment is gaining spiritual peace and balance, not anarchy. I see “Detaching-from-earthly-cares” as being free form worry and possessiveness, not apathy. In my eyes, Zaheer is trying to reach enlightenment through apathy and anarchy, rather that through balance and peace. Zaheer is an extremist and that is the opposite of Balance.