Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What can Harry Potter teach us about Spirituality?

1. Don't judge by Outer appearances

Hagrid, is, ugly, cumbersome and uncouth, with an unfortunate fondness for dangerous animals; but, his heart is in the right place. On the other hand, who can forget the charming, but shallow, Gilderoy Lockhart? Appearing in the Chamber of Secrets, Lockhart gained a job as Master for Defence of the dark arts. Lockhart was able to impress many with his charm, beauty and extravagant tales of daring do - but this was just a cover for his lies and insecurities.

2. Don't be distracted by Criticism

Throughout his turbulent school career, Harry gets more than his fair share of criticism. Not least, in the Order of the Phoenix when Harry is subject to much slanderous gossip. Through the eyes of others, Harry is at times hero and other times villian; but he needs to avoid being distracted by both extremes.

3. Good Friendship

Friendship is very important for Harry; yet, quite often, his best friends have disputes, especially Hermione and Ron. When Harry is stubborn and proud he feels miserable; when he forgives and forgets he is able to benefit from the strength of his real friendship of those close to him.

4. Be Courageous.

"The Soul cannot not won by the weakling." so says the Upanishads. To defeat hostile forces in life we have to face upto them with both inner and outer courage. At times we may wish to flee the battlefield of life, but, this does not solve anything. Quite often there are certain things that we need to face upto, whether we like it or not. Harry needs great courage when he is facing trials such as death eaters, Lord Voldermort, or even his own fears of death.

5. Difficulties can provide opportunity for Growth

We would never invite difficulties into life, but, when they come they can be an opportunity to learn from them and grow as a person. Harry has more than his fair share of trying moments. We often feel that, although these create suffering, they also create moments of real satisfaction. The challenges Harry faces make him grow up and learn how to deal with other people.

6. Patience

Living with the Dursley's is torture for Harry; yet, it is also necessary. The summer holidays pass very slowly in privet Drive, and quite often Harry's patience wears thin, getting into trouble as a result.

7. Love Thy Enemy.

True, Harry Potter does not love his enemies. The hate is easy to see - even if it is understandable. However, the character of Professor Dumbledore, gives an insight into a soul with great nobility. Dumbledore is generous with both Snape and Draco Molfoy; he hopes to bring the best out of each character. Dumbledore is willing to sacrifice his own personal safety for the effort to redeem both these characters. In this sense, Dumbledore displays a Christ like attitude of forgiving his potential enemies.



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