Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the legominism

So... i can't claim to understand what a legominism is. However, i received an impression of it, from someone who likely does, that it is a vehicle for the communication of certain information. When i received this impression one of the things that flashed through my mind and linked itself indelibly with the notion was the story of Herakles (aka Hercules) wrestling with Death on behalf of the wife of a friend. Other stories have begun to feel connected to this story. The story of the Christ's resurrection. The story of the Aslan's deeper magic from before the dawn of time.

And, now, we have Harry Potter's relationship to the Deathly Hallows. The story -- from the first book to the last -- is about what it takes to enter into right relationship with death. This is what Dumbledore says in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and what he recapitulates in the Deathly Hallows. And, it is what is echoed in all of these other stories: to enter into right relationship with death one must be willing -- have the will -- to face Death on behalf of another. Again, Herakles takes his position on Mount Olympus not because of his completion of his labors but because he was able to face Death on behalf of another. The Christ, shining out through the man, Jesus, is in right relation to the Father because he is willing to be in right relation with death: he faces it on behalf of another. Aslan's deeper magic from before the dawn of time is that he who willing faces death on behalf of another conquers Death.

This story echoes through history. There are other variations that i could mention, but i won't. Apart from the message itself which is cause for deep joy -- we actually can come into right relation with death -- is that we can know when we are in the presence of the actual information. You see, when we are in the presence of a genuine vehicle for this information, something coherent enough in itself that it can hold the actual message, the actual meaning of coming into right relation with death, when the goods are really there, in other words, it causes ripples and waves in the very fabric of reality through which the information is traveling. A woman goes from living on the dole to billionairess, around the world people young and old feel strangely compelled by the information -- either to condemn it or to celebrate it. The world-wide hullabaloo over a few children's stories hardly seems to match, much in the same vein as the two thousand year old hullabaloo over the death of a carpenter's son hardly seems to match, or the energy of three thousand years of telling and retelling of a strong man's struggles hardly seem to match.

Of course, the further out from the actual information these responses get the more they degrade and lose coherence. Those of us who are very fortunate to live near the epicenter of one of these moments when the information appears again have a rare opportunity. We are living near the center of the reminder and we can use the energy of this information to wake up, to remember just what it means to come into right relation with death.

And, as i realized just this morning, while struggling with certain choices i am facing, we are given this opportunity in every choice we make. Every single opportunity to make a decision is an opportunity to face death on behalf of another. It doesn't have to have the trappings of a momentous struggle against the dark lord. We don't have to see ourselves as young wizards with a piece of the dark lord's soul lodged in our very bodies -- the effects of which, like the effects of the organ Kundabuffer, give us terrifying views of a world of fear and approach to Death that goes without the help of Charity. We can ask of each decision from the "smallest" to the "largest" what has more Life? What must i do to face on behalf of another the little death; for, with each real decision, with each genuine moment of choice, a certain set of possibilities must die and we must endure or enjoy the consequences. My experience is that i enjoy those choices -- that is, embue them with Joy -- when the possibilities i let go, i let go on behalf of another.


Blogger Simka said...

Wow! I don't think I've come across a more powerful thought. Thank you VERY MUCH for making my day!

9:40 PM  

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