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Apotheosis
Apotheosis Experience in Harry Potter
Analysis By Lynne Milum
Copyright © 200
4-2007 by Lynne Milum. All rights reserved.

Bodhisattva is the one who unites known and unknown, conscious with unconscious as one world. Nirvana or heaven can thus be found in the here and now on earth for those who can detach from their ego.

The One who can achieve realization, actually identity with the universal consciousness, yet remain in the world - comes to be known as the savior of the world. This is the summary state of Apotheosis - the attainment of godhood by the hero. One who achieves this state lives on in enlightened bliss. This event may take place when the hero achieves victory over the insurmountable father image (perceived godhead) or when the hero merges with a previously unknowable force.

The One may be recognized by those in the world, or may become an invisible force for the benefit of the world. This is achievement of a new level of self-recognition and is a permanent transfiguration.

In the Christian narrative, Jesus Christ achieved apotheotic transfiguration through baptismal realization, or some may argue later, through the noted transfiguration on the mountaintop as witnessed by disciples Peter, John and James (Luke 9:28-36).

Apotheosis for the Series

Harry has been known by the magical world to be the savior of the world since he was an infant. That belief diminished greatly after he was viewed to be a very real adolescent instead of the mere stuff of legends. Harry, however, knows nothing of the enlightened state - in fact, Harry believes that actions of others were the basis for his survival rather than any power that he possessed.

There are several possible events where Harry Potter can achieve recognition of his true ability. The first may be identification as Dumbledore's peer in wizardry - where Harry becomes the greatest of all wizards. There is a substantial power that Harry must still discover for this to take place - perhaps in how to wield that greatest power found in the Department of Mysteries - love. Another possibility is an encounter with Voldemort to overcome, or at least balance, his dark nature. It is also possible that Tom Riddle may emerge capable of forgiveness through intervention by Harry. The Dark Lord is not as powerful without his hateful nature. And finally, Harry will realize he is a complete person having grown in the perception of himself as an adult.

Voldemort has spent lifetimes contriving means to cheat death, yet never comprehending the value or meaning of life. Conversely, Dumbledore is the reigning Bodhisattva who has conquered death (in terms of being the greatest wizard), but chooses to stay in the world until it is "saved"! This burden appears to be taking its toll on him even as his protégé Harry nears maturity.

Harry fears one thing greater than death itself - losing his wizarding powers. While Harry has faced death many times and conquered it through acceptance of his fate, to lose his magic force would be his greatest sacrifice – in fact, he would lose his identity.

From Phoenix, we know that one or both (Harry and Voldemort) must die. We know that Harry has the capacity to die for love (through his agony over Hermione's injury) and potentially ensnare Voldemort in his feared death or release him from prophetic obligation. In that moment, a full apotheosis could transpire – where Harry inherits the role of the Bodhisattva from Dumbledore.

 



 

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