in Harry Potter
Analysis By Lynne Milum
Copyright © 2004-2007
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.