Harry Potter and the Twelve Powers: Love
Welcome back to our 12-week series, Harry Potter and the Twelve Powers. Last Sunday we looked at the power of Faith. Parker Palmer summarizes that Lesson this way;
“Faith is a venture into the unknown, into the realms of mystery, away from the safe and comfortable and secure. When we remain in the security of familiar surroundings, we have no need of faith. The very idea of faith suggests a movement away from our earthly securities into the distant, the unsettling, the strange.”
Today, we are going to look at the power of Love. Love is the inner light that enables us to see good in all people, and I might add, in all life.
According to Rev. David Williamson, the second power, the power of Love, is our ability to know oneness with all and to desire that only good comes to all. Love heals, harmonizes, renews, prospers and unites. Love is our ability to share, to draw together. Our consciousness of love casts out fear, loneliness and ego demands.
“Love,” more than any of our spiritual powers, is thought of as something that comes to us from other people. We think of “love” as something that others give to us rather than something we are. We think of love as something we need to “feel”, rather than as part of the Cosmic process of which we are all an active expression.
Just as the heart circulates life-giving blood throughout our bodies, love circulates life-giving sustenance through our thinking-feeling nature and throughout our bodies and affairs.
Love is a spiritual power that we all have and we experience by loving. Rev. Williamson relates that what the world needs now is not more love, but more “loving.” In other words, we need to stop looking at love as a noun, and start realizing that it is a verb.
I gave a whole Lesson on Love as a Verb in the past.
Eric Butterworth taught, “You cannot give love to anyone, and no one can give love to you. You can be loving, which will create an environment in which others may find it easy to radiate and express love – and thus be loving to you. Love is not a commodity to give, but a process through which you touch and express your own deeper nature. Love, then, is not the plaything of the emotions or senses, but the action of divine law.”
Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. So often we forget the “as ourselves” part. What does this mean? It means we need to recognize that we are love. Implicit in this self-awareness is that worthiness is irrelevant. If you have brown hair, are you worried over whether or not you are worthy of brown hair? Of course not. You are Love. It is your basic nature. Worthiness is not the issue… but perhaps acceptance of that truth is.
Are we willing to love ourselves, truly and deeply? Not in the narcissistic way that society tends to define self-love, but in a spiritually mature, centered, “within-dependent” way. “Within dependent” as opposed to co-dependent. Truly empathic, as opposed to patronizing. What’s the difference? True empathy is not saying “I understand just how you feel” because that’s impossible. We can only feel our own feelings. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is a willingness to put ourselves into another person’s experience, a desire to truly understand. The Native American’s put it this way, “I will walk four moons in the moccasins of my brother before judging him.”
How different our world would be if we all were willing to walk four moons in each other moccasins before judgment.
Charles Fillmore wrote, “We may talk about the wisdom of God, but the love of God must be felt in the heart. It cannot be described, and one who has not felt it can have no concept of it from the descriptions of others. The more we talk about love, the stronger it grows in the consciousness. If we persist in thinking loving thoughts and speaking loving words, we are sure to bring into our experience the feeling of that great love that is beyond description – the very love of God.”
In his book of Toltec wisdom, The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz teaches that there are two sources for our emotions: Love and Fear.
Love has no obligations. Fear is full of obligations. In the track of fear, whatever we do is because we have to do it, and we expect other people to do something because they have to do it. We have the obligation and as soon as we have to, we resist it. The more we resist, the more we suffer. Love on the other hand, has no resistance. Whatever we do is because we want to do it. It becomes a pleasure; it’s like a game, and we have fun with it.
Love has no expectations. Fear is full of expectations. When something we expect doesn’t happen, we feel hurt. We blame others for not fulfilling our expectations. When we love, we don’t have expectations; we do it because we want to, and if other people do it or not, it’s because they want to or not, and it’s nothing personal. The “not taking it personally” is such an important point. When we take anything personally, we instantly shift from a place of contributing to our relationship or situation, to making it all about us. And since who we are, who we came here to be, is all about making a contribution, this shift takes us out of integrity.
Love is based on respect. Fear doesn’t respect anything, including itself. If I feel sorry for you, it means I don’t respect you. If I don’t respect you, then I try to control you. Most of the time when we tell people how to live their lives, it is because we don’t respect them. We try to do for them what they should do for themselves. When we don’t respect ourselves, we feel sorry for ourselves. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough to make it in the world. Self-pity comes from disrespect.
Love is ruthless; it doesn’t feel sorry for anyone, but it does have compassion. Fear is full of pity; it feels sorry for everyone. On the other hand, love respects. I love you; I know you can make it. I know you are strong enough, intelligent enough, good enough that you can make your own choices. If you fall, I can give you my hand, I can help you stand up. I can say, “You can do it, go ahead.” This is compassion, but it is not the same as feeling sorry. Compassion comes out of respect and love; feeling sorry comes from a lack of respect and fear.
Love is completely responsible. Fear avoids responsibility. Trying to avoid responsibility is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, because every action has a consequence. This is one of the wonderful things about Unity, we encourage each other to ‘do the right thing’, to be responsible.
Love is always kind. Fear is always unkind. Anger is nothing but fear with a mask. Sadness is fear with a mask. Jealousy is fear with a mask. With all those emotions that come from fear and create suffering, we can only pretend to be kind. We are not kind because we don’t feel good, we are not happy. If you are in the track of love, you don’t feel sorry for yourself or others. You feel good about yourself, and because you are happy, you are kind. Love is always kind, and that kindness makes you generous and opens all the doors. Love is generous; fear is selfish.
Love is unconditional. Fear is full of conditions. In the track of fear, I love you IF you let me control you, IF you are good to me, IF you fit into the image I make for you. In the track of love, there is no IF; there are no conditions. I love your for not reason, with no justification. I love you the way you are, and you are free to be the way you are. If I don’t like the way you are, then I’d better be with someone who is the way I like them to be. We don’t have the right to change anyone else, and no one else has the right to change us. If we are going to change, it is because we want to change, because we don’t want to suffer any longer.
Ruiz concludes this teaching by observing that, “We can talk about love and write a thousand books about it, but love will be completely different for each of us because we have to experience love. Love is not about concepts; love is about action. Love in action can only produce happiness. Fear in action can only produce suffering.
The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”
The Harry Potter character that symbolizes love is the half-giant, Reubeus Hagrid. Hagrid is the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, and later, the teacher of the Care of Magical Creatures. It is Hagrid who reveals the truth to Harry about his wizard parents and Harry’s own history. Hagrid is early on revealed to be tender hearted and prone to tears. Despite his outward appearance, Harry immediately loves Hagrid. And Hagrid displays his love of all creatures, no matter how the creature may appear to others, like dragon babies and huge three-headed dogs named Fluffy. And we can’t forget his half-brother, Grop
Hagrid loves unconditionally. Hagrid looks beyond appearances and sees into the heart. Because he is so loving, he draws love to him. Cora Fillmore wrote, “Love is the attractive force that draws our good to us according to the depth and strength of our realization of love.” Hagrid’s realization of love is of such a depth and strength that he exudes good and therefore draws good to him, even though it sometimes takes a while to see it.
I find it interesting that it is Hagrid, our symbol of the power of love, who reveals the truth to Harry about his heritage. Jesus taught us to speak the truth in love, and that the truth will set us free. Hagrid didn’t try to protect Harry from the truth, but loved and respected him enough to tell him that truth. Remember the teaching of Don Miguel Ruiz? Hagrid didn’t feel sorry for Harry, he didn’t pity Harry because of his difficult childhood. He respected Harry, and therefore told him the truth.
And what is that truth? From The Mastery of Love, “The teachings that come from India, from the Toltecs, the Christians, the Greeks – from societies all over the world – come from the same truth. They talk about reclaiming your Divinity and finding God within you. They talk about having your heart completely open and becoming wise. Can you imagine what kind of world this would be if all humans opened their hearts and found the love inside? We can do that! Everyone can do it in their own way. It’s not about following any imposed idea; it’s about finding yourself….
When you love with no conditions, you the human, and you the God, align with the Spirit of Life moving through you. Your life becomes the expression of the beauty of the Spirit. “Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with Love, you dream becomes a masterpiece of art.”