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Lumos Maxima … How Myths and Symbols Light Our World

In Cool Ideas, Facilitating Genius, High Touch on July 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My week was filled with long hours at the office.  It was filled with frustration resulting from helplessly watching our nation’s leaders maneuvering to win budget battles related to raising the debt ceiling and maintaining the people’s faith in their government.  My week was also filled with magic and myths.  And finally, my week ended with me practicing aikido with my dojo-mates.

At the office I was called upon to facilitate a work group comprised of representatives from each of the military services.  This work group is beta-testing the curriculum or lesson plan for a course that will be offered at a defense university within the next year.  It isn’t important for this blog entry to identify the school (thou I did) or the course.  What is important is to know that each representative was loyal to their service.  Each service representative truly thinks that their service’s way of doing business is THE best way for all others to follow.  Think about the definition of “parochial” and you’ll have a good idea of what my week was like sorting thru parochial interests and blending the best elements from each point of view.  How do you find an agreeable consensus when wrestling with competing, parochial views?  One may need some strong magic.

In the theater of politics, the Democrats have been accusing the Republicans of being unreasonable.  The Republicans have been doing much the same with regards to the Democrats.  We are no closer to establishing our federal budget priorities nor does it look at all promising that by August 2, 2011, a compromise will emerge.  Sadly, both parties seem to be demonizing the other, just in time for the 2012 elections.

So what does all this have to do with magic and myths?

This week I’ve had the opportunity to escape the heat — both 95+ degree variety as well as the political kind — by opening my mind and entering a world filled with wizards, witches, and myth.  This week my daughter convinced me to watch the complete Harry Potter series on DVD, video on-demand, and/or at the theater in I-MAX 3-D.

It is not my intention to summarize the plot, sub-plots, or themes of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.  Rather let’s look at the rich symbolism and a curious connection that this story — a modern myth created for my daughter’s generation — shares with a passion of my own.

Click on the image above to ENLARGE it.

Myths are an important way to understand ourselves and our connection to other people.  Myths address the fundamental questions that thinking people continue to ask:

  • Who am I?
  • What is the nature of the universe in which I live?
  • How do I relate to that universe?
  • How much control do I have over my own life?
  • What must I do in order to survive?
  • How can I lead a satisfying life?
  • How can I balance my own desires with my responsibilities to my family and my community?
  • How can I reconcile myself to the inevitability of death?

As we fly through our day-to-day lives — whether by broom and/or figuratively — pause to recognize the symbolism and myths that are in our world.  And make time to see an epic adventure movie with a family member or friend.  A few hours in an air conditioned theater will do your mind and body good.

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