I didn't read all the Harry Potter books, only # 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban) and # 4 (Goblet of Fire) in a Dutch translation, both of which I found many years ago in a plastic bag next to a garbage pile alongside the road somewhere. Having read only those two nevertheless convinced me it would be worthwhile to try and buy all the movies (in the single disk version without all the extras, as they are cheaper) and I eventually watched them all in sequence whenever I could afford one. It took me almost four years to complete the whole series of eight. Then I paused for quite some time.
A few months back I got the urge to view a rerun of the lot, and for some as yet unknown reason it seemed attractive to this time around watch them in reverse order. Therefore in this 'retrograde' fashion each 'new' episode explains why and how the previously watched part (which in fact follows suit in the storyline) came about to be. This 'method' somehow sharpened and enhanced my understanding of the longer winded elements of the saga as opposed to the immediately immersing details of the action, which contributed greatly to what happened next.
While watching part # 5 (Order of the Phœnix) again the other night, to my astonishment and surprise suddenly the thought came to me as a sort of epiphany or acute realization, that this episode condenses in itself a nice presentation of a core thesis of Political Ponerology and particularly shows off the process of ponerization in a way teens can catch and understand, because the bulk of it concerns school situations they are familiar with.
Watching this part of the series with that paradigm at the forefront of my mind, I became more and more convinced that indeed many important aspects and details of the ponerization process do get a plausible exposure just by showing how this actually works, and I'm equally convinced now that this can be recognized as such by anyone watching it -- provided the relevant frame of reference is also known, given or discussed, preferably beforehand or afterwards if need be.
On top of that, this episode also shows among other things the importance of roots, of tradition as a transgenerational element of continuity, the intricacies of hereditary overload both in a genetic and in a social sense, the mixtus orbis both within and without, and more.
Furthermore, this part nails down a definite shift from an innocent and joyful youth during the first 3½ or so volumes into the more bitter and troublesome followup towards maturity in the second 3½ books.
I'm sharing this evaluation and appreciation now here first and foremost in order to get my reading instrument checked, whether or not it needs (re)calibrating and whether or not my imagination 'stole' the show by projecting something into it that isn't really there. The ultimate goal, however, would be to help provide for a narrative like specific reference point of a more or less allegorical nature possibly to be used in discussions between adults and teens about ponerization and psychopathy in general -- as was briefly discussed here:http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,11444.0.html
I did a forumwide search for Harry Potter and although there are numerous mentions of his name in all sorts of contexts (65 in total) only two topics seem to be worth mentioning now, which IMO show a rather lukewarm reception of the saga and not too much in depth analysis:http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,111.0.htmlhttp://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,6633.0.html
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Contemplating during the days immediately after the viewing and reflecting and meditating a bit more on all of this before finally writing this post, I further realized that this # 5 episode also contains several elements, or sometimes mere hints related to doing the Work as a preparation for resisting evil and its proponents -- like for instance, strategic enclosure, inner sanctuary, the context of lying (Law of Three), practicing discernment, self observation and self remembrance, the importance of organizing, heating the crucible, purifying, group mirroring, external consideration and the like.
In a wider context the saga as a whole also contains allusions to multiple dimensions, different densities, high strangeness, variability of physicality, (re)incarnation, weather phenomena as a sign of supernatural battles, adamics (wizards and witches) and pre-adamics (muggles), and so on. The Harry Potter character itself shows to a great extent a rather protracted display of the drama of the gifted child and of various forms of disintegration and reintegration during his life's journey growing up. I hesitate to use the word 'quest' here since there is very little self determination or free choice about what happens to him most of the time in this whole saga.It remains to be seen, however, whether all these elements, hints and allusions are placed in a proper context and in the right perspective. Right off the bat I'm not too sure about that.
Of course, I'm not going to retell the actual story completely -- I will just briefly mention the parts which somehow seem essential for getting the stated epiphany of sorts. For a complete outline of the whole book # 5, see (warning, rather slow loading): http://www.hp-lexicon.org/portkey/portkey.php?query=canon-5&tags=&pg=1
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As a preliminary note:
The overall scene is already set earlier in the saga with a traumatic event at the end of part # 4 (Goblet of Fire), i.c. the violent death of Cedric Diggory, one of the students of the school and a worthy contestant in the TriWizard Tournament, at about the same level as Harry Potter himself -- a death coinciding with and because of the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Within the story's universe this violent death and all that surrounds it, seems qua impact comparable to some sort of miniature 9-11 event. Emotionally almost equally devastating and a rich source of transmarginal inhibition, of all sorts of fabricated stories and of blatant denial.
It appears also to have been a very formative event, as is witnessed by the remembrance speech for Cedric given by headmaster Dumbledore at schoolyears end: http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/diggory.html#Cedric
Part # 5 then shows us the aftermath and follow up: .
Fearmongering and paranoia are rampant and chaos looms, the Ministry of Magic is gradually taken over by psychopath like types while Op's and authoritarians follow suit, the media twists and turns the picture of reality always conforming to the official viewpoint, real and fictional threats and attacks wind up in an inseparable knot of doom and gloom to in turn justify ever harsher measures which suppress the people and tighten the noose around the public's neck, and on and on it goes. That's the wider context and background.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry gets forced upon itself a new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Dolores Umbridge, who is one of the confidants of the Minister of Magic and the prime force in the ponerization process which gradually penetrates the whole school, thereby endangering its forefront position as a lightbeacon and powerhouse in the struggle against evil and potentially rendering it almost obsolete.
From the start, Umbridge immediately shows her resolve to break customary procedure whilst right after her introduction speech by Dumbledore unexpectedly taking the floor to unequivocally state her intentions in hardly veiled threats.
Very revealing, typifying, somewhat robotlike, awkward mannerisms are shown by this Umbridge character -- like a heavy sugar addiction, for instance.http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/umbridge.html
Particularly of note is the display of the methods by which this takeover of the school is factually accomplished: intimidation, dumbing down the pupils, promoting factoid knowledge in stead of real understanding, exchanging practical laboratory lessons for teaching and memorizing empty and sanitized theories, dealing out arbitrary and wicked punishment, forever changing the rules and regulations almost at will, gradual discouragement of personal initiative, brutal dismissal of personnel, encouragement of clique formation, feeding animosities, setting each side up against all others, and so on.
Later on in the developments, the Umbridge character is appointed Hogwarts High Inquisitor with the power to evaluate the school's teachers. She immediately starts what would have to be called a witch hunt if that wouldn't be all too litterally and therefore somewhat inappropriate in this specific context. But she does what Inquisitors do with all the zeal she can muster -- which is quite a lot. Thereby upsetting and derailing the school even further, up to and including rule by decree, disbanding all student organizations and even sports teams, spying, provoking denunciations, censuring communications, etc.
At this point in the narrative the first signs of resistance and 'clandestine' organization to prepare to fight back begin to surface.
I have to admit I'm heavily biased on this one as I've participated long ago in similar conduct during my own student days. Thus, at the very least I can ascertain from experience the credibility of the portrayed behavior, however different the exact details may be. For instance, we certainly didn't have a secret Room of Requirement back in those days: http://www.hp-lexicon.org/hogwarts/castle/requirement.html
In that seemingly safe environment a self selected group of trusted students, calling themselves Dumbledore's Army, meets regularly to discuss strategy, to encourage and reinvigorate each other and to practice all the skills probably required to successfully launch any form of organized resistance in the future. After a while though, the group is betrayed and found out. Dumbledore takes the blame for all of it and then vanishes stylishly into hiding. Inquisitor Umbridge becomes the new headmaster and again intensifies her terror regime.
Of all the planned or hoped for student resistance only a lavish display of cheerfull fireworks gets accomplished, upsetting and haunting the ponerizers for a while before eventually fizzing out.
I hate to say it, but this mirrors awfully close what happened in real life with the student revolts of the late 1960's and early 1970's. They withered away in flower power movements, alternative consumerism (different products, but the same attitude), exotic music, drug (ab)use, massive pop festivals, woman's lib, free sex, vague theorizing, globe trotting, worshipping gurus, and so on.
More about that here: http://cassiopaea.org/2010/09/18/aliens-and-cosmic-cointelpro/
or in the Laurel Canyon series of Dave McGowan: http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/index.html
In the narrative then, the main resistance comes from elsewhere, mostly from outside of the school, and forces of nature as well as the earth take part in it alongside the more seasoned campaigners of the Order of the Phoenix, aka the Old Crowd.
But that really is a different part of this story alltogether, with little bearing on the main point of this post, IMO.
Sorry for the length and thanks for reading..