How spiritual is Harry Potter?
Can you make reading a book a spiritual experience? In a book I read recently there was a tip on how to read a book more spiritually to feel more connected to yourself. Or in other words, how to make reading a book a more spiritual experience. Are you curious about spiritual reading and would you like to know how spiritual Harry Potter really is? In this blog I’ll explain and give you tips, even if you’re not into Harry Potter or reading!
Recently I read the book The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile, about how you can feel more connected by embracing rituals and reinstating them. More connected to yourself, to others, to nature and also to the “bigger picture”. Highly recommended, which I may return to more often. The book contains many tips. For now I will restrict to the tips that are given about reading a text spiritually. With this you create a greater chance of a spiritual reading experience through which you will feel more connected with yourself again.
You are already doing it!
Do you recognize the feeling that you are completely absorbed in a book, that you don’t really want to finish reading it and that you also fall into a bit of a hole when your book is finished? That you really need to recover before you can start the next book? Or that you read a novel that contains very instructive lessons for you or inspires you and holds up a mirror?
You could call this spiritual reading or in other words: reading a book can be a spiritual experience.
Like the magic in the books of Harry Potter, spiritual reading is actually very old. Sacred writings such as the Bible, the Koran, the Torah have been read, reread, studied and discussed since a long time. If such a holy book appeals to you, you can of course decide to read it spiritually. But… you can also just choose another book that makes you very happy and consider it your holy book. Casper chooses the books of Harry Potter as an example. And that makes me very happy. I devoured them a long time ago, just like the movies by the way 😊.
It looks like a magic spell from Harry Potter but it’s an ancient description by Guigo II from the 12th century about how, by reading, you get to heaven via four staircases. Although the origin of Lectio Divina is religious, these four steps can also be applied to a non-religious text
Casper has translated these steps in his book into an exercise with four questions:
- What is literally happening in the story? Where are we in the story?
- What images, stories, songs or metaphors come to mind?
- What experience of your own comes to mind?
- What action would you like to take right now?
It is not even necessary to read a whole chapter. You can even apply these four questions to a single sentence.
Back to Harry Potter…
If you would like to practice spiritual reading and the above exercise and you have the books of Harry Potter lying around, be sure to listen to the podcast “Harry and the sacred text“. In each podcast Casper ter Kuile and his co-host discuss one chapter of Harry Potter based on a theme. They also go through the above four steps, even for a single sentence. I must say that I am very excited about it. Before listening I often take a quick look to see what the theme is and, with this theme in mind, read the chapter. By the way, in the podcast they have just restarted with book 1 where Casper ter Kuile has been replaced and they are also hosting other guests. Surprising and refreshing, definitely recommended!
And if you don’t like Harry Potter or reading?
If you don’t like Harry Potter then choose another book that makes you happy. Maybe it’s even fun to pick a book that you liked as a child. If you don’t like reading, you could also go through these steps for instance with a song, a scene from a movie, an episode of your favorite series or a painting.
How spiritual is Harry Potter? I’ll leave the answer up to you, maybe more spiritual than you might have thought! 🙂
And of course, I’m curious if you already read spiritually or might start practicing it. Will you let me know? Leave a comment on my Instagram account or below.