Eight Lessons from Harry Potter . . .

by | Jul 29, 2009 | Food for Thought | 2 comments

on the Law of Wisdom

by Julie Gabrielli


“Before you can do something, you first must be something.” Goethe

This summer, my son and I have been listening to Jim Dale’s unparalleled recorded books of the Harry Potter series. We’re on the final one now: “Deathly Hallows,” which I read two years ago (a lifetime!). After a few CDs of the recording, one night I was so curious about how it ends that I read the final hundred pages of the book. Ah! That’s right: Harry dies, but not really. He goes back to finish his business, Neville does a hero’s task, and all is saved. They do, indeed, live happily ever after.

Satisfied that it all comes out neatly in the end, I found myself drawn back into the story where we had left off. It certainly is good reading. Eventful, imaginative, with vivid, real characters and a good dose of humor.

As I read, it dawned on me that this is not only a great Quest tale; it’s also a dramatization of the Law of Wisdom in action. Think about it: Harry is given by Professor Dumbledore the task of hunting and destroying the Horcuxes , which – if he is successful – will bring down Lord Voldemort and restore the wizarding world to peace and harmony. Only Harry, and he alone, is suited to the job. It is, in effect, his Life Purpose .

And he struggles with it: he is torn between trust in his mission and the many questions he has about it. Why didn’t Dumbledore spell it out for him more clearly? Why is there no grand plan, no set of instructions to follow, step by step, to achieve his goal? How is he expected to lead others into danger, if he doesn’t even know what’s next?

Does any of this sound familiar? It’s called “life.” When we are truly in our Life Purpose, we act a great deal on trust. It’s like driving at night: we have a general idea of where we’re going, yet the headlights only illuminate a short bit of road ahead. So, we keep driving, and more is continually revealed as we go. That doesn’t guarantee we might not meet challenges. Maybe a deer will bound across the road. Maybe we’ll take a wrong turn or run out of gas. But we can trust that those headlights are showing us as much as we need to know for now.

(N.B. The form of these 8 lessons is taken from a recent coaching call by Coco Fossland, who is a brilliant teacher and guide. I’m in her yearlong coaching group , and have received such great support both from her and my cohorts.)

Those familiar with Potter’s story will recognize that he acts frequently on impulse. He is decisive and quick, very important qualities. Not only does his decisiveness save his skin – and that of his friends – on many occasions, it also is perfectly aligned with the Law of Wisdom. The full version of this post on GOforChange [http://www.goforchange.com/2009/07/15/8-lessons-from-harry-potter-on-the-law-of-wisdom/] elaborates on the 8 Lessons. As a taste, here are the first three:

1. Wisdom is present at every moment.

When Harry asks and listens, the guidance is always there. Sometimes he asks, but doesn’t listen, doesn’t trust the answer he is given. This is all too human; we all do this. It’s when Harry gets bursts of intuition and acts quickly that great things happen.

2. Wisdom speaks through everything.

We don’t have to meditate to hear our inner wisdom; it will speak any way it can to reach us. Sometimes, for Harry, it comes as a person with a message. In fact, he seems the most inspired and in his truth when he is in action, especially in danger. For Hermione, by contrast, wisdom comes from reading and the deep reflection that allows her to connect disparate threads of ideas.

3. Wisdom is meant for the moment, not forever.

This is where the Harry Potter books get their thrilling sense of adventure, and something profound lies just below the surface. Examples abound of Harry acting in the moment, yet throughout “Dealthly Hallows,” he is tortured by his mistrust of the mission set to him by Dumbledore. His mentor never laid out a full plan because he knew all too well that the Universe is always growing and evolving, with each of us participating. Dumbledore could sketch out the gist of the quest and the key pieces that he had discovered. But he knew that the “how” would only emerge, moment by moment, in a constantly-shifting tableau. Every moment along the way would be unpredictable, fresh and new.

(Please follow this link [http://www.goforchange.com/2009/07/15/8-lessons-from-harry-potter-on-the-law-of-wisdom/] to the full post on GOforChange.com, which elaborates on the remaining five lessons of the Law of Wisdom.)

4. Wisdom will only ask you to do what’s possible.

5. Wisdom is grounded in love, not fear.

6. Wisdom meets you where you are, even if you are still in fear.

7. Wisdom knows the fastest way to your success, despite appearances.

8. Wisdom transforms and empowers everyone it touches, despite appearances.

Recent posts from Food for Thought

More from Food for Thought…

Discovering Your Inner Courage

Do you have the Courage of a lion? [Photo by Luke Tanis on Unsplash] What does it take to be courageous? Stop for a moment, and consider: What would you say was the most courageous act of your life? No matter what your current age, you have been courageous many times in your life.  Did you notice your courageous acts?  Did you honor them? We've...

read more

The Higher Purpose of the Lockdown? Spiritual Awakening!

* Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash * "I'm afraid of Death," said my adult niece. I don't know why this surprised me, but it did.  Her fear brought the entire conversation to a halt because it was so strong that she couldn't even talk about it. Death is a natural process that we all experience in 3-D.  It happens to everyone at that level of...

read more

You May Also Like…

Top 3 Challenges to Living in Your Heart Center

In 2009, I asked my online community to share what they felt were their top 3 challenges to living in their heart center. These were the 3 challenges that most people felt were an impediment: OTHER PEOPLE FEAR MY MIND It's now 9 years later, and I'm wondering how much you feel you might have changed in the last 9 years. Have you made the effort...

read more

Just How Grateful Can You Be?

This is the season for Gratitude. It's easy to be thankful, to feel gratitude, for things we receive that we recognize immediately as gifts. Can you also be grateful for whatever comes into your life that appears in the form of a challenge? A present that someone sends you, wrapped or unwrapped, that you get to open and go "Oooh" and "Aaah"...

read more


  1. Victoria Schell

    I loved the series as well, yet I couldn’t put my finger on why it is so intriguing. I think you hit on it. Very insightful. Hope you are well, Victoria

  2. Jennifer


    What a great post! This is exactly what I needed today. I have never been great at listening to my intuition, but now understand that to shift my life, I need to pay much more attention!

    Seeing wisdom listed this way does really help me see through the illusion!

    All the best,



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Save $10 on one (1) session -
Animal Communication
- OR -
Spiritual Empowerment Coaching.

I agree to receive emails about your services. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Please check your inbox and spam folders for email requesting confirmation. You must CONFIRM to complete your subscription. Thank you.

Subscribe now.

Save $10 on 1 Animal Communication session.
- OR -
Save $10 on 1 Spiritual Empowerment Coaching session.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest