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Mirror of Erised

17 May, 2003 10:28 PM

The past 24 hours has been a big one for movies. Yesterday I saw Matrix Reloaded with Luke. Today V and I saw Whale Rider and tonight we decided to get out Harry Potter — Philosophers Stone. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all — each movie was rich with symbolism, meaning and rich imagery. A lot can be and has been said about each already. In each the theme of love emerged for me. In each there is a leader depicted who is both very human but also one who is able to rise above their situation to be a part of redeeming their people in some way.

The imagery of the 'Mirror of Erised' in Harry Potter has staying with me tonight. For those who've not seen it there is a mirror that shows the greatest desire of the person who gazes into it. Harry sees himself with his dead parents alive in it. His friend sees himself as head prefect. Harry finds how wonderful it is to gaze into his greatest desires in the mirror but is warned that many have wasted away as they gazed into it and have been unable to pull themselves away from its reflection. People mesmerised by their dreams.

As I watched I found myself wondering what I would see if I stood in front of such a mirror. I was surprised to find myself wondering if perhaps those of us who blog about emerging church could be gazing into a such a mirror. I wonder if in the process of our reading the latest books, going to the latest conferences, blogging our latest theories whether perhaps we actually can become mesmerised by the idea of a reformed church. Is one of the temptations to be too busy talking the talk to walk the walk?

I don't want to presume to accuse anyone — but rather tonight ask the question of myself. I strongly believe there is a time and place to dream, investigate, hypothesise, but I wonder if we can over do it. What do you think?



If no-one dreamed, things would never change for the better. Martin Luther's statement is over-used, but the example of his dream and what he did as a result speak for themselves.

Perhaps we can learn from his personal life, though, that it IS important to spend time working at our personal 'walk' as well as persuing the dream, however worthy that is.

Finding the balance is the challenge! Spend too much time gazing at the dream and ignoring the here and now, and the dream may become unattainable or watered-down.

Penny » 18 May, 2003 11:45 PM

Perhaps the comment by Dumbledore is relevant here also. To paraphrase he says "Be careful Harry, for the mirror shows us neither truth nor wisdom."

chris » 19 May, 2003 9:03 AM

Being an avid supporter of Whale Rider, I'm delighted you and V went to see it...

Paul » 19 May, 2003 7:38 PM

it was you and Rachel blogging about it that got us there....so thanks!

Darren » 19 May, 2003 7:43 PM

excerpts from Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone:

Dumbledore, the headmaster of the school, cautions Harry, saying that the mirror "will give neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible" (p. 213), and he concludes by saying, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" (p. 214)

» 21 May, 2004 2:24 AM

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