John Algeo

Theosophist, Professor of English

John Algeo (1930-2019) was a Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Georgia. He was a Theosophist, Vice President of the Theosophical Society Adyar and a Freemason

Quotes edit

Theosophical Society Seal
  • Although this Wisdom has been offered throughout the ages under various names and in many languages, its essence is fundamentally the same, however much its outer aspects and manner of presentation may vary. It especially points to the reality of brotherhood and the imperative necessity of practicing it; but it also gives insight into the unexplained around us and helps the development of our latent powers; and it is the inner harmony of religion, philosophy, and science.
  • Theosophy holds that all things, including the human mind, are evolving. We are in the midst of an unfinished world and are ourselves unfinished.
  • We are only in the middle of our development, so we still have a great deal to discover.
  • The ultimate quest in the Harry Potter books is that of self-discovery. In that respect, these books share a common theme with the great spiritual guidebooks of humanity. Enlightenment is the ability to answer correctly the question Who am I? ... The same question is the principal subject of all the Upanishads and, indeed, of spiritual treatises in all the great traditions. Harry is on a great quest to discover who he is -- in the simplest, most literal sense of learning about his parents -- but also in the deeper sense of discovering his own nature and his mission in life. That great quest is mirrored in a different quest theme in each book of the series.
  • Harry Potter began his education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first of seven projected novels: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In that first novel, Harry was on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone, which turns base metal into gold and produces an elixir of immortality. But his real quest in that novel, as in the succeeding books of the series, is for self-knowledge.
  • In his second year, Harry learns, among other things, about the three marks of existence that the Buddha taught, namely (1) that life involves suffering, (2) that we have no enduring separate self, and (3) that everything is constantly changing or transforming. Indeed, transformation is the key theme of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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