Necessity: The Death Eaters (Book 4, Chapter 33)

The episode opens with a story from Casper that overwhelms Vanessa with its cuteness. The story also gets to the heart of the question of necessity. Casper learned in a moment of feeling very out of place that we all have different needs and different understandings of necessity.

With their wits well about them, Casper and Vanessa recap the episode in a swift 30 seconds.

Reading this chapter through the theme of necessity, Vanessa points out, helps us get into Voldemort’s mindset. This chapter reveals a lot about Voldemort--things that, in many ways, we relate to. We relate to his desires, Casper and Vanessa point out, but it is methodology that sets us apart from Voldemort. We also want to live, to be remembered, to be significant in history, but Voldemort uses violence to realize those desires. Vanessa and Casper relate this idea to new changes that are rapidly occurring across the world.

This chapter shapes our understanding of Voldemort’s body, Casper points out. Is it human? Not human? A little of both, Casper explains. Voldemort is ecstatic to have this body back, to have been reborn/reshaped, and to have defeated death.

He says, “I do not forgive. I do not forget.” Vanessa relates this line to our own cultural understanding of forgiveness and punishment and invites us to push back on our instinct to uphold those ideas.

Finally, in this week’s spiritual practice of Havruta, Vanessa asks the question, “Why do we see survival as heroic,” and with Casper, interrogates our understanding of heroism.

Listen to this week's episode here