all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
Dumbledore makes this remark to Harry
in Chapter 17, when Harry is in the hospital,
in reference to the imminent death of Nicolas Flamel, Dumbledore’s
old partner and inventor of the Sorcerer’s Stone. When Dumbledore
announces that he and Flamel have decided to thwart Voldemort by
destroying the stone, and with it the possibility of attaining eternal
life, Harry realizes that Flamel will die. Flamel is effectively
sacrificing himself for the good of Hogwarts and of the world, just
as Jesus Christ, according to Christian belief, was supposed to
have sacrificed himself for the salvation of humankind. Flamel’s
decision reveals his wisdom, all the more so as Dumbledore’s words
echo the thoughts of innumerable philosophers and religious figures
(from the Greek Socrates to the Indian Buddha) who have similarly
seen death as a beginning rather than an end.
Dumbledore’s and Flamel’s wisdom is precisely what is
lacking in a villain like Voldemort, who clings unnaturally to life,
refusing to accept the natural human adventure of death. By saying
that a healthy acceptance of death is a characteristic of a “well-organized mind,”
Dumbledore is implying that Voldemort’s manic pursuit of immortality
is not well organized at all, despite all of his savvy tricks, but
is rather deranged.