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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 26 – Harry Learns More About Neville
(HP Chapter 7)

Professor Quirrell, the stuttering young man Harry met in the Leaky Cauldron, was wearing a purple turban. Although purple can denote the completion of the Great Work, or the violet flames of transformation, Jo seems to be using it as a symbol for the end of Quirrell’s path. While purple is a bit of a misdirection the first time through the series, we know that Quirrell has united with Voldemort rather than the Holy Spirit, so for him, his physical destruction is only a matter of time.

Finally, it’s Ron’s turn to be sorted. He was the second to the last student called, so he was now a pale green. He obviously felt as sick and worried as Harry was. The terrifying process of Calcination was bringing both of their Shadows and their Demons to the surface. Harry enjoyed Ron’s company, so he crossed his fingers underneath the table. He’s hoping for something else to go right in his life. When the hat placed Ron in Griffindore with him, Harry was thrilled and clapped loudly.

Once the sorting ended, Harry glanced at his golden plate and realized he was hungry, but Dumbledore stood to lovingly greet the students. Before dinner, he wanted to say a few words: “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” Dumbledore then sat back down. Harry didn’t know whether to laugh, or not. The words make no sense to him. He asked Percy if Dumbledore was a bit mad. Percy told him that Dumbledore was a genius, and that he’s the best Wizard in the world, but yes – he’s a bit mad.

We know that Dumbledore isn’t crazy, and that everything he says and does is for a good reason. As a Seeker who had completed The Great Work, his life was now devoted to helping others move forward along the Path. Even though there were students at the banquet who were in their fifth, sixth, and seventh year at Hogworts, Dumbledore only addressed the first four steps on the path to Liberation. He spoke the words as if they were keywords that would trigger the process to begin within the souls of the first year students.

Nitwit was what Ron and Harry were currently doing. They were condemning themselves. Calcination brings those feelings forward for examination.

Blubber spoke of the process of Dissolution where water is added to the ashes of what was burned away during Calcination. It’s an emotional stage where initiates travel back to their childhood and wash away the repressed feelings, opinions, beliefs, and rules they created to protect themselves from their perceived unsafe environment.

Oddment is when we come to understand that everything in life has its opposite. This stage is known as Separation because we have to learn how to separate our current self from the old beliefs and attitudes that we’ve now burned and washed away. Now is not then, so we learn to live in the present.

Tweak is the process of Conjunction. We gain our first real understanding that a higher connection with God is not only possible, but doable. This is the dividing line between our physical and spiritual work. If we wish to move forward, we must let go of our letter-of-the-law thinking and learn to be more flexible. However, the choice also brings our Voldemort to life to oppose us.

When Dumbledore finished speaking, the plates filled with food. Harry was shocked. He had never seen so many foods he liked all at one time. This called to mind how overwhelming the spiritual banquet can initially be for us. While Harry said the Dursleys had never actually starved him, he had never eaten as much as he would have liked. Dudley had always taken whatever Harry really wanted, even if it made him sick. Many times, we desire the enlightenment we see others participating in before we, ourselves, are allowed to partake.

Harry piled his plate full of a little bit of everything, and began to eat. One of the resident ghosts of Griffindore tower commented about how good the food looked. He didn’t need to eat to survive, but he still missed it. The inference here is that we take our attachments, likes, and addictions with us when we die. The ghost announced himself to be Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, and Ron recognized the name as belonging to Nearly Headless Nick. Seamus Finnigan interrupted by asking, “How can you be nearly headless?”

This made Sir Nicholas angry because he wasn’t getting his way. He wanted the students to call him by his real name. He reacted by giving the boy a shocking demonstration. His head was connected to his spiritual body like a hinge. It wasn’t completely severed when someone tried to behead him. What we learned here was that what happens to us physically affects our spiritual bodies as well.

Sir Nicholas told the new Giffindores that he hoped they won the house championship because the Slytherins had won it for six years in a row. The Slytherin house ghost, Bloody Baron, was becoming unbearable because of that fact. When Harry looked, the Baron was floating next to Draco, his robes covered in silver blood. The Baron was another testament that damage to our physical bodies can mar our spirits. Plus, progressive level doesn’t prevent us from becoming earth bound.

When dinner was over, the leftovers disappeared. Desserts presented themselves next, as varied and plentiful as dinner was. Harry chose a treacle tart as the conversation changed to families. Treacle is a pale golden syrup that looks like honey. A treacle tart is made with a pastry dough. The filling is golden syrup, lemon juice and breadcrumbs. The idea here is that Harry will take the lemons of his life and sweeten them with gold.

At this point, Harry learns more about Neville. He was being raised by his grandmother, a witch. For a long time, the family thought Neville was a Muggle because he wasn’t showing signs of magic. His great uncle kept trying to catch him off guard and force it out of him. In fact, the uncle was so determined to make it happen, he pushed Neville off a peer once, and Neville nearly drowned.

That type of emotional trauma is extremely difficult to overcome. The trauma securely roots negative beliefs that surround the incident into the child’s subconscious mind, and the child grows into that prophesy. Additionally, both Neville and Harry have faced death at a very early age, and survived.

At age eight, Neville’s uncle was hanging him out of an upstairs window by his ankles. Neville’s great aunt offered his uncle some pie, and he accidently let go of Neville. Once again, Neville faced death. However, when Neville hit the ground, he bounced like a ball. His grandmother was so happy she cried. She and Neville’s uncle are perfect examples of conditional love.

Neville’s relatives were even more excited when Neville received his invitation to Hogwarts. Before that, they were worried he might not be magical enough for acceptance. His uncle was so happy he bought Neville his toad. That’s probably why Neville was so attached to it. To Neville, the toad represented his family’s love.

Neville brought paradox into his family’s lives. They were pure blood Wizards and Witches, yet Neville wasn’t showing outward signs of his heritage as quickly as they thought he should. They were filled with fear. However, the more they tried to force the issue, the longer it took Neville to awaken. When his uncle let go of trying to force his will, in favor of pie, Neville reacted by saving himself – but the family’s conditional love had created Demons that Neville will have to face and overcome before he can reach his full potential.

Neville has come to Hogwarts with similar issues to Harry. Both boys have continuously been told they are not normal. They feel they are not good enough. Neville’s relatives don’t understand that excellence comes from within, and that slow growth is often best because lessons that stick don’t have to be repeated over and over again.