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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 53 – Ron’s Experience with The Mirror
(HP Chapter 12)

Ron was cold and ready to give up. He didn’t understand the degree of the force that drove Harry to return to the mirror. As a piece of Harry’s fractured awareness, Ron’s only concern was his physical comfort. Ron felt cold and tired. He wanted to go back to the Common Room to alleviate his discomfort, but Harry didn’t feel uncomfortable. Harry was anxious to find the room. He wanted to see his family again, so he did not intend to go back.

After more searching, Ron complained again. That is one of the first decisions an infant makes to help him get along in the world: complaining. Ron’s feet were cold. This repetition of coldness mimics the snow that’s everywhere, but also shows us the condition of Ron’s heart. He’s cold because he was only thinking of himself. He couldn’t relate to what Harry was doing, or why. Since he had a family of his own, he couldn’t relate to how Harry was feeling.

Harry suddenly spotted the suit of armor he had seen the night before. The armor was like a signpost on the Path for him. He recognized it as being something he had previously seen, so he knew the door they were searching for was close by. Throughout our own search, at some point, we stumble across the Path of Liberation, and we remember. We know the door that leads to eventual freedom is close by.

Pushing the door open, Harry dropped the cloak and ran to the mirror. In the series, doors are swinging outward or inward. This time, Harry pushed the door inward. That infers that this in an internal experience he and Ron were going through. However, Harry felt so caught up with longing for his parents that he dropped his covering of invisibility onto the floor. It was as if the need of his to see his parents again had caused him to drop his current role. He was stagnant, distracted by his earthly desires.

Harry saw his mother and father smile back at him from the mirror. “I can’t see anything,” Ron told him. “I can only see you.” Harry didn’t understand because he could see tons of people in the mirror. Confused, he coaxed Ron to stand in the same spot he was standing in.

Harry perspective continued to be a physical lens. He thought Ron’s faulty perspective had to do with where Ron was physically standing. We get a glimpse into our personal differences here. If we want to see what Harry sees, we have to stand where Harry is standing.

Interestingly, when Ron stepped directly in front of the mirror, Harry could no longer see his family. He could only see Ron in his pajamas. This was a clue that the mirror wasn’t reflecting physical reality. It could only reflect one person’s desires at a time. Harry’s parents don’t actually live in the mirror. They live inside of Harry, but he hasn’t figured that out yet.

Ron suddenly grew excited. He was standing in front of the mirror, so he no longer saw Harry’s reflection, he saw himself. This is our chance to look inside of Ron. “Look at me!” he said. Ron was older and Head Boy. He was wearing a badge like his brother Bill used to wear. He was holding the House Cup and the Quidditch cup. He was Quidditch Captain too. “Do you think this mirror shows the future?”

Ron was seeing himself in various Hogwarts’ positions of glory, authority, and notoriety. Positions that made him feel important and successful. Ron felt inferior. We know that, but his heart’s desire to prove himself worthy was reflected in mortal positions of power.

Harry realized the mirror didn’t show the future. His parents were dead. But if Ron was only seeing himself holding the Quidditch cup, which Harry had no interest in, then he felt that Ron should move out of the way, so he could see his family again. Ron didn’t want to move. He was enjoying what he was seeing in the mirror. He begged Harry for a little more time. Both boys refused to give up their individual ideas, so they started to argue. “Don’t push me—“ Ron said.

That surprised me. It seemed out of character for Harry, but it was another indicator of just how strong and controlling Harry’s desire for a family experience was. It was so strong that he was willing to push Ron out of the way in order to fulfill that desire.

While desire for family isn’t a bad thing, it can result in us pushing others away. It can allow the Spirit of Competition to arise. It can enable selfishness to surface in a different kind of way. During the argument, Ron reminded Harry that he had spent time with the mirror the night before. Ron felt it was only fair that Harry allowed him to have a turn, but Harry was too overcome with desire. He was reacting out of love for his family, but it was a selfish love – a selfish love that physically pushed Ron, his best friend, out of the way.

A sudden noise brought Ron back to his senses. Harry was unable to function properly, so Ron threw the cloak of invisibility over the two of them just as Mrs. Norris came through the door. Ron and Harry stood very still, wondering if the cloak worked for cats. Could Mrs. Norris see them, or not? They stood there for quite some time, and then the cat turned and left the room.

Harry wasn’t functioning correctly. It was Ron who was actually wise enough at the moment to know that the room wasn’t safe anymore. Mrs. Norris might have gone looking for Filch, so he dragged Harry out of the room. What we learn is that fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ron’s fear prompted him to take action that Harry’s desire couldn’t get him to do. Although the desire of Ron’s heart was to prove himself to his brothers, he was able to let go of that desire much more quickly than Harry was able to let go of his own.

Ron was functioning at the physical level, but his fear wasn’t selfish. He still thought of Harry and got the two of them to safety. He didn’t just think about himself, even though Harry had physically confronted him. It would have been easy for Ron to just walk away, thinking only of himself. What we see is that Ron was quick to forgive