Skip navigation.

Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 6 – Additional Invitations Arrive
(HP Chapter 3)

Dudley was having a difficult time dealing with his parents’ decision that Harry needed one of his bedrooms. He went through several of his old manipulating techniques, such as screaming, hitting, kicking, and throwing things, but nothing worked. Harry was blaming himself for not opening the letter in the hallway before returning to the kitchen, and Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were terrified – so terrified, that Mr. Dursley made Dudley go retrieve the mail (rather than Harry) when it arrived that day.

Another letter arrived for Harry, but this time it was addressed to Mr. H. Potter, in the smallest bedroom. Whoever was sending the invitations knew the Dursley’s had moved Harry into one of Dudley’s bedrooms. Vernon reacted by wrestling Dudley for the letter, but Harry didn’t remain a passive onlooker this time. He grabbed his uncle’s neck from behind, and the three of them went at it until Mr. Dursley arose the victor. Mr. Dursley did what he believed was the best for all and sent both boys to their rooms.

Despite our mechanical programming, everyone always does what they think is best. We act because we believe something is true, or because we value something. Fear and other negative emotions play a role, but what we do about those emotions hinges on what we value and expect. Vernon, Dudley, and Harry are all three trying to relieve their discomfort and that brings conflicting interests and actions to the situation.

Later in his new bedroom, Harry realized that someone knew he had moved out of the cupboard, and they also knew he had not received the first letter. Harry figured this person was likely to try again. That realization gave Harry hope, and he came up with a plan. When we are lost and sinking in our carnal natures and man-made illusions, it is extremely difficult to hang onto hope. It is hope that fuels our faith that we can actually do something about our awful situation. Hope enables us to believe that our actions will bring about what we currently desire.

So Harry got up early to wait downstairs for the mail. He believed he could retrieve the next letter before his uncle did, but his plan failed. Uncle Vernon had the same idea and was already parked in front of the living room door, sleeping. It was dark in the living room, so Harry didn’t see Vernon lying on the floor and tripped over him. His uncle sent Harry to the kitchen to make tea, and when Harry returned, the mail had already arrived. Harry’s efforts had failed to get him what he currently wanted: the letter.

As we go through our lives in the physical world and reach a point where we desire something more than what we can see and sense, when we desire a purpose for our existence other than the physical world, we receive an invitation that invites us to enter the Path of Liberation. While our own invitation is not a physical letter that we can see, touch and read, something happens that causes us to raise our awareness. Something rocks our world and lets us know the path we are currently traveling needs to be changed or adjusted.

If we have no religion or belief in our lives, we might suddenly be introduced to some type of spiritual practice. If we have religion or spiritual faith in our lives already, we might suddenly be introduced to the idea that what we currently believe might not be true. Harry believed the Dursleys were his only family and that there was no one else who could improve his situation. Since Mr. Dursley was fighting so hard to keep the letters away from Harry, this raised the idea in Harry’s mind that his current beliefs might not be true.

The specific invitation we each receive will differ from someone else’s, depending on our personal situation – the world we were born into or the world we have created for ourselves – but the defining characteristic is that we will be introduced to the notion that a world exists outside of our own. This notion that something might exist outside of the Dursleys drove Harry to take action, to do what he believed might help him discover what that additional something was. And we do the same thing. We strive to discover the truth.

Since we live in duality, a world of opposite forces, those opposing forces often fight against our efforts. Sometimes it’s because those forces can’t help but act and react as they were programmed to do. Sometimes those forces are attempting to fulfill their own hope and goals. Whatever the reason, if our desire is strong enough that we are acting upon those desires to learn the truth, the effort to help us will increase. Like Harry, we are being watched and monitored. We will be given whatever we need to receive that invitation.

Although sometimes invitations can arrive that we don’t expect and are unprepared for, in Harry’s case, the letter that arrived that morning had multiplied into three letters instead of just one. We learn that the invitation isn’t just a device to wake Harry up to an outside world, but someone was actually trying to contact him. However, it still didn’t work because Uncle Vernon was determined to erase from his world everything he believed was nonsense.

In a way, Mr. Dursley represents many of us who receive an invitation that we don’t at first believe is true. Regardless of our desire to go home, sometimes, it takes several invitations and/or lifetimes before we are ready to believe.

Aunt Petunia was more logical than Uncle Vernon was. She had more knowledge about the capabilities of the magical world and attempted to be the voice of reason, yet again, but Vernon used the piece of fruitcake she offered him like a hammer. He believed that since “they’re not like you and me,” if he blocked the mail delivery slot so that the mail man couldn’t deliver the mail, the magical world would give up, and the letters would stop.

Aunt Petunia obviously knew the magical world would not give up. They have alternative ways of getting our invitation to us, if needed, but she stood back and allowed Vernon to be a fruitcake.

Letters continued to arrive, as Petunia told Vernon they would, and multiplied with each effort to deliver them. They were shoved underneath the door, stuffed through partially opened windows, tucked inside a carton of eggs the milkman delivered, and anywhere else the letters could find a way in. Boarding the house up didn’t work either. Neither did contacting the post office and dairy.

When 30 or 40 letters shot down the fireplace and flew into the room, Uncle Vernon decided he’d had enough. They needed to leave the house. In fact, his fear was so great that he even hit Dudley when Dudley didn’t pack his things fast enough.