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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 62 – Harry Falls From Grace
(HP Chapter 15)

Filch took the kids down to Professor McGonagall’s study on the first floor. They were moving from a higher state back to the physical level, so their thoughts and actions should reflect that. Although Hermione and Harry didn’t speak to each other, Hermione was trembling. Being caught and possibly expelled from Hogwarts was her worst nightmare.

Like many of us, Harry sat there trying to come up with a logical excuse or cover story to justify their actions. Not only were they out of bed, but the tallest Astronomy Tower was off limits to them except for classes. Similarly, the higher levels are also off limits to us. That keeps us somewhat blind as to what is actually going on.

Due to the blessings of the Internet, we have old Alchemical drawings and notes more available than in the past, but much of what we think we know comes from spiritual tradition, educational guesses, and private interpretations – which may, or may not, be Truth.

Harry had left the invisibility cloak behind in the tower. He beat himself up for that, because that’s why they were caught, but the cloak actually represented his “power” of invisibility. What Harry left behind was simply his covering, his mask that kept everyone guessing as to whether or not he was the Chosen One. In all of his excitement and wonder of helping a dragon escape, his re-decent into the mortal world at the end of the series will not include keeping his spiritual light hidden. There will be no doubt that he is the One.

At some point in our progression, we will have accomplished everything we need to do, which guarantees our ultimate freedom. We will have helped the dragon to escape, a piece of Voldemort that lives within us, but the final transformation won’t be complete yet. Harry returned to mortality free of the dragon but still had to confront Voldemort himself – not because he had to, but because his heart and present state of being wouldn’t let him choose otherwise. If it could, he wouldn’t be done.

When Professor McGonagall appeared, she had Neville with her. Neville, in his innocence, was so relieved to see Harry that he started revealing how Draco had been going around telling everyone that he planned to catch Harry with a dragon. Harry tried to stop Neville from talking by shaking his head, but the professor had seen Harry’s attempt. That shake condemned Harry and Hermione, so the professor asked them to explain why they were in the Astronomy Tower at one o’clock in the morning.

This was the first time Hermione couldn’t answer a teacher’s question. She just sat there starring at her slippers. That was just as surprising as Professor McGonagall’s misinterpretation of the situation, but that misunderstanding also seemed to be a warning. Since Harry tried to silence Neville, the professor believed Harry set the whole thing up to get Draco in trouble. He fed Draco a lie, and Draco believed it. She also assumed that Harry found Neville’s gullibility funny.

Professor McGonagall was a towering presence in the kids’ lives. That’s how Harry saw her, but she wasn’t all knowing and was quite fallible when it came to discernment. We can see that clearly in this incident, so it needs to be kept in mind as we work our way through the series. What we see and hear isn’t necessarily what is.

Harry tried to silently tell Neville that wasn’t true, but Neville didn’t have the power of discernment either. Professor McGonagall’s words had stunned and hurt him. Harry actually felt sympathy for Neville. He knew what it had cost him to try to find them in the dark and warn them, but Harry didn’t speak – not until the professor awarded the three of them detention and subtracted 50 points from Gryffindore for their actions. Fifty points would cost them the lead that Harry had won for them in the last Quidditch match.

It grew worse than that though. “Fifty points each,” McGonagall corrected. A hundred and fifty points just for being out of bed was quite severe. That was worse than anything Snape had done to the kids so far. It placed Gryffindore in last place. To Harry, it looked like he had ruined all of their chances for Gryffindore to win the House Cup.

Since Book 1 is basically walking us through The Path of Liberation, to an onlooker, our current mortal situation may look hopeless. We have fallen from first place, our previous existence, to last. At the physical level of being, we truly are in last place. We are as far away from spiritual perfection and the Presence of the Lord as we can get. We are caught within the web of our false beliefs, our conditioning.

Some spiritual traditions call this mortal existence taking upon our self the skin of the snake. That hints at who the snake in the glass cage at the zoo really was. It’s interesting how Jo gives us little bits of information here and there about the fall. That’s kind of how it happens for us. Our information comes like pieces of a puzzle that we have to put together.

Harry didn’t sleep that night. He lay in bed listening to Neville sobbing for what felt like hours. Harry didn’t know what to say to comfort him. They were all dreading the dawn, and what the rest of Gryffindore would say when they learned they had dropped from first place to last. That coincided with how we all have to pay the price for what those who actually caused the fall did.

At first, the Gryffindores thought there had been a mistake. When they learned that Harry was responsible for their awful situation, he fell from being one of the most popular and admired kids in the school to the most hated. Even the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs turned against him because they had wanted Slytherin to lose the House Cup.

This was a most interesting aspect of the Fall. The inference going on here was a little mind blowing. The Fall began because Harry wanted to save a dragon. That meant dragons have always existed. They didn’t just suddenly come into being on this earthy plane. Since dragons hatch from eggs, there was also a circular motion going on that didn’t have a beginning or end.

In a sense, you could say that dragons represent eternity, but Hagrid’s dragon was much more than that. For Hagrid, he was a piece of himself that he had always wanted to mother. For Harry, he was the piece of Voldemort that lived within him, attached to his scar. For us, he represents our conditioned and fractured awareness that needs to be repaired.

How Harry chose to save the dragon was the catalyst that started the Fall. He had to break school rules and go into forbidden territory to see his choice through to completion. In the end, Harry did that by sacrificing himself to Voldemort. He gave up his need to win, his need to defend himself, and by so doing, he achieved everything he had ever wanted.

Biblically, we’re told that serpents were subtle and that one approached Eve to try to convince her of the benefits of taking on mortality: gaining the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent tried to appeal to Eve’s selfishness and desire to be something different. Eve, on the other hand, didn’t automatically accept the serpent’s argument and advice. Instead, she carefully looked over the situation. After weighing the benefits against the penalty, she understood the wisdom that would come from a mortal experience, and decided to initiate the Fall.

Harry reacted to the dragon’s awful situation out of compassion for the baby dragon. He wanted to save him from any physical consequence that might occur when the dragon’s existence was discovered. He figured out a way to have it raised by someone with experience in raising dragons – someone who knew how to raise it properly. In Harry’s life, that someone was Dumbledore, but for Hagrid’s dragon, confronting it will have to wait until he’s spiritually stronger.

Harry also acted out of concern for Hagrid because Hagrid wasn’t acting responsibly toward the dragon. Hagrid’s compassion and motherly instincts were overwhelming his wisdom and common sense. Hagrid wasn’t spiritually mature enough yet to raise a dragon. It was putting his life in danger, so Harry moved to save both Hagrid and the dragon.

Hagrid was mirroring us, and the people in Harry’s world, no matter where we are on the path. We don’t have enough sense to mother the dragon ourselves, so he basically controls us. The idea isn’t to destroy the dragon, however, but to free it.

Of everyone, Ron was the only one who stood by Harry. I’m assuming that meant that Hermione was blaming Harry for being caught. Although Hermione and Neville were being shunned by the other kids as Harry was, they were not as popular as Harry, so their fall wasn’t as hard. Jo does tell us that Hermione stopped calling attention to herself in class. For Hermione, that’s a step forward, so we get a glimpse into the fact that the Fall wasn’t entire bad for them – or us.

The Slytherins do not hate Harry, they were happy because Harry’s actions put them back in first place. That meant Harry’s Slytherin’ characteristics were back in control