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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 63 – Harry’s Vow is Put to the Test
(HP Chapter 15)

Harry believed it was too late to repair the damage he had caused. He vowed to not meddle in things that were not his business anymore. He was done with sneaking around and spying. In Harry’s present mindset, although he had reacted out of compassion for the dragon and Hagrid, his actions had hurt not only the Gryffindores, but the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs too. He was so ashamed of his behavior that he offered to retire from the Quidditch team.

Harry wasn’t thinking clearly. He was allowing the reactions and misinformed opinions of others to govern his feelings about himself. The joy that he felt at helping the dragon escape had become drenched with shame because of how others felt about his actions. He was allowing how the other kids treated him to control what he thought and did.

That was not a good place to be. At the end of the series, however, once Voldemort destroyed Harry’s dragon, Harry will be the opposite of this. His total focus will be on confronting Voldemort regardless of what anyone else believes, thinks, or does.

The kids didn’t have all the facts. They knew that Gryffindore fell, that Harry was responsible for their current loss of position, but that’s all they knew. They didn’t have enough information to make a righteous judgment, but like many of us, they still ran around judging.

Oliver Wood actually reacted to Harry’s offer with some common sense. “What good’ll that do?” If Harry quit and didn’t play, there was no way to regain their first place position, but the rest of the team didn’t feel that way. They didn’t speak to Harry during practice, and if they had to speak about him, they called him: The Seeker.

It only took a week before Harry’s vow to mind his own business was put to the test. After leaving the library one afternoon, he heard Professor Quirrell whimpering from a classroom up ahead. “No – no – not again, please –“ To Harry, it sounded like someone was threatening Quirrell, so he moved closer to listen. “All right – all right –“ Quirrell said, and then hurried from the classroom.

As he passed by Harry, he straightened his turban. He looked like he was going to cry. Quirrell touching his turban was our clue that his mind (Voldemort) was messing with him, and that he was being forced to do something he didn’t want to do, but Harry’s hatred for Snape wouldn’t allow him to entertain other possibilities. The account he had set up against Snape was too great.

After waiting patiently for Quirrell’s footsteps to disappear, Harry peeked into the classroom. Obviously, he was hoping to see Snape, but the room was empty. There was a door ajar at the other end of the room, so Harry assumed that Snape had simply slipped through it.

Quirrell talking to Voldemort wasn’t a possibility in Harry’s mind. That might be because his scar didn’t hurt as Quirrell passed by him. However, Harry’s perception of what the pain meant wasn’t correct either. Even if his scar had hurt, the pain wouldn’t have led him to the Truth. Since we know that the pain was caused by the piece of Voldemort’s soul trying to get out of Harry, the lack of pain inferred that the Horcrux must have moments when it slept.

Harry got halfway across the room before he suddenly remembered his vow not to go chasing after things that didn’t concern him. He woke up, and stopped himself. I think this showed how easy it is to fall back into our mechanical patterns of behavior. Habits are not easy to break. Change doesn’t happen just because we want it to.

Our beliefs also influence what we do. Harry was reacting to his false belief about Snape rather than using his intuition. When he remembered his vow, what he didn’t want to be or do anymore, that awareness and desire made a dramatic difference in his actions. He stopped and started consciously thinking about what he was doing.

Over the past couple of years, I have watched my husband go from an explosive individual to conscious control by simply telling himself out loud, or discussing it, that he didn’t want to be that way. The continuous voicing of what he wanted put the wheels in motion for it to happen. Like Hagrid’s desire for a dragon, it didn’t happen overnight. It took about two years for him to learn how to handle feelings of helplessness in a different way, other than anger.

After making that initial decision, each testing event he went through showed him where he was in relationship to that desire. The tests we experience in our lives are not about whether or not we’re worthy to go to heaven. Tests show us where we are in the creation process.

Jo informed us that Harry would have gambled 12 Philosopher’s Stones that Snape had just left the room, but if he had actually made that bet, he would have lost all of those Stones. The greatest power that Harry Potter gives us is the opportunity to look at ourselves. In Alchemy, the three basic substances of transformation are Salt, Mercury and Sulphur. These are actually three-fold substances. Each contains portions of the other two, with one force predominant.

Mercury isn’t just Mercury. It’s a combination of Salt, Mercury and Sulpher, but the aspects of Mercury predominates. Likewise, the kids don’t just represent one of these substances. They contain all three transformative powers, but one (Salt, Mercury or Sulphur) predominates in each. We see that union when we watch Hermione become caught in the web of her physical fears (Salt) or when Ron stops his mechanical reaction long enough to analyze a situation mentally (Mercury) and speaks with the voice of reason. The line between Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur isn’t a sharp, absolute division.

These nine divisions (3 x 3) are often spoken of within the context of a trinity that consists allegorically of father, mother and son, but there are different interpretations for what father, mother, and son actually represent. Traditional spiritual interpretations place father as Father, mother as Holy Ghost, and son as Son of God OR father as the Holy Spirit, mother as the body, and the son as the soul.

Even among the chemicals and elements of Alchemy there isn’t agreement as to what the triune represents. In traditional Alchemy, there was no standard for the symbols or terms an individual Alchemist used.

These three 3-fold substances exist within the four worlds of God, Man, Elements, and Chemicals at the same time. In Harry Potter, the worlds are represented by the four elements of fire, earth, air, and water. Together, the 3 x 3 + four elements form the 12 foundations of The Great Work. In the book of Revelation, these 12 steps are referred to as the 12 foundation stones of the sacred city.

Harry was willing to gamble the entire process of Alchemy that he was right about Snape. He also assumed that from what he heard Quirrell say, Quirrell had finally given in to Snape. That was what fit into his made-up scenario.

At the physical level, we have a strong need to be right. We can’t see past our delusions. We bet our eternal welfare that what we can see, hear, and feel is true, but if we actually did that, we would lose. We think that we know everything, but we don’t. The reality is that we don’t know anything at all. Even spiritual traditions are an illusion because most of what we’ve been taught is an outward projection of the internal Alchemical process. When Harry got back to the library, he told his friends what he had seen and heard. Ron jumped to the same conclusions Harry did: that Snape wanted Quirrell to tell him how to break the spell he had placed around the Stone.

Hermione, on the other hand, reminded the boys (and us) that Snape (or anyone seeking the Stone) needed to get past Fluffy. Unless you are willing to see beyond the delusions and illusions of the physical world and come to an understanding that you are not a single individual (and not just a body and spirit either) but consist of three 3-fold substances, the Alchemical process that results in the Philosopher’s Stone cannot even start.

Ron cast Hermione’s idea aside, believing that Snape had probably already figured out how to get past Fluffy, possibly from a book. Ron appeared to be playing to both of his friends. He was siding with Harry but capitalizing on Hermione’s belief in the power of books. The light of adventure sparked in Ron’s eyes again, but Hermione’s fear continued to control her