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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 71 – Harry Tries to See Dumbledore
(HP Chapter 16)

Apparently, the owl that Harry had seen earlier was the owl that had delivered the message. Due to his fear and concern for the Stone, he immediately assumed the message was a trick. While that might be true, the idea fit neatly inside the box he had created, so he was unwilling to look at additional possibilities.

Professor McGonagall didn’t understand Harry’s reaction. Because Dumbledore was a great wizard, he had many demands on his time. He had more on his plate than just Hogwarts. That leaned toward the idea that the Masters of Compassion work with several individuals at the same time.

“But this is important,” Harry insisted. That didn’t make sense to the logical professor. What was more important than the Ministry of Magic? Harry gave in slightly and informed her that their business with Dumbledore concerned the Philosopher’s Stone.

Whatever she thought the kids were up to, it wasn’t that. At the mere mention of the Stone, she dropped all of her books and didn’t make a move to pick them up.

To achieve the Stone, we have to drop the books we are carrying too. Books are written from a variety of perspectives, depending upon the author’s beliefs, experiences, and place on the path. Although books can be helpful, they are generally written from a distorted perspective. Some spiritual traditions refer to this letting go as achieving a “not-knowing” mind. We become completely open to all possibilities. We create no boxes, and have no desire or need to be “right.”

“How did you know—“ she started, and then stopped herself. Harry decided to trust her – somewhat. “Professor, I think – I know – that Sn—that someone’s going to try and steal the Stone. I’ve got to talk to Professor Dumbledore.” In mid-stream, Harry apparently changed his mind about revealing what he thought he knew about Snape, and said just enough to fill Professor McGonagall with both shock and suspicion.

Dumbledore would not be back until tomorrow. That was the original plan. Professor McGonagall didn’t know how the kids found out about the Stone, but she believed it was impossible for someone to steal it. It was too well protected. The professor had underestimated just how far Voldemort would go to achieve immortality.

Harry tried to protest, but Professor McGonagall assured him that she knew what she was talking about. She believed that she was right and Harry was wrong, so she bent down and picked up both her books and her knowing mind.

The world is pretty much like that. We crash into the beliefs and knowing of others, sometimes drop what we are currently carrying for a few minutes, but then bend over and pick those distortions and false beliefs back up. Generally, that’s because we also have a strong need to be right. Professor McGonagall told the kids they should spend the rest of the day outside. She was looking at things outwardly. From a physical perspective, no one could steal the Stone. That’s true. But the true danger lies within.

The kids didn’t listen to the professor. “It’s tonight,” Harry said – once Professor McGonagall had gotten too far away to hear him. He firmly believed that Snape was going through the trapdoor that very night.

Harry didn’t stop to think about it. With Dumbledore gone, he was reacting impulsively. It had been weeks since Hagrid had shared the information with the hooded figure, but tonight was different in Harry’s mind because someone summoned Dumbledore to the Ministry. Harry believed Snape was ready to make his move.

This type of reaction wasn’t unusual for an 11-year old boy. Most kids live in a world of fantasy and think they know everything, but being inside the castle on a nice day seemed to call attention to itself. Like Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape suddenly appeared and addressed their presence inside the castle. “You shouldn’t be inside on a day like this,” he said.

This is the second time within only a few minutes that the kids have been told they should not be inside. There is a lot of talk about inside and outside. However, Jo tells us that Professor Snape’s smile was twisted. We need to twist or flip what Professor Snape was saying. He was telling the kids they shouldn’t be inside. That’s what almost all forms of organized religion do too. The message Jo was sending was that we need to stop looking for Salvation outside of ourselves and start looking for the Philosopher’s Stone, which is inside.

Harry didn’t know what to say to the professor. “You want to be more careful,” Professor Snape continued. “Hanging around like this, people will think you’re up to something. And Gryffindor can’t really afford to lose any more points, can it?”

Professor Snape first gives us a caution. We need to be careful when seeking the Stone, but it doesn’t matter what other people think of what we’re doing. While Gryffindore might not be able to afford to lose more points outwardly, inwardly, the rewards for succeeding in getting the Stone far exceed the costs.

As the kids turn to go outside, Professor Snape calls them back. This reflected how we receive repeated invitations to turn within. We are called back, but we don’t always “get” the message. “Be warned, Potter – any more nighttime wanderings and I will personally make sure you are expelled.” Snape then took off toward the staff room.

Being expelled is Hermione’s greatest fear, but Professor Snape uses that threat quite a bit with Harry. Since Harry was placed in Gryffindore, Snape doesn’t have the power to expel him, but the kids don’t know that yet. On the surface, the threat of expulsion for simply wandering the halls makes the professor appear mean and nasty, but there are a lot of complex issues going on that we are not aware of.

Quirrel had tried to kill Harry once already. Professor Snape tried to save him, but the kids didn’t know that. Harry was physically safer at the Dursleys due to Dumbledore’s protective spells he had placed on their house. At this point, Snape was simply doing what he felt was best for Harry, even though Harry didn’t realize that. Parents do that all the time.

Outside on the stone steps, Harry turned to the others. There are steps we must take to get to the Stone, but the process always requires us to turn to others as well. Harry figured that one of them needed to keep an eye on Snape, so he assigned Hermione to wait outside the staff room door and follow him if he left.

Harry and Ron went to the third floor corridor, but that didn’t work. Professor McGonagall saw them standing in front of the door that stood between them and Fluffy. She was furious. “I suppose you think you’re harder to get past than a pack of enchantments!” she stormed. “Enough of this nonsense!”

Although the Wizarding World seemed to involve a more spiritual and astral level of being, they have their own set of blinders and warped ideas about right and wrong. Professor McGonagall’s words mirrored Vernon about what she felt was nonsense. She was also mad enough that she threatened to take 50 points from Gryffindore if she even heard that the boys had gone near that part of the castle again. The number five on the Tree of Life is judgment, which was exactly what the professor was doing.

Professor McGonagall was one of the teachers who had placed enchantments of protection around the Stone, so her overreaction and inability to trust the kids was part of her own mechanical conditioning. Their insistence that the Stone was in danger probably bumped up against her pride.

Between Hagrid’s misadventure with Voldemort and Professor McGonagall’s refusal to believe what Harry was telling her, I think that stumbling over our vanity, pride, and the resulting judgment of others was a very strong message that Jo was trying to send. It can halt our forward movement quicker than anything else