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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 74 – The Kids Reach the Third Floor
(HP Chapter 16)

Tackling Neville and leaving him behind only served to intensify their fear. They kept imagining Filch or Peeves everywhere. Although Ron had stepped over Neville to move past him, he was wearing his carnal nature on his sleeve. When they caught a glimpse of Mrs. Norris at the bottom of the first set of stairs, Ron wanted to experience the pleasure of kicking that cat just this once, but Harry shook his head.

Instead, they carefully climbed around her. Mrs. Norris turned her lamp-like eyes on them, but she didn’t do anything as they passed her by. Learning how to love, and ultimately becoming love itself, is the very basis and heart of the Alchemical process.

For those incapable of loving anyone else except their self, love sometimes begins when they learn how to care for and love an animal. Ron displayed that type of love for his pet rat, but he couldn’t bring himself to love creatures he despised. At this point in Ron’s progression, his love was conditional even for animals. That actually placed him behind Neville.

At the staircase that led to the third floor, they saw Peeves loosening the carpet so people would trip. Along with our carnal nature and mechanical programming, there are also additional forces working to trip us up. Although he couldn’t see the kids, Peeves knew that someone was there. He threatened to go and round up Filch, so Harry altered his voice and pretended to be the Baron.

“The Bloody Baron has his own reasons for being invisible.” Peeves almost fell over from shock. He quickly apologized and tried to smooth things over. Harry took advantage of Peeve’s fear and explained that he had business in this part of the castle and wanted Peeves to stay out of the third floor corridor for the rest of the evening. Peeves agreed and quickly scooted away.

Within a couple of seconds, the kids reached the third floor corridor, but the door was already ajar! On the Tree of Life, the third Sepheroh represents creation and the Mother of All Living. “Well, there you are,” Harry said quietly. “Snape’s already got past Fluffy.”

Ron, Hermione, and Harry paused for a minute to allow the seriousness of the situation to embrace them. Harry turned to the other two. Along with understanding comes a greater responsibility. “If you want to go back, I won’t blame you,” he said. “You can take the cloak, I won’t need it now.”

Harry’s offer to his friends to back out was a sign that they were about to enter a real-life Initiation Ceremony. Before committing yourself to the knowledge presented, you are always given the option of backing out. “Don’t be stupid,” said Ron. That was Ron’s way of saying yes, but Hermione also answered the question for both of them: “We’re coming.”

And with that said, the three of them pushed open the door.

Level one is where we experience the world of physical sensations. Because of that experience, we are inclined to place ourselves at the center of the universe. This physical universe includes the experience of the four elements of earth, water, air, and fire. Everything in this mortal world fits into one of those four classifications. Life involves solids (earth), fluids (water), gases (air) and radiant forces (fire).

These elements also set the stage for the illusion of separateness. Separateness is the idea that everything in this world is of its own unique, separate substance, including us. We believe that we think, speak, and act from our own personal power and will. Some spiritual traditions call this Agency. While we have the power of choice, the idea that we act alone is faulty. Much of what we do is mechanical and unconscious. The elements are actually four subclasses of the same fundamental energy and power, and so are we.

Earlier in the year, Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville were introduced to Fluffy, a large dog with three heads. These types of introductions are called seeds. Seeds aren’t always initially accepted. In the case of the kids, they reacted with fear when they became aware of Fluffy’s presence, turned and ran the other way. If we don’t cast the seed out, but allow it to sit there such as Harry did, a pure seed will eventually sprout and grow.

The idea of Fluffy guarding the Stone worked on Harry until his desire to act grew strong enough to carry him forward. Now, the kids are better prepared to face the dog because Hagrid had revealed what it took to move past him.

Harry’s zeal in wanting to reach the Stone before Professor Snape was fueling his forward movement. It didn’t matter that his perspective was faulty. He had made the choice to move from Level One to Level Two, so the universe (or Holy Spirit) will work with that faulty perspective to make the changes happen. That’s why it doesn’t really matter what someone believes or doesn’t believe. It’s the belief in something – anything – that gives the force of the universe (what some call Heavenly Mother or Mother Earth) something to work with.

The room the kids were about to enter was on the third floor. The third floor represents the Astral level of being. It’s a bit out of place in the sequence the kids are about to walk through, but I think Jo was using the benefits of the astral plane in the same way that spiritual Initiations use dramatic plays to teach the principles they want to get across to the Initiate. Rather than a dramatic play, Jo was setting up this Initiation as if it were real.

Many spiritual traditions have the Initiate play their own role, rather than just watching from the sidelines. An active role helps trigger the internal changes more quickly. In my own spiritual tradition, that’s how it was done initially, but today, it’s not. That doesn’t mean that watching from a distance can’t trigger those same changes in us, because when you identify with one of the main characters in a movie, book, or play, you live their lives and experiences along with them vicariously.

In a very real sense, we are going through the same Initiation process that the kids are, and as a result, the Harry Potter books carry the power to initiate the Alchemical process in anyone who’s ready