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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 91 – Harry Looks Into the Mirror
(HP Chapter 17)

Quirrell cried out for help from his Master. To Harry’s horror, a voice answered that seemed to come from Quirrell himself. “Use the boy…. Use the boy….” This is exactly what our false self attempts to do. Each aspect of our false awareness tries to use us to achieve their ideals. In this case, find the physical Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry’s prior belief that Quirrell’s Master was a separate entity or personality from Quirrell quickly dissolved. What he learned was that the false “I” (Quirrell) and Master (Mammon or conditioning power) are One. Voldemort is literally a part of each one of us. Quirrell turned to Harry and commanded him to come. He was acting in Voldemort’s name, so he clapped his hands once and the ropes that were binding Harry fell off.

Harry’s mind was no longer paralyzed, so he slowly climbed to his feet. He had been released from his bonds in order to help the false “I” achieve his ideal of finding the Stone. What the false “I” hoped for and attempted to do was to get our True Self to identify with it – to literally serve it.

Quirrell wanted Harry to look into the mirror and tell him what he saw. His fear had told him to use Harry to gain his ideal, his dream, but Harry realized he couldn’t do that. He couldn’t serve Quirrell. He needed to lie. He needed to look into the mirror in order to discover where the Stone was at, but he needed to lie to Quirrell about what he saw. Harry believed that was the only way he could protect the Stone. He still didn’t understand where the Stone was or how to get it.

Harry stepped in front of the mirror. As he did that, Quirrell moved behind him. This pointed to Harry and Quirrell being One. There was a funny smell coming from Quirrell’s turban. Bad smells generally represent Alchemical putrefaction. Since Harry was wearing that same turban internally, it was actually something inside of Harry that was rotting.

Quirrell was so close that Harry couldn’t help but breathe in the funny smell. Harry had been breathing in what Quirrell was. What we breathe in we are, just as much as what we eat. In fact, breathing in reflects our initial creation when God breathed into Adam the breath of Life, as well as the Breath of Life we breathe in each and every day.

The Alchemical process can be compared to the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son. In that story, the son took his inheritance (his awareness) and spent it on the ideals and luxuries of the manmade world. When he became miserable enough, he began to question his purpose for living – why he was here – and found himself in a smelly pigpen eating along side of the other swine. Until we reach that same point in life, the Alchemical journey and inner work necessary to get Home won’t hold any value for us.

Harry and his friends have traveled through an Initiation of Self Knowledge that has presented the skeleton for the journey Home. Now, Jo introduces us to ourselves, and our current condition. At Level One, Quirrell is where we are. We’re living in the mud and filth of our conditioned and fractured awareness.

When Snape called Harry’s father a swine, he wasn’t being mean. He was referring to James being controlled by his carnal nature – the same as Quirrell was controlled by Voldemort. James and Quirrell offer us opportunities to see and watch.

In the pigpen, the prodigal re-evaluates his situation. His father treated the servants better than the smelly condition he currently found himself in. He realized he’d be better off as a Servant in his father’s house then where he was living now, so he made the decision to go Home.

The journey Home begins with our Waking Up to our True State of being. Although Quirrell commanded Harry to look into the mirror for his own self-serving reasons, Harry evaluated the suggestion and found it to be of value. He knew it was something he needed to do, so he closed his eyes and stepped in front of the mirror.

This is a technique that many beginners use to enter into a meditative experience. Closing your eyes helps you shut out the physical world and intensifies your concentration and focus, but in Ritual or Initiation, having the Initiate close their eyes is often used to symbolize our blind or sleeping condition.

When Harry opened his eyes to Look into the mirror, the first thing he saw was his own reflection – pale and scared. Instead of seeing his parents as he had earlier in the year (reflective of his desire for the family experience he has never had, as well as a hint of his fractured awareness), he now saw himself exactly as he was at that very moment.

That was what Dumbledore told him was the ultimate goal for a Wizard: To Look into the Mirror of Erised (our subconscious mind) and see yourself, exactly as you are.

Some spiritual teachings describe this experience as seeing “what is” rather than seeing our illusions of what we think we are, or what we’d like to be. Our True Self sees reality through personal experience and experimentation. Our false selves never see what is. Their goal is always to gain pleasure, acceptance, and approval, and avoid all forms of discomfort or pain, but at this point in our journey, the idea is to simply come to know that we have a polluted inner self.

To move from Level One into Level Two, we must come to understand that the physical world is not all there is. There is an inner world that we have been unaware of. The Wizarding World reflects this inner plane of existence because it keeps itself hidden from the Muggle World. Only certain individuals qualify themselves to enter Hogwarts. In Harry Potter, the qualification is some sign of magical ability. In reality, the qualification is to question life itself.

Harry wanted to know where the Philosopher’s Stone was located. His only desire was to retrieve the Stone before Quirrell did. As Harry watched the internal image of himself (his Double), he saw the fear leave his face. His Double smiled at him. Losing our fears – and especially our fear of Death and all of our other internal woes – is essential to receiving the Stone. Harry’s Double put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a blood-red Stone.

Harry’s Double was no longer reflecting Harry as he was. The Double was moving on its own. He had the Philosopher’s Stone in his pocket and wanted the physical Harry to know that. This implied that the Stone isn’t something we seek after. The Philosopher’s Stone is something we are. In particular, it’s something we already have