- The second trial Harry and his friends face is the
vicious killer plant, "Devil's Snare". Before they're
aware of it they are ensnared by a plant with long,
snake-like tendrils. We know from book 5 that a person
can easily be strangled by this plant. The more they
struggle against the creepers the tighter their hold.
The children figure out that what's needed is to stay
calm and think clearly. Hermione remembers that this
plant hates light, so she lights a fire. The plant
recedes and the children are free.
I think what this can teach us is that the apprentice
alchemist needs to give the process of liberation his
whole, undivided attention so that he can stay calm
and figure out what to do. The candidate for
liberation is always in danger of being overwhelmed by
his emotions. Strong emotions are not conducive to
going the Path because then the candidate loses
control. They can do harm to the new soul if the
candidate allows himself to be carried away by them.
The Path is extremely beautiful, and sometimes one can
be overwhelmed by the sheer magnificence of it, but as
soon as one loses control of one's emotions they tend
to strangle the new soul. The heart of the candidate
can be filled with great joy and love for others
without being carried away by sentimentality, or by
being moved to tears. The candidate must control
himself and turn to the light of reason so as not to
lose touch with reality, and he must focus on the aim
of the Path.
The third trial is to open a locked door. The key is
present, but it's got wings and is flying high up near
the ceiling among hundreds of other keys.
It's important to see in each trial which of the three
children solves the problem. If it's Hermione, it's
the mind of the candidate which solves the problem. If
it's Ron, it's the old, earthly personality, and if
it's Harry it's the new, immortal soul.
In the case of Cerberus, it was Harry, and therefore
the new soul, who played the flute - the harmonious
vibrations of the pure soul. In the case of Devil's
snare it was Hermione, and therefore the mind, but she
was helped by Ron.
In the case of the flying keys it's Harry again. He is
an extremely good flier and can see things others
can't. His excellent flying obviously symbolises the
height of his aspirations. The new soul can fly to
great spiritual heights. It also has an extremely keen
faculty of discrimination. And so we see that no door
can be locked against the new soul. It can open all
doors and overcome all barriers. Go, Harry!
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