GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
The Summer Series – “The Wizard of Oz” We’re not in Kansas anymore
This summer we are taking a trip to Oz! This is the 50th anniversary of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”! The movie was based on the book written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. It was possibly about a strong and adventurous heroine at a time when women were finding their voices after being repressed for so long. Remember, we finally got the right to vote in 1920.
L. Frank Baum, was a member of the Theosophical Society. Few have recognized that his great American fairy tale is also a Theosophical allegory.
Theosophical Society calls themselves “an unsectarian body of seekers after Truth, who endeavor to promote Brotherhood and strive to serve humanity.”
the Society’s objectives evolved to be:
1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science.
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
I wonder if Charles studied this group when he was researching Unity?
Some things you might not have known about the movie’s making…the suit for the ‘cowardly lion’ was actually made from real lion skin….yuck…it was very heavy, weighing almost 100 pounds!
The snow in the poppy scene was made of asbestos, a bit dangerous by today’s standards. Toto’s real name was Terry and Judy Garland wanted to adopt him because she fell in love with him, but his owner wouldn’t permit it.
And Terry aka, Toto was paid more than the Munchkins! $50 vs $125.
In the book, the color of the now Ruby slippers was ——- silver!
In the weeks that follow, I invite you to be open to the story and make it yours. The Big Unity theme for this year is One Humanity, Many Stories. This story is our story….yours and mine. And just like the Bible, every character in this story represents an aspect of ourselves.
Yes, this is our story. Yours and mine. The story of our spiritual journey, as we adopt the yellow brick road as the road to our innate divinity, our Christ Consciousness, God.
Most of us have watched this film throughout our childhood. And watching it again in preparing for this series, I have different eyes as I watch the characters go from Kansas to Oz and back to Kansas.
I was keeping the image of Dorothy and Toto in my mind as I traveled to Kansas last week and back. I kept looking over my shoulder for a tornado to strike!
The storyline of The Wizard of Oz is as old as time. It is the story of one on the quest to find a treasure, of sorts. The Wizard of Oz fits into what mythologist Joseph Campbell called a hero’s journey. The hero’s journey begins with divine discontent and ends with the return home. Along the way there are lessons to be learned, challenges to overcome, friends to be made, enemies to be vanquished, and a remembering to be achieved.
Dorothy certainly was experiencing some divine discontent! She was about to lose her precious dog, Toto. Throughout the movie, Dorothy has conversations with Toto, who symbolizes her inner intuitive self.
In this movie, Toto was never wrong. When he barks at the scarecrow, Dorothy ignores the warning. “Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.” But scarecrows do talk in Oz. Toto also barks at the little man behind the curtain and reveals that the Wizard is a fraud. At the Gale Farm and again at the castle, the Witch tries to put Toto into a basket. In both cases, Toto jumps out of the basket and escapes. The lesson here is to listen to the Toto within.
Dorothy is wondering if there is something over the Rainbow. Somewhere over the rainbow is our yearning to move out of where we are to a “perceived” better place. For us the question might be, Is there something more? Can I be something more? How to I attain fulfillment? This is our Divine Discontent.
Rainbows symbolize hope and renewal, and as Dorothy sings, she wants to go way up high above the chimney tops – indicating her unconscious desire to rise up in consciousness to the place where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Dorothy and Toto are whisked away on the winds of a tornado and land in the land of Oz.
The Twister represents those unbidden, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes frightening events in our lives that move us to seek a higher consciousness.
When she returns by the magic of her now Ruby Slippers, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry try to tell her that it was all in her head. She insists that it’s not, “It’s a place!”
Remember Harry asking Professor Dumbledore if his experience of death was all in his head, and Dumbledore responded, “Of course it’s all in your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
Is it possible that Oz is much like our idea of Heaven, a state of mind?
I’m using the book, “The Zen of Oz, Spiritual Lessons from Over the Rainbow” by Joey Green for some ideas for these Lessons, but also looking from a metaphysical point of view too.
We start out with Dorothy making some questionable choices as she is reacting instead of responding to the crisis of Miss Gulch threatening to have Toto removed and put down for running in her garden and biting her on the leg.
But Auntie EM and Uncle Henry aren’t interested, they have chicks to save from a broken incubator to worry about. Dorothy is ignored and we see very little love there.
The film starts out, not in bright and clear black and white, but rather a grayscale, making Kansas even more bleak looking.
She dreams of flying over a rainbow to escape her troubles like a little bird. The rainbow can represent that “love she seeks to color her world.”
The only love and companionship she has, is with Toto, who she chats with all the time. And trying to get the love and attention she craves by letting Toto run through the garden belonging to mean-spirited, power-hungry old maid Miss Gulch, who carries her emotional baggage in a basket strapped to the back of her bicycle is a question we all must ask?
Dorothy certainly makes some questionable choices, but how often do we do the very same?
According to Green, these actions affect our karma and “when we choose to take actions that torment others and sow the seeds of unhappiness, the consequences of our karma is our own misery and failure. But, when we choose to take actions that nourish joy and love, then the fruit of our karma is your own fulfillment and happiness.”
He states the only way to rise above karma is to become aware of our unconscious choices. Whenever we impulsively react to something, we are actually choosing to respond that way. “Our decision to react impulsively is simply an unconscious choice.”
Green asks, “If you get caught in a cyclone because you ran away from home to save your dog from being destroyed because you let the dog run through a mean old maid’s garden, you might want to stop and ask yourself, ‘what is the universe trying to tell me?’”
Some questions for Dorothy might be:
• why are you letting your dog, that you love so much, run through a mean old maid’s garden in the first place?
• Are you subconsciously afraid that your own loveless environment will turn you into a bitter old maid?
• Why is she so desperate for Auntie Em’s love?
• Is she setting herself up for rejection to punish herself for her parent’s death? (we do not know how they died)
The cyclone becomes a physical manifestation of Dorothy’s inner struggles for self-awareness. Her last name “Gale” after all!
The famous statement: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” introduces us to Oz, but also Dorothy is again to experience another angry wicked individual. To break this pattern of trusting “wizards” whether in the guise of a fake carnival Professor Marvel or a fake Wizard of Oz; she must rise above her karma, and understand why she is obsessively seeking Auntie Em’s love and resolve the subconscious conflict that prompted her to risk Toto’s life.
She, like each one of us, need to align ourselves with our true Self. Then we can reach the Zen experience of awakening.
The lesson for us all: you can avoid a nightmarish trip over the rainbow if you are consciously aware of your choices in Kansas. All you have to do is step back and observe the choices you make every moment.
Your choices mirror how deeply you know your true Self. Dorothy’s choices are stemming from her insecurities with her Auntie Em. An abundance of love from Auntie Em will not make her whole. Only an intimate understanding of her true Self will align her with Oneness and the infinite creative power of the universe.
The moral for this week is: when making a choice, consider the consequences: does it nourish happiness, create good karma?
Dorothy has been functioning within the law of mind action – as we all do –
The law of mind action is the third principle in our five basic Unity principles, which says that we create our lives and our world by what we hold in mind. Dorothy is reaping the fruit of her chaotic thoughts and her choices. Up to this point she’s been impulsive and reactive and has now found herself in greater trouble.
So, Dorothy could have made better choices like: not unnecessarily walking past Miss Gulch’s house, not refusing to cope with Kansas, and not running away from her problems.