Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west
We’re back at Oz, checking out what’s been happening to Dorothy and her friends. We’ve come a long way from drab Kansas. But we also have learned that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes asking for adventure doesn’t turn out as the adventure we were thinking about, does it?
This week our leading question is: Have you been, unconsciously, letting others steal your energy?
We all unconsciously compete for energy with each other.
Did you know that?
But we do not need to surrender our energy. And you do not need to rob energy from others either.
The need to give control to others and the addictive need to dominate are both obstacles to spiritual enlightenment.
The true energy we all seek flows abundantly from the creative source of the universe.
When Dorothy and her trio ask the Wizard for help, after he bullies them, he gives them “a very small task.” But it’s not small at all…to bring him the Wicked Witch’s broomstick.
The Wizard is attempting to shatter their confidence in the process of attempting to prove their worthiness. He’s making promises but attaching conditions thus creating dependency. But this is false dependency since we know the Wizard is not all-knowing as he claims. Otherwise, why not do this small task himself or even trade the ruby slippers for our three friends’ requests.
It seems that he is fearful of the Wicked Witch himself and so bullies Dorothy & crew do his dirty work. Dorothy & friends allow themselves to be denigrated and controlled by the Wizard, letting the Wizard steal energy from the Wicked Witch by gaining her broom and therefore, control the energy flow in Oz.
Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch plans to win all the energy by robbing Dorothy.
This is almost like a daytime soap opera!
The only way our friends can circumvent these pathetic control dramas is by consciously recognizing these destructive energy dynamics. “Becoming aware of a power struggle allows you to consciously choose whether to continue it, transform it, or rise above it.’
Of course, the Wicked Witch may feel justified going after Dorothy; after all, the ruby slippers were her sisters. But, like Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch is a deeply disturbed individual. She uses black-magic to control others and acquire more power – all to compensate for her deep-seated neuroses.
Greene tells us, “Inner peace is the harmony between conflicting forces. It is the balance between decency and indecency, between morality and immorality, between spiritual consciousness and base animal needs. When you are wicked, you disrupt this balance.”
The more you embrace evil, the bigger this chasm becomes, making it easier for your wickedness to continue which is why Glinda said, “Only bad witches are ugly.”
To feel in control, the Wicked Witch is obsessed with controlling others – the Winged Monkeys, the Winkie Guards, Dorothy, and ultimately Emerald City.
In Zen, monkeys symbolize the madness of an unbalanced mind, maybe why the witch surrounds herself with the Winged Monkeys.
The witch, like Miss Gulch, is a heartless coward, unconsciously convinced that controlling all of Oz and subjugating all its inhabitants will compensate for her inability to overcome her unresolved subconscious conflicts, like her inability to overcome her lack of self-worth, perhaps created from sibling rivalry with her sister.
Like Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch does not accept herself as she is, craving recognition and acquisition as substitutes for love. Thus, her need for control, but what she really needs is control of herself.
Of course, that control only comes about when you discover your True Self and awaken the inner spark within you. This unlocks your rich creative potential.
Here’s a story…see if you can figure out who has the low self-esteem?
A man went to the local barber. He mentioned that he was taking a trip to Rome.
“I hear that Rome is overrated,” said the barber. “The hotels are substandard and over-priced. The streets are a nightmare. Italians are rude to Americans. You really won’t like it.”
The man protested, “But I’ve been saving for years to make this trip. Besides, there is a good chance that I will be able to get an audience with the Pope.”
The barber gave him a skeptical look. “I wouldn’t count on that if I were you,” he said. “The Pope only gives audiences to really important people.”
A couple of weeks later the man returned to the barber shop.
“How was your trip?” the barber asked.
Oh, it was great!” the man answered. “The city was beautiful, the hotel was fantastic, Italian people were so friendly, and I got to see the Pope.”
The barber couldn’t believe it. “You saw the Pope?”
“That’s right, “said the man. “I bent down and kissed his ring.”
“Wow!” Said the barber, “Did he say anything?”
“Yes, he did,” replied the man. “He looked down at my head while I was kneeling and said, “What a lousy haircut!”
According to William Bausch in “The Yellow Brick Road – A Storyteller’s Approach to the Spiritual Journey,” low self-esteem presents itself in 10 possible ways:
1. All-or-nothing thinking: pg.126
2. Overgeneralization: see a single event as a never-ending pattern of defeat; using words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ when they speak.
3. Mental filtering: will pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively
4. Discounting the positive: reject positive experiences insisting they do not count. Pg. 128-129
5. Jumping to conclusions: interprets things negatively when there are no facts to support their conclusions.
6. Magnification: exaggerate the importance of their problems and shortcomings.
7. Emotional reasoning: assuming their negative emotions reflect the way things really are – “I feel guilty, I must be a rotten person”
8. ‘Should’ statements: things SHOULD be the way they hoped or expected them to be
9. Labeling: the extreme of all-or-nothing thinking – instead of saying “I made a mistake” they say, “I’m a loser”.
10. Personalization and blame: hold themselves personally responsible for events that aren’t under their control.
Having lost her inner connection with the source of all energy, the Wicked Witch resorts to manipulation to steal energy from others. She fails to grasp the basic Zen principle by Lao-tzu, “For every force there is a counterforce. Violence, even well-intentioned, always rebounds upon itself.”
The Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West both need to clear away their past programming for controlling the flow of energy. They use intimidation to create an aura of power, when in fact they are most isolated from universal energy.
Dorothy and her friends need to clear away their past programming to prevent others from controlling them and take control of their own lives. Instead they reacted to the control drama by being meek and small to elicit sympathy to regain the flow of energy.
We can break free from a pattern of control by discovering our true Self, by tapping into the universal source of all energy, become aware of the controlling dramas. Instead of trying to elicit sympathy, use our compassion to help others like the three friends did for Dorothy.
Instead of intimidation, drop the illusion of power and use your leadership skills to help others get in touch with their true power.
If you refuse to give up your control like the Wicked Witch, you will eventually self-destruct. “Good always prevails over evil because evil ultimately dissolves itself.”
Just look at the demise of the Wicked Witch, melting from the water splashed on her as Dorothy threw it on the Scare Crow’s burning arm: “Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?”
From the Tao Te Ching:
Nothing in the world
Is as soft and yielding as water
Yet, for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
Nothing can surpass it.
So, we can see from this weeks’ Lesson that: Self-knowledge + self-acceptance = self-esteem
GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
“The Wizard of Oz – Surrender Dorothy”
This week we get to talk a little about our main character, Dorothy.
Joey Green tells us, “Your hearts’ desire is your destiny” but then he reminds us that we must first give up our attachment to the outcome.
It’s not giving up intention, just the attachment to the result. In this way we give over, we surrender to the creative intelligence of the cosmos. Go with the flow…allow it to unfold before you.
Dorothy certainly did surrender to the tornado! She got her dream of adventure, but certainly not what she thought it would be.
But she DID get to see things from a different perspective. We’ve discussed our perspective several times over the years. It’s important to remember that what you are seeing is most often NOT the whole picture.
Here’s an example from William Bausch’s book, “The Yellow Brick Road – A Storytellers Approach to the Spiritual Journey.”
Told from a missionary’s viewpoint…” At one time, myself and a family – a mother, a father and two children-were living in the same quarters in China, all under house arrest. We had been under house arrest for several years and we were living somewhat comfortably. One day a soldier came and told the family, “You can all return to America, but you may take only two hundred pounds of belongings with you, no more, no less.”
Well, we had been there for two years. Two hundred pounds. So, the family got a scale, and then the arguments started between the husband and the wife and the two children: “I must have this vase.” “I must take this typewriter; it’s almost new.” “I must have these books.” “I must take this…I must take that.”
And so, they weighed everything, took off, weighed it, put back on. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally they got it just precisely on the dot: two hundred pounds.
The soldier returned the next day and said, “ready to go?” The parents said, “Yes.” He said, “Did you weigh everything?” They said, “Yes.” “Did you weigh your kids?” “No, we didn’t.” He said, “Weigh the kids.”
And in a moment, off went the typewriter, off went the vase, off went the books, into the trash. All the things that they thought they could not do without-into the trash.
This family certainly saw things differently when faced with a tough but really simple choice.
When the Wicked Witch of the West writes; “Surrender Dorothy” across the sky, it’s obvious, Dorothy has attracted an enemy. But she doesn’t let the Wicked Witch deter her until her precious Toto is threatened. She will eventually face some choices and in the end, she choose to remain with her intent to return to Kansas and her Aunt Em.
Dorothy has attracted a serious enemy in the Wicked Witch of the West. But even our worst enemy has something to teach us. The Witch’s ruthless desire to gain the ruby slippers inadvertently teaches Dorothy how to detach from her own burning desire.
Can you recall lessons learned from people or situations that, at the time, you might have considered the enemy?
Were they permanent lessons or do you have to go through that situation one more time?
The tornado certainly seemed to be an answer to Dorothy’s dream for a life more than dreary Kansas. Now she has choices: she can stay in Technicolor Munchkinland and be a heroine. Her only threat is the Wicked Witch of the West who threatens her: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.”
Glinda lets Dorothy know that the ruby slippers will protect her. Remember, the slippers are our ‘inner spark.’
Why does Dorothy wish to return to drab Kansas? She could live as a hero in Munchkinland, protected by the ruby slippers and Glinda. It was her dream, after all, to go somewhere over the rainbow and now she’s in the colorful land of Oz, she wants to go back.
Isn’t that surrendering? Isn’t she forsaking her dream?
Does Dorothy really belong in Munchkinland? Under these circumstances, some would say she was a freak, a giant, and probably worse. She’d be a minority of one, forever out of step with the citizenry.
In a sense, these are the same reasons she had to leave Kansas – she was the only one to stand up to Miss Gulch, even though, Miss Gulch owned half the county.
Dorothy could also make Emerald City her home, after all, the citizens welcomed her with open arms. And when the Wizard finally agreed to see them and asked for the ‘very small task’ of the Wicked Witches broomstick, they could have said no and just stayed in the city.
Again, there’s no future for Dorothy in the Emerald City. The citizens just laugh all day, wake at noon, start work at one, take an hour for lunch and finish work by two.
Dorothy is much more ambitious – just look at all she’s done already to get to Emerald City.
And again, Dorothy could live in the Wicked Witch’s castle now that she is dead. The green faced Winkie Guards and blue faced Winged Monkeys were pleased that the witch was dead. “Hail to Dorothy! The Wicked Witch is Dead.”
Living there goes against Dorothy’s nature.
Ever feel like that…like you don’t belong? You searched for a Spiritual Family and you belong here.
When it looks as if her last chance to return to Kansas floats away with the balloon, she says, “But this could never be like Kansas,” insinuating that there are no dreams for her to dream in Oz.
DO you remember, she gave up on her dream to explore when she ran back to the farm after Professor Marvel tricked her into wanted to go back to Auntie EM.
There’s a difference between desire and intent. The Desire to return to Kansas includes attachment to the outcome. It becomes an obsession.
An intention has no attachment. Dorothy intends to return to Kansas but has no attachment to the outcome. There is no longer an obsession.
By letting go of our desire and by participating with detached involvement, you open up to infinite possibilities.
Dorothy never seems to give up her attachment of her goal. She never seems to put her life on the line for anyone. In fact, many would say she is nothing more than a self-centered child.
Getting sent to bed without supper to save Toto from Miss Gulch is hardly a self-sacrifice. And running away never thinking what it would do to Aunt Em & Uncle Henry is a cowardly act,
In Oz, the Scare Crow, Tin Man & Lion all risk their lives for Dorothy.
Only when she surrenders the ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch to save Toto does she sacrifice herself to the witch’s mercy. She also surrenders her desire to get back to Kansas, but not her intention.
Dorothy believed her chance to return to Kansas left with the balloon, so her desire left with it. But she still intended to go, but the obsession is gone.
Only when Glinda comes does she see things from a different perspective, in this case, from within, using her ‘inner spark’, her ruby slippers.
If only we all had a pair of ruby slippers…..but we do! We all have that inner spark that can guide us if we would just connect to it.
Let’s do that now in meditation.
Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – If I were king of the forest
We meet the third companion of Dorothy’s this week. So far, you have had opportunity to meet and possibly relate to: Dorothy, Toto, Miss Gulch, the Munchkins, Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scare Crow and the Tin Man.
Each has had something to share with us. And it’s possible that we relate to more than one character.
This week we meet the Cowardly Lion. But is he really a coward?
Your true Self doesn’t fear any challenge. It is neither inferior nor superior to anyone. Pure consciousness, our True Self, is unencumbered by insecurities, apprehension or the need for approval or control.
Unfortunately, our thinking and behavior in the material world is generally based on fear. The Lion, trying to look fierce, attempts to intimidate the Tin Man and the Scare Crow. When that doesn’t work, he chases Toto, causing Dorothy to slap him on the nose causing the Lion to cry.
Dorothy meets two other cowards in Oz; the Wicked Witch of the West and the Wizard. They each pick on Dorothy and her companions, resorting to name calling and threats.
Cowards feel compelled to conquer others to compensate for the fact that they have not conquered themselves. Green tells us; “All relationships reflect your relationship with yourself.”
What the Lion craves is to be king of the forest, but really, he wishes to be king over himself. All the external things that the companions are asking for will not fill this void in our existence. Only discovering your true Self will start you on the path toward spiritual fulfillment.
Clearly, the Lion wishes to be king for the wrong reasons.
And, looking at ourselves, if we need to subjugate others to compensate for our insecurities, we become a cruel and selfish ruler – like the Witch and the Wizard.
When you become king over yourself, you become a compassionate and caring leader, like Glinda.
The Tao puts it this way: “He who has power over others cannot empower himself.”
True power stems from power over yourself.
The Lion confuses courage with intimidation, bullying. A courageous individual does not resort to either of these. Like the Wizard and the Wicked Witch, the Lion yearns for power merely to validate himself.
People with the talent for leadership express power to serve. They do not need to resort to intimidation or bullying.
To be the king of the forest the Lion must cast away his need for power and control. And we must do the same if we wish to get in touch with our spiritual essence. We must re-discover our higher Self and re-member our life’s purpose.
We are here, in this body for a unique cosmic purpose…what is it? What are your talents? We all have them. Then how can you use these talents to help others?
Courage flows when we use our talents for the benefit of others because we are being true to ourselves.
Lao-tsu wrote; “There is no greater illusion than fear.”
That is an amazing statement.
Think about it…. fear is an illusion.
What fears are holding you back from your true Self?
If they are illusions, what can you do to remove them from your beliefs?
One fear that the Lion may be struggling with is accepting himself. There’s several hints that the Lion may actually be gay, several times the stereotyped limp wrist is presented in the story, and he receives a perm and bow at the Wash & Brush Up Company; he calls himself a ‘dandelion’, and when the guard refuses to let them in to see the Wizard, he laments, ‘And I got a permanent just for the occasion.”
Maybe part of the Lion’s problem is his refusal to accept his sexual orientation. That IS an issue for many, and it is interesting that the issue is presented in a story from 1900.
And it doesn’t have to be a gay issue. Many of us have struggled with accepting a part of our selves.
The Lion overcomes his fears when his love for Dorothy is put to the test, when she is taken prisoner in the Witches castle.
Lao-tse again tells us, “Because of deep love, one is courageous.”
When the foursome return to the Wizard with the Witches broomstick, the Lion is awarded the Triple Cross ‘for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches” the Wizard tells the Lion “he is under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You’re confusing courage with wisdom.”
We must understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which the Lion does frequently.
The Scare Crow, the Tin Man, and the Lion are given positions in Oz, beyond what the Lion even dreamed.
And we too can access the infinite potential of the cosmos, freeing yourself to experience life as a miraculous expression of love.
We must link with the cosmos, connect with our true Self and share our gifts with others.