The Wisdom of OZ


“This is the ultimate purpose of man…to find the One which is in him…which is his truth…which is his Soul; the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life…the heavenly kingdom within.” – Unknown

Religious suppression is gradually being replaced by spiritual freedom; a freedom that has opened the door to the “Self-awareness” movement. Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung too far. Many of us run to the latest “new age,” self-help, inspirational best seller, searching for the answer. We seek the most popular healer and run from astrologer to psychic. We turn to Oprah to find the latest noteable “guru du jour,” searching for the key to life. Where is it? Who has it? How can we get it?

The answer lies in an allegory in one of the most famous children’s stories of all time, a story that has been passed down through four generations. Although it is highly probable that L. Frank Baum did not intend The Wizard of Oz to hold such a powerful inner meaning, we can find the key to life by turning this timeless tale into a personal metaphor.

Dorothy leaves Kansas to flee the oppression of her challenges. She’s caught in a horrid storm of chaos and dropped into an uncharted mystical world. She asks for help and a guardian appears and tells her to follow the path. She meets like-minded travelers on her journey who are seeking to fill their own emptiness. Together they trek a perilous road to Oz in search of the wizard who allegedly has their answers. The path to Oz is riddled with distractions and challenges, but they eventually arrive at their destination, expecting the wizard to provide the answers they seek.

The wizard portrays himself as the all-knowing, all-powerful being who has the key to everything they need. He sends them away, demanding they do particular deeds to win his favor; only “then” will he give them what they came for. Their journey leads them to conquering their greatest adversaries, only to return to the wizard, who they still believe holds the key. The wizard accidentally exposes his true self and finally, in a moment of personal honesty, divulges that he too is just a man on a journey. He graciously explains that he doesn’t have their answers. He tells them that what they have been searching for is already within them.

Dorothy, the heroine, is happy her companions have found what they came for, but she is still no further along then when she started her journey. She feared her only hope in returning home was gone. She cried for help and her guardian appeared. In one of the greatest spiritual moments of this children’s fairy tale, the Good Witch, Glinda, told Dorothy the power was with her all along. She didn’t need the wizard or anyone else. All she had to do was…you know the answer…click your heels three times and repeat… “there is no place like home, there is no place like home, there is no place like home.”

Our soul is our ruby slippers, and it has always known the way home. Whatever journey we take ultimately leads us home to the wisdom within. It isn’t wrong to seek mentors to help guide our path. The challenge is that we are inundated with self-help information and Hollywood gurus who seemingly have an answer that we don’t. We start to believe that they, those we consider more evolved, have the key to our life. If we are constantly seeking to find our inner wisdom by believing that we can’t find it, we won’t find it. We will follow a path that continues to lead us outside of ourselves, and the voice of our soul will become distant and faint, replaced by the chatter of those we think have our answers.

We are the offspring of a Divine Power that created the universe and everything in it. We may never be able to label it, or define it, but we can intuitively feel it, hear it and know it. Since we are the creation of something Divine, the DNA of that “great something,” whatever you want to call it, lives within US. That Divine DNA is our soul and it has a voice, an intuitive inner voice that is constantly trying to reach us.

The voice of our soul may guide us through mentors who have wisdom that can help us on our path, but we are not meant to rely on someone else to unlock our own inner wisdom. Books, healers, intuitives or whomever we may seek point us to the understanding that WE have the answers. We are not meant to put someone else on a pedestal, believing they are the great wizard of Oz, the answer to our dreams.

Learning to unlock our own inner wisdom IS the key to life. The voice of our soul is connected to the Divine wisdom that lives (over the rainbow) beyond the veil of this earth plane. Our spiritual guides, guardians and loved ones are waiting to help us on our soul path. They are waiting to help lead us home; not to die, but to live our Divine potential.

Detach from the chaos of life by shutting down technology for a brief time every day. Stop running from person to person to find your answers. Access the Divine wisdom of your own soul. Spend quiet time listening to its advice. Seek only those who reinforce your own ability to find your answers. If the chaos of your adult life has created such a serious path, return to the wise child within. Watch The Wizard of Oz and find the powerful inner message of this timeless tale. This time, let your soul quietly repeat the profound message Glinda spoke to Dorothy: “You’ve always had the power.”

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Lenni Garin
Lenni Garin is the minister at Key to Life Center and founder of "Keyology." She also is the author of "Soul of an Addict" and "The 7 Spiritual Steps to Sobriety." Key to Life Center's Sunday services are at 10:30 a.m. in Plymouth, MN. "Soul of an Addict" support meetings are at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday. For more information, visit Key to Life's website, and email or call Lenni.


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