“A Meet-and-Greet With the Wizard” is excerpted and adapted
from the 33 Gateway Lane unpublished manuscript
WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!
An exploration and celebration of L. Frank Baum’s masterpiece of metaphysics
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
SURVEYING THE TERRITORY OF OZ
Without a shadow of doubt, for me and many others, the most comprehensive, simple, magical, and elegant of all blueprints of metaphysics is the classic, distinctively American tale written by L. Frank Baum and first published in 1900 titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Here is a sublime instance where the ever-popular 1939 movie THE WIZARD OF OZ
brilliantly captures the spirit of the book. Additionally, I saw the theatrical musical stage production of “The Wiz” in Charleston, South Carolina back in the late 1970s on its second national tour. I’m delighted to report that the stage musical “gets it right” as well and
captures the spirited essence of the source material.
A witty movie summary written by Rick Polio
that was first published in a TV listing some years back
I first saw the movie version of “The Wiz” back in 1979 in an open-air cinema in
LaMaddalena, Sardinia, Italy. Well — it is a noble effort. Noteworthy about the film is that at the time of its release, it gave a high-profile boost to the incomparable Lena Horne who went on to take Broadway by storm with her triumphant one-woman stage show “The Lady and Her Music”. I had the good fortune of seeing the show in Minneapolis when she took it on tour. If you want to experience and get a full-on view of true self-mastery and being “at the center of the beam”, get the soundtrack or video recording of “The Lady and Her Music”, or view it view YouTube. It is a riveting excursion into what is explored at 33 Gateway Lane as the Fifth Dimension or Level – actually, the same dimension and position of self-mastery as represented by the title character of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
But that’s getting ahead of our story.
The scope of “A Meet-and-Greet With the Wizard” is to briefly introduce the “Realm of Four” concept explored at 33 Gateway Lane.
4 REALMS OF BEING WIZARD OF OZ
Emotion Tin Man
Given the universally well-known 1939 movie classic THE WIZARD OF OZ, that beloved cinematic adventure is utilized as the forum of correspondence in this brief introduction. Be assured that the primary conceptual and contextual themes considered here which are addressed via the movie correspond to the original source material. For anyone deprived of familiarity with THE WIZARD OF OZ, be advised this material contains spoilers!
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale lives with Uncle Henry and Auntie Em, along with farmhands Hunk, Zeke, Hunk, and Hickory. Area prominent landowner Miss Gulch arrives at the farm with legal documents in hand to take Dorothy’s beloved pet pooch, Toto, to be put down because he is supposedly a menace to the community. This clearly
demonstrates what a wicked witch and bully that Miss Gulch is to want to do that to Toto!
Toto escapes from that wicked witch of a Miss Gulch and high tails it back to Dorothy, who decides to run away from home in her determination to save Toto. Enroute to nowhere in particular, she comes across traveling showman Professor Marvel who, through obvious sleight-of-hand, pretends to see Auntie Em becoming ill. Dorothy and Toto rush home while a tornado in the vicinity builds form and force. Uncle Henry, Auntie Em, and the farmhands take shelter in the storm cellar, but due to the storm cannot hear Dorothy
banging on the door to gain entry. Desperate and confused, Dorothy runs into the house with Toto, where she is knocked unconscious. She later regains consciousness and finds that the house has been swept up to the sky and into the eye of the tornado.
The house lands with a thud, and Dorothy finds herself in the technicolor Land of Oz, meeting Glinda the Good Witch of the North, along with the Munchkins who were
terrorized by the Wicked Witch of the East until Dorothy’s house squashed her. The newly deceased witch has a sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, who appears on the scene to investigate the situation, only to discover that Glinda has magically transferred the coveted Ruby Slippers from the feet of the dead witch onto Dorothy’s feet. The Wicked Witch of the West leaves, vowing to obtain the shoes and wreak havoc with Dorothy and Toto. Glinda advises Dorothy to journey to Emerald City via the Yellow Brick Road and solicit help from the great and powerful mysterious Wizard of Oz to get back to Kansas.
FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD !
Dorothy and Toto follow the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City, being joined by three
companions along the way — Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion — who seek a brain, a heart, and courage respectively.
Whether it is the original book or the movie version one contemplates, the plot depicts four characters joining forces on a quest. Significantly, first there is Dorothy who is joined along the way by Scarecrow, next by Tin Man, and last but certainly not least by Lion. Noteworthy here is that each of the three creatures is invited to join the team – Dorothy invites Scarecrow to join her; Dorothy and Scarecrow agree to invite Tin Man; and the three are in accord to invite Lion.
In this quest, the four characters emerge as the archetypes of those qualities or human
natures for which they adventure. They are introduced in the story, effectively and
appropriately, in the “Top-Down” functionality or sequential order of the four-tier
psychological model of Intuition / Intellect / Emotion / Instinct explored at 33 Gateway Lane.
First there is Dorothy, seeking her balance or center of self in the concept of home, the
essential nature of Fire or one can say mastery of the Intuitive World. This is representative of the Intuition level of awareness.
Second is Scarecrow seeking his authentic sense of intellect, the essential nature of the
element Air or one can say mastery of the Intellectual World. This is representative of the Intellectual level of awareness.
Third is Tin Man seeking his authentic self of heart, the essential nature of the element
Water or one can say mastery of the Emotive World. This is representative of the Emotional level of awareness.
Fourth is Lion seeking his authentic self of courage, the essential nature of the element
Earth or one can say mastery of the Instinctive World. This is representative of the
Instinctual level of awareness.
The four comrades — and Toto too! — adventure to Emerald City and learn the Wizard of Oz sees no visitors. Eventually they are given an audience primarily because Dorothy has the Ruby Slippers. The Wizard of Oz appears as a giant head made from smoke and fire. The “great and powerful” Oz demands they kill the Wicked Witch of the West and bring her broomstick to him in return for granting their requests.
THE TEAM IN PERFORMANCE
The comrades venture via the Haunted Forest to get to the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West, but she sends her magically enslaved flying monkeys that capture Dorothy and Toto and wreak havoc with Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. At her castle, the Wicked Witch of the West decides to kill Dorothy to get the Ruby Slippers. Toto escapes, locates
Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, and leads them to the castle to save Dorothy. In the course of the four comrades escaping the castle, they become surrounded by the Wicked Witch of the West’s magically enslaved soldiers, the Winkies.
The Wicked Witch of the West arrives and sets Scarecrow on fire! Dorothy douses the flames with a bucket of water, inadvertently splashing the Wicked Witch of the West and causing her to melt and die, leaving her broomstick. The Winkies are happy to be free of the spellbinding cruelty of the Wicked Witch of the West, and ceremoniously bestow the broomstick to Dorothy.
We see time and again during the course of the quest how each of the four characters demonstrate those qualities which they are questing to obtain, even though they
individually do not recognize that fact.
These four archetypal characters represent the four natures or psychological Levels of
Being each and every one of us have – Intuition, Intellect, Emotion, and Instinct. They
collide on the journey to Oz and join forces as a team. Through their quest, we see how successful they are in their respective quests which unify or integrate to one quest – significantly, by working in concert with one another. As an adventure that overtly demonstrates integrative teamwork, they proceed on a collaborative effort to obtain the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West. And succeed!
CATALYST OF CONSCIOUS AWARENESS
The comrades return to Emerald City with the broom, but the Wizard of Oz starts stalling in fulfilling his end of the bargain. Toto pulls aside a curtain, revealing the Wizard of Oz is not at all an intimidating, frightening big head of smoke and fire!
The humanesque Wizard of Oz proceeds to demonstrate manifested innate wisdom and bestows upon Scarecrow a diploma, bestows upon Tin Man a large pocket watch, and bestows upon Lion a medal. These are symbols of the activated conscious awareness in them that they had possessed what they wanted all along. As for Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz reveals he is originally from Kansas and will take Dorothy and Toto home in his hot air balloon.
TRIUMPHANT HOMECOMING FROM THE QUEST
The Wizard and Dorothy prepare to depart, but Toto pursues a cat, causing Dorothy to chase him. The Wizard’s balloon takes off, leaving Dorothy and Toto in Oz. Glinda arrives and reveals to Dorothy that she had the power to go home all along. However, the four comrades recognize that had Dorothy and Toto left for Kansas right away, they would have never met each other nor gone on the quest! In that scenario, Scarecrow would still be hanging in conflicted suspended animation on the pole in the cornfield, Tin Man would still be frozen in place with rust, and Lion would still be acting like a bully due to his innate belief in his cowardice. Happily for all, that is not how it played out!
After an emotional farewell with her comrades, Dorothy follows Glinda’s instructions,
clicking the heels of her Ruby Slippers three times and repeating “There’s no place like home”. Yes — like Scarecrow’s diploma, Tin Man’s pocket watch, and Lion’s medal — the Ruby Slippers are Dorothy’s symbol of her conscious awareness that she had possessed all along the quest but needed to activate herself.
Dorothy awakens back in Kansas with Toto, with her family and Professor Marvel and Hunk, Zeke, and Hickory arriving at her bedside. Dorothy learns that her adventures may have been a dream, but it taught her that “there’s no place like home”!
AT THE CENTER OF THE BEAM
I think like a lot of people, I considered Dorothy the centerpiece of the story – that it is her story. But then one day it occurred to me – the book is NOT called How Dorothy Gets Home or Dorothy’s Excellent Adventure. She isn’t even the title character! The book is called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I came to believe that title is really a stroke of inspired genius by the author L. Frank Baum – a clue planted, perhaps unconsciously. It is known and
documented that L. Frank Baum believed in reincarnation, traveled on his own spiritual quest with Theosophy as a primary guiding light, and filled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with esoteric concepts and symbolism.
The Wizard emerges as the archetype of an enterprising spirit in action, full of follies and foibles and fun manifest out of his four natures as represented by the four characters through which Spirit is actively manifest in the first place. The quest both is and is not about finding the Wizard, and in the quest the four characters demonstrate time and again those qualities of being they thought they did not possess. To drive the point home for each of the four, the team must obtain the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West to
ostensibly satisfy the requisite of the Wizard – whereby they learn very valuable truths about Perception and Perspective. Not only does the unifying factor or Element of the
Wizard encourage the four to successfully integrate in relationship by the thread of respect,
lovingkindness, and affection that flows between them. The Wizard guides each of the four to conscious awareness and self-orientation — individually on their own respective Levels, and collectively in the Enterprising Spirit that is the Wizard.
In the end, we see the Wizard in performance whereby he is the integrating and integrated character or Element, and he actively demonstrates what a great Wizard he becomes. He becomes the actualized or realized Element explored at 33 Gateway Lane as the
Fifth Dimension. The Wizard is indeed “more” than he saw himself to be — greater than the sum of the four-tier spectrum.
We get on a roll in discovering such considerations to a greater degree because of Toto. Oh, I know, you thought I was going to forget Toto! No way. While technically outside the scope of consideration here, it would simply be unfair to neglect the major role of Toto in the quest. Toto symbolizes the primal Force of Nature. The Force of Nature is what
evil-doers want to pervert and control. When they learn they cannot control it, they
foolishly believe they can and/or must destroy it. Cosmic justice and balance is attained because by attempting to commit that destruction which is not possible, evil-doers only
destroy themselves. Naturally, evil-doers (and other misguided egos) do not generally know that and cannot comprehend the concept — like the ding-dong dead wicked witches.
As Force, Toto is in sync with the Elements of his domain of Nature – Earth (Lion), Water (Tin Man), Air (Scarecrow), and Fire (Dorothy). Nature is not aware of time; it functions in a perpetual state of IS. Further, Toto can recognize the unnatural nature of evil because Toto is natural and consequently exposes and efforts to morph all that is unnatural — actually without any particular intentionality to do so. For in the end, Nature is the pervasive Force with which we as Enterprising Spirits of Form function in accord.
Archetypes and analogies, fables and foibles, synchronicity and symbolism – it is through such glass prisms that we can see ourselves more clearly – albeit often darkly. And the
Yellow Brick Road is there for us like a beacon of enlightenment.
We are really all Wizards of a sort: at the center of our being and human spirits in action, each with our own four natures that through the quest of life includes the Winged Monkeys and assorted Witches of the Four Directions work to fuse into one unified character of
being and becoming. It is through that fusion whereby our locus of control is not divided or compartmentalized into four arenas, but the spirit that is made dynamic by unification is manifest as the conduit through which one is master of one’s fate, captain of one’s soul – and certainly a Wizard of magic-making and wonder!
PILGRIMAGE OF THE ENTERPRISING SPIRIT
Years ago I journeyed the couple miles north from my residence to the marvelous restored Alex Theatre in Glendale, California where a newly processed print of “The Wizard of Oz” was being screened. It was quite the celebration, and a terrifically fun experience. There was Dorothy up there on a humongous movie screen – I of course had never seen the movie in a theater — singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, the song notoriously and
famously almost cut from the movie that went on to win an Oscar! And of course there was the ostensibly serendipitous team dancing down the Yellow Brick Road with increasing
discernment along the way — full of evolving determination, discipline, and definition. In the spirit of increasing hope and intensifying comradeship, they join forces – and in the process they calibrate from becoming to being.
Judy Garland as Dorothy muses on the possibilities of life someplace else
I was dense and myopic enough to not realize that not everyone present at the screening had grown up watching the movie once a year on television. Or more recently had gotten their hands on a copy of the movie on the latest technology — at the time, a laser disc or VHS! The full-capacity, international crowd included lots of children who were taking their first quest with the four comrades – as well as adults who had likewise never encountered the Wicked Witch of the West, winged monkeys, and a glittering pair of Ruby Slippers. How strange it seemed that not everyone had done the quest in the Land of Oz time and again! But see it now they most certainly could – and most certainly participate in the quest they did.
Viewing “The Wizard of Oz” on the big screen and being part of that engaged audience
evidenced that this beloved story on celluloid still beguiles, engages, enchants. And can still inspire the enterprising spirit to quest in attaining the potential for the wonderful
wizard to manifest in each of us.
The Great Conversation goes ever on!
“OUT WHERE THE FOUR WINDS MEET”
The other day I drove a couple miles east from my residence to the world-renowned Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. There, adjacent to a little shaded lane, is the final resting place of L. Frank Baum. I swing by there from time to time to pay my respects. And wherever his Enterprising Spirit currently quests, I have no doubt he hears my silent prayer of appreciative thanksgiving.
Lena Horne in The Lady and Her Music performing “Believe in Yourself” from THE WIZ
33 GATEWAY LANE COMMENTS
Numerous questions and queries to 33 Gateway Lane regarding this post have concerned the correspondence with Tarot. Here is that vantage point from 33 Gateway Lane:
Intuition Dorothy Wands Fire (MBTI – NT)
Intellect Scarecrow Swords Air (MBTI – ST)
Emotion Tin Man Cups Water (MBTI – NF)
Instinct Lion Pentacles Earth (MBTI – SF)
Thank you for your interest!
As a psychological PLATFORM, MODEL, or MATRIX of personality (constructed upon the four unique characters / Levels), each individual is “home based” in one of the four Worlds as symbolized by Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion. If you can’t determine your “home World” or representative character on your own, take the MBTI personality assessment (free link in the RESOURCES page). When you have your four-letter MBTI Type code, identify the two inside letters. Dorothy = NT; Scarecrow = ST; Tin Man = NF; Lion = SF.
As a psychological PROCESS or FUNCTION (“follow the Yellow Brick Road” / the hero’s journey), each individual has all four Levels and needs to work with all four of them in the individuation and self-realization process or journey. This is addressed per MBTI as well, but is outside the scope of this post.
33 Gateway Lane addresses both concepts introduced above in the workbook “SUM AND SUBSTANCE — An Orientation Matrix” to be posted at a later date.