Dorothy’s Dream – “The Epiphany of Our Lord” January 6, 2011

I was thinking of Dorothy and her friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion on their perilous journey to the mighty Wizard of Oz seeking to be changed. Dorothy simply wanted to return home. She said “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” This is more than a nice sentiment. It reflects the human need to belong, to have a fixed abode. An abode intends the abiding of something whose nature it is to stay, to remain, to be grounded. The human that has its origin in the earth, in the ground, seeks again to be grounded, to return to its source and origin. Adam, Eve, Dorothy and myself, all have the desire to return, to be reunited with our source in such a way that the primordial unity that prevailed before Adam may be restored. The return is redemption, making whole again what has been ruptured, torn apart, broken. Dorothy’s friends disclose a similar urge. The Scarecrow as Agrarian; the Tin Man as Industry; the Cowardly Lion as Nature all seek something that is missing, that is absent, without which they are not themselves: brains, heart, courage. Will we not be better with Intellect, Compassion and Courage as characteristics of a civil society? Dorothy’s friends all become leaders when they receive what they thought was missing from their lives. When they become themselves they discover that they have been transformed. Return, redemption, transformation all speak to a healing that is necessary for what is human, what is natural and what is social. It is curious that the mighty Wizard of Oz did not have the power to grant the wishes of these travelers, and yet they were healed. I remember the miracle of the healing of the ten lepers. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest. “And as they went they were healed.” (Luke 17:14). I conclude from this that it is the journey itself that is healing, a journey of self-discovery and awakening on which I am from birth to death. Dorothy, like Alice in the Wonderland, begins the journey only after she has fallen asleep. Only after Adam is put to sleep does Eve appear. Sleep transports me to the dimension of the unconscious in which is mapped out tomorrow’s journey. Wordsworth’s Ulysses says in that great poem, “Come, my friends, it’s not too late to seek a newer world.” The journey begins.

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