On the meaning of Oz / by Oliver Ayrton

We are trying to find our way "home".

We are trying to find our way "home".

The project has been inspired by the pop culture phenomenon that is The Wizard of Oz but it also draws inspiration from some personal experiences and spiritual themes. 

First of all, The Wizard of Oz explores one of the oldest themes of philosophy: is reality "real" or is it a dream? For centuries, philosophers and sages have observed the dream-like nature of reality: seemingly solid and physically tangible, but simultaneously illusory and fleeting. As Dorothy passes from her world into the world of "Oz" (and comes back again) she experiences a strange familiarity about the characters she meets. This strange familiarity, or deja vu, is a well-documented phenomenon.

Secondly, the idea of human fallibility or "incompleteness" is a powerful theme that underscores the misery of human existence. Each of the main characters is missing either a biological part or a virtue: the Scarecrow has no brain, the Tin Man has no heart, and the Cowardly Lion lacks courage! Dorothy is of course searching for home. The idea that we are "missing parts" is really a metaphor that we as human are fundamentally flawed beings.

However, the wonderful thing about being human is that we are capable of profound inner and outer transformation. Each of us is indeed a "wizard" - capable of unlimited love, compassion, kindness and infinite growth! We only have to realise that the key to self-transformation does not lie without - it lies deep within!