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Re: L. Frank Baum and theosophy

Oct 10, 1995 00:39 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to David Parker:
> Greetings to all on the Theos-lists.
> I have been intrigued by the notion that the "Wizard of Oz" series of
> children's books reflect L. Frank Baum's belief in Theosophical
> principles. John Algeo's articles in THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST ("A Notable
> Theosophist: L. Frank Baum," Aug./Sept. 1986, and "The Wizard of Oz: The
> Perilous Journey," Oct. 1986) offer a good starting place, but I wonder if
> others on these lists have any ideas, comments, etc.
> I will appreciate hearing from folks, either on- or off-list
> (
> Many thanks!
> -- David B. Parker

Greetings and welcome.

I have a particular interest in The Wizard of Oz because of its
psychological acuity regarding attitudes toward the Masters.
Dorothy travels a great distance to seek the aid of someone who
has been portrayed as having superhuman powers and status. But
she finds out instead that there is a man behind the curtain
pulling levers, a man who really cannot do anything more for
her or her friends than to point to their own inner resources.

Still, that is all that is necessary to get Dorothy home
successfully, get the scarecrow a brain, the tin man a heart,
and the lion courage. Each of them, all along, had what they
needed to make the journey. It was only an illusion to think
that they needed a great Wizard. And yet by pursuing this
illusion they found reality instead-- and lived happily ever

Having pursued the mystery of Blavatsky's Masters around the
world (including India, which is much more exotic than Oz) I
ended up feeling that what I found was both a) disappointing
and a let-down compared to the supermen of Theosophical lore
and b) sufficient to get me "home" in terms of a renewed
understanding of my own resources and the way spiritual
influence works in history rather than in myth.

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