OVER THE RAINBOW!
This month, we will explore the New Thought teachings found in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. Has anyone NOT seen the movie?? If so, you need to watch it or read it.
For the entire montha, we will journey to Oz to look at Spiritual Truths that pervade all life and that help us learn about our own lives with the help of a wonderful little book The Zen of Oz, by Joey Greene.
This morning, we are going to look at the greatest gift with which we are endowed (after Life itself) -- the gift of choice. And with our choices come natural results or consequences. We'll begin our journey with Dorothy as we explore the consequences of her -- and our -- choices.
Emma Curtis Hopkins wrote: "The world will persist in exhibiting before you what you persist in affirming the world is."b
Every choice we make, whether or not we make that choice consciously or not, has a consequence or natural result. In fact, we could say that our lives are the natural result of the compilation of the choices that we make. You might argue -- well I didn't choose to be born in that dysfunctional family or to be involved in that accident, etc., etc. And some would say we really do choose it all, but for the sake of today's discussion, let's say you didn't. You still have the choice about how to respond!
Both the conscious and unconscious choices Dorothy made to her life situation caused her life to spin out of control like a tornado. This is a perfect example of "the law of our own choice." Another name would be the "law of cause and effect."
Wizard of Oz trivia question: What was Dorothy's last name? Gale - how appropriate!
Let's look briefly at Dorothy's life as the movie begins. Dorothy runs home to tell Aunt Em and Uncle Henry that mean old Miss Gulch hit Toto with a rake and threatened to involve the Sheriff merely because the dog gets into her garden and chases her nasty old cat every day.
But Aunt Em and Uncle Henry don't seem to care. "Don't bother us now, honey," insists Uncle Henry, as he and Aunt Em take small chicks from the incubator and put them quickly under hens in nearby crates. "This old incubator's gone bad, and we're likely to lose a lot of our chicks."
But could there be something-deeper going on here? Could the broken incubator really be Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's loveless home, where Dorothy is ignored? The incubator has gone bad all right, and the chick Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are about to lose is their niece Dorothy.
Dorothy's Kansas is a bleak, gloomy, gray place (depicted by the black and white) because it is missing the love that would otherwise color her world. Dorothy desperately yearns for the one thing we all yearn for -- LOVE -- but Aunt Em and Uncle Henry don't seem to be capable of giving it. In fact, Aunt Em treats her niece as a nuisance and leaves her alone to work out her own problems.
So, Dorothy chooses to focus all her affection on her little dog Toto. Only Toto loves her unconditionally, giving her a taste of the affection she craves. So, here's where Dorothy's choices get interesting. Why then would she endanger Toto's life by allowing him to run through mean-spirited Miss Gulch's yard every day?
Hunk, one of the farmhands, tries to get Dorothy to step back and notice her unconsciousness choices. "When you come home, don't go by Miss Gulch's place," he tells her "Then Toto won't get into her garden and you won't get into trouble, see?"
But Dorothy obviously wants to get into trouble. And she gets more trouble than she bargained for when Miss Gulch and the sheriff show up at her door and neither she nor her aunt or uncle can stop them from taking Toto.
She has sacrificed Toto, the thing she loves most, in an attempt to win the attention/love of people who quite obviously are not capable of giving it to her. At a subtler level, probably because she was hurt and angry at not getting that love, she's taking it out on Miss Gulch.
When Toto makes his valiant escape from Miss Gulch's basket, Dorothy runs away -- and of course we know that, because of that choice, she ultimately gets caught in the cyclone and winds up OVER THE RAINBOW in the Land of Oz!
If you get caught in a cyclone because you ran away from home to save your dog from being destroyed by the Sheriff, because you let the dog run through a mean old maid's garden, you might want to stop and ask yourself, "Can I afford the consequences of my choices?!"
Because we don't get to have a say in the consequences -- they are the natural outworking of the law -- we only get to have a say about the choices we make.
Perhaps -- just perhaps -- Dorothy should have stopped to think what compelled her to let her dog run through the mean old maid's garden in the first place.
We just possibly could avoid nightmarish trips over the rainbow if we became conscious of our choices in Kansas. All we have to do is step back and observe the choices we make every moment.
If Aunt Em and Uncle Henry do not treat you as you want them to, you could choose to feel hurt and rejected like Dorothy and then you might choose to vent your anger and hostility by tormenting Miss Gulch. You may think that Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are the cause. But whenever you impulsively react to something, you are actually choosing to respond that way. Your decision to react impulsively is simply an unconscious choice.
If, like Dorothy, your whole life revolves around the pain of not receiving Aunt Em's love, then every choice is going to be about trying to get that love or to protect yourself from the hurt you feel for not having it.
Whenever you are upset with one person you are saying that you believe they are withholding the only piece of love in the universe available to you. That simply is not true. There is an infinite amount available.
You could also choose to let go of the need to get the love from one particular place and find it elsewhere.
Whenever you are faced with a choice, consider this question: "Will this choice bring me happiness?"
Ella Wheeler Wilcox: wrote:
"One ship drives east and the other drives west
By the self-same winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
That determines the way they go."c
Moving our conversation from the metaphysical to the physical for a moment. Bruce Lipton is a research scientist, medical school professor and author of The Biology of Belief. He has made an amazing discovery about the biological mechanisms by which cells receive and process information: rather than our genes controlling us, he has discovered that our genes are in fact controlled by environmental influences outside our cells, including our thoughts and beliefs -- the choices that we make.d
Accordingly, we are not victimized by biological inheritances from our ancestors, rather we truly are co-creators of our lives and of our biology.
This new science, which is about 20 years old, but only recently becoming known, is called epigenetics. Until the discovery of epigenetics, it was believed that a cell's nucleus, which contains the DNA and was "preprogrammed" so to speak, was the "brain" of the cell, quite necessary for its functioning.
However, science has now discovered that cells can live and function quite well even after their nuclei are removed. The real "brain" of the cell is its membrane, which reacts and responds to outside influences, dynamically adjusting to an ever changing environment.
As human beings, a collection of cells, what does this mean for us? It means that as we encounter various environmental influences, we tell our genes what to do, usually unconsciously.
A few years ago, The American Cancer Society released a surprising statistic. They said that 60 percent of cancer is avoidable by changing one's lifestyle and diet - in other words, by making different choices! This is from an organization that for the past 50 years has been looking for cancer genes. Now they are saying it's not so much your genes, but the choices that you make.e
Perhaps it's time we quit going through life making "bad," often unconscious, choices --- unnecessarily walking past Miss Gulch's house, refusing to cope with Kansas, and running away from our problems. Because, like Dorothy, we will have to deal with the natural results (consequences) of those choices!
Myrtle Fillmore said about 'choice': "You do not have a problem except the one that is in your own mind, and you put it there! ..."f
So, today CHOOSE WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.g Will you serve Love, Happiness, Peace, Plenty, Power -- in other words GOD?
You do get to decide -- remember to ask yourself this question to keep yourself from going unconscious: "Can I afford the consequences of this choice?"
aThe Zen of Oz, Joey Greene
bEmma Curtis Hopkins
cElla Wheeler Wilcox
dBruce Lipton The Biology of Belief
eThe American Cancer Society