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Sermons

Sunday Message for October 27, 2019

THERE REALLY IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME

We have spent the month exploring the New Thought teachings found in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. And, so today we will conclude our trip over the rainbow and "bring it all home" as we look at the concept "There Really is No Place Like Home".

But before we do, I have a few Wizard of Oz trivia -- or let's call it trick or treat - questions

What was the name of the Horse that drew the carriage that Dorothy and the gang rode in when they first arrived in Oz? (Sylvester)

Where else did that horse appear? (In Kansas -- he belonged to Prof. Marvel)

What song was cut from the movie then resurrected from the cutting room floor? (Over the Rainbow)

Why was it originally cut? (it slowed down the movie too much)

Who was originally cast as the Tin Man? (Buddy Ebsen)

Why was he replaced? (he got led poisoning from the costume)

How many scenes were the Wizard and the Good Witch of the North in together? (0)

What was the original color of the ruby slippers? (silver)

Why were they changed to red? (Because red showed up better in Technicolor!)

How did author Frank Baum come up with the name "Oz"? (Telling stories to his children about a far-away land. One day a child asked the name of the land. He looked around the room and across it was a filing cabinet. The drawers were labeled -- A - M and O - Z, and the Land of Oz was born.)

NO PLACE LIKE HOME
OK, enough trick or treat! Today we look at the idea that "There Really is No Place Like Home".

T.S. Eliot once wrote these wonderful lines:
"We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and to know the place for the first time."a

What does that really mean? Well, the story of Dorothy shows us very, very clearly what that means. From the beginning of the story -- even before Dorothy goes on her adventure over the rainbow -- she is looking to go home, isn't she?

Now, obviously I don't mean physically home, because she is already there! But something isn't right. She doesn't' really KNOW THE PLACE to use T. S. Eliot's words.

She isn't happy, she isn't fulfilled, satisfied or loved. She's ignored by Auntie Em and Uncle Henry and by everyone else on the farm, and she's gotten herself in trouble with the law. Well, actually Toto is the one in trouble with the law, but Dorothy sets it up as a ploy for attention! So, she isn't home, even though she's home!

From a metaphysical interpretation: she doesn't know who she is. She is not connected to her inner home -- to her inner spark, to that Divine potential for goodness and greatness that is within her. She isn't awake to or aware of who she is. She's lost God!

And so she goes looking for home OUTSIDE OF HERSELF. When she's still in Kansas, she looks for it by running after everyone on the farm to try to get their attention, then she runs away and looks for it in Professor Marvel, the "carney" she meets up with.

And this is really interesting -- remember after she has the crystal ball experience with Professor Marvel, she decides to go back to her physical home. But she goes back in a lot of fear. She is in fear about Auntie Em and getting very fearful about a big storm that is brewing. And what does she find when she gets home?

She finds she is even farther away from really going home than before -- as the closed doors to the storm cellar symbolize. Her fears have moved her even farther away from knowing who she really is -- from really going home! And she is left out in the storm seemingly all alone!

So her exploration continues -- this time as a journey to Oz. And Dorothy, once again, LOOKS OUTSIDE HERSELF to try to get home.

This is a really pointed lesson of how we might get through one experience only to have it show up again (this time in Technicolor) so that, perhaps this time, we'll get the message that our soul is trying to give us!

We are always in the process of awakening, and every event in our life has the potential to serve as a catalyst for that awakening -- whether we allow it or not is up to us. But, if we don't, then we get to have more, similar experiences - perhaps the next time in Technicolor!

In Oz, Dorothy still doesn't wake up and she looks to a pretty shady character -- the Wizard -- to take her home. She continues to look to him even after Toto reveals him to be a fraud. She thinks he will get her home.

The Wizard promises to take her back to Kansas in his balloon, but it is only after the balloon takes off without Dorothy does the Wizard reveal that he doesn't know how to work it.

In Kansas, Dorothy is looking outside of herself for home; in Oz she is looking outside herself for home.

But When Glinda tells her, "you've always had the power to go back to Kansas," in that moment Dorothy "awakens" to and begins to trust her own power -- her own inner spark, her innate goodness and her own potential for greatness. In that moment, she begins to find herself within herself. She begins to know herself for the first time.

But she does not go home yet. She has something important to do. She has to stop and say goodbye to each of her companions. Perhaps it is much, much more than merely saying goodbye.

Perhaps in those sweet, intimate moments of connection with the Scarecrow, the Lion and (the one she'll miss the most, as she whispered) the Tin Man, she wasn't just saying goodbye. Perhaps she was integrating their qualities within her. She told each of them, she couldn't have done this without them. And that's right.

To be awake to our true selves -- to go home -- there is an integration of Divine Intelligence, Divine Love and Divine Strength or Power.

To put a spiritual spin on it -- in those moments, Dorothy finds God (who, by the way has been there all along -- symbolically hanging around in a pink Bubble). She feels God. She sees God. The God that is closer than her hands and feet; nearer than her breath; and the God that is everywhere.

Glinda explains that she did not share this truth with Dorothy earlier because Dorothy wouldn't have believed her -- she had to learn it for herself. Remember, one of last week's Ruby Slippers Lesson: We are let -- not left -- alone to discover who we are. And just to expand for a moment on that idea from last week: Self awareness cannot really be taught, it must be gained from experience. As the Zen poet Jeremy Wolff so eloquently wrote: "Experience isn't the best teacher; it's the only teacher."b

In the Letters of Myrtle Fillmore it says: "To realize that one has God-given capacity for judging righteous judgment and to understand that this judgment can and will keep one from bitter experiences and enable one to discriminate in all things, is one of the greatest blessings we have."c

Dorothy certainly went through some bitter experiences. But the awakening came -- the integration came through her experiences and then one thing remained to take her home!

She needed to trust. To trust that she had the ability to go home and she needed to activate that trust by clicking her heels. Powerful metaphysical statement for us: We need to trust that we are Divine AND we need to trust that a Divine Law is always at work ACTIVATED by our word.

In the Letters of Myrtle Fillmore she writes: "We have to make our whole connection, spirit, soul, body, the wholeness - the holiness is in getting them all together - all working in harmony."d

Going home and knowing the place for the first time takes some trust! It takes an integration of Love, Intelligence and Power. And it takes an awareness of our Inner Spark, our innate goodness and greatness.

Going home is about walking that spiritual path of self discovery. Following the yellow brick road to discover the inner spark.

In the Letters of Myrtle Fillmore it says: "God is the very substance out of which our body is formed and nourished; as the very intelligence that is within us, in every nerve and brain cell and structure of the body; as the very love that draws together and holds in perfect harmony (if we will only allow it) all the elements of our being; as the very light that radiates through us to bless and help others, the light that enables us to understand ourselves and others and all God's creation, ..."e

So, let us take a deep breath, close our eyes, and go within. Imagine you are Dorothy saying goodbye to your friends as you get ready to go home.

Now walk up to the Scarecrow. As you embrace him, remember all he went through, thinking 'If I only had a brain.' Remember the bright ideas and wisdom that he expressed. So, allow yourself to integrate Divine Intelligence into your being, knowing that it has always been there.

Now walk up to the Tinman. As you embrace him, remember all he went through, thinking 'If I only had a heart.' Remember all the times that he was the most loving person in the room. So, allow yourself to integrate Divine Love into your being, knowing that it has always been there.

Now walk up to the Lion. As you embrace him, remember all he went through, thinking 'If I only had courage.' Remember the times that he exhibited courage without knowing it. So allow yourself to integrate Infinite Strength and Power into your being, knowing that it has always been there.

Now look at your feet and see the Ruby Slippers. Know that you have always had the Power for goodness and greatness within yourself. You were born with it.

Now visualize Glinda the Good Witch of the North floating in her pink bubble reminding you that there is "no place like home". Say it with me, "There is no place like home." And this time say, "there really is no place like home." And so it is! Amen.



aT.S. Eliot
bZen poet Jeremy Wolff
cLetters of Myrtle Fillmore
dLetters of Myrtle Fillmore
eLetters of Myrtle Fillmore



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