Theosophy and Oz

Theosophy and Oz are the subjects of this post.

So.  Why not begin by introducing them?  (I think I will.)

Everyone quiet, please!  May I direct your attention to the front of the auditorium?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you. . .

Kong!

Whoops; the wrong script.

(Hand me the right envelope next time.)

How about?. . .

Theosophy and Oz!

Oz first.

Ok.

Theosophy and Oz, beginning with Oz

Theosophy and OzL. Frank Baum’s children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was published in 1900.

I remember, as a boy, some sixty years later, coming across an old hard-cover copy of it.  I probably found it in the school library and liked the cover.  Though I didn’t care much for reading, I was fascinated by book covers.  Seem novel?  I didn’t know anyone else who collected books because they liked the covers.  Besides.  I was more interested in writing books than reading them.  That must have made my teachers, and my mother, scratch their heads.  But that’s okay.  I figured, why be someone else, when you can be yourself?

Though I didn’t read much, I found that old worn-out book about the land of Oz amazing!  I don’t think the cover was even completely attached anymore.  It seems to me it sort of “tagged along” with the pages.  But that was not a problem.  I loved the book!  I couldn’t believe a book from school could be so much fun to read and take me to another world; like, somewhere over the rainbow, actually.  But it did.  I didn’t want to put it down when I came home from school!  Especially not for an old milk cow!  My eyes must have been the size of tomatoes when I crawled between the covers (of the book and my bed).  After my little brother and I milked the cows, of course.  And ate our supper.  (The hungry, hard-working men that we were.)

Taken up in a funnel?

You’d think I had been taken up in a funnel.  (Can a book do that?)  Because, around the same time, when the annual telecast of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie began appearing on television, my family and I enjoyed watching it every year on our black-and-white TV.  Even though the movie was already “old” by then, it never got old.  I didn’t know, at the time, most of it is in color.  Who needs color?  We were happy to have a TV and not have to hip-hop to an outhouse on cold nights to go to the bathroom.  When we moved from our North Dakota farm to our ranch in Montana, we acquired an indoor bathroom with running water, and a TV!  We felt like the Beverly Hillbillies for all the fancy things we had!  With suds, and buds from Oz.

We turn now, to the other star in our Theosophy and Oz drama. . .

Theosophy

Not that you and I need to add another word to our vocabulary.  But, not long ago, I was introduced to the word “Theosophy.”  I had never heard of the term.  I knew it meant “God wisdom,” or, “God’s wisdom.”  But I had no idea such a word was being used to identify a “spiritual” movement (with occult roots, among other things) that began near the end of the nineteenth century.  In fact.  I learned, if you follow the roots of Theosophy back to where they begin, when you emerge from the ground, holding on to the end of your root, you will be looking at the faces of an ancient Gnostic and a Neoplatonist!  Quite a surprise, eh?  (They will be just as surprised to see you.)

(Neoplatonism is a new way of looking at plate tectonics.  I’m only kidding. . .  It’s a ha-ha moment!  Right?  Unless no one is laughing.)

The movement was “inspired” by a woman from Russia.  Her name was Helena Blavatsky.

You can probably guess where this is going.  It’s like a movie script where you figure out the plot before it happens.  So.  What do you know?  (Act surprised.)  L. Frank Baum becomes a convert to Theosophical teachings.  Not only that.  But he also becomes an outspoken proponent of Theosophy by the time he writes that dear, old hard-cover book I discovered as a boy.  No!  It can’t be!

. . .But it is.

But that’s like saying, apple pie and ice cream are bad.

Theosophy and Oz: lamenting online writers

So I thumbed through “stacks”🙂 of information, in video links, texts, and articles about the influence of Theosophy and the occult on L. Frank Baum’s story.  But in the process, I discovered the writing abilities of some online writers on this subject are pretty “pathetic.”  I’m being generous.  I was surprised and wondered if they even know why there is a keyboard on their computer.  Maybe there was a monkey sitting at the keyboard.  (Sometimes you don’t know.)  As I went through text links on the subject, at times I felt like I was reading a message from a member of some secret society.  (Maybe I was.)

Now then (an oxymoron).  Regarding the material I examined and my thoughts on it, I will be brief.  And I don’t mean in a Kathy’s garden beans sense.  But brief as in brief.

Giving credit to Whom it is due

First of all.  I’m not going to give credit to the enemy for spirals, rainbows, “golden paths,” and “silver cords,” or even his nefarious use of animals and pets like Toto.  Though some of these things are sometimes regarded as “occult symbols” or Theosophical concepts (some borrowed from Buddhist teachings), or used in occult practices, they do not belong to the occult or Theosophy.  They originated with God: they were His idea, not the enemy’s.  They are things God created and gave to us, and He Himself uses them for His own purposes and glory (II Kgs. 2:1; Job 38:1; 40:6; Jer. 23:19; Nah. 1:3; Gen. 9:12-17; Rev. 4:2,3; 21:21; Eccl. 12:6; Col. 1:16).

Stealing, swindling, or counterfeiting them does not make them the thief’s property.  The Word, as it relates to this, will set our feet on the right path, whether it is made of yellow bricks or otherwise. . .  “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fulness” (Ps. 24:1; I Cor. 10:26; Ps. 50:10-12).  So, back off, all you thieves, imposters, and charlatans!  Yahweh is Lord of all!  And He makes your wizards and toothsayers😊 look pretty anemic.

A stand-in for God?

Speaking of which.

Someone, in an online link to “The occult roots of The Wizard of Oz,” said, “The Wizard is, in fact, a stand-in for the personal God of the Christians and the Jews, the oppressive figure used by conventional religions to keep the masses in spiritual darkness.”  A stand-in for God?  Give me a break!  (Sorry.  But this overused line seemed fitting.)  All I see is a dumb wizard who is pretending he is God.  Even his counterpart on earth, Professor Marvel, is a fake, and in reality, no marvel at all, any more than he is a wizard in the other land he inhabits.  He doesn’t even know how to be a “respectable” fortune-teller, much less a wizard.

This is no reflection on Christianity or God.  It’s actually just the opposite.  It reveals the phoniness of occult practices and beliefs Theosophy embraces, which are really to blame for what keeps “the masses in spiritual darkness.”

In reality, the tables have turned on Theosophy, and we see it as the real villain in the story conceived by Mr. Baum.

Take that, Mr. B!  Checkmate, bub!  To-shay!  I’ll be frank with you, Frank.  Now the proponents of your and Blavatsky’s Theosophy can rightfully say: “We have found the enemy, and it is us!”

Not God.

That’s the last time we’ll stay in your B&B, Baum and Blavatsky!

Three more things to say as we near the end of Theosophy and Oz

There are three more things I’d like to say.

1. Some claim Dorothy “needed only to believe in herself.”  Actually, according to Glinda, she needed to believe in her shoes.  But, if that is true, perhaps we can take it one step further. . .  Maybe it wasn’t herself she needed to believe in, or her shoes, but Glinda, who waves her wand over Dorothy’s head as she departs for Kansas.  So, in the end, Dorothy and anyone watching the movie find themselves believing in something other than Dorothy.  It seems to me the lesson is not believing in yourself but in something or someone outside yourself.

This leaves the door wide open for the possibility, even the necessity, of Divine intervention in one’s life.  Even if Glinda represents Dorothy’s “divine spark,” that spark is something that originated from somewhere or someone beyond herself.  And, one could justifiably say, a divine spark and a Divine Being are not that different; they are essentially the same.  That is, they carry a similar import.  But, if you’re a Theosophist, a “divine spark” is much more acceptable and “tolerable” than a Divine Being.  So if there is a Divine Being “out there,” if you’re a Theosophist, you would want to sweep Him under a rug.

Sweeping God under a rug

But how do you sweep God under a rug?  Learn from Baum and Blavatsky.  If you want to remove a Divine Being from “God wisdom” (Theosophy), just say, “God is utterly transcendent and impersonal.”  In fact, you can say, He is so “transcendent” you can’t even find Him if you take a rocket to Mars or anywhere else in this universe or any other.  However, if that is true, then I suggest you change your name, Mr. Baum and Ms. Blavatsky: why not just call this “spiritual awakening” and “enlightenment” of yours, Sophy; or Sofa, for short?  No one can learn anything from God, anyway.  Right?  He is so far removed from us!  How could He possibly have anything to say to us?  (Maybe He doesn’t even know we’re here!)

But if He does exist, which Sofists believe is unlikely, He’s probably too busy anyway, in His impersonal way, building a cabin in some outer-galactic stand of woods, cutting down galactic trees with the help of some galactic cowboys He has hired on.  After all.  Earth is the last thing on His mind.

So. . .

Touching down on points 2 and 3 at the end of Theosophy and Oz

2. Any useful understanding we might gain about God is thrown to the wind, when we discover Theosophy believes “God is not personal,” yet “one can experience Him directly without a mediator.”  Whatever that means, it is not helpful.  Actually.  It borders on stupid.  That’s like telling me it’s impossible to see the king but his door is always open in case I want to visit him.  And I don’t even need to be invited!  Really?  Not even a child can understand this.  So how can anyone else?  How can one experience God directly if He is not personal?  Isn’t that like trying to catch a falling star?

Yes.  But, unfortunately, Theosophists love to believe in things that are bizarre and implausible, rather than the simple teaching of the Bible about God and truth.  They prefer swallowing camels rather than gnats.  It makes more sense to them.  They are an obvious model for “wisdom.”

3. In closing. . .  As one examines this subject, he or she discovers there are a number of ways of looking at the Oz movie.  That is.  For those of us who are trying to figure out its “secret meaning.”  And not just watch it on TV.  For myself, I lean toward a dream sequence theory behind the story.

I think I will stop chasing dominos now!🙄

The curtain closes on Theosophy and Oz

So, that ends Theosophy and Oz.  Thanks, dear reader, for reading.  May Jesus give you and me understanding about this.  That understanding is at our fingertips.  Within the covers of another Book I came to love even more, after the boy on the Montana ranch became a man.

And now, the curtain is closing.  “Happy Trails!”  But watch out! if you ever find yourself on a yellow-brick road.

© James Unruh 2023 and beyond

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD:

Another Look at Oz

This article is not my own but is provided with permission from the author (who wishes to remain anonymous).

Learn more:

Come to Me

This entry was posted in Theological Studies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Theosophy and Oz

  1. Wyatt says:

    Thank you so much!

  2. Cusano says:

    Brief and accurate information… A must read article.

  3. Lieser says:

    Nice post. Keep writing.

  4. Faine says:

    Wonderful post.

  5. no name says:

    Very interesting details.

  6. unnamed says:

    Great site.

  7. Merle Unruh says:

    A fun (and interesting) read! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *