October 2011 Newsletter

October 2011 Events

In the coming weeks we are hosting the following events - (click on the green wording for more detailed information on related website pages.)

Seminar on "Narcissism" Monday October 17
Narcissism and Borderline Personality Workshop October 22 & 23
Free Introductory Talk Monday October 24
Body Mind 1 Day Retreat Sunday November 27

Please feel free to contact us if you wish to enquire or book in for any of the above events.

The Wizard of Oz as the Mythic Journey of Healing

Wizard of OzSome months ago I made reference to Clint Eastwood and the powerful male archetypal images he embodied in the early part of his career. Films have been a technological medium of the 20th century enabling the great movie makers to create powerful emotional experiences for audiences. One of the most loved films of the 20th century is “The Wizard of Oz”. It continually rates in surveys as one of the 5 greatest films of the 20th century.

Given “The Wizard of Oz” is an early film that lacks the powerful special effects that we now come to accept as standard in Hollywood films then there must be a compelling reason why generation after generation of audiences are drawn to this film. The key reason this film moves those who see it is this grand film of the 20th century is actually a key myth about the loss and splitting of humanity in modern man, and the resulting journey back to wholeness.

The film “The Wizard of Oz” was not just a popular modern fairy tale. It was a meditation on the plight of modern men and women in our society. In this film we find the common image of the variations of the wounded and lost human as “Tin man” without his heart, the “Straw man” without substance and a spine, and the “Cowardly Lion” who has disowned his courage and anger. These characters are archetypes for the wounded parts of ourself that result from our negative childhood experiences.

Few people know that the author of “The Wizard of Oz”, L. K. Baum was a healer, follower of eastern mystics and paths of self realisation. He had witnessed the phenomena of gullible people seeking their truth through Spiritualism, gurus such as Krishnamurti, and the American snake oil salesmen and con man who were a part of American society in his day.

The “Wizard of Oz” was a reflection of both the spiritual and self acclaimed healer or guru types who plagued society in his day, and who are now are everywhere in this New Age of Enlightenment that these gurus promote and sustain with their projections of special insight and spiritual leadership. He also saw that it also accurately reflected a common dynamic that ran across society in its other forms of leadership and definitions of adulthood and self realisation.

His observations via the story are about the splintered nature of mankind, and how gullible people often just gave away their power, and their adult 'critical thinking' to false prophets and healer types. The book explores via a fairy tale themes about those who promised much, claimed to have special insight and powers, and who were uncovered as frauds in the end.

Baum’s message is still as fresh and insightful today as 100 years ago when written. This is why succeeding generations are captivated by its message as it resonates with a timeless message and wisdom to us all. In some ways it was also a prediction as this archetypal type of false wizard now plagues society.

In the style of the great mythic stories we see each of the characters in the story as parts of our overall psychological self. Dorothy represents how the feminine principle in modern man has been completely split-off from the masculine principle and disowned altogether from modern manhood, and so travels as a separate person.

The dog represents man’s animal instincts and impulses which too have had to be disowned and split-off from modern man and so too must travel separate to the others. These two characters now live in the unconscious life of men and women as they have been rejected and disowned in our rational and scientific based society.

The key point in the film is that society condemns modern adults who look outside themself for their meaning, from a divided and split self that is deceived. The key scene in the film comes when all this entourage of characters must face the wizard who represents the illusion of power, success, strength and manhood in society. This male wizard is a sham just as the projection of what defines modern leaders and which stereotypes describe the successful man and leaders in society today are shams.

In the film the wizard is actually a small, insecure blustering old man which is the truth of all those who like the wizard employ tricks, dials, levers and projections of images to fool others about their power and manhood.

The wizard was hidden behind a curtain which represents the deceit, manipulations, lying and image management of the spiritual gurus and leaders in our society who must hide their true self away and project a false image of success and power to bluff and deceive others that they are a powerful person. The whole concept of leadership, and of manhood as dictated by power, money and success are exposed as an illusion by these insecure and wounded individuals.

Today we find our society bombarded with such false projections of manhood based around the pursuit of power, success, money, objects and control of others, just like the wizard portrays. Many commentators of society see our society trapped in a cult of Narcissism which seduces and ensnares the gullible “tin man”, “straw man”, and “cowardly lion” men into buying into false realities, and ways of being. We then buy-in to the false projections and magical stories of our leaders, spiritual gurus, and self acclaimed healers in society.

In recent years we see at one end of the scale all the adoption of sporting and Hollywood stars as our new role models to ape, whilst those who seek to change go “off to see the wizard” and often find themselves attracted to and deceived by the power and success models being touted as the “magic” of the New Age, Money and Wealth Creation, Self-Help and Transformation guru set. More than a few in these arenas are deceptive, illusory and dead ends. The Wizard is the embodiment of these deceivers.

“The Wizard of Oz” shows us an eternal truth of our humanity. In the end it was the dog who exposed the deceptions and manipulations of the wizard by “sniffing around” and tearing back the curtain of deception and narcissistic pretence. The wisdom this portrays is that the way forward for modern man is to reclaim and trust our own animal instincts and intuition from this place, and stop giving our power away through blindly trusting the “wizards” in society with their quick fixes, contrived advice, transformations and quack cures.

The second key point is that Dorothy then confronted the wizard and this shows that man must reclaim and honour their feminine if they are to confront the illusions and projections of false manhood they carry within them. A confrontation both internally with the false self, and with the external false gurus and images within society will be needed as the foundation to enact real change in one’s life for those who are co-dependent on guru types and leaders who claim special status, power and insights.

As the film then showed at the end, we need the integration of one’s own animal instinctual/intuitive basis, and with a reclamation and honouring of our feminine, regardless of our male wounding. The “Tin Man”, the "Straw Man”, and the “Cowardly Lion” all healed and found their “missing quality” which was always there but just lost through being deceived by others and by the false notions and images of leadership, power and manhood in our society. The wizard embodied this deception.

Judy Garland (who played Dorothy in the movie) told in an interview before her death that Sigmund Freud once met her at a society gathering and commented that The Wizard of Oz was the most important film that had ever been made due to its psychological truths about the neurosis and psychological splits in modern man. Such is the power of film, images and stories as myth when it comes to affecting our collective unconscious.

If this theme interests you then please read my latest article The Wizard of Oz – A Myth for our Age.  In this article I explore how the story that unfolds in “The Wizard of Oz”  is a deep and profound psychological myth of how in our modern age many unconsciously must journey forward blindly on a quest for self-healing and self-realization, from a place of a split self where we have disowned vital instincts, intuitive qualities, and our feminine self as part of conforming to modern stereotypes and portrayals of being successful, powerful and acceptable in society.

Once you read the full article, and then watch the film again you will have a whole new perspective on both the film and on life. This is the power of this classic film and book.

Words from Leslee Hughes, Core Energetics Body Psychotherapist, Sydney


Leslee HughesAre we in a world of denial of our true feelings?

Unfortunately as a child we learnt to mask and hide our true feelings so as to maintain love with our parents, as without the parent's love we would perish.  So we become very attached to not upsetting the apple cart, even though deep within there are many emotions eg, anger, resentment, abandonment and WHAT ABOUT ME!  A child is filled with many needs, wants and desires.

The problem being that we take this need for love, approval, connection, nurturing into adulthood and denial continues, which leaves us in a place where we do not own how we really and truly feel, and are not in truth with ourselves and others.

Our self esteem goes down, our negativity and self hate goes up and in many ways we can feel helpless, hopeless, stuck and our negativity grows.  There begins a real need to express what we need and feel.  Could it be time to take a risk and explore what am I denying?

To maintain denial over a long period of time causes you to create a major shut down of your heart, feelings and your body's energy system, so as not to feel the emotional pain you carry, which can be exhausting.

The great news is that Core Energetics as a therapy is a wonderful tool and healing modality, to help shine a light on where you are stuck and creating holding patterns. There may be a natural resistance to change and a big NO may emerge, but can you afford to keep living from this NO, whilst there is so much more to life and the pleasure that you can have when you find your YES!

Transformation only comes when we confront our denial (mask) and truly reveal our true lower self (shadow) – the parts of us that wants to defend, be mean, spiteful, all the feelings we shut down as a child and hid, but the body holds all your life’s history and it stores emotions and tucks them away in the hope you won’t be hurt again.  But each time this happens your energy and flow in the body becomes more and more lifeless.  How much pain can you carry without having a complete meltdown, blow out, break up or serious illness ?

Why wait for this to happen ?  The Mask hides your negative emotions and your Lower Self is a defensive part of you that protects your heart and doesn’t want you to be hurt in any way again.  It is by working with, owning and releasing your lower self and its defences that you can again allow your energy to flow again.  Your body is emotionally lightened and your heart can open, your pleasure current becomes apparent and your life force and pleasure are restored.

For me this journey out of denial has been so liberating and has taken me out of victimhood, into someone who now acknowledges how I feel and can validate those feelings.  After years of suppressing myself, there is so much joy in changing my life patterns and finding a voice and my heart.

Are your ready to come out of your denial and make lasting changes for a more positive loving life ?  Just remember that you really matter and deserve the best life possible, leave suffering and struggle behind.  Be your authentic self as only then can you be truly happy, healthy and whole. The ripple effect of this can permeate all areas of life. Dare to find your truth and your YES!

I am passionate about this work and would love to guide you on this journey respectfully and with a genuine interest in your life.

I am available for sessions in Sydney and the Central Coast, consultations are available one on one, skype and phone.

Please contact us  if you are interested in finding out more about our offerrings.

Have a great month,

Richard Boyd

Director, Energetics Institute

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