The Man behind the curtain


Besides Artax dying in the swamp of sadness in the Never Ending Story, one of the most traumatic movie moments I experienced as a kid, was when Toto pulled back the curtain and exposed the Wizard of Oz as a short balding non-wizard in a cheap suit. The realization that Dorothy and friends had come all this way for nothing was too much for my 8 year old brain to comprehend. “You’re a very bad man,” shouts Dorothy. You tell him Dorothy! The bad man’s response was lost on me as a kid (just you shut up you bad man) but 30 years later it seems profound.

“No, no, my dear, I’m a very good man, I’m just a very bad wizard.”

80 years later, humanity still believes there is a golden path leading to a magical wizard who will make all their dreams come true. Spoiler Alert: The Wizard doesn’t exist. All that exists is a good voice reminding us that everything we want, we already have, we just need to “organize our thoughts.” Pretty deep stuff. No wonder my 8 year old self was still reeling over a non wizard.

Meditation is humanity’s best known practice for renewing our mind and organizing our thoughts. Without this practice we find ourselves stuck in the wilderness of our own heads running from witches, winged monkeys and other fake threats our imagination conjures up.  Meditation is the yellow brick road leading us back home. There’s no place like it so let the adventure begin.


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