Have you ever wondered why the HBO prison series was simply titled Oz? When I think about Oz, I think about the great and powerful wizard in the hit family movie, The Wizard of Oz or Motown’s The Wiz. I love both movies because I feel that they are imbued with powerful stories about mysticism and spirituality. I also believe that many of us are like the fictional character Dorothy. Besides, how many of us feel like we need to travel down a yellow brick road to find something that is already inside of us? How many of us waste time believing in a fake wizard who can’t help us at all? How many of us avoid danger and evil, only to destroy the wicked witch and discover our inner strength? Perhaps, this is how prayers work? It works as a golden path to guide us back home. This is a place where all of our prayers can be answered. Only, home isn’t some heaven in the sky. It is a place of self-acceptance that needs to exist inside of us. Sadly, if we can’t get back home, we’re incarcerated in Oz. This is when the fantasy world becomes a prison cell that we simply can’t escape from.
Are you still traveling down the yellow brick road?
This fantasy world is known as organized religion. There are many of us who use religion as a means of escapism. I was trapped into this world for some time. I came across a spectacle of munchkins, flying monkeys, wicked witches, and even wizards. Only in my world, they came dressed as priest, priestess, preachers, monks and gurus. They all came to me with their own songs and dances, guiding me to the yellow brick road, to find a wizard who can guide me back home. Of course, the wizard went by many names. Some called him Jesus while others called him Allah. Whatever his name, the message was still the same, go to Him to get all of your prayers answered. However, I couldn’t help but wonder why people prayed and still suffered. Then, I understood, people were merely putting themselves in a situation where they simply couldn’t win.
Are you still praying to a fake wizard?
Many people feel like Scarecrow. Only, they are stuffed with pages of quotes and verses from the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, or the Tao Te Ching. Me, I was stuffed with a bunch of crap for many years. Whenever I was stuck in a bind, I would pull out a quote that was most pertinent to the situation. And think that everything was going to be okay. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that these texts are bad. I am simply saying they are utterly worthless if we don’t have the capacity to understand the real meaning behind the words. Sadly, billions of people all over the world are like the Scarecrow.
They are stuffed with doctrine and dogma and simply don’t know how to use their brains. Most importantly, they’re praying to something or someone that is outside of them. This limits their power and thus causes a deficiency. This deficiency makes you feel like you have a great deal of debt. So even when your prayers are answered and you receive blessings, it’s never enough to move you forward. So you feel like you can’t break even. And you can’t get out of the game. You become trapped in a fantasy world. In fact, the more you move forward, the further away the wizard gets. If you’re lucky enough to find the wizard, you’ll be completely underwhelmed. It won’t take long before you realize that the great and powerful Oz is charlatan and a fake. Then, you can self-reflect and realize that it was all a fantasy. It was all a made up world to help you escape from yourself.
Have you killed your wicked witch?
Of course the wicked witch is your ego. In my previous article, Kill the Ego and Have No Mercy, I explain that it is virtually impossible to kill the ego. The ego represents the primordial part of self. This is the primitive part of the self that is solely focused on survival. Sadly, the ego becomes much stronger when there are deficiencies in human development. In fact, Abraham Maslow describes human development in his theory known as the Hierarchy of Needs. This pyramid indicates the psychological process of growth and human development.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow called the four bottom levels of the hierarchy, deficiency needs. If these needs weren’t met, it would be virtually impossible to reach the higher level of self-actualization. Whenever I explain this concept to my students. They’re surprised that they have to do so much work, in order to get their prayers answered. However, if you’re not praying from the highest level of self, many of your prayers may go unanswered. Many scholars believe that religion in itself actually arose from inner conflict. Besides, religion was created to bring alignment between the lower and higher aspects of self. When your lower needs are met, the focus of your attention shifts to self-actualization. This is when you begin to contemplate the meaning of life. However, this state of existence is so disturbing that people tend to avoid it at all cost. So they create in inauthentic reality. They create the Land of Oz, with a God like wizard who can solve every problem with the shake of his wand. Many people live their lives in limbo, constantly questioning their purpose and life. They are afraid to make series strides to move forward and take any real responsibility for their life. So instead, they invest all their hopes in a fake wizard. And they live their lives under a strict religious code that is as inauthentic as the fantasy world of Oz.
Are you ready to go back home?
Please don’t read this post and think that I am totally against organized religion, quite the contrary. I believe that everything in the universe has a place. However, I do believe that religion is a fantasy world conjured up by our own inhibitions and lack of contentment. It is a moral code to guide us back to ourselves. Too many people are lost. They are trapped in La La Land. They refused to let go because they have gained a sense of power and status from something that is nothing more than an illusion. This stops them from reaching the levels of self-actualization and receiving real blessings through manifesting and prayer. We can’t get our prayers answered if we feel incomplete. We can’t manifest our desires, if we are constantly looking outside ourselves. We have to ensure that we are 100 percent complete in order to get our prayers answered and to stop our suffering.