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Wizard Of Oz/prodigal Son


MOW
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I was recently in a bookstore and was skimming through a yoga magazine. One of the articles in the magazine was talking about Zen concepts in The Wizard of OZ. It was interesting and kind of funny. It talked about Dorothy's desperate

attempts to get home when the means of getting home were right under her feet. The Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion desired attributes that they already possessed. The two wicked witches were both destroyed by accidents. The fearsome Wizard of OZ was a fraud who was exposed by an animal.

 

I was wondering if there are similarities with the so called Prodigal Son parable of Jesus. Both the Prodigal Son and Dorothy go searching for fulfillment outside there place of origin but come to realize that everything was right where they started. However they had to leave there homes to discover this. Jesus makes this clear in his discription of the older brother who stayed at his father's house.( Btw the New Revised Standard Version calls this parable "The Prodigal Son and his Brother").

The brother who stayed is just as lost as the brother who left. He doesn't know what his relationship with his father is. He sees no joy in where he is because he never left. I have to admit to you that I have more in common with the brother who remained than with the one who left.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

MOW

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Something that popped into my mind as I read your post and thought about the stories was that both Dorothy and the prodigal son may have had all they ever needed while they were at home, but it took leaving, traveling, discovering, learning, seeing "what's out there" and dealing with hardship, for each of them to realize it. They didn't appreciate what home was and they didn't appreciate the love of their parents (aunty Em) until they walked away from all of it and realized what they had given up.

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I don't want to dismiss your observations regarding similarities, but I feel that it is important that we recognize some differences between the stories. Dorothy did not intentionally leave home and always desired to return. The prodigal son had to experience disappointment before he desired to return.

 

Furthermore, there does not seem to have been as much singing and dancing in the prodigal son parable.

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I don't want to dismiss your observations regarding similarities, but I feel that it is important that we recognize some differences between the stories. Dorothy did not intentionally leave home and always desired to return. The prodigal son had to experience disappointment before he desired to return.

 

I guess I was including her running away from home in the first place as being part of her desire to leave. She did it to protect Toto, but she also felt like no one would listen to her and that no one understood her.

 

Furthermore, there does not seem to have been as much singing and dancing in the prodigal son parable.

 

ROFLMAO! I'm trying to picture a musical (ala Fidler on the Roof) with some of Jesus' parables as the source material. :lol:

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HEY don't give anybody any ideas, Aletheia!!!!!!

I can see someone out there in the-- term I heard the other day, not making this up "Jesurtainment" field-- looking for ideas. They will see your idea for a songing dancing Jesus.

 

YIKES. :-}

 

--des

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I've never seen "Jesus Christ Superstar" although I did have the soundtrack growing up (it was one of my aunts I think). I've also never seen "Oklahoma", "Fiddler on the Roof", or "Hair". :P

 

Anyone seen "The Last Temptation of Christ"? Was it any good or was it that decade's version of Gibson's "Passion"?

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Rent ALL of the above and enjoy them for what they are, great world mythologies set to music in ways to stir your soul and fulfill your longings for romantic images of days gone by.

 

As for "The Last Temtation of Christ" you may have problems finding a copy to rent since it caused near riots in the 80's by fundies outside of theaters that showed it. Martin Scorcese (the director) took liberties with the traditional stories and brought some well-appreciated rawness and mystic flavors to the traditional tales that will surprise you with their relevance to today's debates about fundamentalism and its artificialities. I don't believe that you could draw many parallels between Scorceses' and Gibson's treatments of the material other than the basic story line. Oh, and Peter Gabriel did the superb soundtrack in Scorceses' film, and the music alone is probably worth buying the film if you can find it.

 

I believe that his casting, Willem DaFoe as Jesus and Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdelene, were brilliant. They really brought the characters to life on the screen, which is, of course, what good films were once all about. I believe that it was shot in Morocco or Algeria and the desert realism of it all is vivid and haunting.

 

Happy hunting and enjoy!

 

flow..... :)

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Fiddler on the Roof is great - very cultural! The Last Temptation of Christ was much better than I would have guessed - I liked it. I found it on Amazon about a year ago for a few bucks.

 

On the topic of riots and Last Temptation - does anybody understand why it upsets people to think that Jesus might have been married????? I can't figure out how this would change anything.... especially for the fully human and fully divine camp. Wasn't being an unmarried Jewish man much more cause for concern in that culture? Thanks!

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I imagine it comes from believing that humanity and the earth are fallen and sinful. Nothing says "sin" (in many minds) like sex (even in marriage) and Jesus was "without sin" (according to some and depending on their definition of "sin"). ;)

 

I was taken with the idea that Jesus might have been married after reading The DaVinci Code. It soon lost its appeal, not because it offends me. The novelty of it just wore off.

 

If Jesus was the pre-existent Son of God or if Jesus was God incarnate, I wonder where, why and how marriage would have fit into the "grand scheme" of things.

 

I do, however, think Mary and Martha had a special place in Jesus' affections. I think perhaps that Mary really was an apostle.

 

Anyway ... rambling ... :D

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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The Last Temptation came on one of the cable/satelite chanels when Passion was coming out in the theaters, and I recorded it. We had a discussion on the Passion at church, and I took the Last Temptation and offered to let people watch it. It has been circulating ever since.

 

I found the tLToC to be a better movie, overall, than the tPotC. It was more theologically interesting, and it wasn't just gore for gore sake. The only think that I objected to in tLToC was also in tPotC: that Mary Magdalene was identified with the woman who was caught in adultery, an identification that takes great liberties with the biblical text.

 

I thought that the treatment of Judas in tLToC was interesting.

 

I read somewhere an assertion that Godspell was pure blasphemy. I thought that it was pretty light weight, but not blasphemous. Granted, there are some liberties taken, but that is because the movie version is just supposed to be a filmed version of the play, and you always have to take some liberties to present a story on a stage.

 

I haven't seen Jesus Christ Superstar in, probably, 25 years, and I am not sure I remember enough to comment. I remember a couple of pleasant and memorable tunes from it, but it is Andrew Lloyd Webber. I was disappointed with his Evita when I saw it. There were two memorable tunes in the whole movie. It is not that the other tunes were not memorable, but that there were not more than two. He just kept repeating those two through the whole movie.

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Martin Scorcese (the director) took liberties with the traditional stories and brought some well-appreciated rawness and mystic flavors to the traditional tales [...]

Actually it's based on a book by the 19th century Greek existentialist Nikos Kazantzakis. The movie is great, but the book's even better.

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I saw a wonderful rendition of GODSPELL by a local group in Rome NY recently. They had a lot of fun and were very creative and talented. It seemed to me that the script was pure scripture and great scripture at that.

 

I think there was plenty of song and dance at that feast when the prodigal son returned.

 

The Last Temptation of Christ is a tremendous book and movie both. Kazantzakis is one of the best writers ever. REPORT TO GRECO which is somewhat autobiographical is my favorite but THE ROCK GARDEN and ZORBA and ST. FRANCIS aren't far behind.

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I have not read Kazantzakis's Last Temptation of Christ, nor have I read his more famous Zorba the Greek, though I have been thinking for years that I should. While he was born in the 19th century, he was 17 when the 20 century began, and would have to be considered a 20th century writer. While it had roots in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was in the 20th century that Existentialism flourished and captured public attention.

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While he was born in the 19th century, he was 17 when the 20 century began, and would have to be considered a 20th century writer.  While it had roots in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was in the 20th century that Existentialism flourished and captured public attention.

Fair enough. The chronology I had in my head for Kazantzakis was a little off. But it's hard to say Existentialism didn't flourish until the 20th c. with both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche writing entirely in the 19th. :)

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I couldn't find the Last Temptation. Seems the copies have all been damaged by overuse.

Funny that this would happen in the midst of what is sometimes quite a Bible belt.

I saw Godspell ages ago, and thought it was mild hardly, imo, controversial.

 

The DaVinci code is coming out as a movie. I bet it will be controversial!! I heard the pope already spoke against it. I found the book very entertaining and in some ways thought provoking. OTOH some parts of it are laughable. For example, the crytographer can't read/understand backwards writing. Hah!! I found these aspects more annoying than the mythos about it. I see no problem theologically with Jesus being married, if he was.

 

There have been several tv documentaries on the DaVinci Code. I felt the one by National Geographic channel and ABC was best. They did a lot of orginal source work and it was top-notch journalism, imo. The upshot: lots of nice (and some not so great) legend but very little based on fact. The strongest evidence was basically that Mary Magdeline was much more important and not a prostitute, but there isn't anything earthshaking about that.

 

 

--des

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The DaVinci code is coming out as a movie. [...]

I'm just having a bit of trouble picturing Tom Hanks as Langdon. But all the other casting choices are great -- especially Ian McKellen as Teabing and Jean Reno as Bezu Fache! I'm sure it will get at least as big a rise out of conservatives as Last Temptation did.

 

I have no theological problem per se with Jesus being married; it's just that the claim does suffer from a pretty significant lack of historical evidence. And the grail/bloodline legends suffer from an even worse one. Anyway, the alternate history isn't nearly subversive as the alternate metaphysics, which is where all the fun really is.

 

I actually found the book a lot more enjoyable than I had set myself up for. At he very least, it has much more to offer than the average best-seller schtick, with some extra food for thought thrown in at no extra charge.

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> Re: Tom Hanks as anybody he shouldn't be cast as.

 

It's a dying art, casting. One just puts Tom Hanks in. Prob. the worst offense (which I didn't see) was Tom Hanks cast as EVERYBODY in Polar Express. I realize it was a cartoon thing but still... I guess he is nice to work with and all. I can't see him acting as anybody in this. Oh well.

 

No I don't think there is much beyond legends on this and maybe not such a lot of legend even. In the interviews on the documentary, Dan Brown comes across very naive to me. But still I thought it was great fun, very hard to put down, and did put in a bit of thought-provoking stuff which will no doubt be swept from the film. I think it excited people as it re: introduced the idea of the sacred feminine to people. I think people are yearning for this, esp many women.

 

 

--des

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I think it excited people as it re: introduced the idea of the sacred feminine to people. I think people are yearning for this, esp many women.

Indeed; though I think the idea is lost on most of contemporary society, who are only capable of seeing it as a political statement of gender equality in the religious hierarchy. As such, they'll agree or disagree with it as their allegiances require, filling college libraries with flurries of books and essays nobody will ever read, but that's about it. While the sacred feminine definitely presents a political challenge, it goes far deeper than that. It's a metaphysical statement that shakes the universe down to its subatomic particles. It's a supression that has deeply affected all orthodox religion -- not just Christianity -- engendering shadow religions and neurotic practices of every imaginable kind. Some of those "shadow religions" have done an amazingly good job of preserving important truths in the religious "subconscious" until they're ready for the light of day. Others tell their adherents to drink poisoned Kool-Aid and wait for UFO's. Are we on the verge of a breakthrough?

 

That's my Jungian analysis of the state of religion today. Over and out.

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I disagree with those who are skeptical about Tom Hanks ability to play that role. He is one of the most versitile of leading actors currently working. His portrayals in Philadelphia, in Apollo 13, in Saving Private Ryan, in the Green Mile, in the Ladykillers, in Sleepless in Seattle, in Forrest Gump, etc., are all very good, and watching those characters does not constantly remind you of other characters he has played. As you watch his portrayal you see the character. On the other hand,

I can't watch Tom Cruise, for example, without constantly being aware that I am seeing Tom Cruise. Cruise never disappears into the character, and you are always noticing his overplayed dramatic method when you want to be paying attention to the story line.

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I'm not necessarily skeptical about Tom Hanks's ability to play the role. I just found it an odd casting, and I can't really picture how it's going to work. I loved him in all the movies you cited.

 

I second, third, and fourth you on Tom Cruise. Strangely, it worked for him in Eyes Wide Shut, because it was such a transparently fake character.

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This is a fun discussion, everyone; thanks.

 

Tom Hanks as Langdon -- somehow I can't picture it right now, but perhaps he'll surprise us. I recall Brown mentioning that women thought Langdon had a "voice like chocolate," and somehow that doesn't mesh with Hanks. It would have been perfect for Harrison Ford in his younger days, though.

 

Folks, if you haven't seen Jesus Christ Superstar in a while, check it out. I didn't really fully appreciate it when it first came out. It's actually quite good, full of humor, joy, and pathos.

 

Another good Christian "musical" is Brother Sun, Sister Moon, based on the early years of the ministry of St. Francis, with music by Donvan.

 

Peace --

 

Mary

Edited by curlytop
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I recall Brown mentioning that women thought Langdon had a "voice like chocolate," and somehow that doesn't mesh with Hanks.

Maybe he could say, "Life is like a box of chocolates" a lot.

 

Actually I didn't get that impression at all from the book. I felt -- especially at first -- like he was more of a reluctant geek who would rather be solving these puzzles from the research room at the library.

 

It would have been perfect for Harrison Ford in his younger days, though.

Ugh. Well, I guess I could see it if the writing were good. Too many associations with really bad lines in Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. He does pull off the reluctant, exasperated hero pretty well.

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