Lost in the Land of Oz

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"This book is about surviving as a spiritual orphan." "In "Lost in the Land of Oz", Madonna Kolbenschlag explores the way old societal myths, which are created from the metaphors in our life, are no longer useful in today's society. The author believes we need to embrace the ego archetype of the orphan, the most influential metaphor for the self, in order to become a whole and complete person. Madonna Kolbenschlag discusses how our society is particularly hostile towards women, resulting in an acute feeling of self-loathing, doubt, loneliness, and guilt. Today, women as the orphan feel a complete sense of powerlessness and abandonment, not only by everyone around her but also by God. Instead of suppressing our anxiety, Kolbenschlag advises that we should deal with it and remove the hidden layers of denial. We need to befriend the orphan within us and through all of this we will grasp a new insight and develop new spiritual consciousness. I feel the book is geared more towards women reclaiming their cultural and spiritual power. Chapter Four, "Women-Out of the Cave, Into the Desert," discusses this issue, including the modern problems facing women and some solutions. Today, women struggle to rediscover and reconcile their new societal roles with their feminine identity. In the book, Kolbenschlag uses Dorothy of the "Wizard of Oz" as the feminine model that must confront the psychological challenges along her path in order to reintegrate her true feminine self. (p.20) Women are orphaned in so many ways by our society, but through realizing certain truths can we befriend the orphan within us. Previously, Kolbenschlag felt that there were only two levels of feminine consciousness: those asleep and those who were awaking. (p.78) However, in today's society distinguishing these levels have become more complex. Through her "liberation index," she identifies the five levels of feminine awareness of modern times, which are innocence, denial, escape, defection, and deviance. Many young women are in the first stage of innocence because they have been sheltered from the realities of life, coming from a "picture perfect" life. Poor women are also in this stage because they believe that their reality is the only way of being for them. In the level of denial, women recognize their options, but feel that it is more beneficial for them to stay in their present state. On the other hand, some women are so overwhelmed by their present situation and feel that their only solution is to escape through drugs, alcohol, suicide, or insanity. (p.80) After that, there are the defectors who acknowledge their feminine consciousness, but barter it to satisfy their needs, may it be personal or professional. After understanding that the purpose of cultural structures is to keep women in an inferior position through manipulation and ill-treatment and that they can not have a close relationship without the other person trying to control them, eventually all women are driven to deviance. The changes that a woman undergoes during this time leave her feeling orphaned. (p.81) Women experience loneliness for different reasons and it is because of these reasons that the "feminization of loneliness," is at a height, even with all the advances made by women. (p.83) Women are given certain roles but if they do not adhere to them they chance rejection and the lost of attachments that sustain them. As stated by Kolbenschlag, women's greatest anxiety is being deprived of these bonds and to be by themselves. However, we live in a society that encourages disconnection and individuality.(p.82) There is also an isolation that involves men because women cannot find a man that can satisfy and handle their modern consciousness, therefore trapped in the "myth-warp." While there are external causes of loneliness, there are also internal causes. The internal causes are a direct result of "trying out a new myth" and defying the traditional belief that...
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