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Cross-Roads chat room
Ben's Seminar -- "Crossroads"
Session 2
20 July 2002

Ben< ALL: No preliminary set-up tonight. One scenario. Six questions. That's two more questions than usual, so warm up your typing fingers.

Ben< QUESTION 1: You are walking along a road and come to a crossroads. The other road is made of yellow bricks. Where do you think it goes? And why do you think so? YOUR TURN

guitarist< Ben: Now, really ... Dear heart, I hope you're not thinking of the land of Oz. Or the streets paved with gold in the city of G-d. I have no idea where such a road might go. I suppose I might want to check out what the bricks are made from, before trying to determine where it might lead (to or from).

Yopo< *S* I suppose we're all thinking of Oz. A hard association to avoid ...

quietwhisp< Ben: At a crossroads, there would be three other ways to go, other then back. You only mentioned one road being yellow ...

Ben< quietwhisp: The road you are on is made of gravel. The other road is made of yellow bricks, as far as you can see, from horizon to horizon.

quietwhisp< Ben: Well then, regardless of the color, I would go forward for I have already been in the past ...

LadyV< ... mental visual of yellow bricks ...

SLIDER< Yellow Bricks? I would say to civilization if the rest of the roads were dirt --- or if the others roads were black top or concrete I would think the yellow brick lead to a quaint old village--- definitely not to Oz.

Awenydd< hmmm, I would have to note that I wouldn't want to judge a path by its color ... *G*

alremkin< Being rather cautious, I wouldn't be inclined to draw conclusions about the road because of the material from which it's made. Although it would arouse my curiosity.

cassandra< A yellow brick road naturally leads to thoughts of Oz. Because of the movie. For me.

Ben< cassandra: Yep. And where does it go?

cassandra< Ben: It goes to a place where all your problems will be solved.

Ben< cassandra: So they say ... *S*

FRAML< It is the easy road to travel. Smooth and probably safe and leads to comfort.

Awenydd< These yellow bricks, they don't lead from the back door of Sliders Pub, do they?

LadyV< ... depends on what you prefer ... I like gravel ... enjoy searching for little rocks ...

guitarist< Maybe the brick road leads to (or from) a higher civilization than that of gravel. (Perhaps even joining two cities.)

Yopo< I guess I would probably think that a different sort of road would lead to a different sort of destination, but just how it differs would be mostly speculation ...

LEGS< Is it really yellow bricks, or what we want it to be? Is it an illusion, Ben?

Ben< I think the Yellow Brick Road might go to The Emerald City. I read the book and saw the movie.

guitarist< Oh, so you *are* talking about Oz.

cassandra< Ben -- and eventually the yellow brick road lead Dorothy home.

telosian< Ben: It's the journey that matters, otherwise Dorothy could have been set down in the Emerald City.

Ben< telosian: That was rather a crash-landing Dorothy made.

telosian< Ben: Fun ... heh???

tjones< Yellow roads are yellow roads ... they don't go anywhere to me ...

quietwhisp< Ben: Now if I had a choice of three, regardless of color I would have to take the one less traveled ...

LadyV< ... wondering if this a psychology question ... like drawing inside the lines of a circle. [smiling]

Awenydd< I like Sapphires myself ... Shouldn't there be some consideration as to WHY we are on the path and WHERE we want to go?

telosian< Awenydd: That is why I refer to the journey which may be more important then even the destination ...

SLIDER< Ben: I guess what would determine what we see in the yellow brick road would be if we are looking for easy solutions or can't define reality.

quietwhisp< In all honesty ... at cross roads in my life I say to self 'Well' and usually a bunch of answers will be given and results that may happen with each ... then I decide ... My freedom of choice ... but not really because I will go where they lead ... Now all of you know me ...

LEGS< Actually, it is difficult for me to make changes ... I would probably glance at it in curiosity, and continue on my own staid path.

Myalba< definitely "the road less traveled"

Ben< ALL: OK, my intent was to pop you into the Land of Oz, to stimulate your thinking -- and imagination. Next question next.

LEGS< *S* now, an invitation is different ... giggle

Yopo< Ben: Right. Now if I can just shake off the Munchkin chorus singing "Follow the yellow brick road" enough to concentrate ... *LOL*

Ben< Yopo: There are a lot of "Munchkins" who sing something like "Follow the Yellow Brick Road".

guitarist< I didn't think you would make it so easy, Ben. My antennae are up and searching.

Ben< QUESTION 2: If this is the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where does it go if you walk in the other direction? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Back to Munchkinland.

Myalba< Down the road of a different experience.

Awenydd< Could be Lolly-Pop Land ... which sounds sweet ... or it could be to the dark forest.

LadyV< ... thinking it might lead to reality ... since the other one is a bit on the fantasy side of the fence ... [smiling] or so I feel with Emerald City.

alremkin< #2. Not being familiar enough with the story, I'll pass on this question.

guitarist< I may not be remembering this correctly, but I think the Emerald City is in the center of Oz. If you walk in the other direction, therefore, you walk into the domain of a witch -- whether good (north or south) or bad (east or west).

Eterna< Ben: Hello. *s* Eventually, it will lead one in full circle back to the Emerald City.

telosian< Ben: With the right amount of cyclic energy ... (ducking head in case of reprisal) ... Kansas.

theoldman< The road is where you take it ... and presumably you have not walked this one ... so off you go being yourself ... down the crossed road of life:)another day in Oz.

Awenydd< Well, for me, the Emerald City would be a destination of luck. I would more likely find lolly-pop land or the dark forest long before I got around to the wonders of Oz.

Eterna< I came in late, so am assuming of course, that the Emerald City is a metaphor for GOD, for HOME, for our Original Essence?

tjones< It only means ... I don't want to go to Emerald City ... which is fictitious ...

SLIDER< Now that is an area we haven't seen in the movie or the book. Dorothy had the opportunity to start where the road ended and follow it to the Emerald City. In this case a road sign or messenger would be required to help us along, and if none was available, one would have to follow it and hope it went somewhere better than where they were.

guitarist< SLIDER: Dorothy started in the territory of the Wicked Witch of the East -- in fact, her house killed that witch. The yellow brick road led from there to the Emerald City.

Yopo< Hmm ... Tryin' to think this out. Uh, The Emerald City may or may not be where you want to go, but knowing WHERE it is provides you with a point of reference, at least ...

guitarist< That's the basis for my theory that the Emerald City is in the center of Oz and that the witches' territories surround it.

LEGS< Thinking it would leave tinman and the other two still searching, so perhaps we are apt to go where we are most needed though we don't recognize it quite that way ...

Acara< Emerald City is the color of the third chakra. Yellow brick road leads to wisdom of the heart. Should she have gone the other way, she would have been led to the folly of the heart, instead of the knowledge: There is no place like home.

jim-jones< So many roads to travel ... who's to say which is the right path ... just choose your path and stick with it ... you create your own reality ... leave mine to me ...

Ben< If you remember the movie, where Dorothy first got on the Yellow Brick Road, and think of going back to that point ... It ends in an ever-decreasing spiral in Munchkin Land.

SLIDER< Yes, Ben, that is what I was referring to.

Yopo< Yeah, I remember the spiral ... Never thought about its symbolism. Hmm ... Follow it in, and it spirals down to nothing. Follow it the other way, and it becomes ever wider, including more and more. It might be seen as a way out, or as a point of origin ...

guitarist< Ben: I thought it *started* in Munchkin Land, with all the Munchkins dancing around Dorothy, celebrating the death of the Witch of the East.

SLIDER< guitarist: Maybe I should have said the beginning of the road. I do remember the circular start of the road, and yes, it was where the wicked witch got killed, but only in her domain, not her residence.

Eterna< Ben: Yes. The spiral is the way energy travels. To spiral outwards is to ascend, to spiral downwards is to descend. Heaven to Earth, Earth to Heaven. The Divine spirals downward into Human form, the Human form spirals upwards into the Divine. *s*

jim-jones< follow the yellow brick road ... or follow the brown muddy road ... or follow the steep narrow road ... it makes no difference ... they all lead to the same place ... but I could be wrong ...

jenny7392< I wouldn't mind taking the gravel road. I know what is on the yellow brick road. I want to know what is on the gravel road.

Peachbird< ... hmmm ... yellow brick road is a questing journey ... to go the opposite direction perhaps would be to question the wisdom of the journey ... *S*

jim-jones< I like this conversation.

guitarist< Hello, jim-jones. I believe reality is too vast for anyone to have it in its entirety; each of us has a slice. We understand the total better if we understand one another.

jim-jones< I agree ((((guitarist))))) ... we are fleas on the ass end of an elephant ... we can only perceive so little of something that is so big ...

tjones< Don't judge by colors ... or any standards ... they are just your concepts ...

jenny7392< I also want to know what are along these roads. When I travel down gravel roads, I find a lot of beautiful scenery along the way.

selki< ... but, Dorothy learned that the "grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence." Her desire to be elsewhere taught her the importance of being happy where she was. It doesn't matter if the road is paved with yellow bricks, gold, asphalt, or left as a sand road. What matters is that you are on the correct one for your journey.

jim-jones< (((((selki)))))) ... nice point ...

Acara< Yes, very like the little people, or Ancient Ones who are helpers. Think the lion and tin man and others are all aspects of Dorothy.

quietwhisp< biting back tongue ... keeping quiet listening ...

GypsyMage< Going forward ... one step at a time ... curiosity gets the best of me ... have to go see where the Yellow Brick Road goes ...

tjones< It's not all complicated ... all colors are good ... all standards are good ... yet ... you to have to discriminate what's good for yourself ...

Ben< ALL: OK, several of you have already addressed this next question (thinking ahead of me), but I'll post it for everyone.

Ben< QUESTION 3: Do you leave the road you are on and follow the Yellow Brick Road? If so, why? If not, why not? YOUR TURN

GypsyMage< As I stated earlier ... the fascinating yellow bricks make me turn from my original journey ... to see where it leads ... one step at a time.

TheOne< Hello to Ben. This is the first time I've been in a moderated room, so I do not know how it is done, but will join in and try to keep to the guidelines, but if I do something wrong please say. :)

quietwhisp< Ben: At every point in your life could be a yellow brick road ... it's a matter of choice how you want to view it ... what you see along it is what you place and how you choose to view ... where you end up also comes with that choice from within ... imho

jim-jones< (((Ben)))) I'll leave the road I'm on and follow the yellow brick road only if the yellow brick road appeals to my perceptions ... and that's probably what everything comes down to ... one's honest perceptions ... or ... being faithful to one's honest perceptions ...

SLIDER< Ben: In this case I know where the Yellow Brick Road goes, so I would not follow it. I would take another road to explore -- but that's my nature.

alremkin< #3. I'm inclined to follow my inner direction. Unless there's an inner connection to the new road, I'll stay on my present path.

SpanishEyes< The yellow brick road is the road most traveled, and if one is unwilling to travel the less traveled path, one cannot grow and will end up in Oz ... the land of illusion ... headed by the false wizard called the ego.

Yopo< Tough question. I suppose it depends on whether or not you've got some other destination strongly in mind. An explorer might feel compelled to visit the Emerald City. *S* Just put your money in your shoe, before you enter the city limits ...

TheOne< hmm ... a good question. :) which also has many answers, all true but at the same time not.

theoldman< Being this is a fantasy ... of life ... I would not have arrived at the Yellow Brick Road unless it was time to walk down it ... so go with the journey ... and see what unfolds ...

jenny7392< I would go down the other road. I know what is on the yellow brick road. What is on the gravel road? Besides, the yellow brick road may be pretty and everything, but it's also boring. No other roads to take, there were a few friends along the way but I want the gravel.

quietwhisp< Ben: To me "Oz" could very easily have been a horror show if it had been promoted to us that way???

Ben< quietwhisp: I think of that story as a parable, and a parody.

quietwhisp< Ben ... ran for dictionary to make sure I understood ... yes, I also ... I was just inserting the thought of mind-set there ...

Peachbird< Perhaps we are all on the yellow brick road ... we just don't know it yet ... *LOL* Won't know until we get to Oz ... then maybe we will have to be zapped right back to point zero ... this is earth-school ... nothing more ... learn the lesson ... assess them ... decide if we need to go back and try it again ... or move on ... just my feeling ...

GypsyMage< This is assuming that we don't know that the yellow brick road leads to the Emerald City and that there aren't these lil' ole' Munchkins marching around us singing at the top of their lungs ... just a new and different road that appears in the path of the old and normal one ... leading to ????

cassandra< Dorothy followed the yellow brick road and ended back at her own home, but with the knowledge that this was where she wanted to be, with those who loved her. So, knowing her story, if my road was taking me home anyway, I would just stay on it.

tjones< If I found the road is not the right road for me, I'll try the Yellow Brick Road.

Celia< Hmmm ... Going the right way on the Yellow Brick Road, the lion found courage, the tin man got a heart, the straw man got brains, and Dorothy got to go home. Think I'd go for it.

Eterna< Well, for me, Dorothy represents The Fool in the Tarot. She starts off on a journey of discovery, as we all do. It is a discovery of self-awareness that leads to the awareness of the ALL. The Emerald City represents the Origin of self. To reach the Emerald City is to have attained to the card The Universe. To see that one is both Creator and Created, Observer and Observed, an inherent part of the ALL. And everyone, in time, follows the yellow brick road. It is the metaphor for the journey of self-awareness that each must take. If one does not take it, one is doomed to ignorance and slavery as opposed to wisdom and sovereignty. *s*

Awenydd< A bricked road is tempting, but what appears easy at first often is not. I may try another path to see where it leads me, assuming all roads lead to Rome, or Oz as the case may be. Without a choice, I would most likely choose the only predetermined path, with little deviation or attempt to forge my own.

Myalba< My path, if explored (experienced) to it's fullest, CAN become the yellow brick road.

guitarist< The Yellow Brick Road is the road to self-discovery. All the characters who follow Dorothy down that road discover, at the end of the journey, that they already possessed the qualities they sought; Dorothy herself found out that she could have gone home any time she pleased, and that she possessed the means to do so. Therefore, I would follow the road. Indeed, I am on that road now and have been for a long time, and have been discovering that I have the qualities I have been seeking. The only thing I needed was the journey itself, to bring them out into the open.

selki< guitarist: Exactly! Each character searched for something that they already possessed. However, none of them were aware of it. Somewhat the way some people search for God only to learn that God was right in front of them the whole time.

guitarist< selki: Right! The journey, and the experiences that came with it, brought about the awareness. The Wizard, once brought down to earth, brings with him an interpretation of each one's experience and qualities so that they can now be aware of them.

jim-jones< "I would wile away the hours ... communing with the flowers ... consulting with the rain ... and my head I'd be a-scratching ... while my thoughts were busy hatching ... if I only had a brain ... "

Myalba< the road less traveled

Eterna< One can take as many detours as one so desire ... GOD is in no hurry. *lol*

GypsyMage< Eterna ... I like that ! and guitarist, that sounds familiar to me ... *S* The journey and the people you meet along the way ... that make you think just a slight bit differently about things ... and to explore your inner self a new way.

Ben< ALL: Alright! Good responses. I'll look forward to reviewing this transcript. More on this question?

kezia< It appears that the American gov't believes they are on the yellow brick road to the emerald city, oh, they created the road & the city, they already own it! so, now, in order to maintain control of same, if they can't get the public frightened enough, they will take away the rights of individuals so they can target whoever is a threat (trump up charges) & whisk them away (probably to the dead witch domain) -- a takeoff on the topic, but may apply on a personal level, as well as a societal level, or even a soul level.

QIM< kezia: Good point about how we as Americans are on the yellow brick road. Dorothy is like the innocent feminist of today, dancing merrily along the yellow brick road with her tin man and man without a heart, and ending up in the realm of patriarchy which was just a old fool behind a curtain depending on everyone's belief. It was the Wicked Witch of the East who had the real power and she's still alive and kicking on our yellow brick road. Corporate-feminism is out to conquer the world, or in Oz speak, the wizard and the Witch of the East.

SpanishEyes< All that is yellow is not necessarily gold.

tjones< I am afraid searching far is only an exercise of futility ... just see what's in front of the nose is all there is ... no thoughts involved ... this is not ... not not intellectual work ...

SpanishEyes< Poor Dorothy ... there is no way to stand Kansas once you've been to Oz ... she so sad ... she traded all that color for black and white.

jenny7392< I don't think I would get to Oz. I'm afraid I'd find my paradise along the way and decide to stay here.

jim-jones< but what of those evil flying monkeys?

TheOne< I have another answer (hope no one minds). Perhaps Dorothy knew where the road would lead, but to walk the path again in a way would not be for her benefit but for those she met along the way. Seen in a metaphorical sense.

guitarist< TheOne: *no school solutions here* just observations. :)

Ben< QUESTION 4: If you decide to leave the road you are on and follow the Yellow Brick Road, how do you know which way to turn? YOUR TURN

GypsyMage< Ben: I'm right-handed and tend to take the right fork unless I've been "directed" to take the left . *S*

alremkin< #4. Ah, an easy question: inner guidance.

SpanishEyes< It doesn't matter, I think ... whichever way you turn is the correct way always.

TheOne< You would know where you desired to go, and maybe that is enough. :)

quietwhisp< Ben: Again I would look & question then go the way my heart felt at peace with ...

Eterna< Well ... to quote Obi Wan Kenobi (or however you spell it *lol*) ... "Trust your feelings, Luke." *s*

LEGS< If, as someone suggested, it is a circle, it wouldn't matter, but until you asked, I hadn't realized I was visualizing it as the right hand road ... perhaps because right is RIGHT?

tjones< Because the Yellow Brick Road ... is real ... I can step on it ... kick it ... lie down on it ... if I wish ...

jenny7392< If I don't like the road I'm on, I don't necessarily know what road to take, but I probably do "eeny meeny miny mo" just to see if that other road is the good road. Or the one I want. I don't think I would ever know unless I traveled down it.

theoldman< Knowing which way to turn presumes you have a question in mind ... not knowing which way the road in life goes ... why start with a question ... when the journey begins with the first step ... besides ... if it is a dead end ahead ... or a side road/service road ... who cares ... it's just a road ...

tjones< but then ... all roads are fictitious ... precisely because all roads are just concepts, ideas ...

Myalba< I would take the "pathwork of self transformation", by Eva Pierrakos. ;-o)

Yopo< Uh oh ... A curve ball ... *hehe* I was thinkin' I was at the beginning of the yellow brick road, and there was just the matter of turning up it. Hmm ... OK. Maybe I'd look for that emerald glow on the horizon. Lacking that, I'm partial to right turns, or walking toward where the sun rises instead of where it sets ...

SLIDER< Ben: You have to know where you've been and where you are to have a meaning purpose to follow any road, and intuition, and discernment would have to be followed, unless of course you wander aimlessly through life taking what comes your way. A desire and/or purpose would or should define your direction.

cassandra< I am very bad at directions. But I would listen to my "little Voice" and take the road. Even if it was not what I had anticipated, it would turn out to be right. Or so I have found out in my real life and not theory.

guitarist< Hard to tell, Ben. The Munchkins directed Dorothy. What would direct me? Who are these Munchkins anyhow? My conscience? Discarnate spirit guides?

Myalba< Descartes spirit guides. ;-o)-

guitarist< Oh, and by the way, I'm left-handed. :)

kezia< Well, I see Dorothy as a metaphor for our innocence that gets lured by curiosity into all manner of mad-hatter tea parties & frightening events, having left the safety of home, who along the way, becomes awakened, or aware of just how vulnerable the innocent are & is now wised up to reclaim that precious bounty of that "home" where innocence was born.

Ben< I think it would help in making this decision at the crossroads to have a compass and a map that shows these roads. Inner guidance isn't always aligned with geographical coordinates, even in a fantasy world.

GypsyMage< Oh, Ben ... now you become practical ... a map ... a compass ... I thought that this was an uncharted journey. *S*

quietwhisp< Ben ... aahhhh, but now you are instilling reality, meaning you have a destination ... I thought you meant a crossroads of life ...

SLIDER< Ben: We were in fantasy land and you come up with a map and compass? Not fair play! LOL

DerekLamar< Anything can happen in fantasy ... even maps and compasses.

jenny7392< Sometimes the cross roads of life do have maps and compasses.

guitarist< And the Munchkins have a map? Why didn't they show it to Dorothy?

tjones< It looks like you are traveling ... you need maps ... but that's as far as you think ... you are traveling ... if you are not traveling you don't need anything ... just see ... just see ... and you know ...

Eterna< Ben: That is another good question. What WOULD one take on such a journey? What is it one would feel as a necessary accompaniment to assist them on their journey? *s*

TheOne< Perhaps it would depend on what you where looking for as the goal of the journey or whether you where trying to see what you find on that journey and whether just the goal itself was the only thing important to you. What you wish to find directs your choice on the road. :)

SpanishEyes< There is no map or compass in real life, and life is never a journey or destination ... it's just being, existence.

tjones< SpanishEyes ... right ... just is ... where do you want to go ... you want to go somewhere ... that's all the problem ... you create all the problems ...

jim-jones< ... and sometimes we are left at the crossroads to fend for ourselves ...

quietwhisp< Ben: Though in honesty I have to say there have been times I have been in my car and made turns according to the inner voice and later down the road a few years ended up in that exact place I had once visited ...

cassandra< I think it is very interesting how much is revealed of each one's personality by the answers they give.

Myalba< cassandra: ;o/

guitarist< Indeed, Cassandra.

TheOne< cassandra: *G* Very true :)

GypsyMage< (((((Cassandra))))) How true!

QIM< cassandra: Not personalities so much are revealed by the answers, but spiritual agendas. I admit, I was more obvious.

alremkin< I argue that inner guidance IS that compass and map.

GypsyMage< alremkin: I think you are on the right path with the "inner guidance" *S*

FRAML< Nothing more dangerous than a 2nd Lieutenant with a map and radio.

GypsyMage< FRAML (((HUGS))) LOL!

SLIDER< FRAML: I think Ben is trying to tell us we are in the Matrix!

FRAML< Ben: One seeks out a map or compass for their life via adopting a set of values, a philosophy, a religious belief of some type, or they may just decide to follow the crowd.

DerekLamar< Following the crowd won't always get you lost, but it may get you trampled.

guitarist< I agree, FRAML. First you decide where you want to go (how you want to live), then you seek those who are willing and able to take you there (help you live up to how you have decided to live).

alremkin< guitarist: Yes, it also points to the necessity of inner guidance to create pathways to the "unseen" -- heaven or the next level of existence.

kezia< Another profound aspect of Dorothy's or the journey of innocence into the real world, away from the safety of home, is that, despite all the efforts of those who tried to scare her, she found solid protection to get her home (perhaps a metaphor for how God is always with us & providing what we need to make it home), unless the wicked Queen lops off our head -- hehe

alremkin< Ben: Let me ask a question about your last question: In a world full of illusion, if we can, isn't it to our best interest to align with a coordinate system based on higher Reality?

DerekLamar< The only higher reality one is able to interpret is possibly the next level ... if you go too high you will not be able to understand ...

Ben< alremkin: Yes, it is in our best interest to have a compass aligned with reality.

SpanishEyes< It's because we wish always to be somewhere else than where we are ... what's wrong with just being where we are and experiencing fully the present rather that continually whining about the past or focusing on an uncertain future?

Myalba< When I was 14, I turned "left" and burned rubber ... I would prefer another opportunity to turn "right" ;)

jim-jones< We create our own maps ... we create our own reality ... the point is ... we need to make sure that our personal realities do not tread on the personal reality of anyone else ... every road is wonderful as long as we carry true compassion in our backpacks.

theoldman< There is no right or wrong answer to the walk in life ... the yellow brick road is the one you're on ... and the journey begins and ends with each step ... the metaphor is the joy of being able to walk your own life ... down the road ... not under a load of "which way, why go there, where does it go, will it be safe, will I get lost?" A point of view starts with open eyes ...

Yopo< I'm thinking maybe the process of the journey is primary, and destinations only a motivation to put one foot in front of the other. On one level, at least. 'Cause the journey process DOES get you to a destination. A sort of paradox, maybe?

SLIDER< If one believes that the reality you experience is of your own making, then any implement of your choice should be easy to produce with the power of thought. There is a time factor involved, so one must be aware of all things around you at all times.

Ben< QUESTION 5: If you follow the Yellow Brick Road and come to a crossroads with signs pointing EAST and WEST, what do you do? And why? YOUR TURN

Celia< Looking for "True North" compass ...

DerekLamar< What do the signs say?

telosian< Ben: If my destination was set, the crossroads would not matter.

jenny7392< I would go west, it's been my dream to go out west.

SpanishEyes< I'm left-handed so if I come to the crossroads, and all things appearing equal, I always turn left ... my natural inclination.

quietwhisp< I would stay on the pathway 'till I reached the end ... the cross paths will come again if I am meant to take them ...

jenny7392< or I would look on the map and see what is west or east of me and decide from there.

GypsyMage< Ben: I would wonder why reality jumped up on my Yellow Brick Road!!! I'd go East ... not to the setting sun ... because by this time, the sun would be fully in my eyes and I would be blinded to the sights around me!

Myalba< I would prefer inner guidance; however, the mis-interpretation of inner guidance (voice) is highly possible without outer guidance, accepted by the path follower.

TheOne< LOL I keep wanting to ask questions of my own with relation to the yellow brink road question, but it's hard when everyone sees it differently. In a connected sense, do you trust the Munchkins when you don't really know them? She asked, then was directed. I myself wouldn't really know what to do without going into a deep spam post. *G*

LEGS< Personally I would turn to the East ... because subconsciously perhaps it is considered source of wisdom by me ... ??? trying to think why ...

DerekLamar< There are "relative" right and wrongs depending on where you want to go ... all roads ultimately lead to the self, but it depends on how fast you desire to get there ... the only real difference in paths seems to be the time it takes to figure out who you are ... some are faster than others ... but that is not absolute ... for some one might be faster whereas for someone else it might be slower ... so the real question is "how fast do you want to get to your SELF?"

Ben< Hint: if you turn WEST you will come to a sign that says "Flying Monkey Crossing".

GypsyMage< An addendum ... that is ... if the East and West roads were also "yellow brick" ... because of my curiosity, I would have to continue on the yellow brick road to see where it leads ... *S*

Eterna< Ben: Go West, young man! *LOL* East represents the beginning of the journey, the very idea to go on a journey to begin with. West is the unknown, the land of magick, the setting sun, completion. North gives us Higher Guidance, South the courage and passion to actually undertake the journey and to endure all the comes across one's path ... to keep one's eyes on the prize. *s*

The_Magus< Hello and namaste everyone. Eterna: going west means not only the unknown or magic, but the end of the path. If east is the beginning or the goal of the journey, then west must be the fulfillment.

Eterna< The_Magus ... but then again, everything is circular, is it not? To keep going West, one eventually ends up in the East again, with a new quest, a new idea, a new beginning, a new day dawning ... Yes? *s*

The_Magus< Eterna: of course. When one fulfills the goal, it only becomes the beginning of another.

Myalba< hmmmm, go west young man.

Acara< East would be toward the rising sun: The Future, the spiritual. West would lead to the setting sun: The Past, and away from the heart, as is what happened when the flying monkeys take her away in the poppy field; i.e., baser nature.

guitarist< Knowing that east and west contain wicked witches, I would not go that way, but would continue on the path I started on. Unless a loved one were trapped in one of those territories. Then I might want to go and rescue that one.

TheOne< Hmm ... east or west? Maybe flip a coin and trust in chance, at least if it led the wrong way you could blame the coin and not yourself.

tjones< I follow the Yellow Brick Road ... because I am the road ... so why can I know if it's pointing west or east ... it points to all directions ...

alremkin< #5. Rather than reiterating previous responses, since I've always lived in the western portion of North America, and to take a lighter response, of course I'll go farther west.

GypsyMage< alremkin: I was going to number my answers by the questions, but forgot all about it until you did ... sorry, Ben.

jim-jones< I think Elton John was right when he sang "Good-bye yellow brick road." I think the Munchkins were wrong when they sang "Follow the yellow brick road."

Myalba< A lifetime learning to discern the inner teachers, true voice.

QIM< Ben: This generation and the recent ones before hit the crossroads but stayed on the yellow brick road. Now we are in the house of the Wizard and The Witch, but feeling none too comfortable. I think we have to take out the witch to get back home

SpanishEyes< The witch of the east must be in the east, and the good witch of the west must be in the west ... so west would logically be the wisest choice and that would be on my left ... gosh, what took me so long?

The_Magus< SpanishEyes: Neither the Witches of the East or West were good. Only Glinda, the witch of the North was good. More about that ...

SpanishEyes< Yes, The_Magus, but she has a really high pitched voice and drives me crazy and I always found her to be pretentious and irritating. (Glinda of the North, that is.)

The_Magus< SpanishEyes: Not any more irritating than that scratch-on-the-chalkboard voice of the Witch of the West.

FRAML< Hmm ... with wicked witches to the east and west, I'd go straight ahead. Although I knew the eastern witch was dead, there would still be her servants there.

jenny7392< No witch is going to stop me from going to where I want to go. I'm still going to go wherever.

kezia< FRAML: hahahaha; maybe it doesn't matter what road, east or west, as long as we get home. Didn't Dorothy finally say enough of this nonsense? & home she was; the bluebird of happiness is in your own backyard, but to appreciate it, you have go out & get knocked around a lot(suffering).

TheOne< FRAML: *G* Why stick to any road? Off the unbeaten path may be a shorter way.

SLIDER< Coming to this point in the travel, east or west, I had better have an idea where I am headed. A destination is what one needs, or all travel is just a walk in the Park.

Ben< OK! Lots of responses. Good! Last question next.

TheOne< LOL Anyone seen Zardoz? Could apply here. Was Dorothy led by the wizard from the beginning and had no choice? Just ponderings ...

DerekLamar< East is symbolic of female whereas West is symbolic of male ... it has been said that if you were born a man it is because you need to understand your masculinity, whereas if you were born a woman you need to understand your femininity. So if you wish to go where you will confront yourself, go West if you are male and go East if you are female. Unless your Higher Self tells you otherwise and then just run North because they'll let anyone across the border.

Yopo< I've always had a problem with the Flying Monkeys. *LOL* But there's also the issue of confronting one's fears ... Might be time to head west ...

DerekLamar< You can never leave Truth for it is with you always. Therefore you can never go to Error for error is an illusion.

jim-jones< After all, what do we find at the end of the Yellow Brick Road? I mean after that lovely field of poppies? We find the emerald city ... ruled by a false wizard that keeps telling us "Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain." The yellow brick road is a farce ... it leads us into nothing but disappointment ...

Ben< QUESTION 6: Where can't you go by following any of these roads? YOUR TURN

quietwhisp< Ben: To the past ...

jenny7392< You can't go back.

SpanishEyes< Can't go to Kansas, it seems. Reality ever remains elusive on the paths of illusion.

tjones< You are left alone by yourself ... and that's good ... relax ...

DerekLamar< Jack Nicholson said "Don't go to Chinatown."

Myalba< One can't go wrong.

Acara< Excuse please, always when criting anything, one must come from the matrix of Self, but unless Dorothy is Everyman, can't use her as a mirror, and her path of coming of age as one's own criteria. Difference between story and what author is saying and self analysis.

quietwhisp< Ben: Here I have to wonder if you are asking, would one stay exactly on the road or venture off to the different happenings along the road?

[Ben< quietwhisp: Good point. There are places and happenings that you won't find if you stay exactly on the road all the time.]

Yopo< If you stay on established roads, you can only get to pre-determined destinations. If you don't believe any of the established roads actually lead anywhere, you gotta make a path of your own.

GypsyMage< Ben: My first inclination to question #6 is to say "to the time and spot from which I began the journey" ... but then, I could return to the spot ... but not the same as I was when I first arrived there ... I will have changed in some fashion from the person I was before.

DerekLamar< That's it ... that's it ... you can never go home again. LOL

theoldman< The only place you cannot go is back in time. You can go forward or stay in the present moment ... but behind time or backward is the only road less traveled ... once you have been over it ... (a little Quantum ozzy nugget on the road to being myself ... L)

DerekLamar< Ahhhhh, but some people live in the past. *s*

guitarist< Can't go home again without facing yourself. Can't return to Munchkin Land because that's where you came from. Can't go backwards because you must go forward to find what you're looking for. Don't know what else right now. :)

tjones< Relax ... its all there ... nothing missing ... nothing superfluous ...

ManyToOne< Where can't I go? Surely this is a paradox, like all questions. After all, if I say that "there is nowhere I can't go", then I cast my shadow (my contradiction) in the direction of "that which is not a place for me possibly to go" ... already I have constrained myself and world by where one may possibly go; i.e. as opposed to stay, and what it is for me to be at all; i.e. as opposed, say, to become. In this case, I guess I'll respond (mischief that I am) that I can go nowhere, and where I am not, I become ...

TheOne< Well, as I once wrote in my books, sometimes the journey is more important than the goal. If Dorothy was just magically jumped to the wizard, then what would have happened?

alremkin< #6. Can't go to the next higher level of existence by following any of these roads, although how we conduct ourselves on these "roads" at this level determines where we go next time, at the end of this time.

Ben< I agree with SpanishEyes. None of these roads go home to Kansas.

cassandra< Well, unless we have a rocket-belt, we can't go up or out (whichever is the proper word here), and according to Thomas Wolfe -- You Can't Go Home Again. *G*

DerekLamar< Yes, and Jesus said a prophet is never honored in his own home town. *s*

[Ben< cassandra: Dorothy went home. She just didn't know that she could go home -- until the good witch Glinda contradicted Thomas Wolfe. *G*]

Ben< ALL: This is the end of the scheduled hour. I'll mute the room while I post my closing comments, and then open it for discussion of crossroads. Please stay on topic for half an hour, so those who wanted to post additional questions or comments last time (or this time) have a chance to do so.

-------------------------

The way some spiritual roads are described sounds a lot like the Yellow Brick Road. One direction leads to a much-advertised city. The other direction ends in a cul-de-sac. There are many crossroads leading elsewhere.

If you find yourself in a decreasing spiral, it is a good idea to stop following that road. If you go to a much-advertised city, you may find that city isn't your home.

I am like Dorothy. This fascinating world isn't my home. I can go home, if I really want to go home, but there are many roads that won't lead me there.

-------------------------

Ben< ALL: The room is open for discussion of crossroads.

FRAML< Ben: You are saying that "all roads don't lead to Rome."

guitarist< FRAML: I think Ben is saying that all roads don't lead to where you want to go. If you restrict yourself to the obvious, you may never find your way.

SLIDER< Ben: I find no place you can't go from a crossroads. It's all a matter of perception and personal preference.

Ben< SLIDER: My question was, where can't one go on THESE roads? For example, one can't go to any other country on the roads of Iceland.

SLIDER< Ben: Then all roads at this crossroads lead only to Oz. You got me confused tonight between fantasy and reality, if there is such a thing as reality. Scratching head ... must have an ale, I guess. FRAML will you join me?

FRAML< SLIDER: Yes ... Is the path home a real one, or a fantasy one? Quite confusing. Joining you for that ale to think about it.

[Ben< I did fuzz things up a bit tonight by popping everyone into the Land of Oz, but the questions that one needs to consider when navigating roads and crossroads are very much the same whether one is in physical reality, spiritual reality, or fantasy.]

jim-jones< What does it mean when "the room is currently muted"?

Ben< jim-jones: "The room is muted" means that only designated people can post. It is one of the moderator's control-panel options in this room.

TheOne< Anyone seen the film Zardoz? That's all I could think of when I saw the 3rd question (that's when I came in here). *G* Moderated room discussion? Should I go in or should I not?

The_Magus< There's something funny about two stories: both "The Wizard of Oz" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" were about wizards and witches. Now you never heard complaints about "The Wizard of Oz" being about witchcraft, yet it had witches in it, but there's so much controversy about 'Harry Potter". Personally, I find it silly.

TheOne< LOL The name Zardoz was from the wiZARD of OZ because Zardoz was a fake god run by a man wishing to run the populace. The real god was the crystal who, through guidance of the immortals and giving them what they truly wanted, created for itself a human body.

jim-jones< Everything is a matter of perception ... we can't see through each other's eyes ... I can not assume that what others see is the same thing I see ...

tjones< Yes ... there are millions of degrees of difference in perceptions ...

jim-jones< I'm learning ...

DerekLamar< I only have to say that I enjoyed myself and everyone else. It was refreshing ... no one had time to attack each other ... LOL

theoldman< Well, friends, my road with you for this evening ends here ... and remember, each step a heart-beat ... each breath a prayer ... of what can be in our lives ...

Eterna< I must go. Thank you all for the chat, it was most de-LIGHT-full. *vbs* Goodnight.

Acara< Crossroads always symbolize a choice.

TheOne< Perhaps the wizard was the most knowledgeable, but those who do know expect a booming voice, so they get what they need from the most knowledgeable.

tjones< I think those who know are muted ... *S*

jim-jones< *s* ... tjones

TheOne< Perhaps Dorothy should have followed Toto. Animals can guide us better than reasoning sometimes. *G*

alremkin< Good night to those leaving.

SpanishEyes< There is no "path" and no where to go ... it is enough to just be where and what we are and live until we die.

The_Magus< SpanishEyes: But that path is a cycle in itself. A creation from two opposed forces, preserved throughout life, and our passing means our closure, our fulfillment, and our transformation.

LEGS< I agree, The_Magus ... *s*

SpanishEyes< The_Magus: That's one way of perceiving. It's simpler for me to understand, like the Buddha, there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, we are already there ... just be.

tjones< SpanishEyes ... that's the point ... why do some resent it ...

ManyToOne< SpanishEyes: That's definitely wise counsel ... but what is it to be? How is it possible not to be? And if one is, regardless, doesn't this mean that we have no choice but to travel the Path? Perhaps the Path is precisely that struggle to simply be?

Myalba< The path of the soul is predetermined, and one hopes to fulfill that goal in each lifetime.

TheOne< The question is, when you get to your goal, where do you go then?

tjones< TheOne: or what happens if you found out that there is no goal after all?

TheOne< tjones: There is always a goal for most, even if it is simple to the eye, but at the same time there is not. It depends on what you wish to believe. *G*

SpanishEyes< ManyToOne: Why do we insist that we must be something other than we are to be happy, enlightened, etc? The Buddha wasn't happy until he realized under the Bo tree that there was Nothing to become and Nowhere to go ... he was already the Buddha and then he became the Buddha ... it is the same for all of us.

tjones< SpanishEyes ... you show the light ... wonderful ... I fully agree ...

SpanishEyes< Thank you tjones ... bowing. All show the light here.

ManyToOne< SpanishEyes: But surely if this is true, then it holds equally for our understanding of what 'nothing' means, no? In other words, to reduce the Path to simply being, is only to displace the question from path to being. Sure, I agree that there is great wisdom in these sayings, but I don't see how the answer is to erase the question (as if that were even possible). What is nothing, and what is it not to become?

SpanishEyes< What else is there, ManyToOne ... other than just being?

[Ben< As Hamlet said while contemplating physical suicide, "To be or not to be? That is the question."]

TheOne< I'm probably the only one here up at 4:15 in the morning, so don't expect me here all the time for moderated discussions (English, you see). One wants to learn more but one has not the time. LOL

guitarist< I must go also. (*(*(*Ben*)*)*) It's so good to have you back.

quietwhisp< Ben: You always send my mind a-pondering ... I am so glad to have been able to be here tonight ... For me each pondering is a learning journey ... through self ...

LEGS< ((((((Ben))))))) a lot of fodder for my brain ... I shall appear to others as the strawperson until I get this absorbed ... *G*

quietwhisp< (((LEGS)))) never ... the very feel of you is wisdom ...

[Ben< Dear friends, I'm sorry I missed these gracious comments. Namaste.]

Yopo< I wonder sometimes what the term "spiritual path" actually means. Whether it means an actual line defined on a map, an actual road one can decide to embark upon by moving from point A to point B, and eventually arrive at a destination -- or maybe instead, a certain "style" of traveling, where the transformations of the journeying process are primary?

Myalba< Growth of the soul.

alremkin< Yopo: I'd also call it the way, truth and life.

Wolfeye< I'd say every life experienced by us Humans are spiritual paths ... various roads and styles, but spirituality is perceptions and learning from experiences ... so in that sense, every life is a learning spiritual path ...

GypsyMage< Yopo: I'm so glad that I am not the only one who wonders that ... but, woe is me, I fear that there is no map for me to follow to the spiritual path I should be upon.

The_Magus< Yopo: You wonder if the path is the road or the vehicle taken? Well, it's a bit of both. Any endeavor is like that -- even a real trip is like that. A trip by plane is different from a trip by car or boat or train. You experience different things. Spirituality is like that also. Different paths, different vehicles to the same goal: happiness -- different experiences.

Myalba< The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Yopo< The_Magus: Hmm ... Not so much a road or vehicle issue, as an issue of whether road and vehicle matter at all, compared with what happens to the soul who makes the journey. "Journey" and "Destination" are good metaphors and all, but isn't what we're REALLY talking about a process of evolution and expansion of spiritual consciousness? Just throwing that out as a random thought ... *S*

The_Magus< Yopo: Yes, and that expansion brings us happiness.

jenny7392< The_Magus: I do believe you are right. But I also do believe it is the journey itself that holds a lot of value to it also.

The_Magus< jenny: Of course, that's the entire experience right there. That's why auto trips are always more interesting than a plane trip. Sure, they might get you there faster, but with a car trip, you see a lot more on the way. I know that from experience.

jenny7392< The_Magus: Every time I'm at a rest stop, I grab maps of the area attractions just to see what is all there. When I go on road trips, I usually don't drive but I am always looking out the window to see the scenery.

Acara< The most famous crossroads in my mind is from Dostoyevsky, where Ras comes to salvation or the ubermensch mentality. Now, that is existentialism, and that is the crossroads that stands out most. Because it is the same road as Dorothy's only this ruby slipper was a bloody ax.

The_Magus< Acara: Even the ubermensch or the superman realizes that he or she has weaknesses. Clark Kent's weakness was Kryptonite. The Buddha also realized that, despite his enlightenment, he also had needs such as hunger or thirst. It also becomes the Freudian role of the Id.

Acara< The_Magus: What is different, in a sense, is if you see Dorothy's journey as spiritual, or when Rasmuas kneels at the crossroads and accepts faith and a spiritual redemption.

The_Magus< Acara: It was a journey in self discovery, as she was looking for a home, but the same undertaking also happened with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, and maybe even the Wizard himself. The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion represented the three aspects of the Psyche: the Scarecrow as the intellect, the Tin Man as the conscience, and the Lion as the physical self. The balance of these three allowed them (in the end) to rule over Oz after the Wizard's departure. The Wizard also discovered that he didn't need fire and color to make his ideas known, but that he had the wisdom all along. As for Rasmuas, he finds that once he surrenders his ideas of superiority to another through faith and trust, then he finds a greater sense of fulfillment.

QIM< The "path" is a dogged attempt to keep in existential good faith at every crossroads. The "path" widens with success at that attempt. Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" is a prime example of the exercise of "good faith".

DerekLamar< If the path home is our source, then we must always return there because in Truth we have never left ... but the returning there in consciousness is the realization process of recognizing the SELF.

kezia< wow, did the wicked witch eat my post?

The_Magus< kezia: The wicked witch didn't eat posts. The only witch that ate people was Baba Yaga of Russian folklore, and it was children she ate, not words.

kezia< Another attempt (off with thee, oh wicked post-eater). I think of the Oz story, along with Jack and the Beanstalk, as great stories or metaphors of what our soul goes through in its journey from the loss of innocence to responsible awareness.

Yopo< Matter of fact, our material realm of experience may ultimately be nothing BUT metaphor. The rather shabby rags that clothe an astonishing SPIRITUAL process that we only glimpse on occasion. There's that theory that all religions are imperfect things, for example. That each begins with a great soul who has had a clear look at the underlying truth, then comes back to explain what has been seen to those who lack the capacity to understand. We are left with garbled accounts, which we interpret as best we can, and at best only sense that there is a great truth that is hidden deeply within ...

TheOne< Yopo: You mean that it's meaning has been lost in time, and for today need something new but has the truth in it. :)

The_Magus< Yopo: Of course, you're now aware of the role of religion: the relationship of divine and human, created in inspiration, formed in revelation, and fulfilled in meditation or prayer.

Yopo< The_Magus: At its best, yes. I am one of those without specific religion, though not without spiritual orientation. I try to listen carefully wherever and whenever it is that I am spoken to ... *S*

The_Magus< Yopo: Yet organized religion bases itself upon the relationships of individuals like ourselves who don't really have that much ties to an organized religion. Those are the ones that have the real fulfillment, because they can remain objective in their observances, and without them being tainted by religious bias.

Acara< Thanks, The_Magus. LOL How I see it too. Was commenting on symbolism of crossroads.

alremkin< Yopo: My interpretation is that we are to dedicate our lives to bringing that Divine inner truth into our outer world; channeling the love of God through our own electromagnetic inner spirit connection to IAM.

Myalba< "I am the soul, I am the light divine, I am love, I am will, I am fixed design."

Wolfeye< The reason we aren't Gods in knowledge and evolution yet is only due to our ever denying of the fact that we will never be complete in the "Ego" centered path we all follow. Take a day off and go near a river and look at the water running down the stream ... hear the wind and the birds chants ... feel all your surrounding as you ... become your surrounding ... accept it as being a part of you and it will all become a part of yourself ... being in tune and one with the universe ... ;

GypsyMage< Wolfeye: Our favorite family pastime ... communing with nature ... close to a lake or river or stream ... to see the birds and listen to their songs ... to watch the different insects in their native habitat ... to be together and watch the wonderful cloud formations and the special evening paintings that God gives us as a treat before we return home ... hmmm ... being in tune and one with the universe ... yes!

Wolfeye< GypsyMage: Yes ... then all these debates of human opinions about this religious fact or another or this way to believe or that becomes evidently so futile and vain ... *VBS*

quietwhisp< If you are one with self ... spiritual part will help lead you to the food and warmth to maintain life ... life form will help spiritual form find truth and light ... imho

Wolfeye< the SELF is a variance ... every shade of colours within our own perceptions are experiences in which we learn lessons ...

cassandra< Life is not a bowl of cherries -- line from an old song; and neither should it be the interpretation of news given us by the news media. *g*

DerekLamar< --===oooo((((({{{ { ›{›››››CASSANDRA›››››}› } }}})))))oooo===--

cassandra< How much do movies influence today's thoughts?

Wolfeye< Every human experience is a shade of colour in this giant kaleidoscope of Life we all are going through ...

jenny7392< I think we are so busy trying to get to the destinations of our own paths we don't see how we got there. Which to me is sad because if we have to travel down the same road again, it's not as easy because we don't remember all that it took to get to our destination.

Myalba< There are no wrong paths, only ones that prolong reaching one's true destination.

jenny7392< Even though Dorothy wanted to get home, she did take the time to help the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion. Which I think made a big impact on her journey.

Ben< jenny7392: Good point. Dorothy helped others along the way, and that made a lot of difference in her journey.

QIM< Dorothy helped them for sure, but that is essentially selfish in a women's position alone in the wilderness with two men. She not only got protection, but as us Christians can testify, one gets more by giving than receiving.

kezia< jenny: Great point about Dorothy helping others along her way which turned out to be how not only she, but the others (tinman, strawman and lion) also found their way home (home being the metaphor for truth/God, within).

quietwhisp< Also, Dorothy already knew the tinman, strawman, and lion in real life ... she just was taken on a journey to show her their true worth ...

LEGS< Thank you, quietwhisp ... you're a dear one ...

jenny7392< The thing is, though, when they came to the wizard's castle, they still had their problems. The man at the door wouldn't let them in right away. The wizard sent them on a quest for the witches broom. Sometimes the end of the road doesn't necessarily mean the end of the journey.

QIM< jenny: I'm impressed ...

The_Magus< jenny: The doorman was also the wizard in disguise.

jenny7392< I better stop discussing the Wizard of Oz this way. I like the movie and I don't want to watch the movie again only to discover I'm trying to find the spiritual meaning to the movie. I just simply want to enjoy watching it.

The_Magus< jenny: That's part of the challenge, to look for the hidden messages. The Wizard of Oz has so much depth of meaning, you never see it the same way twice.

kezia< jenny: Keep on! Great insights. :) Yes, the Oz story beautifully describes the many temptations that lead us into all manner of trouble (a lot of which is caused by listening to deceivers who appear knowledgeable or are accepted as such) along our way or walk in this mortal life, a metaphor for the journey of the soul -- but while here, very real indeed! Our whole world is based on the results of suffering -- no one does anything until after the fact or tragedy.

jenny7392< This is my opinion. I think the wizard was the one to help scarecrow to realize he had a brain, the tinman he already had a heart, and the lion he had courage. I don't think he gave them those things.

The_Magus< jenny: No, he gave them realization or wisdom.

jim-jones< ((((jenny))))) ... LOL ... we're destroying the movie ... we are looking for something that isn't even there ... I love the movie in itself ... it reminds me of childhood ... that's good enough for me ...

jenny7392< jim-jones: I remember in the summer time on Friday nights going inside before curfew just to watch the movie.

jim-jones< Yes ... (((jenny))) ... it's a nostalgic piece of art ... why ruin it over its supposed meanings? I don't think the author (his name escapes me at the moment) had no intention of enlightening us with hidden truths ... I think the author wanted nothing more than to entertain us.

The_Magus< jim-jones: The author was L. Frank Baum.

kezia< jim-jones: The Wizard of Oz is totally metaphorical! & that is the intention of the author; all great works of art, written or otherwise, have perennial truth, thus, are called "classics".

jim-jones< ((((kezia)))) ... I can't argue with that ... *s*

GypsyMage< Ben: I had a bit of trouble understanding whether I was being in "reality" or fantasy, and what I would do in either or both. I think I would do the same in either ... *S* ... but in reality, we know that we are speaking of the crossroads that change our lives ... for better or for worse ... correct?

Ben< GypsyMage: It is often difficult to know for sure whether we're in reality or fantasy. There are many crossroads in fantasy. Reality is easier to navigate than fantasy, because there is (or can be) a directional reference system independent of one's own orientation.

ManyToOne< Ben: What reference system do you take guidance from? (If I may be so bold) ... where do you find direction, and how do you practice this direction?

GypsyMage< Ben, "independent of one's orientation" ??? Would you add to that, please sir?

Ben< ManyToOne & GypsyMage: I discussed my spiritual reference system in the Seminar "Which Way Is Up?" Basically stated, I believe the vertical dimension is understandable in terms of attitude toward others: kindness is higher than indifference, and indifference is higher than cruelty.

Yopo< Ben: *S* I am still keeping that compass that I found in "Which Way Is Up?" handy ...

ManyToOne< Ben: Who are we to value? In other words, do you believe that such ethics and justice, etc., partake of something more than what science describes as (human) biological evolution?

Ben< ManyToOne: I assign values, and decide on the basis of values. I believe everyone does, whether they acknowledge it or not. As to the values I described as the vertical axis of the spiritual universe -- kindness, indifference, cruelty -- yes, I see them as providing observable evidence in terms of survival and evolution. As Socrates said, even thieves must have some degree of honor (self-restraint, and assistance to others, in his philosophy), or they would destroy each other.

ManyToOne< Ben: Thanks, that helps me understand. I have to run, but I look forward to next time. My question was aiming at what you understand as the aims of human values -- whether human evolution has a greater purpose than simply survival? *till then ... thanks*

[Ben< ManyToOne: I see human evolution as having a greater purpose than physical survival.]

GypsyMage< Ben: Thank you for tonight and for last week's topic ... I look forward to the next ... have you announced it yet?

[Ben< GypsyMage: I plan to have the third and final session about "Crossroads" next Saturday.]

Acara< Ben: Going to click my ruby slippers together. Thank you so much for inviting me. All the comments were lively and interesting. Was an hour well spent. Blessings of Light.

alremkin< About organized religion: When humans organize religion God is the first thing left out.

The_Magus< alremkin: Possibly.

QIM< Religion is all about the "collective", i.e. eklesia. We are social beings and God loves us that way, especially when we are gathered together for his glory. The Church is meant to serve the eklesia's connection to God. No organization, no eklesia and no glory to God.

Yopo< QIM : Hmm ... I see your point. Though the lone monk in his cave may be loved as much. I don't know if Creator loves a man more than a sparrow. The love is just there, waiting for a connection, in my frame of reference ...

QIM< Yopo: The monk wouldn't have found the cave without the eklesia.

alremkin< Yopo: Revelation 3:20 -- Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (I'm referring to what you said about love waiting for a connection.)

Yopo< alremkin: Hmm ... I hadn't quite thought of those words in that way, either ... Gonna have to think on them some more ...

alremkin< Consider the magnificence of God. That no human can name God properly yet so many wars have been fought in the name of religion where the combatants espouse religion and God, but have not the love of God in their hearts. Hence as in the old testament where God laments that the people have hardened their hearts against God; showing the importance of the inter heart connection to IAM.

SLIDER< Ben: Thank you for leading a good conversation.

Ben< SLIDER: You're welcome, as always. But it really is the people here who either make or break a seminar. Very good group tonight.

TheOne< Ben: Thanks. Interesting discussion. I wasn't sure how it would be. Thought of you being a teacher and all us being pupils and listening. It was not that way, so thanks for opening my eyes about it. I came in just to have a look anyway. :)

Ben< TheOne: Welcome. I'm glad you came. Yes, I always try to make this a seminar and not a lecture. *S*

FRAML< TheOne: If you go to Ben's website he has the transcripts of the first three years of seminars he did in SWC and links (on greyman's site) to the last year and a half of ones he and I have lead.

jim-jones< (((Ben))) ... thank you for an interesting subject ...

Ben< jim-jones: I'm glad you came, and I'm glad you liked it. Namaste.

Yopo< Thanks much, Ben! *S* You really got the wheels turning and the spirals spiraling tonight ... Blessings!

Ben< Yopo: Thank you. I saw you pick up on that spiral symbology.

Yopo< Ben: Thanks for that. I've seen the movie more times than I can remember, but never thought much about the spiral 'til you mentioned it tonight. Sort of puts a new spin on the yellow brick road, if you'll pardon the comment ... *G*

QIM< Thanks again Ben.

Ben< QIM: You're welcome. Good to see you here.

kara< Ben: Greetings, and am happy to participate in this chat.

Ben< kara: Greetings. I am glad to have you participate. *S*

kara< Ben: If I may ask -- what do you want from this room? Having a room must be pretty cool.

kara< gotta go. bye.

Awenydd< kara: No one owns this room ... This is common ground. You can schedule a discussion in here too if you like. It doesn't cost anyone anything.

Ben< kara: I don't really want anything from this room. I do this because I enjoy it. I like to stimulate thinking without telling people what to think. All I require of the participants is simple courtesy. Hopefully, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Celia< Ben: I've been thinking about your earlier remark about Dorothy. As I remember, they all helped each other because they cared and thus arrived at their destination and "found" their gifts. *S*

Ben< Celia: Yes, the fact that Dorothy and her friends were good to each other and for each other made all the difference in their journey. The author makes it clear that none of them could have done it alone. I think that is the most important point in this story.



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