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Madonna Kolbenschlag's Lost in the Land of Oz

Powerful Essays
Madonna Kolbenschlag's Lost in the Land of Oz

"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...

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...d independence is another great dilemma that I think many women go through, especially those in professional arenas and takes many of them a long time to resolve the two. Growing up in a matriarchal family, my mother has always instilled through actions the need for a woman to be independent. She raised my sister and I alone and I have seen her struggle with this dilemma, when she remarried. As Kolbenschlag said, often dependency is equated to domination, which is not what most women want. I think that sometimes everyone wishes that they had someone that they could lean on, especially through trying times, but that doesn't mean they want that person to take over the situation. I also do not believe that for a woman to be considered "independent" she must give up her femininity and individuality. In my opinion a male-dominated society has no authority to dictate the characteristics of femininity to a woman.

As a conscious, young man, I know that are many obstacles in the path of women, some involving race and others gender. I am a combination of many characteristics, values, and beliefs. While I do not think I am ready to befriend my inner orphan yet, I know one day I will be.
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