Ozish, the language of the Land of Oz
Oztology, the ontology of the Land of Oz
In Wizard part 1 we see that the color layout of Oz is exactly the same as the color layout of the Theosophical fairyland. That this is a coincidence is beyond unlikely. This is an evident necessary relationship of Oz to the Theosophical fairyland.
Looking at the rest of the Oz books there is only one thing that does not fit a Theosophical pattern. The colors of the pearls in Rinkitink. That's it. Everything else fits passively if not actively.
The first book looks to have been a one off. It is a "Voyage and Return" story as a visit to fairyland. As usual the protagonist shakes things up considerably. Thank heavens that when Dorothy leaves the whole thing is not destroyed by a volcano or something which was such a common "Find the Hidden World and Return" theme.
Instead, when Baum finally wrote a second book, the land is set to rights from within. Some Theosophic sequence here but nothing that couldn't be a coincidence. It doesn't seem as if any particular point is being made. Just a good story told. One book and a sequel. Except...
In Ozma the sequence of events seems to be the same as in Wizard, namely in the rainbow order, but that could still be a coincidence.
In the fourth book, Dorothy and the Wizard, things take a turn for the explicit. A kind of Theosophic Pilgrims Progress of transformation. The story does seem rather forced and some of the events don't seem to have much flow of causality to them. There's at least one large apparent incongruity. It's not easy to write a good story which is tightly causal and symbolic at the same time. The symbology tends to overwhelm the story. I've read any number of those things which are totally forgettable. The story gets lost in all the meaningfulness. The fourth book is a bit jerky and contrived but as a first shot at a meaningful sequence it's better than all but a few that I've ever read. The fourth book appears to relate to the white path of transformation
And the fifth book, Road, appears to relate to the black path of transformation. The parallels here are so much to the point that if they are not actually intentional they are a major coincidence. By that I mean that you can not only read meaning into them, you can read meaning out of them. Many of the little bitty details have apparent significance.
In the sixth book, City, we have the final path of transformation. Again the fit is awfully good. Again it is possible to read appropriate meaning out of the action. The fourth, fifth and sixth book could be coincidence but it would be one of those humunguloid types. Considering that the color coding of Oz is that of the Theosophical fairyland, it's a lot easier to believe at this point that the parallels are on purpose. Easier but not necessary. That comes next.
And then we have the seventh book, Patchwork. The listing of brain furniture is in a specific Theosophic order. The concepts necessarily relate to the concepts associated with the colors and they are only a bit fuzzy on the second one, cleverness. The probability of this can be quantified, like the fit of the colors of the Theosophic fairyland to the colors in their location in Oz. Again the odds of its being a coincidence is beyond unlikely. These two parallels are sufficient in themselves to make it firm that there is something Theosophic going on with Oz. That there is no particular point made with them, that they are simply there in the background, is particularly interesting. Because in Theosophy that's how significant relationships are supposed to be. In the background.
In the eighth book, Tik-Tok, there is a bit of messing around with Chinese metaphysics, but even though it's explicit, it's nothing you'd notice unless you already knew something about Chinese metaphysics. And that really sums up the Tir na nOg Gaelic fairyland, Theosophy, Chinese metaphysics situation in Oz quite well. If you're not acquainted with them you'd never notice they're there. If you are acquainted, they're obvious. And not in a impressed relationship kind of way either. The color coding of the map and of the brain furniture is explicit and necessary. Beyond mirage and seeing Presley's face on a piece of toast. They are like the sharp lines of a cartoon where everything else is shading. Without the shading, the cartoon would still be there, though it wouldn't mean much. Without the cartoon, the shading could be easily dismissed as a coincidence without significance. Together they make a clear picture.
In the ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth books, Scarecrow, Rinkitink, Princess, Woodman, Magic and Glinda - much of interest is said. There is a lot of Theosophic philosophy and metaphysics in these books but there is no color coding or anything else explicit to indicate Theosophy in action. It is only in the context of the previous books that the amusing and bemusing concepts introduced here are not only questions but questions with answers. As in Woodman - it asks what identity is? But gives no obvious answer. Yet Theosophy provides an explicit answer to who and what you are. And, interestingly, that answer does not exist in European philosophy at all. It's not Aristotle, Plato, Kant or any other Westerner. It's totally Chinese and I have never seen it put into English except in Theosophy. Curiouser and curiouser.
And why the Gaelic? My guess is that when Baum became a Theosophist he read the founding of Ireland and subsequent founding of Tir na nOg as interpreted by Blavatsky. Tir na nOg reflects Erin. The language of Erin was Gaelic which gradually became English, leaving a bunch of personal and place names in Gaelic along with a lot of English names. And the daily language is English. Same thing for his take on it which is Oz. No more connection required than that. All he had to do was acquire a couple of dictionaries and a grammar or two and he was home free. With some really great, strange sounding names.
That's it then. Oz is a Gaelic fairyland, running on Chinese metaphysics as interpreted by a Theosophist. What a hoot!
copyright 2007 by Boq Aru
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