Coming Soon to a Mind Near You

All ideas are not created equal.  Most ideas incrementally plod their way into existence.  They’re sometimes useful but usually limited in vision from their very inception.  They continue though life at a snails pace and perhaps, if they’re lucky, eventually grow into legitimate programs or projects of some value. In rare cases they might even mature into real change, but it’s usually change that only nibbles around the edges of larger problems.   Some ideas aren’t very pretty, either.  They often fall under influences that, shall we say, don’t do much good in the world.

Then there are those ideas that, from their very birth, are a beauty to behold–glorious ideas that have the power and potential to catalyze a whole new way of thinking or create a new lens through which the entire world looks different.  pastedGraphic.pdfThese ideas are full of wonder and send shivers through the souls of those who are lucky enough to chance their acquaintance.  Such ideas aren’t born through normal means. Instead they burst into being – like an epiphany that cries out to the world, “Consider me.”  They glow with the light of awakening.  They hold the potential of transformative change.

Consider the emergence of Izzy as a force in the world.  Izzy was by nature one of these glorious ideas. She sometimes went by her middle name: Inspiration.  She had the rare ability to touch even the dullest imaginations.  She helped people see what they’ve yet to see.  She tempted people with a fleeting insights.

The source of Izzy’s power was in her eyes … deep blue eyes simultaneously reflecting the expanses of the sky and the depths of the sea. pastedGraphic_1.pdfIzzy loved to be loved, and to those who knew her well, she was love incarnate.  But to many others, preoccupied with more mundane matters, she wasn’t even there.

Within the depths of her being, Izzy possessed the power to rouse entire societies. But such societies must first have a plentiful reservoir of positive energy.  Izzy was completely incapable of exercising her power of inspiration without the nurturing influences of love and gratitude. It was gratitude that kept her connected to her power.

Like all ideas, Izzy feeds off of the collective consciousness, for better or for worse.  She might resonate with that consciousness or conflict with it.  If the latter, Izzy really wasn’t much of an idea at all.  In the darkness of cynicism or despair, Izzy was seen as a dimwit.  In the light of openness Izzy was insight incarnate.

At any given moment Izzy might be found wandering about … anywhere … in the rolling hills … in the tall reach of towering trees … in a shimmering sun setting across the sea … in  a chance conversation with a stranger … in an erudite paper … a book … a song … a symphony … a church sermon …  a synagogue … in the longing of a lover … in the heart of burning desire … in the tears of disappointment … in the whispers of the wind ….. even in the boardroom … or on an operating table … on the streets of the city … in a prayer … in the spectacle of sport … a classroom … or a research project … a doctors diagnosis … in a fatal blunder … or in the soul of society.

But like all ideas, Izzy needed to exist in an environment, where she had room to grow.  Izzy requires a daily sustenance of positive energy to feed a very healthy appetite for change.  Surrounded only by negative energy, Izzy lost her allure.

pastedGraphic_2.pdf

Most of the citizens in the Land of Iz found the self serving values of the one percent extremely repugnant to their own more democratic proclivities.  Unfortunately however, many people were unable to properly pronounce the word repugnant.  Instead they offered bastardized variations. Thus to the ninety-nine percent, the cold and calculating leader of the one percent eventually became widely known throughout the land as the “Repugnicant Ruler.”

The ruthless Repugnicant Ruler was a man of imperial intentions, devious designs and shriveled spirit.  He was also cunning – so cunning that he knew there are better ways to conquer citizens than with the sword.  One day he called all his representatives together and proclaimed, “‘The power of meaningless money is so great that we shall create a new system that enslaves all citizens through banks and debt.

The conquered citizens will not even realize that their needs have been subjugated to our whims and wishes.  It will happen so subtly that, on the surface, it will appear that nothing has changed. Our captives will become our benefactors and from that day forward, they will pay us tribute, transferring a portion of their hard earned wealth to us as interest on their debts to us. After we have control of a nation’s money through this system, we will no longer care who makes the laws.’

We shall rule the Land and make many more rules and issue proclamations that ply the citizens towards our favor.  They shall become our docile servants, and won’t even know it.”

Thus on that dismal day, supported by the big bankers, corporate chiefs, and economic elites, the Repugnicant Ruler seized control of the circulating currencies of money and information. With it came the reigns of power in The Land of Iz.  It was as if the force of fear had descended from dark clouds, spreading the negativity of dark debts like torrents of rain across the land. A lightening bolt of cynicism struck down the twin towers of symbolic strength: faith and hope. The very soul of The Land of Iz was captured through a currencies that circulated like bad blood through mainstream channels of commerce, culture and community.  The Soul Switch had been shifted, positive to negative, and with that simple flip of significance, enlightenment gave way to darkness.

The Repugnicant Ruler placed his loyal people in positions of authority, selecting only those who loved their own power more than they loved the inspiring Ideals of Iz.  The insightful ideals from The Land of Iz were suddenly savaged by warping winds of worry, indifference and fear.

To keep the common citizens from realizing what had happened, the ruthless Repugnicant Ruler developed highly sophisticated techniques data collection and used this data to  deny, distract and divert the citizens from more abiding truths.  He modified mindsets and manipulated the masses through manufactured media messages to advance his own agenda.  He fomented fear amongst the masses by creating false, fictional and fierce enemies.

As the Repugnicant Ruler flipped the Soul Switch from positive to negative, he proclaimed to his representatives in the corridors of power: “We are under severe stress and siege from enemies within. Therefore the laws of economic and political democracy no longer apply to us. We must now focus our resources on fighting the enemies that threaten our grip on the reigns of power.”  

The “enemies within” were seldom identified, but the forces of intellectual and political repression were mobilized, nevertheless. This made the common citizens ever more fearful, because they didn’t know who might be an enemy. “Is my neighbor my enemy?” they asked themselves, not aware that their neighbors were asking the same question.

Thus, with the flip of the Soul Switch from positive to negative, The Land of Iz was transformed into The Land of Izn’t.  Soon The Land of Izn’t descended into depression, darkness and despair. Money became divorced from meaning and the citizens gradually forgot what life had been like before the Repugnicant Ruler seized the reigns of power.

Meaningless money proved more powerful than the words inscribed on the Tablet of Truth.  Soon predatory profiteers and pragmatic politicians squeezed out all measure of trust from the coffers of the citizens and placed it an escrow account that only they could access.  Trust amongst and between citizens dissipated and without mutual trust, the economic engine of society started sputtering.  Citizens came to fear each, rather than trust each other and the future came to look more hollow than whole.


Chapter 4 – The Land of Iz

The Land of Iz was a society where people, for the longest time, were of a positive frame of mind, because their society was ascending. The net net was, a palpable sense of progress and pervasive prosperity.  During the ascent, The Land of Iz, seemed to be a place of infinite opportunity, though the reasons for their ascent were not immediately apparent to most.  They only knew that positive energy seemed to flow freely from one person to another, like a kind of gratitude of the Gods for people’s willingness to trust each other. In The Land of Iz both common citizens and leaders used a form of trust called Common Cents to solve personal and worldly problems, instead of relying on the questionable advice of jaded experts who had their own self serving agendas.

In The Land of Iz, Common Cents was coded into the design of “the system,” so that it would flow freely and naturally, rather than being mandated by writ or proclamation of the leaders. This positive energy was transferred between citizens in a unique form of money – money that had been imbued with more than material value.  It had been imbued with significance beyond what it could command in the marketplace.  It was like people could hold the light of day in their hands, when they exchanged their money with each other. This Common Cents was known throughout The Land of Iz as Meaningful Moneeey.

With old and more conventional money there is only one “e” because the only goal of old money is “efficiency.” But in the Land of Iz, they used three “e’s” in their new Moneeey because it was not only more efficient, but also more equitable and more empowering than old money.  In other words, their use of money, gave their Moneeey its meaning. The laws of Karma had been coded into their Moneeey itself, making the circulation of positive energy quite substantial. Their kind of Common Cents knew that, “If money was used to advance a common good, like education, the environment, or an equitable society, it was Meaningful Moneeey.  If money was used only advanced private gain, it was old, Meaningless Money.”

The Founding Fathers of The Land of Iz often spoke in a distinctly poetic dialect of alluring alliteration. By juxtaposing jumbles of wise words with similar starts, they consciously created a savory stew of interconnecting ideas.  A good example was their Mantra of Meaning: Every exchange emits enlightened energy empowering everyone.

The use of words by leaders is very important.  It reveals a lot about their true intentions. Other societies and their leaders had chosen their words carefully to create illusions of democracy, but their political processes inevitably became polluted with old sterile forms of money, because those societies didn’t have the code of Common Cents embedded in their systems. Their business and financial elites controlled the creation of old money, and in this way, they became so powerful that they controlled the levers of power within government.  Thus the ideal of authentic democracy was never fully realized and these societies became bankrupt politically, economically and spiritually.

However, through the coded application of Common Cents in The Land of Iz, political democracy was expanded and extended into genuine economic democracy. As a result, economic power was vested with the common citizens, not with the elites of the world of finance and government.  In The Land of Iz, money was created by common citizens in a Credit Commons and flowed freely, like goodwill through channels of commerce, culture and community. The result was a more synchronistic society where gave each other credit, not just as praise, but also as money itself.

With Meaningful Moneeey, The Land of Iz became instilled with inspiring ideals, a serendipitous spirit and a passion for the positive.  This was more than mere rhetoric.  To insure the implementation of Ideals of Iz, the founding fathers of The Land of Iz embedded Common Cents Code in the Timeless Truths inscribed upon the Tablet of Truth. This was their Constitution and it was stored in the most secure vault in society – deep within the confines of the Castle of Change.  There these ideals were safe for the entirety of eternity, which according to widely held belief, extending also into new beginnings.

The common citizens were wont to say when confronted with challenge, “We can do it!” and they were right because they used their Common Cents.

The Founding Fathers of Iz understood that money holds a mysterious power over everybody’s life. Moneeey itself must be made in a special way that incorporates meaning. Thus, money must be created in equality – their Moneeey was a social currency “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” NOT money of the financial elites for the financial elites and by the financial elites.”

One dark day, however, the Common Cents correlation between value and values started to shift when the Mindless Mainstream Media and Titanic Think Tanks, owned and financed by the elites of business and banking, seized the dialogue.  Ruthless reporters and pompous professors published powerful papers predicting, “This Common Cents experiment will never endure.  It cannot continue, because the common citizens cannot be trusted with such a great responsibility as the creation of money. Only the financial elites have the skills and sagacity to effectively manage money and markets.

Little by little, bankers and financiers and corporate chiefs used their old, cold money to consolidate control over the institutions on The Land of Iz. Soon they were within grasp of power. All they needed was a leader who was sufficiently sagacious to turn the tide of transformation their way. They needed a leader who was one of them – someone who understood and represented the value of the one percent of society that controlled wealth rather than someone representing more democratic values held by the other ninety-nine percent of the people in the Land of Iz.

All societies are either in ascendency or decline. They’re never standing still, though most people are not aware of the shifts taking place beneath them.  They’re too busy running in place to notice what’s really happening on a level of soul.

The ascendency of societies is always slow and arduous. People feel the possibilities and strive towards them, but they don’t know why.  The decline is sudden and devastating.  They know what is happening, but they don’t feel it. The dark eyes of destiny start to cast a spell upon society.  Those in power refuse to bow in reverence to inevitable forces of the universe … instead they kneel before the forces in their own universe of power. Eventually the forces of the universe prevail, overwhelming old leaders with a deluge of change.  Then it’s too late.  They usually fail to perceive the root causes of change soon enough.

Old and cunning leaders ply their faculties towards the understanding the inner workings of the systems that govern their lives. They rely upon these systems for their authority and cling to their myths as if they were truths. They seek to consolidate control over citizens by bending their systems and their myths towards their own ends.

New and charismatic leaders instead tap into swells of energy that are rising within the citizenry, and seek to break down those systems that have been used for self aggrandizement at the expense of common purpose.  These are the contending forces of change …. always pushing against each other … in a constant struggle for power.

History doesn’t hedge its bets. When it arrives at an inflection point, it acts swiftly and with a vengeance.  The symptoms of the eventual decline are clear only from hindsight, hidden from the common view. During the period leading up to decline leaders bicker, barter and blame each other. They seek to summon courage, but true courage is off limits to those who are only acting out their roles of leadership, spewing forth talking points rather than truly leading.  The passing order, for a time, tries to negotiate with history, but it can’t stem the tide of change.

Gradually the old leaders squander the trust they have held in their accounts of power, until those coffers of trust are empty. Then it becomes clear to Everybody that the old leaders can’t be trusted to govern the country in a responsible manner.  Anybody can see it.  Somebody steps forward, and Nobody takes charge.

In other words, leadership matters especially in times of inchoate change.  In the sweep of history, it’s always the citizenry … with their courage … their outrage … and their new ideas that force the hands of history.  Then new, once faceless, leaders emerge from the chaos … more closely aligned with the forces of destiny.

Take, for example, The Land of Iz…

“This is the story of four good buddies, by the names of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was a very important job to be done and because this job was so important, Everybody was asked to do it.  Everybody was sure somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  So Nobody, did it.  Somebody got mad about that, because it was Everybody’s job. In the end, Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.” 

 

“Where are you going with this?” Izzy asked.

“Izzy, we’re all part of that story,” The Wiz of Iz proclaimed, “Do you identify with Somebody in that story?”

“I most certain do not,” Izzy said emphatically, “I mostly identify with Nobody.”

“So then you do identify with somebody?” asked The Wiz of Iz.

“No,” Izzy said, “I mean yes … well, from time to time, we all think of ourselves as a Nobody? Everybody feels like that occasionally,” Izzy said.

“There you go changing your mind again,” said the Wiz of Iz. ”Now you identify with Everybody.”

Izzy was supremely confused now. She tried to sort it out, but kept getting caught in the a tangled web of logic.  “Anybody can feel like that from time to time,” Izzy exclaimed in exasperation.

“Precisely,” said The Wiz of Iz said. “So you really identify with Anybody in this Story?”

“Why would I do that?” asked Izzy, her mind totally twisted now.

“Because Anybody can be the hero!” exclaimed The Wiz of Iz?

“But Nobody is the hero!” Izzy shouted.

“Why?” demanded The Wiz of Iz.

“Because Nobody does Everybody’s job,” Izzy screamed.

“What job is that?” The Wiz of Iz inquired clinically.

“Umm,” Izzy paused, “I don’t know.  What job is that?”

The Wiz of Iz looked Izzy right in her soul’s eye, “That’s the question, isn’t it? It’s a big question and the answer is just a big question mark until Somebody comes up with a big idea.  So, Izzy, if you think you’re a Nobody, or a Somebody or Anybody or Everybody, you’re a vital part of this story.  Izzy you are that big idea that the world needs now.

“I don’t get it.” Izzy said.

“Let me put this another way then,” Izzy, you have greater power than you realize. The ideas we need to solve society’s biggest problems aren’t found in listening to the experts. They’re found by listening to what’s speaking inside you.  We’re all experts on what it’s like is to live in fear of the future.  We’re all experts of what it’s like to live on a planet in peril.  We’re all experts on the extinction of hope. The change we need isn’t found in passivity. Now more than ever, we all must become part of the solution, because what was once the Land of Iz has now become the Land of Izn’t.   IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT!”

Izzy’s mind contorted, but all that came out was, “I think this is a good story. It’s compelling.  I think you are compelling.  But … all this is so … not going to happen.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. The winds of change are blowing.  You can either be an observer or you can be part of the story of history,” he declared.

“Then I think I’ll be an observer, thank you kindly,” Izzy now considered the conversation closed.

“Not so fast,” The Wiz of Iz persisted.  “We’ll all help you.”

“We?” Izzy asked, “Who is we?”

“Us,” declared The Wiz of Iz looking around.

Everybody was looking. Somebody was listening.  Anybody could hear, and Nobody was there.

“You’ll have all of us helping you along the way,” The Wiz of Iz explained. The pieces of the puzzle were all starting to come together in Izzy’s obstinate mind.

“Along the way?” Izzy asked. “What way? Is that like the way in the Tao of it all…”

“Exactly, and each step of the way, a trumpet of transcendence within you, will herald you towards that place in your being called home … back to The Land of Iz.”

“Will I know how to get back home once I begin my journey?” Izzy asked.

“The signs pointing home are everywhere.” The Wiz of Iz explained, “They’re in the political paralysis of our government.  They’re in the soulful suffering of society. They’re in the changing climate. They’re in the intractable levels of debt and the collapsing credit of the financial system. They’re in the commercialized culture. They’re in the tyrannical technology.  They’re in the shriveling spirit.  Your charge is to read these signs and make sense of them-in a new vision for the future.”

“Like, I don’t even know what …” Izzy suddenly became aware of the magnitude of what was being proposed, “ …  Are you asking me to create some huge campaign for global transformation?”

“I ask only this of you … follow the Signs of Serendipity in your life. Don’t let yourself be distracted by anything. I will give you everything you need to complete your journey home. Each time I send you a sign, you will know you are not alone.  I will be with you every step of your journey. We’re going to be working very closely together on this,” he explained.

“Why?” Izzy shouted, “Tell me why?”

The Wiz of Iz commanded, “You don’t get it, do you?  You don’t realize who I am, do you?”

Izzy suddenly felt something powerful stirring within her.  “I guess I don’t quite get it yet.  Who are you?”

“That’s why you’re going on your journey–to find that out.” His eyes bored through her soul like a laser beam of light, “You’re going to follow me because We have arrived in the collective consciousness of the world at precisely the right moment in history.”

“Are you quite sure about this?” Izzy asked.

“We,” The Wiz of Iz proclaimed, “represent something much more powerful than you can imagine.  From this moment forward everything you come across will have significance in the context of the story you are about to act out on the stage in the Theatre of Time.”

Suddenly The Wiz of Iz was simultaneously bigger than life … and nothing at all. Izzy knew that this had been the chance meeting she had been waiting for–her whole life.  As Izzy looked up at a sky filled with the beautiful hues of the sunset, she heard the visionary voice stirring within her.  It called out clearly. … and now she now finally listening.

One cool, crisp moonless evening, as Izzy hiked the hills above her home she suddenly heard a voice call out from the night, “YO THERE, IZZY … I NEED A WORD WITH YOU.”

Izzy looked up. A fervent flash lit up in the sky as the outlines of something strange silhouetted against the stars.  It was a distinct dazzle, but only for an

instant.  As quickly as it had appeared,  it faded, like fireworks of the mind … at first blinding … then simply a beckoning memory … leaving a black hole of nothingness.  These things sometimes happened to Izzy. She didn’t know why, but she had a way of inspiring a strange significance in her world.

“Over here,” the voice beamed light towards her, like a meteor shower.   She looked up again. Another flash in the sky – then again … something quite definitely was not there. It happened again and the third time was a charm.  This time when nothing was left in the sky, it filled Izzy with something … something quite powerful.

She felt a tap on her soul, “Izzy, your time has come.”

Izzy spun around and called out towards what had been real in her mind’s eye for but one highly significant moment … and now was gone, “Who are you?” she asked of the sky, but could she have been asking the same question of herself. She imagined she heard something again.  It sounded like Izzy or Wizzy or some combination therein. Suddenly, the outlines of The Wiz of Iz started to take shape in her mind and what she imagined was more distinct … more forceful … and more real, “You’re going to act out your life … for real … as a tale for our time … a significant story … a poignant parable about the power of an idea.  You have a really important job to do.

 

“Me?”  Izzy inquired as she looked around. Nobody was there. A zillion thoughts bolted around her brain, but the only words that came out of her mouth were, “Why me?”

“Because Somebody has to do it.” The Wiz of Iz intoned.

Izzy struggled to regain her balance. “Do what?” she blurted.

“Bring back the power of transformative ideas to The Land of Izn’t,” said The Wiz of Iz. “What was once a land of positive energy has become a land of negativity.   That’s why The Land of Iz is now called the Land of Izn’t.”

“I don’t know much about all that stuff,” Izzy confessed, “So, what’s your plan?”

“My plan…” The Wiz of Iz waived his hands in a big circle, “ … is big … really big …”

“Why … why so big,” She asked.

“Because … Izzy, The Land of Izn’t is now living through an epochal period of crisis and change … a time when most people are too busy to really understand what’s happening in beneath the surface of fleeting impressions in their lives and in society. We need to see a story acted out–to help us understand what’s really happening in a big way?”

“So … again … why do you ask me?” Izzy wondered.


“Aren’t you, Izzy, the inspired idea?” The Wiz of Iz asked, “Or have I dialed up the wrong Izzy?”

“That’s me all right,” Izzy affirmed with resolute uncertainty.

“Well, then,” The Wiz of Iz, offered forth, “Transformative change is the incarnation of inspired ideas like you … so … you are the living embodiment of the change that is needed … now!”

“Far out,” Izzy wanted laughed at the sheer audacity of this notion, but she couldn’t because … she knew this was serious business.

“You can try to make light of this,” The Wiz of Iz admonished, “ … as most people are wont to do when confronted with stark significance, but … this is real.”

The Wiz of Iz peered into her dreams, “Big ideas like you have been lost in the tedium of daily routine in the Land of Izn’t. It’s affected everyone.  It’s affected you!”

“Me?” Izzy wondered.

“Yes, you!” warned The Wiz of Iz, “Your self image has been tarnished by the cutting cynicism of times. Izzy, look at yourself through my eyes.”

Izzy returned his gaze.  An intensely, disturbing realization emerged out of the depths of her reflection.

“Don’t you see what I don’t see?”  The Wiz of Iz asked.

Izzy grew apprehensive, “What don’t you see?”

“I don’t see anything.  I see it very clearly.” The Wiz of Iz said and shot her a penetrating glance, “Why isn’t anything there?”

Izzy said nothing.  She said it quite distinctly.

The Wiz of Iz understood exactly that Izzy hadn’t said. He probed deeper, “Is this because ideas without execution are worthless? Do you want to be worthless?” The Wiz of Iz asked.

“No … no …” Izzy replied.

“Unfortunately, you will now have to be executed,”  The Wiz of Iz sadly informed her.

Izzy gasped, “I don’t want to be executed,” her voice trembling, “What am I guilty of?”

“You’re guilty of inaction, Izzy, but I’ve got good news for you. This kind of execution won’t hurt.  In fact it will be quite the opposite. It will bring you a deep and abiding joy.” The Wiz of Iz explained, “I’m talking about implementation of great good ideas, like you.  It’s the kind of execution where small seeding ideas grow into something quite powerful and grand … ideas so powerful that they change the world.”

The Wiz of Iz looked into Izzy’s soul, “Izzy, you’re MIA from the unfolding drama of the times?  Why?”
Izzy confessed, “I’ve been wondering the same thing a lot lately.”

The Wiz of Iz theorized, “Is it because you don’t see yourself as a force to be reckoned with?”

“Why wouldn’t I do that?” Izzy wondered.

“Ask yourself the same question,” The Wiz of Iz surveyed her soul, “Do you believe in yourself?” “Hold it right there!” Izzy admonished.  The Wiz of Iz was coming in uncomfortably close.

The Wiz of Iz penetrated Izzy’s psyche even further. Looking away now, upwards at the stars, he declared, “The universe always makes way for the light of inspiring ideas at precisely the moment they are needed.”

Izzy pushed back, “You are way too far out for me. I’m just too busy for this.”

“Too busy doing what?” The Wiz of Iz countered. “You spend your time just thinking about things instead of  acting out what you believe. You do only what is vital to preserve your desperately held sense of insignificance.”

“My insignificance is my own business,” Izzy fired back defensively. “If I want to be insignificant that’s my right!  It enables me to stay within the protection of my shell.”

The Wiz of Iz anticipated her next thought and turned it around 180 degrees, “You don’t need your shell for protection. There are ample protective forces in the universe.

Just as you are suffering in your soul,
the soul of society is suffering because many others seek only the protective shield of their shell. The shells of society, collectively become “the system” that governs our lives. We never stop to ask, the deeper questions: is that shell of a system really serving our true needs?  Is that shell of a system fundamentally at odds with what we really want for ourselves and for our society? Now more than ever, the world needs big, innovative and inspiring ideas to shift the dynamics of change–by freeing us from that shell and that system.”

Izzy pondered all this in her soul, “Let’s say you’re right about this” she ventured, “What are its implications?”

The Wiz of Iz answered simply, “The implications are vast.  Once you step out from your shell, you will perceive everything around you differently. You will no longer erect all kind of obstacles in your life to avoid your true calling.”

“Interesting idea.” Izzy granted, warming up to what the Wiz of Iz was offering up.

He pushed further, “Izzy, I’ve got news for you. From this moment forward, everywhere you look, everything you read, every sound your hear, every voice that speaks to you … every sign you see … will pulsate with meaning. That meaning remind you of this little chat we’ve been having.  You’ll realize that you and the entire land are at an inflection point.  You will feel the deep joy of knowing that you are alive – sensitive to the pain of people around you … people who are struggling to survive financially, emotionally and spiritually. You’ll start to recognize the symptoms of fundamental flaws in the systems of our lives.
In the midst of all this, you’ll keep asking yourself the same question: “What are we going to do about it?” 

“Yeah, right,” Izzy protested,

The Wiz of Iz had not yet closed the deal. But he had something left to offer – a story. “Izzy, I’m going to share a story with you – a story of profound significance.  It’s the story of four good buddies who accepted their call. It’s the story of empowerment.  It’s the story of change. It’s the story of hope in action.”  Then he added poignantly,
“Izzy, this is your story.”

One cool, crisp moonless evening, as Izzy hiked the hills above her home she suddenly heard a voice call out from the night, “YO THERE, IZZY … I NEED A WORD WITH YOU.”

Izzy looked up. A fervent flash lit up in the sky as the outlines of something strange silhouetted against the stars.  It was a distinct dazzle, but only for an instant.  As quickly as it had appeared,  it faded, like fireworks of the mind … at first blinding … then simply a beckoning memory … leaving a black hole of nothingness.  These things sometimes happened to Izzy. She didn’t know why, but she had a way of inspiring a strange significance in her world.

“Over here,” the voice beamed light towards her, like a meteor shower.   She looked up again. Another flash in the sky – then again … something quite definitely was not there. It happened once more and the third time was a charm.  This time when nothing was left in the sky, it filled Izzy with something … something quite powerful.

Izzy felt a tap on her soul, “Izzy, your time has come.”

Izzy spun around and called out towards what had been real in her mind’s eye for but one highly significant moment … and now was gone, “Who are you?” she asked of the sky, but could she have been asking the same question of herself.

She imagined she heard something again.  It sounded like Izzy or Wizzy or some combination therein. Suddenly, the outlines of The Wiz of Iz started to take shape in her mind and what she imagined was more distinct … more forceful … and more real, “You’re going to act out your life … for real … as a tale for our time … a significant story … a poignant parable.  This will bring back the power of inspiration to The Land of Izn’t.

A zillion thoughts raced around her brain, but the only one that came out of her mouth was, “A parable?”

“Yes,” The Wiz of Iz intoned, “a story where the characters represent much more than what they are.”

Izzy struggled to regain her balance, “For example?” she blurted out.

“Like The Wizard of Oz,” offered The Wiz of Iz. “Did you know that many very intelligent people believe The Wizard of Oz was written as a parable about the world of money and banking?”

“I didn’t know that. Are you a modern day reincarnation of The Wizard of Oz? Izzy asked.

“Perhaps,” The Wiz of Iz declared.  “But I wouldn’t recommend thinking like that.  Usually I don’t recommend thinking at all … if the alternative is feeling. But if you insist upon thinking, your mind can play with my being any way it wishes.”

Izzy felt a creative rush as her mind bolted towards the possibilities, “Who is this character? Who is The Wiz of Iz?”  She wondered.

The Wiz of Iz felt Izzy’s wonder and raised it a notch, “Generations have now have played with the allegorical figures in The Wizard of Oz, imputing to them all their own hopes, fears and insecurities … Dorothy … the Scarecrow … the Tim Man … and the Cowardly Lion.  You do remember them of course?” The Wiz of Iz tested her literary acumen.”

“Why … yes … of course,” Izzy granted, “Everybody remembers them.”

“They were all characters of expansive scope.” The Wiz of Iz continued. “They represented real life figures in the unfolding economic and political struggle of the day.  The farmers and factory workers were all deeply in debt in era of increasing financial crisis and deepening suspicion of big bankers.  Sound familiar?”

“A bit,” Izzy confessed, “So?” Izzy asked, skeptically, “What’s your drift?”

“My drift?” The Wiz of Iz mimicked and mirrored her thought, “Izzy, The Land of Izn’t is now living through another epochal period of crisis and change  … a time when most people are too busy to really understand what’s happening beneath the surface of reported events.  Could the world be at an inflection point?  Do people need to understand what’s really happening to their culture and institutions?  Do they need to see a story acted out–to help them understand what’s really happening to them and their society?”

“Good questions … why do you ask me?” Izzy wondered.

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