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Have you ever had that feeling you're not in Kansas anymore? Most philosophers and people with imagination spend more time exploring Oz than they do dealing with the gray world of everyday life.
The Wizard of Oz has replaced both Shakespeare and the King James Bible as the common reference point of language and culture. We all know what it means to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and how thoughts of lions and tigers and bears combine for comically fearful effect. We know that the Yellow Brick Road goes through the Haunted Forest, and what to sing on the death of a Wicked Witch.
But the scripture leaves us with many puzzles, too. Why would anyone want to get out of Oz and back into Kansas? Why does water melt a witch? Must we dream before we can understand reality? How do we acquire the virtues of courage, heart, and intelligence? Is the Wicked Witch really wicked or does she merely have a wicked reputation? Why does the little dog Toto play such a decisive role in the course of human events? Thankfully, enlightenment is always right here at your fingertips, whenever you really want it—but no one can teach you this: you must learn it for yourself. Simply tap your heels together and open The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy.
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