Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
Toto's WisdomPaying Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
© 2011 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
excerpt from his forthcoming book
If the truth be told, the little dog Toto is the true hero of the perennial children's favorite, The Wizard of Oz. You might recollect Dorothy, with her entourage, pays a second visit to the wizard. Intimidated by the wizard's big floating head, thundering voice, and the colored lights and smoke, Dorothy and her friends retreat toward the exit. Is there a better metaphor for the ego than an unattached, floating head awash in colored lights and smoke, and a loud authoritarian voice haranguing her over bothering him?
At this moment, Toto pulls back the curtain. Dorothy suddenly spies the wizard who bellows, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Spotting both the illusion and the reality, Dorothy loses all interest in the illusion. It no longer has the power to fool her.
Best to pay very close attention to that "man behind the curtain." Only when pressed does the wizard come through with the rewards he promised. The transformed wizard is actually the Self that beckons one to look at the priceless gifts lying dormant inside. Toto, representing innate instinctual and intuitive energies, wisely jumps out of the wizard's hot air balloon, while Dorothy, pressed to follow, misses the ride back.
Through this brave action, Toto sets the stage for good witch Glenda, representing divine inspiration, to remind Dorothy that the real power always lies within her. All she needs to do is to tap the ruby slippers three times and repeat "There's no place like home" over and over. Soon Dorothy leaves the fear-filled ego dream and returns back to her True Home, the Self. By recognizing and valuing her loved ones and the real "Home" for the very first time, she also recognizes and values herself, and is free to further grow.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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