Wonders meet Dorothy’s eyes as she opens the door and is greeted by a world flooded with Technicolor. Where Kansas was a monotonous gray, she now finds herself in a landscape draped with vibrant flowers and plants of many shapes and sizes growing throughout a seemingly peaceful small village. Dorothy has also become colorful with her bright gingham dress and rosy cheeks. Behind her there is mysterious laughter and tittering amid the birdsong. She leans over to the little dog in her arms and says softly, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

A luminous bubble appears in the distance and glides toward Dorothy, growing larger as it approaches. It settles at the girl’s feet and dissolves to reveal the cosmic supernatural source of this extended, verdant land in the radiant form of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Serene, calm, and confident, Glinda embodies the archetype of the benign protector, a figure who appears in all myths and lives within everyone. Glinda may also be seen as Dorothy herself—the girl’s entelechy—writ large on the stage of consciousness.

Entelechy is a Greek word that means “the fullest realized essence of a thing.” For example, a grand oak tree is the entelechy of an acorn; a fullgrown adult is the entelechy of a human infant. If we look at ourselves mythically, the entelechy would be the part of ourselves that has had thousands of years to expand, learn, and evolve. It is the fullest realized aspect of our selves. And though we all carry this entelechy within ourselves, the Essential Self is often externalized as a separate character in myths and fairy tales to make the story more interesting to follow than a contemplative hero sitting under a tree quietly meditating on her rich inner life. In Oz, Glinda serves in this powerful, spiritual role for Dorothy.

On her throat Glinda wears a necklace adorned with a beautiful butterfly—symbol of the soul in many cultures. She is the all-seeing, all-knowing connection to Source. Think of your entelechy as your best friend and ally. As we go along in the story, we see that Glinda, like a best friend, watches over Dorothy with tremendous love and interest every step of the way, though her presence is invisible to the girl throughout most of the adventure. She is the gentle guide who allows Dorothy to learn and become stronger through her trials. She does not interfere with the process of Dorothy discovering who she really is through both the adversity and the good experiences she has with her new friends in Oz; however, when things seem hopeless for the girl and the allies cry out for help, Glinda sends help or shows up in person.

Know that the part of you that is your entelechy and all of those energies of the archetypal realm recognize and yearn to work with you as much or even more than you yearn to work with them. They grow to  know themselves through us as we experience life; your entelechy is eager to build a closer relationship with you.

Process: Meeting your entelechy

To experience this connection, take a moment now to stand comfortably straight with your weight balanced equally on both feet. Close
your eyes. Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out hrough your mouth. Breathe all the way down into your belly. With
each breath, feel your body relaxing.

Imagine that you, like Dorothy, find yourself in a beautiful place. From the sky you notice a giant shimmering bubble floating down toward the very spot where you are standing. The bubble gets bigger and bigger as it approaches until it finally dissolves completely, revealing a glorious being of light standing directly in front of you. It is your entelechy—the Great Friend. You greet each other warmly. Now raise both of your hands in front of you so that the palms are up, facing away from your physical body and toward the light body of your entelechy. Notice that the entelechy’s hands are also raised, facing you. Your palms touch, and the entelechy begins to beam waves of love into you. You take them in. Wisdom, compassion, kindness, strength—all of these things are being poured into you now through this Great Friend. Do this for a few minutes. Receive, receive, receive.

With your physical body, now step forward into the place where the entelechy is standing and turn around, facing the spot you just left. Keep your hands raised and touch the imaginary hands of your local self with your palms. You have now become the entelechy beaming energy, love, power, gratitude, and blessings into your local self. Do this for a few minutes.

With your physical body, step forward and turn around again, returning to the spot where you originally stood, palms out, facing the Great Friend. Once again receive all the good things that the entelechy is offering you. Feel yourself being filled, revitalized, and energized with your True Essence.

You may wish to repeat these steps several more times until you feel infused with the light and energy of your Great Friend. When you have finished, thank your entelechy. Know that this being loves you and is always available for you.

When you are ready, take a few more deep breaths, return to the room, and open your eyes. Look around you. Do you notice anything different? How do you feel? Those with whom I have done this process often tell me that objects seem brighter and that they feel perfectly calm and grounded.

Jean Houston is a visionary thinker, teacher, and philosopher who pioneered the Human Potential Movement during the late seventies and developed the Social Artistry leadership model used by the United Nations Development Group. Watch Jean on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.Reprinted with permission from Atria Books/Beyond Words Publishing © 2012

image: drurydrama – Len Radin (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA)