“Three Oranges” Fiction. Based on a True Opera.

“And this is really hard to do, but understanding that, even within darkness, there is so much choice. Like in Buddhism they talk about the multiple darts. Like the first dart, which is the initial injury, and then the second and third dart which is self-administered.” -Moby

“Three Oranges”

Fiction. Based on a True Opera.

by Mingjie Zhai

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

You walk in the opera house and the first man who speaks to you offers you an extra ticket.

“Free?” you ask.

“Ja,” he replies.

“How sweet,” you respond. “But I have already purchased mine.”

You have one of the best seats in the house. The mezzanine, first row, overlooking the entire opera house from the right stage vantage point.

Moments before arrival you were crossing the street and saw a girl holding the same lit up lollipop wand balloon that Aaron had given you a few months back when you saw him as a potential CFO and he saw you as a potential date. Except this time, the girl holding the Lollipop balloon is a pretty blonde girl, who reminds you of the the woman in the the picture, standing next to Aaron, when he initially showed you the picture of his on and off again girlfriend of six years. You smile in melancholy at this imprint because you took it as a sign that you made the right choice you let him go, remembering the first intimate conversation you both had about the possibility of both of you dating. It was in your car, dropping him off to his dad’s place. You had told him that the scenario case scenario is that the two of them work it out. Besides, Aaron never fully gave you the lollipop. He bought it for you, but you left it with him. He has been keeping it in the closet, perhaps hoping one day that you would take it from him.

The man offers you his free ticket. That’s sweet you say. You pay attention. You are meant to see this play today. You have a falcon’s eye view of the opera house. The play is called “The Love to Sweet Oranges ?“  You think of Donald Trump when you think of oranges. Not bad for a start.

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The entire Opera is sung in German, and thankfully they provide English subtitles shown to you on the digital screen on the ledge of the balcony.

The play starts off with two books, one red, one green– one a tragedy, the other a comedy, respectively. Your body starts shaking. Holy Spirit moves you.

It’s about turning our tragedies into divine comedies.

Real time research for The Love Story Playbook.

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It begins with Tragedy

Act I starts off with tragedy: The son of a king is struck with hypochondriac depression and he is the heir to his father’s kingdom. The minister who ambitiously lusts for his crown is manipulatively dosing the bottle of medicine the prince drinks with bad poetry and melancholy words. The evil sister of the young prince machinates to steal her brother’s crown by pressuring the minister to kill him with a bullet or drowning him with opium with the seduction and promise of marrying the minister should he succeed in getting rid of her brother.

The fool is charged with making the young prince laugh and finally succeeds when the evil witch, who represents malice and melancholy, shows up to the party where the jester and all the courtesans in attendance aims to inspire the prince to laughter as a cure to his melancholy. The prince finally laughs when the jester pulls the witch’s wig off her head in confrontation of the witch. The prince does not laugh at the play the Jester orchestrates but instead laughs at the witch who embodies malice and melancholy. The witch is made a fool when the jester pulls the witch’s wig off, exposing her naked head. You automatically think of Rylie when he used to tease you and tell you how much he loves dark humor. The idea of Rylie still warms your heart because he was the man who was able to make you laugh the way green eyes had you laughing with his dark and dry humor.

Because the witch was made a mockery, she swears revenge by placing a curse upon the prince, giving him the decree that he will fall in love with three oranges and will be obsessive compulsive in the pursuit of these three oranges.

Thus, Act I is complete. It is break time. The audience applauses and you leave with the crowd feeling quite satisfied. You are watching this play with a new set of spiritual eyes. The eyes of Horus, metaphorically speaking, sharpened enough to know that nothing in this matrix happens by accident.

You are in action for Act II, your personal love story, which was affirmed the week before in Downtown Los Angeles, when you had just left Sunday church, after a strong prayer about building family, and the billboard had a movie called “The Second Act.” Now that you have actually taken off to Europe, from a voice planted a few years back that you would spend your 30s in Europe, you are relieved that you are here, still on the mark. Still, you are curious and intrigued to the unfolding of your Act II real time Love Story Playbook. This Call to Adventure is about building your real love story–a family–a life partner and becoming a mother whilst building out the program for Love Story.

During the intermission, you realize that you are both the prince and the evil sister in this play. The evil sister is dressed in red and the evil witch is dressed in black. Red and black. You wanted The Love Story landing page to be in red and black to attract those who are feeling such colors–pain and passion, torment and lust, yin and yang, and the colors of a tragic story.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

You remember listening to Peterson’s talk the other day about how to understand notrosities of our past like the ones that took place in Nazi Germany or Stalin Russia. He said that one must read the story not just as both the victim and the hero, but also as the perpetrator too. In fact, we are most likely to be the perpetrators.  

Thus you pay attention to the victim prince and the perpetrator sister who uses the witch in different ways–the victim Prince uses the witch for melancholy as a way to stay asleep, avoid responsibility, and stay ordinary whilst the perpetrator Princess uses malice to fulfill her overblown, win at all cost, ambitions.

Only when the victim, the Prince, finds his wits and will to laugh at the pitiful state of his own melancholy does he transform. It is then malice who curses the Prince with a compulsory lustful desire, founded upon dark magic, where the Prince transforms from victim to the hero, and begins his hero’s journey.

Act II: The Fool

The hero is “the fool.

You realize that the Call to Adventure is actually a “fool’s errand” as symbolized by the foolish prince who insists, against his father’s wishes, to make the perilous journey to traverse to Ceonte’s castle, enemy territory, where the three oranges are trapped in the dungeon kitchen of the evil master cook. He is willing to risk his crown and at one point even raise his hand to threaten his father in his obstinate insistence upon finding his beloved three oranges. To journey and risk so much for the sake of his obsessive love with the three oranges, the audience and you can clearly see that this is indeed a fool’s errand.

Act 2 and 3 were the second half of the show. The Shadow also has magical qualities but loses it in a game of cards, with the evil witch, so when he summons the devil, the devil will not help the Shadow relocate the three oranges to somewhere less inconvenient for the Prince to find.

Thus, the prince goes to the enemy’s castle where he plans on fighting the cook, and the Shadow resorts to trickery to help the Prince defeat the evil cook. He tells the Prince to bring a “special” purple ribbon to the cook. The ribbon binds the cook. Throughout the entire play, there are these people who are completely white–dressed white and painted head to toe in white. You later suspect that they represent heavenly angels or angelic guides. Because when the shadow needed help “activating” the ribbon that the cook was seduced and touching, the people in white helped the shadow “bind” or wrap the cook like one does a mummy.  What you took from this scene was an act of spiritual warfare. You know enough about spiritual warfare to know that what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18).

Because the cook represents the stronghold and the stronghold is bound, the prince is able to procure the three oranges with ease. The journey back with the three oranges they carry prove hard. The desert is long, water is nowhere to be found, and they are both thirsty and tired. The prince falls asleep in response, leaving the aiding Jester, who has accompanied the Prince on his quest this entire time, awake and thirsty. The jester decides to open the first orange, in hopes of quenching his thirst, but once opened, a princess comes out of the orange. The princess is dying of thirst but the prince is still asleep and the aide can not do anything about it so he opens the second orange in hopes of quenching her thirst but a second princess comes out and also parched. Because no water is to be found, the aide can not do anything but try and wake the prince up, but to no avail, the Prince still sleeps and both princesses die. The Jester, ashamed of his helplessness, flees. When the Prince wakes up he is excited to open the last orange. He finds the princess he’s always loved but she is parched so he asks the men in white, who was observing this scene the entire time, to fetch him water. He has summoned them to bring forth water for his beloved princess. They obey and bring back water for the Prince.

You discern that the men in white represent angels. The power is in the request. The Prince asks for water ? which represents Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The power is in the ask.

James 4:2. Only the hero in the story has the power to ask.

Because the Prince asks, the men in white bring him water, whereby the Prince nourishes and revitalizes the princess and the last orange is saved from near death. The Prince wants to take her to the castle to meet the King and get married but the Princess is self conscious so she tells the Prince to bring her fine clothing so she can look presentable to his family. While waiting the witch turns her into a rat and replaces her with one of the witch’s servants. When the Prince comes back the entire crowd and the King congratulates them though the prince automatically knows that it’s not her.

Still the King and the crowd insists that the Prince keeps his word of marrying the Princess. In the spiritual realm, the shadow is almost defeated by the witch if it were not for the heavenly angels who intercedes on the shadow’s behalf. The witch is immobilized and the shadow is free to let the rat princess break up the wedding on wedding day. The crowd panics seeing the rat princess, but the shadow turns the rat back into the princess in front of royalty and its courtesans. The Prince rejoices recognizing the Princess. The replacement princess gets caught red handed. The King realizes the plot as the conspiracy of the evil sister princess and the minister. The King orders the minister, the princess, and the replacement princess to be hanged. Hearing the verdict, the villains run for their lives and soon run into the arms of the witch who runs with them. Interestingly enough, the people in white who represents the heavenly angels hides the witch and its villains so that when the King and his army arrives, they can no longer find the culprits. These same people in white reminds the Good King of his happily ever after with the prince and his destined princess.

Youbelieve that this is the divine comedy revealed in its fullness, the miracle of a non zero sum game, and this is what Dr. Jordan Peterson means when he talks about “integrating the shadow.” The people in white literally took the witch and the villains in, safe in its herd, and redirects the King’s attention to the future prospect of a happily ever after, so the King forgets about executing on his revenge. This is the character distinction between the Good King and the tyrant.

You have just witnessed how to transform a tragedy and a divine comedy in Opera form at your first opera experience in Europe.

You smile and tear up.

Tonight, you are on the mark.

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