Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Spirit has no form, yet in A Christmas Carol, Dickens formed the ghosts around the times past, present, and future.
The twist is that in the past and future Scrooge was real in the spirit realm and in the present he was a spirit in the real world, accompanied by the spirit of Christmas–yet all encounters were while he was asleep.
I’ve always thought this was telling. For us, past memories are mostly fuzzy with some bright flashes, while conjuring images of the future has so many possibilities, an array of conditions and variables need to fall into place for a best case scenario.
And the present? Well it slips and slides forming and reforming often in competition with a clinging past and grasping future.
A man of his time forged by past suffering his existence is bleak as he has wedded gain at the cost of happiness.
Cruelty has no shame as his nephew, clerk, and various people on the street exhibit joyousness. The poorhouse is Scrooge’s home and the workhouse his office dark and dank, they are larger than life and well suited for a narrow existence. As Dickens weaves the story we see multitudes of crossroads and paths chosen in a life divested of compassion. Scrooge was at the dark end of the spectrum in a wallar of chains of his selections unable to give or receive, his end surely near.
Dickens carefully refers to the man as Scrooge in darkness and Ebenezer in light. Scrooge is Shylock while Ebenezer is the Hebrew rock of human kindness, the stone of help after defeat. It also points the way to a better life. As you read the book or watch any of the film adaptations, note the tone and theme shifts from darkness and light and then at the very end what happens?
Ah! Tuesday night, December 21, 2021, at 7:00 PM/ET. I’ll tell you, as we compare this journey with the one of Siddhartha via Rohatsu and the three temptations of Mara.
We'll discuss the true meaning of transformation and the kinship between the Spirit of Christmas and living life as a bodhisattva.
Bows of the season,