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December 22, 2003

A Christmas Carol

Ever since I was young, it has been our family tradition to watch "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. The 1951 black-and-white movie starring Alistair Sim is our family's favourite.

The original story was written one hundred and sixty years ago, in 1843, and closely parallels the political, social, psychological, and spiritual perspectives of Primal Integration. Dickens takes a hard look at the industrial revolution and its effects on families and communities. He takes an even harder look at the cause of all this misery—emotional trauma. Scrooge (and other corporate tyrants like him) is the product of his childhood wounds.

By facing the pain of his past, his present, and his possible future, Scrooge has an emotional—and spiritual—transformation. He vows to live fully in the present. The psychological and the spiritual are intertwined. Exactly.

My favourite part in the movie is his ultimate delight at simply being. In the book he says:

"I don't know what day of the month it is....I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd rather be a baby."

In the movie, the line becomes:

"I don't know what day of the month it is. I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits. I don't know anything; I never did know anything. But now I know that I don't know, all on a Christmas morning!"

This year I intend to watch "A Christmas Carol" once again. Every time, I get tears in my eyes. And every time, I marvel at the insight and wisdom of Charles Dickens. Before modern psychology was even born, he knew inside, like we all do, what the problem is and how to heal it.

The next time you watch the movie or read the book try seeing it through primal eyes. You may be surprised!

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