Monday, January 13, 2020

Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch

Ebenezer Scrooge - cheap heartless bastard - dances through the streets in his pajamas, cackling merrily, patting children's heads and wishing the stunned citizenry the finest of Christmases.

The Grinch - scourge of Whoville, stealer of presents, and tormenter of loyal dog Max - finds his heart growing three sizes and makes nice with the Whos.

Think about it for a moment. What happened, in both cases? A shift of perspective. A reframing. Each occurring in an instantaneous flash. The result? Transformation. Grace.

Reframing is an absurdly easy and eternally available move, which can also be induced in others if you're creative (that's what art - at least great art - is), making this the tool any successful messiah would choose.

Reframing is the source of all miracles and transformations. It's so potent - and so undeveloped as a faculty - that we project a God who makes it happen, leaving us, hilariously, eternally awaiting fickle thunderbolts. We don't make our thoughts happen, but we do choose our framing. We've got it all backwards!

Heaven and Hell are instantly available. It's true that death is a prerequisite, but it's not the death of a body (what does your body have to do with it?). It's the death of the previous framing - which you've identified with so utterly that to let it go indeed amounts to a death.
It's quite possible that this posting will kill you. It is lethal. Reframing = creativity, and creativity = destruction (can't make an omelette without breaking eggs), which explains why, as I'm fond of noting, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction is also the goddess of creativity. If your viewpoint feels subtly different after reading any of this - if you're not quite yourself - your previous framing has been slain. Welcome to the afterlife! What's next? Which framing shall you choose now?
How tough is it to replace a perspective; to reframe? Experiment below. See exactly how much effort and drama is required:


A good second experiment would be to try bestowing - right here and right now, within yourself; external displays are unnecessary - Forgiveness. The most unearned sort of forgiveness is the most densely ecstatic, but I'd suggest building up to that gradually (though, like all reframings, it's available in the flick of an eyelash).

Even better than Scrooge and the Grinch, for my money, is "The Witch Next Door" by Norman Bridwell. Nominally a children's book, and often mistaken for a homily about tolerance, it really gets to the core of the matter.

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