Episode 90 – Scrooge on the Couch: How the Numinous Transforms


Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, vividly portrays the journey to healing and transcendence. It was written in a fever, released on December 19, 1843, and sold out before Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge’s visitations by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come are vivid depictions of the path from trauma to transformation. As in psychotherapy, Scrooge revisits his past; by reclaiming the feelings he exiled as a child, Scrooge discovers compassion and connection.

The visitation to the present shows Scrooge familial abundance of spirit despite material poverty and possible death for Tiny Tim (also a representation of Scrooge’s own emotionally crippled inner child). The last scene, like the lysis of a dream, shows Scrooge the bleak future to which his miserly ways lead. Scrooge’s encounters with transpersonal power break through his defenses and transform him into a man of joyful and generous heart. Scrooge has learned from his former partner’s ghost that:

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”  

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless Us, Every One!”

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