Wearing a Cap of Materialism Low Upon a Brow of Spiritual Light

Would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give? Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow!

This question was asked of Mr. Scrooge by the Ghost of Christmas Past in Stave Two of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol.” In the scene where this utterance was uttered Mr. Scrooge had returned home, had his encounter with the Ghost of Jacob Marley (his former business partner who died seven Christmas Eves hence) and had gone to sleep. As the Ghost of Jacob Marley foretold to Mr. Scrooge, he would be visited by three ghosts. The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first of these three ghosts.

Now, it should be noted that neither the Ghost of Christmas Past nor the Ghost of Jacob Marley commented on the cleanliness of Mr. Scrooge’s living quarters. The book I believe does make reference to a house cleaner (who was probably not employed through a maid service Salt Lake City¬†given that the story takes place in London, England circa 1843) so one may assume that his living quarters were in some state of tidiness.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is of course speaking of a spiritual light. To extend the metaphor, when the Ghost of Christmas Past is referencing the cap that it has been forced to wear low upon its brow it is speaking of the materialistic concerns of the ego which have the effect of obscuring the spirit which is truth. Now, it is certainly true that Mr. Scrooge did not hire a maid service Salt Lake City to clean his living quarters. We can safely rule that out as an impossibility given the limitations of travel and expense in the time period in which these events transpire.