Once upon a time, there lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
Ernie was a happy sort of chap.
He liked meandering through his domain, chatting with friends here and there.
One day though, Ernie happened upon a patch of forest he had never seen before.
Ernie decided to explore further, completely ignoring all childhood tales of woe associated with dark woods.
As he entered, he passed small warning signs that are sometimes referred to as foreshadowing.
Yep, he pretty much blithely sailed on through many such warning signs..
Ernie wasn’t always the most astute observer, especially when he was having a good time.
As he sauntered on, Ernie didn’t really notice that the light was getting dimmer and that he was slowly forgetting his way back home.
All of a sudden, Ernie stumbled upon something he found highly unusual – a person with a crown!
Ernie watched, fascinated! He had never seen a crown before – and, oh – how it gleamed..Ernie found himself possessed by a strange yearning – never had he seen anything so enchanting..
As he thought back to his life, it seemed but pale and ridiculous compared to the beauty of the creature’s crown.
Ernie grew obsessed by the idea of the golden crown! He had to have it!
What Ernie didn’t know that he had inadvertently stumbled into the Forest of Envy, which blinded the souls of all who entered, filling them with insatiable longing for the fortunes of others.
All he could think about was the crown – the precious crown.
By night he would lie awake in the forest, ruminating obsessively about the crown.
By day, he would watch the crowned one, a dark and hulking shadow.Needless to say, Ernie grew increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied.
One day though, Ernie noticed something strange.The crowned one was staring fixedly at another in the distance – one with a crown.. and a sceptre!
As Ernie watched, he could almost see a transformation take place in the crowned one…
Ernie wanted to yell – what are you so unhappy about, you at least have a crown!
All of a sudden Ernie was struck by a realization.
And with that, Ernie’s heart grew large towards the crowned one.
With those single words, the clear rays of light came shining through the Forest of Envy.
And with that, Ernie decided it was time to go home and strolled away, leaving the changed forest behind.
Years later, when asked about his time in the Forest of Envy, Ernie was fond of expounding the wisdom of Bertrand Russell, and would simply say:“To find the right road out of this despair civilized man must enlarge his heart as he has enlarged his mind. He must learn to transcend self, and in so doing to acquire the freedom of the Universe.” – Bertrand Russell
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