Frozen as Buddhist manifesto

The lyrics to the wildly popular theme song “Let It Go” from the recent Disney film Frozen have puzzled many people. What exactly is the song trying to say?

It occurs to me that one valid way to interpret it is as an avowal of Buddhist tathagatagarbha. Specifically, the song expresses a mindful path to contentment based upon acceptance of what is, rather than on a craving for what is not.

Excerpting lyrics from the song, we uncover something that sounds very much like a succession of Zen koans:


snow glows white on the mountain
a kingdom of isolation
distance
makes everything seem small
and the fears that once controlled me
can’t get to me at all
no right, no wrong
the past is in the past
let it go, let it go
i am one with the wind and sky
here i stand
in the light of day
let the storm rage on
the cold never bothered me anyway
 

That’s pretty cool. Also the fact that this is the very first Disney song in history with lyrics that include the word “fractal”.

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