Innocence, in its purest form, is an affect found in youth. The emotional energy of innocence is expressed as a feeling of excited anticipation and joyful response as a child discovers and befriends a welcoming, magical world.
Adults melt at the glitter in the eye and the spontaneous burst of laughter as the child greets new life for the first time. The innocent child is yet to be fettered with judgment, rejection, fear, cynicism, and shame. The innocent child’s wonder is open, receptive, and trusting that the world is loving and equally receptive to being met and played with.
Most adults collude to uphold a protected magical world for the young child that screens out the reality of disease, old age, and death. Thus a child’s innocence is encouraged to develop and strengthen, as adults know the precious value of a child’s innocence despite their knowing also of its inevitable loss as the deeper truths of life eventually intrude on this early paradise.
The New Testament Bible states: “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)
This Biblical passage is abundantly clear: to restore oneself to the innocence of the child is the only key to entering heaven. If heaven is the destination after completion of our journeys in this world then innocence is the gold we must refine in this life to obtain entrance into our infinite journey.
Such a paradox this life! The child is born with the very innocence that life in this world will of necessity contaminate and yet, in order to progress, it must be retrieved and refined to the highest level to achieve the enlightenment to grow beyond this world.
Innocence, by design, is contaminated by the time and space parameters of this world. All whom the innocent child bonds with will eventually change, frustrate, disappoint, and die. This reality must eventuate in a loss of innocence as the child meets the dark side of life and then must submit to the adaptive armor against the pain of lost innocence and the inevitable longing it generates.
Herein lies our true mission in this life, to pick up the remnants of our lost innocence and meld them into a highly refined innocence capable of living in the true nature of reality, in both its light and its dark sides.
In our earthly existence, the dark side of reality is that everything changes, everything dies, nothing is forever in an unchanged form. Try as we might to hold back change through grasping onto our attachments, they will be ripped away. And further, grasping onto a refusal to be hurt again is really just another attempt at holding onto an unchanging self.
The longing of lost innocence, sequestered to the shadows of a closed heart, will not be silenced by suppression or repression for very long. Eventually, it will erupt in consciousness, in impulsive acts, or by pulling us downward into its torment via a depression that demands an inner journey of recapitulation to resolve.
That recapitulation journey requires us to relive the experiences of our lives that once jarred and fragmented our innocence, to willingly re-experience the painful encounters that sent our shamed younger selves running for sanctuary.
What is most required during the recapitulation journey is that our adult/ego/parent selves stay fully present as the full emotional torment of those encounters, along with the confusions and misconceptions that shroud the original innocence, are relived.
This process of receiving with open arms and heart the broken pieces of lost innocence by the adult self is the internal alchemical oven of transformation. Full acceptance of the full truth of one’s self releases innocence from judgment but also aids its maturation. The truth is, for innocence to really return to the living personality it must broaden to the dual nature of time space reality and expand its level of tolerance for disappointments, endings, and the unexpected.
For innocence to journey into the unfathomable it must be able to flow with what is. And what is sometimes hurts. Refined innocence is not naive to this possibility and in its wisdom will choose, when it can, what influences to open to and those to avoid.
Nonetheless though, a journeyer is always aware that to remain open to the full adventure of real life necessitates openness to being caught off guard as we enter the unknown. However, rather than fragment in encounters with the unexpected, refined innocence owns the resilience of non-attachment. That is, non-attachment to outcome, to being offended, to things always remaining known and unchanging.
With non-attachment and full engagement, refined innocence leads from the place of awe and unreserved compassion for all engaged in the miracle of being. Yes, refined innocence is indeed the key to the Kingdom.
Ultimately, our stay in this world is really to graduate from the School of Refined Innocence. With this graduate degree we obtain the passport, the necessary readiness, to embark on new and deeper journeys in infinity.
Studying for exams,