Qualities that spring to mind when one associates to the child include innocence, purity, vulnerability, love, new life and divinity. From the shadow side come qualities of dependency, immaturity, neediness and entitlement.
Contemplating one’s inner child often evokes tender and sad feelings, as one is transported to crushing moments of lost innocence and shame when the child self retreated from life into the safety of a well-guarded inner fortress. Often the adult ego colludes with this life sentence, preferring an unfulfilled life to one of a potential lethal re-wounding of its precious innocence.
The challenge to the adult ego is to partner with its inner child and, through a shared journey of recapitulation, enable the child’s innocence to emerge from isolation into current life. The adult ego must fully experience and accept the emotional, physical and cognitive dimensions of its younger self’s frozen traumas.
Most important, the adult ego teaches the child that wounding is a normal part of life and that, although all indeed seek to avoid it, the reward of openness to life is worth the necessary wounds that may accompany such exposure. With resilience, fortified with self-acceptance and awe, one is freed to branch deeper into real life. Further, one knows that all wounds can be healed.
Sometimes the ego avoids a recapitulation and becomes a defense attorney for its wounded child, seeking retribution for its lost innocence. Certainly this has a place in validating the impact of abuses upon a child.
Often, however, the ego—out of guilt, sadness or anger—elevates the child’s sense of entitlement to its own marching orders. This tends to burden it with negative resentful feelings that do little to advance the freeing of the child. Retrieval of the lost child and bringing it into life requires the transformation and evolution of original innocence into matured innocence. This requires the acceptance and the letting go that is characteristic of a thorough recapitulation.
Jung writes, in The Red Book: “He who still has his life before him is a child.”
Thus, the child, as an expression of life continuously growing, open to the ever-unfolding mystery of infinity, is indeed the ultimate symbol of divinity. To be divine is to be one with the Spirit of infinite growth, regardless of one’s age or dimension of being.
To embody the excitement, the anticipation of the new life in each moment of every new day is to fully live one’s divinity. This is life lived beyond all the usual worries and attitudes that level the soulful experience of unfolding time.
Unfortunately, the ego, charged with the rudiments of survival while in human form, quickly dampens the spark of discovery with its well-established routines of daily life. The ego’s crowning achievement is the meeting of its established goals versus indulging the spirit of discovery.
The divine child is hardly childish, resentful or entitled. The divine child, having resurrected from its wounded traumas, has freed itself from the full body cast of victimhood. Fully engaged in life, the divine child shines its radiant innocence upon the ever-deepening mystery and fulfillment of its infinite life.
A humble ego, accepting the stewardship of the divine child, is the essence of the biblical suggestion that one must become like the child to truly enter heaven. Heaven, in this context, is a locale of advancement, from which that ever-curious child will someday launch again on its infinite journey of becoming.
To become the divine child is indeed the true elixir of immortality. All are gifted the opportunity to quench their thirst with its spirit every humble day of mortal life, and then beyond.
To the spirit of the divine child,