OPENED BY INNOCENCE
Recently I was arrested by a photograph that a friend shared on Facebook. The photo was of two small children sitting on a park bench together and I don’t know what it was but something grabbed my attention and I feel my heart being pulled open.
I sat looking at the picture. I gazed at it. I asked it, ‘What have you got to tell me?”
The answer came surprisingly easy. It turned out that that simple picture had a message for me about innocence. The picture was an icon into a forgotten world. A world that was calling to me,
“Come back! Come back! Return!”
When you gaze at the image of innocent children what does it evoke in you? A sense of wonder? Of joy? Of pure delight? Perhaps a longing for a simpler time? Or an inner urge to protect their vulnerability? Perhaps a tenderness arises in you that softens your heart a little or has you reaching out for the hankies as you grieve for the lost times of your own childhood?
None of this is surprising for it is the consequence of our own innocence calling out to us. Our own innocence is the ‘inner- sense’ of who we are, the ‘inner-sense’ of our own presence. It is the ‘inner-sense’ that the world is a good, wonderful, joyful and delightful place to live in. All this has been long hidden in the folds of our adult living. It has been tucked away, consigned to the archives of time and covered over with the responsibilities of being a grown up.
But does living as a grown up mean we have to lose our ‘inner-sense’ of who we are as pure innocent beings filled with beauty, joy and delight? Do we have to grow up and away from the truth we knew as children? Does that truth simply disappear as we grow older or does it just get hidden from view, covered up, masked in some way? If this is so then, if we are willing, can we can embark on a journey of unmasking the truth and letting it shine in our hearts again?
Surely to do this is to fulfil our purpose here on earth?
‘To become human
is to become visible
what is hidden
as a gift to others.
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
The way back to innocence is simple but not easy. Our minds and bodies have been conditioned, formed and shaped by the collective consciousness that has us believing that to grow up we must ‘outgrow’ our childhood innocence so that we can take part in the 'real' world. However this is based on a misunderstanding of the meaning of the words childish and childlike. As we grow up it may not serve us or the world to remain childish but it will most definitely serve us and the world if we can remain childlike.
To become childlike and to rekindle our ‘inner-sense’ of innocence we must engage in the inner work of sifting through the layers of untruth that we have been led to believe the real world is composed of. This can be heavy and tiring work that requires commitment, passion and above all an inner, unshakeable belief that it is worth doing in the first place!
I believe it is an endeavour worth undertaking. I believe it is an essential endeavour.
I believe in the innocence at the heart of all human beings. I believe in my own innocence and in yours too. I believe and put my trust in this innocence and I believe that it will guide me to the next step that I need to take in order to recover, for myself and others the ‘inner-sense’ that all is well in the world.
‘All shall be well and all manner
of things shall be well.’
(Julian of Norwich)
The opinions I express here are my own. However I offer them with the word 'syat' next to them. 'Syat' is a word used by the Jain Tribe in India which means 'To the best of my knowledge SO FAR.' In the spirit of openness I invite comments from anyone whether you agree with my point of view or not. In this way we can all learn and grow together. Thank you.