After my latest blog I’ve been mulling over the concept of ‘Innocence’.
There’s always been a draw to regain my childhood innocence – and at the same a resistance, a conflict. When I looked deeper into my desire for childhood innocence, I saw that it was more a draw towards ignorance. A draw towards ‘not knowing any better’ and thus having – from a child’s perspective – a valid reason to not be held accountable or be expected to do certain things. When I was looking at defining and redefining innocence for myself, I could see that I couldn’t use childhood innocence as my starting point. Because – I have gone through experiences, I have gone through gaining greater knowledge and awareness – and I cannot simply ‘erase’ that is if that never happened.
Whenever I look at redefining a word – I check that it is able to stand the test of time. That anyone, at any given moment, place or space can apply it, live it, and it can remain as is. It doesn’t need contextually adjustment. With childhood innocence and attempting to place that into my current adult position – it just wasn’t sitting right.
When looking deeper into it and also checking out perspectives of others – I came across an interesting perspective from Osho. That a child’s innocence was given and not earned. That a child will act and behave a certain way, because he or she is not yet aware of all the various alternatives. In contrast, the innocence of the sage – was earned. Or how I see it rather, it was created. The child acts the way it acts because it doesn’t know any better. The sage acts the way it acts, despite all the other various options available – it comes from a true expression and decision of self.
To give an example: you never let your child explore or experience say technology or sugar. On a daily basis, your child eats non-processed foods and spends most of its time in nature. Can we then state that the child is a health conscious child that is connected to nature? Are the actions of the child truly theirs – or only the outflow and consequence of the absence of other choices? If you put that same child in a birthday party with plenty of sweets, cakes and gaming involved – will the child leave all those things untouched?
To put it another way – can you say you are truly exercising free will and self-power when your choices have been limited by your environment? Is the decision to refrain from eating sugar or participating in technology truly yours, coming from deep within you – or just the result of ‘not knowing any better’. (Note, that I am not advocating that in the end your child should never eat sugar or participate with technology despite it being available – I am just using these two topics as they are often used as ways to ensure a child’s character to be ‘a certain way’).
What I enjoy about the unschooling approach is that nothing is off limits – meaning, children are allowed to explore a plethora of things and find out who they are within it. It’s not about the activity or topic of exploration, it’s about developing who they are and figuring out, deciding for themselves what is in harmony and balance with their being. In life, we are faced with many challenges, different views and different courses of actions. We’re not helping our children by putting horse blinders on their heads – seeing only the actions and paths we see appropriate for them. We’re not always going to be here to keep those blinds in place. It denies them the ability to think critically and common sensically for themselves. The world is in the state it is today because too many of us have simply been walking and stepping into the paths that were created for us. We accept our environment as is. We walk the paths that have been trodden many times, clearly defined – because it’s the easiest, most evidently to choose.
If we came into a world with no pre-defined paths, directions, choices, conducts of behaviour – what would we choose? What would we create for ourselves?
We need to show ourselves and our children what is here, so they can experience it, learn from it and make up their own decisions. Just because the world is the way it is – doesn’t mean we have to leave it at that. A child that’s been brought up in a world full with processed foods, technology, a pace of life with instant gratification — is just as innocent and ignorant as a child chat’s been brought up in a world full of nature and raw foods and materials. Change any of the variables in either one of these children’s worlds – and they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.
Think of first world industrial nations faced with natural disasters or new diseases – they don’t know how to cope. Think of indigenous tribes being introduced and bribed with first world amenities’, products, foods and drinks.
We’re all Adams and Eve’s who have fallen from paradise. For our innocence to be true – we need to create Paradise as a reflection of who we are. Currently we are succumbing the conditioning and impulsing of our environment. We’re not making true decisions
True innocence is to be able to stand in the face of all facets of our reality, which really holds all possible facets of ourselves. To say ‘no’ and stand within that which we know to be best for ourselves and others as Life’s utmost potential. To know who you are in relation to every single aspect of existence, of yourself and have purified your stance to remain with your utmost potential and expression. To be aware of everything and all potentials, yet focus on what’s best.
Whether we are worthy of having Heaven on Earth is not a matter of ‘if’ – but a decision we each need to make and manifest for ourselves. We decide.