Innocence and Wisdom

For a period of time, my daughter, Catherine and grandson, Jaden stayed with me at a house I used to live in. There were a number of steps to climb to get to the driveway where her car was parked, and sometimes she would be in a hurry because she was late. I’d be in my office, where I could see them when they came through the gate from the downstairs apartment.

Catherine would get frustrated with Jaden because he would suddenly become fascinated with a tiny bug or entranced with the shape and color of a particular leaf on a plant. She’d have to hurry him along, sometimes patiently and sometimes with an edge to her voice.

Whenever I’d take a walk with him I’d also have to “dial down” because of the entirely different pace he was on and his tendency to become quickly focused on something that I would ordinarily miss. Good teachers, aren’t they? There is such an innocence to a child’s way of being, something we adults may long to recapture but typically view as something best left for the youngsters.

Sometimes we may wonder how to regain that mysterious sense of awe with which children approach the world. We’re drawn to it yet it may seem foreign to us, buried like a distant memory of a simpler time when life seemed easier. Then, when we could literally “take” our time in moving about life.

So how do we recapture this innocence? For some insight into this, I turn to the Osho Zen Tarot. It’s the only Tarot deck that I’ve become familiar with, and the “Innocence” card from the Major Arcana speaks to this issue.

“The innocence that comes from a deep experience of life is childlike, but not childish. The innocence of children is beautiful, but ignorant. It will be replaced by mistrust and doubt as the child grows and learns that the world can be a dangerous and threatening place. But the innocence of a life lived fully has a quality of wisdom and acceptance of the ever-changing wonder of life.”

I particularly appreciate this astute comment because it accounts for the trials and tribulations that we human beings face as we age, yet with these comes the wisdom that allows the return to childlike innocence perhaps reframed as “forgiveness” as adults. Yes, we can get caught up in the suffering, but with awareness and attention to what’s truly important. We can heal these wounds of the past and capture that state of grace that is available to us as we align our egoic self with our Higher Self.

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