No matter your difficulties, no matter how hard your life has been and how much pain you carry inside, your innocence is indomitable. It cannot be tarnished or taken away. That’s because your innocence is the vibrant, wondrous light of your ever-present soul, as felt in your pure and open heart. Though the challenges of the human condition lead us to believe otherwise and detour us away from knowing our innocent nature, this immutable truth of who you essentially are is always present, waiting for you to turn towards it, to remember and embody it.
Our pain, especially the pain in our hearts, and our programming from the collective, keeps us turned away from our innocence. We learned early on that it was not safe to be our pure, childlike selves, to be true to our hearts, and thus our soul. For myself, I distinctively remember in grade three, while standing outside in the schoolyard, suddenly realizing that I could go no further being my childlike, innocent self. I had to grow up. I had to fit in. I had to be strong. I had to learn what I had no interest in learning, and be who I didn’t want to be in order to feel safe and find some semblance of belonging. It was a dire feeling in my heart, a visceral sense of aloneness. That indelible feeling, along with my earlier traumatic experiences, pained my heart and shrouded the truth of my innocence for decades after.
Purifying the heart
“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” ~ John O’Donohue
Innocence is purity of heart. We can see in ample abundance and beauty how evident this description is simply by looking at how free, joyous and wondrous young children are. A beautiful description of this comes from Black Elk, a holy man from the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe, who wrote, “Grown men can learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.” Children teach us every day how to experience freedom through innocence; for their freedom comes from an embodied remembrance of who they are and where they come from, beyond the level of form. It’s why speaking of angles, flying, and past life memories is no big deal for young children. They know deeper truths, forgotten by adults, without knowing how they know.
What’s simply natural and obvious to children is heresy to many adults. And for millennia, we’ve not been afraid to let them know how heretical their mythical nature and perspectives are; how they threaten the comforts of conventional ideals and consensus thinking, often to the point of reacting to their “foolishness” with abusive punishment. For generations upon generations of children, they’ve had to hide their innocence and “smarten up” in order to survive. Which means, growing into teens and adults, they’ve / we’ve lived with the powerful, creative and wondrous presence of our inner (star) child — the divine “ambassador” of our innocence — hidden in the shadows. A great loss indeed!
With lifetimes of indoctrination and traumatic experiences veiling us and our ancestors from our true innocent nature, purifying our hearts is thus absolutely necessary if we are to liberate ourselves and return to innocence in embodied experience. For me personally, reclaiming my innocence has been such an incredibly long and hard journey. Specifically, I had to heal my childhood conditioned beliefs of I am wrong and It’s my fault. These stories, ubiquitous to our traumatized culture, unconsciously sent me into spirals of self-blame and self-shame that played havoc on my health in ways too long to list. It took decades to finally know, in my heart, that I was innocent of what happened to me — that I no longer needed to subconsciously blame myself for the traumatic events I endured as a little one, which is what children do. In knowing unequivocally I was innocent of what happened, I thus reclaimed my innocence.
Healing is the doorway that everyone must eventually walk through if they are to know their unbridled innocence in their human awareness. For, unless you are an enlightened avatar, no one, certainly in the West, is immune from trauma and the insanities of the world. Healing, especially when facilitated by skilled, embodied and awake practitioners, removes the protection surrounding our wounded hearts. In one Ayahuasca (shamanic healing) ceremony, I was given a vision of layers of barbed wire surrounding my frightened heart. It was a striking image that helped me better understand how much my heart had been impacted by my difficult childhood and why I had been struggling with so much heart pain and unusual heart irregularities. I later realized in ceremony the degree to which I took I am wrong and It’s my fault, amongst other negative beliefs, to heart.
Healing releases us from being enslaved to patterns of suffering we don’t even realize we’re addicted to. It purifies the entanglements of separation that convince us we are anything but pure expressions of Light. Gradually, with courageous effort, we become innocent of the learnt perversions distorting our identity that have kept us from experiencing the beauties and wonders we once intimately knew as young innocent children, inside and out.
As our armour softens and the veils of disillusionment fade, wonder cannot help but birth into our flowering hearts. Like a wide-eyed three-year-old, we more easily sit innocently with a fly, a rose, or the spaciousness of the night sky, often with unexpected tears gracing our cheeks. (This is quite common for people who heal — they feel more deeply, and spontaneously cry in the simplest of moments.) With our hearts purifying and the entirety of our body more tenderized from the help of many tender moments of trauma resolution, we feel our vulnerable and curious childlike nature bursting to life in the once closed off parts of our hardened, protected body. We quite literally come alive!
“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” ~ Walt Streightiff
It becomes safer and more natural to experience life from the innocence of our being and for the pure joy of it. We do so without necessarily needing to know about the details of what we’re experiencing. It’s enough to enjoy a caterpillar, to imbibe its rich texture and colours, its poetic undulating motion, without defaulting to having to understand any intellectual concepts about this miraculous being.
That’s the gift of an innocent, purified heart, and of wonder — we return to the joys of simply being and thus communing with the unfathomable multiplicity of life; we re-experience losing ourselves in the moment, as we did when young, which allows us to experience life’s mysteries without the interfering adult-like filters of the interpreting, knowledge-hungry mind.
“I would rather live in a world where life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
Emptying the mind
Just because you believe something without question, and the majority shares the same belief, both now and historically, doesn’t mean it’s true. How willing are you to shatter the glass ceiling of your existing paradigm — of who you believe yourself to be?
Since childhood, we have been told many things that are, in truth, false, and that we still believe, in part because the majority shares and lives those understandings / beliefs. From our early years onwards, this information clogs our mind and deceptively detours us from the innocence and wonder of our soul, while making us more reliant upon and identified with knowledge and linear thought. Examples of false and misleading societal propaganda are: you are what you think; there is only so much you can have; your worth comes from what you do (not who you are); you must always put others first; you are born in sin; you must fear God; and, you must earn love (often by how much you know). These and other viral beliefs teach us that we are separate from our soul, from the sentience of caterpillars and other beings, and from a love that is our birthright that shines through each of us, as us.
Walking the Way of Innocence demands regularly questioning what we’ve learned that steals us away from our bodies, hearts and souls, and from the beauty of all creatures, big and small. It demands that we question the conditioned thought programs that distract us from the mystery of now, and that sunder this precious moment into parts the mind can easily measure, understand and therefore find comfort in.
Walking the Way of Innocence is the gradual dis-identification from the grasping mind, a relinquishment of its addictive need to understand, have things make sense, so much of which is fear-based and how we maintain illusory control. (Remember, as scared children at home and school, how much we needed to maintain self-control and be certain to survive.) It is an ongoing journey of inquiry and critical thinking, looking carefully and closely at the stories we hear from others, read in our literature, find in our his-story, and gather through the media, all of which contributes to consensus opinion, yet doesn’t necessarily have any grounding in deeper truth.
Like a flower opening its petals to the radiant sun, the Way is the blossoming heart that rises heroically from the darkness of its pained protection while overcoming the mind’s busy ignorance to bravely open to the unimaginable, to mystery, to that we could never find while closed, controlled, and enspelled by worldly insane conditioning.
Contrary to consensus opinion, what we actually long for is to lose control. (Alcohol and drug consumption, and other mindless addictions like technology, are but a few of our impoverished attempts to empty the mind and release control.) We long to surrender the shackles of being a certain way and our enslavement to the inculcated superficialities of viral programming, both of which shield us from the wild unpredictabilities and omniscience of Spirit. We long not to blindly walk further into the shadows of these false securities, but into ever-glowing pastures of uncertainty, and to find freedom in this.
Emptiness is our liberation, not further filling. Bowing the busy, discursive mind to the purified, mysterious heart, and the innocence we already are, is our desired soul freedom. It’s a radical departure from the world we’ve known and the self identified with and determined by that egoic maya.
“To explore the unknowable, bow to the Universe within you and confess that you know nothing.” ~ Kaia Ra, from The Sophia Code
Walking away to walk the Way
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can imagine that with enough healing and introspection, and with burgeoning awakened awareness filling your every cell, you soon boldly walk away from seemingly normal, yet toxic influences and habits that the majority lose themselves in daily. These include harmful food choices, such as tortured animal products, and media propaganda that you increasingly sense is not telling the truth. It likely also means turning from disempowering work environments, violent and salacious entertainment designed to keep people detached from their heart and divided, and from relationships where gossip, judgement and general pejoratives outweigh conversations of the soul. You naturally seek out those who resonate with your newfound, heartfelt awareness, even if that means more time alone; which is important if you are to hear the quiet whispers of your heart that have many wonderful things to share, and that you can hear more clearly as you become open and less encumbered.
Ultimately, in relinquishing these seemingly “normal” things, you are becoming innocent of, and thus free from, the world you naively gave yourself up to; a world most are lost in, inured they are to its manifold temptations that lead them everywhere but within, to their own hearts. You are walking away from a world you once identified with that shrouded you from the truth of your deeper, numinous identity. Align with that deeper truth that is your innocence and it naturally becomes more difficult to align with an insane world designed to keep you from it.
For these reasons and more, Walking the Way of Innocence is no small pilgrimage. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for the brave in heart; for the ones willing to walk into further and further edges of their vulnerability — a vulnerability that comes with facing all the pain within that’s kept us enslaved to a deeply sick world; a vulnerability that comes with bravely reorganizing our lives around, and leading from, our heart; and a vulnerability that comes with walking increasingly into the unknown, as led by our soul.
With the purity of our heart beating loudly, we are led much more by subtle forces and rhythms that are not of this world, but communicate from an entirely different dimension of consciousness. Like tuning into rarified radio frequencies, we access transcendent information few are dialled into, and that temporal knowledge has no place in and would likely be threatened by; intuitive and psychic insights not taught in school, not taught by our religions, or expounded upon through the media, but that can now find refuge in the chalice of our hearts because we are innocent and emptied of all that’s false that once filled our sacred cup.
Our physical form, the stargates of our trillions of cells, to increasing measure become sacred vehicles for light to work through. Our hard-won purity allows such possibility, for this great filling and expression. The purpose we have longed for, a co-creative path of service with our higher self and Great Spirit, can finally find its way through us. With fluid grace and hard work, we can be used by higher forces to support others to be liberated from the longstanding spell of suffering on this planet. We can trust and follow our spiritual guidance because, through our heroic journey of healing, purifying and opening, we’ve learned to trust our heart.
Walking the Way of Innocence is clearly revolutionary, for these reasons and more; and it’s essential, especially during these times when we collectively enter a global initiation into rebirth, and when we need to be listening to our hearts in what will continue to be rising levels of chaos and confusion. Our heart, not our intellect, is perfectly designed to navigate uncertainty — to guide us through the widening spaces afforded by a crumbling world and opening minds less cluttered with conditioned thought.
Expressed in manifold paths unique to each individual, this sacred pilgrimage when walked with proper guidance and wisdom is the most direct route to your liberation, which is what you want more than anything. It’s not the world you want. No matter your determined efforts, no matter how high you climb the ladder of worldly achievements, you will never find what you really want. It is why the school system is ultimately not in service to our innocent little ones. It’s designed not to feed the soul and its purposeful route, but to feed disillusionment and an economy whose majority of profits goes to an elite few.
No — the world will never give you what you want. Only an open heart can. A heart open to that which is not of this fleeting world, this simulacrum of form — the Light of Truth, the Loving Innocence you already are. It’s why it’s not Walking the Way to, but of Innocence. You are already that which you long for, your radiant presence glowing brilliantly within. All longing, all temporal desire, is ultimately for the sacred union with our immanent primordial light, our in-essence (innocence). And from our holy spirit we long to serve the emancipation of others from the collective shadows and painful dream of separation perennially defining the story of human suffering, the world we are in truth and essence innocent of.
“It is freedom from the world that the deepest part of you seeks, knowing that in overcoming the world, all that is left is God, which is all there ever has been, and all there ever will be.” ~ DavidPaul & Candace Doyle, from The Journey That Never Was
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Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults