Excerpt About Innocence

What it Means to Regain Our Original Innocence

You might remember that when you were a very young child things seemed to be new. Things were fresh, they had some kind of openness and excitement about them. As a child, every time you go somewhere that you have never seen before—oh, new!—it is exciting. So maybe there is a wisp of a memory of what freshness is, of what innocence is. You have to be naive, unknowing, completely helpless, utterly defenseless. You have to be absolutely vulnerable. There is a sense of innocence and virginity, with the sense that everything is new and nothing has yet happened. So who you are is a very original reality—it hasn’t been broken. You become a window through which the day breaks. It is like the first moment of knowing there is anything. It is the dawn of consciousness, the daybreak of consciousness. There is just the slightest glimmer of perception, before you know that there is perception, before the mind creeps in with a layer of deadness. This is original reality, our original face. Clearly, there is no way that we can penetrate or open our eyes to that totally fresh, totally virginal, absolutely innocent reality unless we let ourselves be completely defenseless and vulnerable, with no ideas or preconceptions, without even a movement of mind or consciousness. Whatever we are, whatever we see, is spontaneous, the completely uncontrollable wild explosiveness of reality. Every second is a big bang, before anything got formulated yet. That’s what it means not to look through the mind. That’s what it means to be fresh; that’s what it means to regain our original innocence.

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