When people apply the word innocent with regard to children it generally means they are ignorant, naïve, trusting, or gullible in the ways of the world. Essentially they have not been exposed to cruelties of mankind yet.
Our innocence is lost when the illusion of our "perfect world" is destroyed and we begin educating ourselves on how to "look out for ourselves". Suddenly life becomes one big "chess game"
The catalyst varies from person to person. It might stem from parental abuse, being bullied by siblings or schoolmates, experiencing betrayal or heartache are all ways that cause us to remove our "rose tinted" glasses.
We begin to learn some hard lessons about life such as:
Not everyone is going to like you or have your best interest at heart.
Everyone experiences rejection.
Life is NOT fair.
People (judge) one another based upon numerous criteria.
People will lie to your face including family, friends, and your mate.
You are in a "competition" whether you know it or not.
Some people want to control or dominate you.
Hate is real
Racism is real
Sexism is real
People will (justify) their discrimination using religion.
We're all hypocrites about one thing or another.
The more analytical, cunning, and aware we become about the ways of the world the less innocent we are. Eventually we all get soiled at some point.
Once we've looked "behind the curtain" we've been exposed to the truth.
Our bubble has been burst and now we must find ways to avoid becoming completely cynical, bitter, depressed, and angry about life.
Being exposed to "the truth" kills innocence but it also provides wisdom!
"Knowledge is being aware that fire can burn. Wisdom is remembering the blister." -Leo Tolstoy
Without gaining knowledge and wisdom life becomes extremely painful.
Learning how to love and protect ourselves is a rite of passage.
(Experiencing pain is the beginning of the end of innocence.)
One man's opinion!
I agree with you here.
AND the key is finding the means to staying a reasonable person and not becoming a cynical and bitter person. Not easy. But it has to be done.
I loved your analysis Scorpio. I'm truly glad I don't stand in the position of judging when a child is no longer innocent. I, as all humans, cannot "look on the heart" as does God. We look at "the outward appearance," the acts committed, the motives we think we see and the consequences of those things and from those viewpoints try to extrapolate if a person is a responsible human being or one that cannot discern right from wrong, and thus moved into the pile of "innocence." I hope my reply doesn't sound hokey.
Because everyone is doing something for the purpose of learning no one, human, woman or man ceases to be innocent. What bring about what appears to be the lack of innocents in human is our conditioning to judge things according to sight, hearing, smelling, taste and feeling rather than always calling things by the nomenclature they are for determining their purposes. By that, human and woman - both means "minds unable to comprehend all things" because of not being a whole man - have the appearance of a lack of innocence although they actually are not since learning require it.
I always compare the end of innocence to two very different literary stories with which most are familiar. First the allegory of The Garden of Eden. Everyone is born in the Garden, but at some time early in life all of us partake of the "Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" when our eyes are opened and we come to realize right from wrong, and we see the good and evil of the world. This is the end of innocence.
The other story is Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Read the book very carefully, not the nonsensical Disney cartoon version, and you see a young innocent girl playing with her older sister beside a stream, I believe. Alice falls asleep and has the most vivid dream imaginable. When she awakens, her sister has tears in her eyes because she knows that Alice is now different, no longer a little girl but a young woman who has left Wonderland forever and can never return. She has passed her childhood innocence.
I think as soon as the ego is developed enough for a child to separate the self from their view of the rest of the world, the innocence has the potential to deteriorate into self-preservation.
I think it depends on the mental state of the person. His ability to perceive things and to differentiate between right and wrong, truth and false, intelligence and cunning nature, etc. Once he becomes aware of the differences, he is no more innocent.
By the way, if we measure with age, a child normally discards ignorance as soon as he steps into the teenage.
In other words, would you be saying once a child starts to see or become involved in the duality of life, innocence is shed?
Well, I could understand that. The more we know of one end of a word or a theme, life will bring people or circumstances to experience its opposite.
Earlier I was reading up on the Celts Renaissance and there was the biblical mention of the seducing snake and how it is connected to dirt. The snake can be the symbol of seducing us into the underworld of darkness and the so called "dirtiness" of life both literally for some while symbolically for others.
The light doesnt dissolve the darkness but it can shed light on the darkness.
Yes and no it's more like once they process the me, me, me they become 100% able to lose any innocence projected onto them by a third party. Think back to "Lord of the Flies" those kids did horrible things to each other all in the name of fear and self-preservation.
Some would say infants are all about me, me, me, me.
When they cry they expect to get (immediate) attention.
It's only later in life they learn that's not how the world works.
They also learn to "stand in line", sharing, and "empathize" with others.
As a 6 month old I was left asleep in a baby-bed with the rails up and woke up and cried and cried until a bodiless voice said "you may as well be content, no one is coming to get me" and I listened to it and became content. When my mother came in she praised me when she saw me not crying. That, I believe, is why I have become as enlightened as I have, I was encouraged to accept conditions I could not do anything about so I learned to reason. I believe if a baby was left in the environment, especially supposedly as Adam who had been with a companion voice was, he would become enlightened.
However, the Adam metaphor was intentionally to cause man to enter the multibillion different personality incarnating classroom of earth for teaching by living each of the possible personalities individually and in every possible scenario. This classroom only graduate 10% [10 virgins parable] at any graduating season during the terminating of the two civilizations, this material one and Rev, 21's spiritual one. The rest continue their incarnating learning process.
Id actually have to disagree with you here, babies don't have the mental capacity at that stage to understand what me even is. If you look into a mirror you can recognize that you and the person in the mirror are the same. Where an infant or even a toddler would recognize the reflection to be a completely different person. They haven't registered their own consciousness yet, but I will agree with everything else you said babies do everything they do for attention, but it is instinctual. They don't cry because they think someone will come, they cry because its the simplest form of communication they know. If babies had more resources available to communicate then they'd also have the capacity to develop the "me me me" factor holding true to my previous statements.
I lived it therefore I know it happened. Your disagreeing doesn't change what I experienced first hand.
I have met someone who remember entering her mother's womb, her mother being killed by a dog with her inside, her being transplanted to a clone of her mother, her being born and a host of other things so there are some exceptions to almost everything man know. Her whole life she was taught by what she calls "god" never having any schooling worth talking about and I know she can hear my thoughts as she has proven it many time during the 8 days we were together.
Just because you haven't experienced anything like we have, there's no justifiable reason to say what is and isn possible. I knew I wanted out of that bed and was intending to cry until I was let out until the voice told me to become content.
One of our biggest mistakes is believe what teachers tell us chichis often contrary to some experience we've had, so, if you are willing to "holding true to my previous statements" so be it.
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