The Spiritual Life - Topic Eight
Reclaiming the innocence, wonder, and awe of childhood.
Whenever you understand that you have missed life, the first principle to be brought back is innocence.
Drop your knowledge, forget your scriptures, forget your religions, your theologies, your philosophies. Be born again, become innocent—and it is in your hands. Clean your mind of all that is not known by you, of all that is borrowed, all that has come from tradition, convention. All that has been given to you by others—parents, teachers, universities—just get rid of it.
Once again be simple, once again be a child. And this miracle is possible by meditation.
Meditation is simply a strange surgical method that cuts you away from all that is not yours and saves only that which is your authentic being. It burns everything else and leaves you standing naked, alone under the sun, in the wind. It is as if you are the first man who has descended onto earth—who knows nothing, who has to discover everything, who has to be a seeker, who has to go on a pilgrimage. p.xii
This “being brought back to innocence” of which Osho speaks is the idea of being “twice born” which is a common concept in all mystical traditions of the world religions. Jesus teaches that “unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” It is this reclamation of our innate innocence that Jesus is talking about.
And how is this reclamation of innocence to be done? There are many ways. The first is to give up our attachment to the idols on the path of the ego recognizing that they will never give us permanent happiness. Whatever happiness they may seem to give is temporary, effervescent, never seems to live up to our expectations and never lasts long enough.
When we are disappointed that the things we thought would make us happy don’t make us happy, we experience disillusionment which triggers anger, confusion, fear, and depression. These feelings of dysphoria lead to an awareness that there must be more to life. This hitting bottom and wondering where we have gone wrong is called “the dawning.” It dawns on us that there must be a better way.
It is when it dawns on us that there must be a better way that we begin our search for what that better way might be. This search does not take us outward to external things but inward to the peace of “no-thing.” This activity of shedding all our false beliefs and conditioning, Osho, calls “meditation.” Meditation is the clearing of the mind of all thoughts so we enter into a vast, clear sky of pure consciousness. At first this experience is fleeting and momentary, but with practice we are able to extend this sense of being one with All for what seem to be longer periods of time on the earth plane, but on the path of the Spirit is timeless.
When we are able to drop our egos and become one with the All and experience cosmic consciousness we have reclaimed the innocence, awe, and wonder of childhood.