Once Jesus was standing in a marketplace and somebody asked, “Who is worthy of entering into your kingdom of God?” He looked around. There was a rabbi, and the rabbi must have moved forward a little, thinking that he would be chosen—but he was not chosen. There was the most virtuous man of the town—the moralist, the puritan. He moved forward a little, hoping that he would be chosen, but he was not chosen. Jesus looked around—he saw a small child, who was not expecting to be chosen, who had not moved, not even an inch. There was no idea, there was no question that he would be chosen. He was just enjoying the whole scene—the crowd and Jesus and people talking, and he was listening. Jesus called the child, he took the child up in his arms, and he said to the crowd, “Those who are like this small child, they are the only ones worthy of entering into the kingdom of God.” Maturity means gaining your lost innocence again, reclaiming your paradise, becoming a child again. Of course it has a difference—the ordinary child is bound to be corrupted, but when you reclaim your childhood, you become incorruptible. P. 3
But remember, he said, “Those who are like this small child … .” He didn’t say, “Those who are small children.” There is a great difference between the two. He did not say, “This child will enter into the kingdom of God,” because every child is bound to be corrupted, he has to go astray. Every Adam and every Eve is bound to be expelled from the garden of Eden, they have to go astray. That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it. It is very strange, but that’s how life is. It is very paradoxical, but life is a paradox. To know the real beauty of your childhood, first you have to lose it; otherwise you will never know it. p.4
The folk song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell includes the verse, “You don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” Osho teaches the same thing about childhood as did Jesus before him. You have to lose the innocence of your childhood to regain it.
After years of socialization and conditioning, we come to realize that the works of the ego won’t make us happy. The works of the ego don’t bring real satisfaction and fulfillment. And so it dawns on us that there must be a better way to live our lives and this dawning triggers a search for what that better way might be. This search takes us onto the path of the spirit and we begin to reclaim the innocence of our childhood which we have lost.
This reclamation in once sense is very easy because all that is involved is removing the barriers and obstacles to our awareness of Love’s presence which has been within us all the time. Love’s presence is our natural inheritance which we have forgotten because we have become enticed and distracted by the things of the ego world.
We begin a process of renunciation and purification not so much of the physical things of the ego world but of the mental baggage which has been ingrained in our minds and hearts.
Today, we have to decide and choose which we want: the things of the world of the ego or the innocence, peace and joy of the things of the Spirit. The choice is simple while the implementation of our decision is hard because we are constantly tempted to turn away from Love and pursue and attain the things of the ego.
The great Christian Prayer, the “Our Father,” says in part at the end of the prayer, “...and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Indeed. May it be so.