Oxford Concise Dictionary defines innocence as follows:
From the Latin word, Innocent “not harming” The prefix In– not and the suffix of the word innocence, “nocere (nocence) means to hurt.” Compare also nocuous, noxious from Latin nocere- do harm, “to hurt.”
When a person is in an innocent state of mind, he or she would not only do no harm In fact, a person whose mind is in an innocent state, would not even be able to think about doing harm to others. He would not be capable of doing or attempting harm.
The absolute harmless state of mind has long been viewed as a sort of unwillingness to accept duality. It used to be that people who spoke and behaved like “innocent children” were thought to be naïve or simple-minded. I have recently heard that the incapability of thinking and doing harm has now been classified a symptom of a “mental condition.”
After WWII, a massive load of “evil” was inflicted upon the generations that were born then, especially on us Germans. It was atmospheric. The unspoken guilt was put upon us making it our responsibility to be guilty for what happened. We identified with the shame of being born German- German being the epitome of “evil” then. We also grasped the guilt of being born in the baby boom era, thus being part of an over populated generation alongside the mentality that we were causing harm to Mother Earth herself. Our parents had lost their childhood and youth to angst from the war. And even after the war was over, a time that our parents could live freely as they had hoped, were now bound by the Impediment: their children whom they had to care for. So, we the baby boomers were treated as “bad and evil.” And, if that wasn’t bad enough, our parents projected upon us, and our motivations, as though we needed to be punished all the time.
In particular, the females of my generation fell into the trap of having to constantly prove how “good or harmless” we were. It was like an unspoken message where we were begging: Why do you punish me? Don’t you see I’m innocent, I have no intention to harm anyone!”
This was the duality in us. We had been taught we were guilty, thus, in a way we believed it. At the same time, we had to “believe” we were truly innocent. Of course, this utterly naïve approach to life that led us into situations where we were being treated very badly by our families. Life itself showed us evil existed- but, we were in denial. We believed all the evil was inside of us, and everybody else didn’t mean any harm and was innocent.
I had met a lady who once told me, “You see, there are mornings when I get up thinking hard who I could harm today!” Another occasion, I had met a man who stated, “Look, you see this chair? This is my chair in which I sometimes spend a fortnight until I know how I can do the most harm to someone.”
Looking at our western God, you will see that He claims He is all good, and there is no evil to Him. The evil is all inflicted in his brother, the Devil. As for the God of all the light and love, justice, righteousness and all the good things are in Him. His eyes are “too pure to look evil.” We hear that being only “good and pure” can be a symptom of a mental condition. The least we can say, no man and no god is a complete being when he attempts to be only good, with no trace of bad.
When a man, a woman or a god is complete, he or she will have experienced good and evil, falsehood and truth, loyalty and betrayal, love and hate. He or she will also hold these things within him or her. A whole person will be capable of both good and of evil. But he/she has become wise and will choose what is good. Thus, wisdom could be called an evolved stage of innocence.
Edited by Sandra Rojo & Ysolda Dee. image by Vladimir Kudinov
I was deeply moved by this article from Ysolda, especially because Ysolda brings in a delicate issue from her parent’s generation that caused much trauma on both individual and on collective levels to the Baby Boomers in Germany: Hitler.
The baby boomer era was a generation that came into the world with much confusion, conflicts and struggles and the article above is a peek into the life of someone who experienced it. I have great respect for the baby boomers and in my opinion are an outstanding generation! They are the first generation, and the only one from what I see, that went beyond their parent’s expectations and limitations for that matter… in all aspects of life. Baby boomers have a lot of resiliency and today you witness this truth by their life expectancy, careers, financial stability and work ethic. I’m generalizing of course, but not far from the truth as I experience this cohort of people. Baby boomers still love to work and do not envision “retirement” as their last overture to play. They desire purpose and would continue to thrive in their society if people hired them more frequently in the workforce, rather than trade them in for less seasoned and cheaper employees, but that is another issue. This generation still has a lot to offer us – their wisdom, skills and GRIT, to name a few.
The baby boomer generation carved out a new frontier and was the first to break away from tradition, challenging themselves, thus inevitably challenging their parents about how all things are impermanent and maybe sometimes in exaggerated ways. Nonetheless they took that concept and expanded new ways of “being” in the world. It was as though metaphorically they were sticking their tongues out to their parent’s generation like a capricious, but harmless child saying, “See, I can do what you think I couldn’t or wouldn’t do … nor you would ever dare to do!
Many Baby Boomer’s attitudes, especially here in the USA, had a flavor of invincibility, no surprise, that is if they were to outdo previous generations. Having said this, it is also clear this generation also has suffered their own emotional trauma (worldwide) precisely because of the previous generation. I happen to believe they suffered more than generations that followed. You see, when you set off on a new frontier, there is nobody ahead of you nor nobody behind you. You have to pave the road by intuition, guts and chance. Baby boomers set off to their new way of being, lacking in resources, and even financial stability whilst attempting to heal emotional and psychological wounds. How so? They persevered and arrived more times than not to their destination because they created it. Nothing was given to them, they had to earn it- all! They proved they could do it better, smarter, faster, healthier and even with a sense of humor. Yes, and at times, arrogance attached to all of it, but nobody, is perfect.
The last few generations after the Baby Boomers have much to learn and benefit from what has already been established. All I can say is that I personally have learned a great deal and continue being intrigued by the courage, suffering and perseverance of the superman/woman of this era.
#personaldevelopment #suffering #experience #wellbeing #generation #philosophy #psychology #purpose #transpersonal #motivation #journeytoauthenticliving #authenticliving #grit #strive