The Lost Innocence of Childhood
When did I become a person, separate and distinct? When did I start to have desires and a need to be happy? When did I become fearful and experience feelings of insecurity? When did loneliness arrive in my life? When did my aggression and feelings of competitiveness come about? And when did I start comparing myself to others and feeling good or bad about who and what I am?
So many questions and truly only one truthful answer. All this came about during my early childhood, when my developing mind was taught that life is all about being what our culture demands we be, despite what I was truly experiencing. These teachings ended my innocence and gradually propelled me into being a conforming member of my parent’s world. In essence my family and society taught my mind to adopt the beliefs, values, thoughts, hopes and desires of my culture.
I remember being a young child where every day seemed like an eternity. Time did not really exist and in fact I was totally unaware of any need for time. Everything I perceived was new and I accepted all of it without a thought. I had a sense of wonder. I was interested in knowing more about this world I arrived in. I asked tons of questions and never doubted I would receive truthful answers. I had no real needs except a biological desire to eat and frolic. I was part of everything and everyone. I felt love in its purest form. It wasn’t something I had to cultivate or seek. It just was. My childhood was not unusual and I experienced hunger, the pain of being injured, and physically ill. But the psychological feelings of being adequate or inadequate, suffering, desire, seeking satisfaction, rejection and anger only surfaced as I assimilated and played-out the teachings of my culture.
Sure, throughout the years I modified or attempted to change these things that I was taught but the concrete foundation of what I learned was the underpinning of my life and these truths remained for many years as the only truth of my existence. I learned that this is the way things are supposed to be. This is the world as our elders teach us. If you want to fit in than you accept these things. However, despite this acceptance of reality I always had a intuitive feeling that something wasn’t right with these teachings. I was determined to find the truth of my existence and along the way I experienced a different reality.
Here are 12 realized truths that I have experienced during my journey. I will be writing about these areas and much more in future posts:
- We are born egoless and truly connected to everything
- Childhood innocence is forgotten when you become a separate self
- The mind is an interesting tool that we know very little about and we have little control over what it thinks
- Our mind has no capacity to define what we are. It really has no idea
- The education we receive from our culture is geared for us to survive and thrive in our world but not questioning these teachings is akin to allowing yourself to be brainwashed
- Memory can help or hinder our experiences and falsely confirms we are a person in time and space
- The mind lives in the past and anticipates the future. It knows nothing about the present
- Time is an illusion. It doesn’t really exist
- You can focus your attention on “what you are not” which will help you to realize you are beyond the body/self.
- Suffering is in the mind and comes from not accepting “what is”. This is different than physical pain which belongs to the body
- Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is a prominent theme in our lives and our mind is consumed with it
- Fear is mind based and is always of the unknown and this includes the fear of dying
It has taken me thousands of hours of spiritual study and meditation, multiple spiritual teachers and the passing of many loved ones to come close to a realization of “what I am not”. I now realize that I am not what I think I am….. and definitely not what I was taught to believe. This has in turn brought me closer to my original childhood innocence.