Chapter 16: Innocence Regained
Many times sitting in your presence I am overwhelmed by a very childlike feeling. It seems so familiar, yet from a long time ago. In these moments there feels no gap of you and me. I am like a child playing in your beautiful garden.
Osho, is this significant or am I already moving into my second childhood at the ripe old age of thirty-five?
PS. You can scare me any time.
This great experiment through which you all are passing is basically to achieve your lost childhood again.
When I say “your lost childhood,” I mean your innocence, your eyes full of wonder, knowing nothing, having nothing, but yet feeling yourself at the top of the world. Those golden moments of wonder, joy, no tension, no worry, no anxiety, have to be regained, rediscovered. The sage is nothing but the circle that started in your birth coming full way, complete, back to the same point.
Of course the second childhood is far more valuable and significant than the first. In the first the innocence was there because of ignorance, so it was not pure and clear and in your possession; it was just a natural thing that happens to every childhood. The second childhood is your greatest achievement - it does not happen to all. The second childhood makes you innocent without ignorance, the second childhood comes through all kinds of experiences. It is mature, centered, ripe.
You should be blessed that you are feeling like that. The second childhood is just exactly the existential meaning of meditation, and from there on is the great pilgrimage of coming back home - which you have never really left, which is impossible to leave, because it is you. Wherever you will go, you will find yourself there.
It is not even a shadow which follows you because that will disappear if you are sitting in the shade. It will appear only when you are standing in the sunlight. Your shadow is not an eternal companion, and in times of darkness even your shadow itself leaves you. But in the times of light your shadow is back.
The same is the situation with friends, lovers: in the days of darkness they leave you just like the shadow; in the days of success, richness, they all come back. They are not really companions.
There is only one essential being in you which will be everywhere with you, without any condition. Even if you are in hell it doesn’t matter, it will be with you; if you are in heaven it doesn’t matter, it will be with you.
To find that essential core of your being is on the one hand utter innocence, and on the other hand is the greatest wisdom that has ever existed on the earth.
So your body may be becoming old, but if you are learning ways of being silent and peaceful and meditative and loving, you will not grow old. You will remain as young and as fresh as early morning dewdrops shining in the beautiful sunrise, looking far more precious than any pearls.