The first question:
What is innocence? Does being innocent require one to live a simple life?
Innocence is a state of thoughtless awareness. It is another name for no-mind. It is the very essence of buddhahood. You become attuned with the ultimate law of things. You stop fighting, you start flowing with it.
The cunning mind fights, because it is through fight the ego arises, and the cunning mind can exist only around the ego. They can only be together, they are inseparable. If the ego disappears, the cunning mind disappears, and what is left is innocence. If you are fighting with life, if you are going against the current, if you are not natural, spontaneous, if you are living out of the past and not in the present, you are not innocent.
To live according to the past is to live an irresponsible life. It is the life of reaction. You don’t see what the situation is, you simply go on repeating your old solutions. And problems are new every day, every moment. Life goes on changing and mind remains static. That is the whole problem: that the mind remains a static mechanism and life is a constant flux. Hence there can be no communion between life and mind.
If you remain identified with the mind you will remain almost dead. You will not have any share of the joy that overwhelms existence. You will not be a participant in the celebration that is continuously going on: the birds singing, the trees dancing, the rivers flowing. You also have to be a part of this whole.
You want to be separate, you want to prove yourself higher than others, superior than others, then you become cunning. It is only through cunningness that you can prove your superiority. It is a dream, it is phony, because in existence there is nobody who is superior and nobody who is inferior. The blade of grass and the great star are absolutely equal.
Existence is fundamentally communist. There is no hierarchy. But man wants to be higher than others, wants to conquer nature, hence has to fight continuously. All complexity arises out of this fight.
The innocent person is one who has renounced fighting. Who is no more interested in being higher, who is no more interested in performing, in proving that he is something special. Who has become like a roseflower or like a dewdrop on the lotus leaf. Who has become part of this infinity. Who has melted, merged, become one with the ocean, is just a wave, has no idea of the I. The disappearance of the I is innocence.
Hence innocence cannot require that you should live a simple life, innocence cannot require anything of you. All requirements are cunning. All requirements are basically to fight, to be somebody.