How did you manage to stay with your own clarity as a child and not let yourself become intimidated by the grown-ups around you? Where did you get that courage from?
Innocence is courage and clarity both.
There is no need to have courage if you are innocent. There is no need, either, for any clarity because nothing can be more clear, crystal clear, than innocence. So the whole question is how to protect one’s own innocence.
Innocence is not something to be achieved.
It is not something to be learned.
It is not something like a talent: painting, music, poetry, sculpture. It is not like those things. It is more like breathing, something you are born with.
Innocence is everybody’s nature.
Nobody is born other than innocent.
How can one be born other than innocent? Birth means you have entered the world as a tabula rasa, nothing is written on you. You have only future, no past. That is the meaning of innocence. So first try to understand all the meanings of innocence.
The first is: no past, only future.
The past corrupts because it gives you memories, experiences, expectations. All those combined together make you clever but not clear. They make you cunning but not intelligent. They may help you to succeed in the world but in your innermost being you will be a failure. And all the success of the world means nothing compared to the failure that finally you are going to face, because ultimately only your inner self remains with you. All is lost: your glory, your power, your name, your fame – all start disappearing like shadows.
At the end only that remains which you had brought in the very beginning. You can take from this world only that which you have brought in.
In India it is common wisdom that the world is like a waiting room in a railway station; it is not your house. You are not going to remain in the waiting room forever. Nothing in the waiting room belongs to you – the furniture, the paintings on the wall…. You use them – you see the painting, you sit on the chair, you rest on the bed – but nothing belongs to you. You are just here for a few minutes, or for a few hours at the most, then you will be gone.
Yes, what you have brought in with you, into the waiting room, you will take away with you; that’s yours. What have you brought into the world? And the world certainly is a waiting room. The waiting may not be in seconds, minutes, hours, days, it may be in years; but what does it matter whether you wait seven hours, or seventy years?
You may forget, in seventy years, that you are just in a waiting room. You may start thinking perhaps you are the owner, perhaps this is the house you have built. You may start putting your nameplate on the waiting room.