“Children are not supposed to have fun,” I told my grandchildren with a straight face several years ago. They were about five and six years old at the time. I explained,”They start laughing, then bouncing up and down, running around, and if they don’t hurt themselves, or break something, they become disturbers of the peace – at least.” Both of their faces got those twisted up looks little children get when they puzzle over something, but they didn’t say anything as they went out the door to play.
I am not a mean grandfather, but I like to test children and encourage them to think. Having already provided an explanation, for the next few days I simply said,”Remember, NO fun,” as they headed for the door. Finally one day, my granddaughter turned to me and said,”But Grandpa, it’s what we do!” Her look of serious innocence made it impossible not to laugh. She went out the door with a big grin because she was now certain that I was joking with them. After that, they would just laugh whenever I reminded them to have NO fun. It even became a joke with other children in the neighborhood.
I envy the simplicity of how children see life. The world of adulthood is complex and many of us suffer stress that affects our physical and emotional health, which just makes everything much more complex. I suspect that most of us have taken it for granted that life is complicated; we don’t even questioned if that complexity is really necessary.
Science and the “scientific method” has enabled humankind to dissect the physical universe to understand its complex workings. Technology is the application of this complex understanding to make stuff that is quite impressive. Seeing that the inner workings of the universe are complex, that we can make equally complex marvels with this complex understanding, it only seemed natural to create complex social structures… that are now collapsing and nobody knows how to fix? This may be a sign that we have made things too complicated.
We have become so enamored with our technological prowess that we cannot understand how anyone can do anything without it. We wonder how primitive people built the likes of Stonehenge and the Pyramids without our wondrous technology. I suspect, if one of those primitive engineers were somehow brought here today, the explanation of their methods would start with,”It’s simple…”
I am certain that, if I tried to explain our current economic crises to a five year old, they would just shake their head and walk away saying, “That’s too complicated!” Sadly, that probably is the problem summed up “in a nutshell.” Actually, I suspect the five year old would more naturally respond with something like, “That’s crazy.”
The global economic crises, the crime of identity theft, and the controversial anti-piracy bills currently before the U.S. Congress are indicators that the birth of E-commerce was premature. Free Trade agreements are the equivalent of taking the bulkheads out of ocean going vessels; if you start taking on water in one part of the ship, the whole ship floods and goes down. The short-sighted Captains of Industry saw E-commerce and Free Trade Acts as the futuristic way to make more profit and told their properly purchased political puppets (try to say that three times fast!) This plan was successful in the short term as “one percent” gathered most of the wealth to themselves, but have they realized yet that, if the ship goes down, they go down too?
It can’t be that simple you say? It isn’t that simple if you’re trying fix the problems and maintain your fortune, or trying to keep your political seat without campaign funding. Otherwise, it is that simple; ask any child!
We can still find beauty in life if we try to look at the world through the eyes of our children, particularly in the pre-school years. They see the world simply because they haven’t been infected with the “knowledge base” that modern society is so proud of and overwhelmed by. Coincidentally, the ancestors that created the likes of Stonehenge and the Pyramids didn’t have that knowledge base to be overwhelmed by, either. Perhaps, learning to look at the world and life through child-like eyes will enable us to find lost wisdom.
A lovely Christian lady (and I use that word with its full meaning) indicated that it would be helpful if she had some understanding of Paganism. While I consider myself a Pagan, I do not see myself as any kind of expert on the matter, and Pagan beliefs are diversified enough that any “generalized statement” has the potential for controversy. I must admit (sheepishly) that I kinda, sorta, might have suggested checking out my blog roll for some of that. I must also admit (equally sheepishly) that I may not have realized that I was actually responding to her request with some recent posts. This brings us to the ironic purpose of this post.
Understanding of The Sacred Circle and Beauty In Light is found through child-like eyes. I invoked our worldly knowledge base for the latter two-thirds of The Sacred Circle to emphasize Black Elk’s wisdom, but I didn’t invoke the knowledge base until the final paragraph of Beauty In Light to provide contrast and irony. However, the foundation of both posts were the early parts of each post. If my limited vision of the path that unfolds before me has any accuracy, the ability to view the world through eyes like a child will be fundamental to some future posts. That ability is essential to understand the Ancient Ones, and that is ironic.
Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 18:3 ASV)
Does it seem strange that Jesus may have provided a bridge between Christianity and Paganism? The irony here is that similar quotes appear in three out of four Gospels: Matt 18:3 ASV (above), Mark 10:14 NIV, and Luke 18:16 NASB. If you cannot see with eyes like a child, you probably won’t understand ancient (Pagan) beliefs, AND if you do not become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. I will stop now because I need to contemplate this one more myself.