My wife found this wonderful drawing made by our son in his youth while we were cleaning house recently. It is full of loving depictions of his family (mom and dad) and pets intermixed with lots of hearts. The rendering looks like a scene from heaven—not as a simple childlike fantasy, but the way heaven must really be. I am struck by the pure innocence of the youthful drawing.
Heaven is seen and understood as a realm of angelic beings that live a life of love. And even if you do not believe in an afterlife, there is plenty of evidence that love and innocence really exists. Little children certainly pick up on it!
I have seen drawings, similar to the one my young son made, from children all over the world. It is a universal state of mind for little children. Unfortunately, we educate them to succeed in an abnormal and artificial setting. It seems that the world needs to recapture this lost state of innocence in order to solve all the problems we face in a “grown-up” world.
Goodness needs innocence. Without innocence, love and goodness can be manipulated by self-interests and hidden agendas.
Innocence has no place in the neo-Darwinian synthesis of evolutionary theory, either. Innocence does not offer the human species an evolutionary niche for the successful promotion of human genetic material. Innocence represents the most noble and endearing human trait of all. It is a spiritual quality and does not spring from the serendipitous operations of dead matter or quantum dice. It is a special quality of the human heart and mind that comes from beyond the terrestrial globe.
Innocence makes love angelic!
Children have it and grown-ups actually have the opportunity to regain it. Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg stated that young children have innocence from ignorance. As they grow up and learn the ways of the world they lose this primal form of innocence. Therefore, Swedenborg stressed that humankind needs a special kind of education that would offer knowledge that could take humanity to a proper and more mature state of innocence.
Swedenborg called this adult form of innocence the innocence of wisdom. This would allow innocence to become a more fixed and permanent trait of the human heart and mind, and could actually increase as we age. The innocence of wisdom only comes from sincere self-examination, humility and acceptance of a God in heaven.
Innocence will become the most important topic of the 21st century!