I’ve been wondering what it means to lose your innocence. What does it mean to grow up? Why is it important for children to keep their innocence until they’re ready to lose it?
What are the ways a person can lose their innocence? Sex can take innocence, whether making-love or molestation or sexual objectification. Others way for a person to lose their innocence include violence and other forms of suffering such as hunger, homelessness, high degrees of uncertainty. If you have your leg broken by an addict or watch a tractor-trailer meat-grinder a crowd, your childhood world is shattered. But why?
What do these experiences have in common?
They involve exposing one’s self to The Void. The Void, as the absence of existence, is death, is nothingness. By being exposed to violence, hunger, homelessness, abuse, a person is forced to acknowledge there are seams in reality that will destroy them and which do not give a simple fuck whether or not the individual wants to be destroyed – there are seams in reality where you are worthless and will-negated.
Losing innocence is acknowledging that self-negation (death, and all which you cannot control) underlies the fabric of each moment. Once you’ve met the knowledge of The Void, you are forced to act in opposition to self-negation: you begin to exert yourself.
A person who does not impose himself is innocent. A child can then be a fearless receptor, able to take in all the weird spectra of the Universe, pure and simple: a child, unaware of death, can let the Universe pour into his mind, with no self-exertions to dam or to channel the flow.