Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Innocent Eyes

Marin County, California, USA

March 9, 2007

I've been looking at life through innocent eyes.

When I'm looking at life this way, the first thing I notice isn't innocence. When I'm looking at life through innocent eyes, the first thing I notice is how over the years I've learned so much  which corrupts innocent eyes.

When I was in high school I was told to grow up. So I did - whatever I made "grow up" mean. To "grow up" certainly sounded  important. Maybe it's a good thing, I thought. There were numerous instances I remember when I was told I was naïve. So I quickly determined I shouldn't be. And I, like most guys, am only too well acquainted with the real  innocence killer: being told "big boys don't cry". With that one, out the door went all of what was left of my vulnerability and my sensitivity.

Today I went for a walk with my friend Dorothy who is nearly a hundred years old. She's taken up walking: every other day, a mile each time, using a walker I gave her as a gift a few years ago.

At one point during the walk, looking up at the sky she said to me "When the hawks start to fly spring isn't far away". The sheer innocence of her remark just got  me. I just don't know  how to converse like that. I notice I'm always trying to come up with significant  things to say.

On another occasion she put her walker aside and leaned over to pick some pink vegetation which she then discussed in great, loving detail. She saw it through the eyes of a gardener who loves flowers. I didn't want to admit to her I dismissed it as a weed when I first saw it. Later we walked past two teenagers necking in the park. As we approached them Dorothy started to sing  to them: "Love is lovelier, the second time around ...". I don't know if they got it or not. It was a totally magic  moment.

I'm clear, whether I like it or not, I'm conditioned and corrupted away from innocent eyes. I've got built in defenses which actively and ongoingly shut off looking at life through innocent eyes. I notice how miraculous life is when I recreate innocent eyes, how special it is to be with someone who looks at life through innocent eyes. I'm really inspired by the possibility of being that way.

In the evening when I got back to my place I sat at my desk and did some writing. Then I looked out the window and watched the sunset until it was dark. It was fulfilling and enriching - just life itself by itself.

Nothing like that is ever shown on TV.

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