I mourn my lost innocence. On holiday in Zurich, the other day I saw an annual children’s parade where faces of thousands of children showed lively presence in the moment, curiosity, smiles, laughter; generally what appeared to be un-self-conscious happiness. Though it seems absolutely impossible, I only wish I might recapture a few moments of that. In the way of that happening is much knowledge which has combined in my mind to liken current human existence to Dante’s “Inferno.” The deeper the knowledge of how things work, the more hopeless seems our human plight.
Born near the end of WWII in the US, I grew up in an historically privileged time and place. Society by-and-large subscribed to a set of beliefs and rules which were steadying and reassuring. The rule of law was mostly respected (yes, there were exceptions, but its universal application was aspirational, at the very least). God was still in His heaven. What was sinful was named and known, as was what was righteous. In short, there were some well-anchored hand-holds along the way as the escalator of life whisked innocent children into tree-of-knowledge-knowing adulthood; as childhood receded into mythical memories, adulthood’s uncertainties still had boundaries and eternals to which one could cling (before we were “bitter clingers.”)... [Read More]