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Thomas Traherne, Sam Keen, childlike wonder, Cherubims, Eden, and becoming a child

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas

 

                                                  

            

What is it to be a child? It is to look out at the world and see it as a series of great, dancing, phantasmagorical, kaleidoscopic magical vistas, all of which exist prior to the adult-erated compartmentalization and stultification of the singular, bewildering show.

           Sam Keen remarks: “What exactly do we mean when we speak of the wonder of the child? What does the experience look and taste like? Wonder, in the child, is the capacity for sustained and continued delight, marvel, amazement, and enjoyment. It is the capacity of the child to approach the world as if it were a smorgasbord of potential delights, waiting to be tasted. It is the sense of freshness, anticipation, and openness that rules the life of a healthy child. The world is a surprise party, planned just for me, and my one vocation in life is to enjoy it to the fullest- such is the implicit creed of the wondering child. Reality is a gift, a delight, a surprise- in fact, a toy; it is an excessive, superabundant cafeteria of delights, and should any experience begin to be jaded by boredom and staleness, all one has to do is move on to the next. To wonder is to live in the world of novelty rather than law, of delight rather than obligation, and of the present rather than the future.”

Aha! What a world indeed. And how odd it is that a child experiences it as he or she does, and adults experience it so differently, and yet it is the same world. It seems obvious, therefore, that it is not the world which requires fixing, it is our perspective of it.

            It is the child’s inherent receptivity to the miraculousness and inexplicability of all that he or she confronts in life that brings the child into direct intimacy with what existence actually is- mystery. And it is the walls of mind which are built up between the growing person and that very Mystery which creates the mental gulf and painful lack of intimacy experienced by adults.

 

 

“This is the rapture of real Being! Innocence is the inner sense of the little child, one with the Spirit of God.”

 

 

              Thomas Traherne’s classic description of this observation runs as follows: “Is it not strange that an infant should be heir of the whole world, and see those mysteries which the books of learned men never unfold? ¼[As a child] all appeared new, and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. ...The green trees when I first saw them...transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things. The Men! O what venerable and reverend creatures did the aged seem! Immortal Cherubims! And young men glittering and sparkling Angels, and maids strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty. Boys and girls tumbling in the street and playing, were moving Jewels. ...The city seemed to stand in Eden. ¼Eternity was manifest in the Light of Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared. ¼I knew no churlish properties, nor bounds, nor divisions¼so that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.”

 

excerpted from:

 

way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra

 

 

THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer

 

 

 

      

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Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas

 

 

 

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