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About Innocence

An important part of the philosophy of DOMAI is our affinity for innocence. This is a subject that is much misunderstood, so I figured I better explain what I mean. I think there are two big misconceptions about innocence. One of them is that it has anything to do with sex. The other is that it is a thing that is easily shattered, and once it is gone, it is lost forever.

One of them is obviously based on the old moral idea that sex is very important, very dominating, and very evil. I don't believe that sex is very important, and I don't believe that it is inherently sinful. And if it isn't, then innocence surely has nothing to do with it.

My definition of innocence is "without evil".

And in practice, a good concept of an innocent person or behavior is "without hidden motives". This is of course limited, for if you are working with or against something evil, it can be necessary to hide your motives, at least temporarily. It has some application, though, for in general with good and innocent people you can trust that what you see and hear is what you get. Which explains for instance the distrust many of us have towards the advertising industry. For they are all the time saying things they know are not true, and they are all the time selling us stuff while trying to make us not notice that they are doing so. Advertising is becoming more and more hidden, as seen in "product placement" in movies. Worse still, they try to make it look like they are selling solutions where they are not. For instance, there is a veiled, but strong message in many ads that if we buy their product we will be young, sexy, popular, and successful. And this seems less than likely just from drinking soda or using brand-name running shoes. The fact that this is business as usual merely illustrates how bad the situation is.

So of course this is an effect of innocence. If you have good intentions, you have nothing to hide, and what you say and do can be open and free.

So how do you "lose" innocence? Well, the ordinary idea about it is that you lose it when you discover how evil the world is. What I say is that it is perfectly possible, if perhaps not easy, to keep your innocence in the face of any evil the world has to offer. The only thing necessary is that you don't compromise your own ideas and intentions just because you discover that a part of the world has less than pure ideas and intentions. You just keep your own heart pure, and you will stay innocent. I also say that it is perfectly possible to be perfectly aware of all the evil that is present in the world, and still be perfectly innocent in your heart. This means that being innocent is not the same as being naive. You can deal with the world exactly like the circumstances demand, still without letting any evil in the world rub off on you.

Well, what if you have lost your innocence? What if you have become cynical, and you find yourself with a complex mind, and with complex, hidden intentions, doing complex actions in an impure life? I claim that it is never too late. While war criminals and most journalists may have a long road ahead of them, I say that if you yourself wish to be innocent and pure, you can become so. You need to work up to taking full responsibility for what you are doing, and you need to take full responsibility for what you have done in the past, and you need to move on with a pure heart, and with pure, good actions, towards pure and constructive goals.

And I believe that it is worth it.

Yours, Eolake Stobblehouse

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