25: Innocence

Innocence implies a natural harmlessness, an openness, and pure intentions unsullied by ulterior motives. The condition of innocence has less to do with age than with attitude. Innocence springs from a heart that remains open to joy and wonder. Innocence, when guided by a firm faith in what is just and balanced, brings supreme success. Naiveté, on the other hand, proceeds blindly, unanchored by the ability to discern right from wrong, and can bring misfortune.

The hallmark of Innocence is a willingness to treat all creatures with compassion and respect. Those who possess a pure heart are best guided by their instincts and intuition. Thinking too much severs links with the guidance of the heart. Be wary of courses of action that require too much cleverness.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

The first impulses of the heart are usually pure and good. It is safe to follow them confidently—provided that your actions are harmless to yourself or others. When you reach an impasse in tangled affairs, it is helpful to review the original impulse or purpose for that course of action. Good fortune awaits one who protects their innocence.

Line 2

The skilled farmer does not calculate the harvest while still plowing the field. Success in your current situation is likely, as long as you don’t try to measure how well you are doing while still at work. Focus on the task at hand. Like a farmer, cultivate your field one row at a time, focusing on what is right in front of you while having faith that the rewards will take care of themselves. It is this kind of innocence that leads to a bountiful harvest in the end.

Line 3

Unexpected and undeserved misfortune can befall even the most innocent being. As such, it is of no use to claim that you have been treated unfairly. As parents tell children, “Life is unfair. The world is unfair.” There is nothing to do in the face of loss except to face forward and accept the loss with equanimity as best you can. As the saying goes, “You win some, you lose some!” And either way, you learn something of value.

Line 4

Remember, if something truly belongs to or with you, it cannot really be taken from you. Let go of it, and if it is yours, it will naturally return. As long as you are true to yourself and listen to your intuition, you can make no mistakes.

Line 5

Sudden misfortune is likely! It is important to discover whether this is caused by some accident of nature or if it is the result of your own mistakes. If it was an accident, take no action; let nature take its course without interference. Do not try to come up with a clever quick-fix solution.

Line 6 (top line)

Even innocent action can backfire if the timing is not right for progress. When there is little hope in a situation, the best thing to do is to wait as calmly as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating additional trouble for yourself and others.