Last night I watched the recent excellent BBC production of Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie. Not only a brilliant film, but thought provoking. The innocence of an English upbringing between the wars.
What a contrast to today: youngsters starting school aged 4 to 5 these days are more worldly-wise, more aware of many facets of human life (good and bad) than I was after I’d finished college at 21!
From cartoons that they watch pre-school and from the ever-present TV, notepad or game-station, they learn, or at least acquire, a wide knowledge of human’s greed and potential for extremes of good and evil. Oh what a contrast to the pre TV era of Laurie Lee or even the early days of TV of my upbringing in the late 1950s and early 60s.
Before you start thinking I’ve gone all dewy eyed and am going to lecture you about the ‘good old days’, let me continue. I know only too well that there is no going back. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Once innocence is lost its lost. And that applies to individuals and to society as a whole.
However, we can move forward. Whilst we cannot restore the innocence that comes of ignorance (‘ignorance is bliss’ and all that) we can regain our childlike sense of wonder at life. We can get back to a way of thinking and being that has us flow with each situation in which we find ourselves, in which we are present and engaging with life in all its depth and glory.
We can come not so much full circle, as full cycle: back to a blissful ability of being immersed in the moment; back to a simplicity of just being human . . . yet having moved through and on from the stage in-between.
Think about it from a personal viewpoint: we have our education get caught up in the pursuit of fame and/or fortune and, in doing so, lose touch with other facets of ourselves. The pressure of the world have been filling our minds with responsibilities, goals to be met, with fears and justifications.
And that’s certainly the case for our species as a whole! Throughout the last few centuries, the rational mind has been in supremacy. The pressures of commerce and ‘success’, the perceived infallibility of Scientific knowledge and rational analysis has left us believing that we can control everything, including the environment and ourselves.
Those willing to see through the smokescreen of arguments and theories are now clear that the high extent of social unrest, obesity and other major health issues, not to mention climate change and unhappiness generally, can all be pinned on our disconnect from our true natures and from life itself.
As BMI, in its collaboration with The Scientific and Medical Network, leads the way in education for conscious evolution, so we can regain not our innocence, but a deep connection into life and with it a deep awareness of who we are and what life is really about. By developing our consciousness with awareness, so we, once again, learn to experience life as we help it to unfold.
Like Laurie Lee it is possible for us to grow naturally and through wondrous engagement into our world. That doesn’t mean denying all the progress since his time, it means recognising that all of the advances in technology, in science and so many other areas, is but one dimension in which human growth is possible. In addition to educational growth we can become more aware of our inner selves and a deeper meaning to life.
We can use our amazing technology to help us re-integrate with our natural world and with each other, so that the first taste of cider with Rosie is, once again, not full of TV-conditioned expectations or a box-ticking exercise, but a wondrous experience of the present.