Is Your Innocence Lost Forever?

Is the age of innocence lost?
Is the age of innocence lost?

Is innocence actually possible? Once we grow up, have we outgrown innocence because we know “reality”? Is everything we do to recreate innocence false and foolish? That is what the world will try to tell you. And we are here to tell you why that is so wrong.

To a lot of Western people innocence = ignorance. We are only innocent because we don’t know or haven’t experienced what they like to call “real life”.

From this view a lot of other things follow, so it is important for us to understand what innocence actually is.

What are the things that follow from the innocence = ignorance equation? Let’s look at some of them.

• If innocence = ignorance, then once we “know” it is gone. It cannot be recovered.

Therefore:

• If we do “know” then any attempt at innocence is false.

Therefore:

• People cultivating an innocent style and enjoying innocent things are

either:

• Deceiving other people and putting up a false front.

or:

• Deceiving themselves and imagining they can return to a more childlike state when in fact their knowledge of “reality” has trapped them forever in non-innocence (or, to use the terms of those who dislike innocence “given them a realistic view of the world”).

This view of innocence as ignorance is deeply embedded in the modern Western view of the world. It accounts for a lot of the cynicism that we see engrained in the entire current western culture.

What is the answer to this?

Well let us begin by asking, what is this “reality” that the West is so proud of.

On the surface it consists of two things.

1. A belief (founded on the “Freudian revolution” of the early 20th century) that “sex” is central to the human psychological condition.

2. A belief that the world is inherently hostile and therefore we have to be constantly on our guard.

However these two already-dubious assertions have become largely excuses for something else. That something else is what the Narnia-professor, C.S. Lewis called the “Saturnian” culture of the 20th century. An attraction to things that are dark and negative.

Let us take just a few things at random. An acquaintance started a beautiful fashion boutique, and named it “The Dubious Armoire”. A blogger presents absolutely beautiful anime-inspired wallpapers and wonderful information on Japanese language, and calls it “The Jaded Network”. A reasonably charming Lolita site contains an implied swear-word in its title.

dark-and-gritty
We’ll turn the world to darkness!
Anime villainy or standard modern culture?

If these were isolated instances, they would not be important. But you, dear reader, know they are not. You know that it is almost compulsory to include a “negative” or “dark” element in anything that aspires to be beautiful or bright. An art network full of lovely things must be called “Deviant Art”. This cynicism, this belief that anything beautiful must also be “warped”, “twisted” etc. is deeply embedded in popular culture.

Now compare this with Japanese names for places where we may find beautiful things. “Angelic Pretty”, “Fairy Wish”.

Now here is the fundamental point: Which of these two sets of attitudes is natural? What does a normal, healthy person want? Does she want happiness or does she prefer sadness? Does she want things to be pure and good, or does she want them to be warped and “deviant”? Does she want Light, or does she want Darkness?

I think once we put it this way, the answer is clear. The pure, open, innocent happy things are what we naturally want. The yearning for darkness and twistedness is not natural to us. It is something we learn, and it is wrong. Really it is as simple as that.

So – it is true that once we learn to like nasty things, our innocence is gone, and to that degree, innocence = ignorance.

BUT, here is the point: Innocence does not equal ignorance of truth. It equals ignorance of certain falsehoods. If the opposite of innocence were the truth then innocence would be lost. In order to keep innocence we would have to deny the truth. So we would either be deceiving others or deceiving ourselves.

But what if the “knowledge” that denies innocence is a lie? What if innocence is natural and true – the simple longing for what is good and light and pure? What if cynicism is just the willful embrace of darkness?

the-trap

In that case, “knowledge” does not destroy innocence. Because we can know the lie as much as we are forced to. But we do not believe it. Only if the lie were true would knowledge destroy innocence.

So are we saying that modern western popular culture is based on a lie? To a large extent, yes, we are. The pursuit of darkness, selfishness, “sex” and coarseness are deeply ingrained in much of the culture. And this is not natural, it is not right and it does not represent any kind of truth.

In seeking innocence, happiness and beauty, we are seeking the things a person naturally wants. The right and true things. And in doing so we find a deeply cynical and unnatural culture opposed to us. That is why we call ourselves musume senshi. Because in order to be innocent and pure one has to have at least a little of the heroic warrior spirit.

When we see magical girls in anime, sometimes we may think it a bit odd that there are always these cackling villains with plans to take over the world and turn it into a dark place – to make the heart-flowers wilt, to drain everyone of her energy etc. It may seem like a rather awkward plot-device. But actually it is rooted deeply in the nature of things. Wherever there is light, darkness will oppose it. If we want to be good and pure, there will be cackling villains telling us that only darkness and coarseness and “twistedness” are real.

We do not have to go out and defeat those villains. But we do have to do something that requires courage and fortitude. We have to defeat them in our hearts.

And if we do that, then we can regain our innocence with absolute authenticity, however much it has been assaulted and battered by the forces of darkness.

Like the Magical Girls in the anime, we can triumph through determination and fortitude, even when defeat seemed certain. We can expose the lie and return to our true, natural, and pure state of innocence.

Ganbatte kudasai!

The enemy looks strong but Purity WILL win!
The enemy looks strong but Purity WILL win!


Continue to our other Keynote Pages

Happy, Innocent and Fighting Evil
Group Self-Policing: How Innocence is Arrested
Magical Girls are for Real!

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About Cure Tadashiku

Cure Tadashiku is the fairly-secret identity of authoress and space-alien Annalinde Matichei. Her powers are not listed so as not to spoil the surprise for the demons.

7 thoughts on “Is Your Innocence Lost Forever?

  1. Haha hmm I wonder if it’s my site with the “implied swear-word” xD In regards to names with “twisted” meanings in them, there are actually a lot of Japanese Lolita brands that do exactly this too, Juliette et Justine, Shotgun Wedding, and Mary Magdalene come to mind as well as a number of print names (such as Cherish my Juicy Cherry), I’ve even heard a compelling argument that even the name for the large headbows is a sexual reference (although I cannot for the life of me remember what they’re even called, let alone the reference!). These brands were all created within the same type of culture with the same type of attitude towards innocence as brands like Angelic Pretty, Fairy Wish, or Innocent World and even feature very similar aesthetics. To further relate it to Lolita (since you mention it quite a few times!) Novala Takemoto, who’s generally considered to be a very big deal within the Lolita community and undoubtedly has made a very huge impact on both the fashion and the subculture, has written a lot of essays about the nature of Lolita and insists that the duality between both sweet and rotten is essential to the style.

    The point I am trying to make is that it’s not so simple just to refer to the “nicer” ones as being more “natural”, and truthfully the more healthy person would probably be fully aware that life is filled with both “nice” and “dark” things as well as everything in between and isn’t afraid of either of them.

    As a sort of aside, DeviantArt wasn’t really created to be a place just for pretty pictures, it was created to be exactly what it’s name implies!

    1. First of all, please forgive us for taking so long to approve your long and thoughtful comment. I am afraid it somehow slipped through the cracks of the approval system and we only just found it!

      What you say is – well frankly it is the point of view we are here to combat. I say that right at the beginning because rather than just seem to be randomly disagreeing with points you make, we might as well begin by realizing that we are (at least at present) on opposite sides of what I believe to be a very important fence.

      That way I hope we can agree to differ and still be on friendly terms – because why not be friendly!

      It may have been your site I had in mind. Frankly I don’t know for sure – I was just really casting around for examples and this was something someone mentioned to me. There was certainly nothing personal in it. I was just looking for some concrete examples of a very common phenomenon.

      You say “the more healthy person would probably be fully aware that life is filled with both “nice” and “dark” things as well as everything in between and isn’t afraid of either of them.”

      I would agree with this entirely, but not with an implication, which has become all too common in West Telluria.*

      The world is full of light and dark, good and bad, kind and cruel. Of course we should understand that and not be afraid.

      But our response should not be to accept them all blandly as if they were equal – as if a mother’s love and cancer were things of equal value. As if cruelty were as good as kindness and evil just as worthy as good.

      Both sides exist, but they are not of equal value. One is good and one is bad.

      What we say is what every sane person used to say. Recognize that there is good and bad. Stand up for the good and fight (or at least avoid) the bad. It is as simple as that.

      Really there is not much to add to that. We believe in upholding innocence and goodness. Whether other people do or not is not our affair. We believe that, like Precures, we should be on the side of light and goodness and innocence and beauty.

      It is one of the madnesses of modern West Telluria that such an obvious and natural position should seem in any way unusual or contentious.

      ___
      * Certainly it has infected Japan to a lesser degree especially in academic circles which have a tendency to rather slavishly imitate Western perversions because of the imagined “superiority” of the West.

      There may well be dark implications in some redactions of Lolita fashion, but I certainly know from being in Japan that the widespread coarseness and darkness-worship is not remotely the same as in the West and many girls do regard lolita – and life in general – in a very pure and good way. “Pure and good” are not terms to be afraid or ashamed of in Japan.

    2. Thank you for coming to our site and reading this article, honored Caro-san. I apologize as well for the delay in approving your comment. That was not intentional at all, and I am glad that we did eventually see the comment awaiting approval.

      I completely agree with everything that Cure Tadashiku has said. I don’t know if my perspective will be helpful at all, but I will humbly add a few comments from my perspective.

      I do not think we are here to tell anyone what to do, and while it seems like we may be judgmental and critical, that is not truly our intent with this site. Our intent is to provide support and information out there to anyone out there that *wants* to be innocent and pure. We do believe that there are girls out there who do, but who may be being crushed by the overwhelming pressure in our society, particular in Western society NOT to be pure and innocent. I am sure that you must have noticed it is not the “bad girls” that get teased, ridiculed, and ostracized, but the “good girls.”

      I wrote an article for one of our sister sites that may explain this a little better. A link to that article is here: http://templeofhestia.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/welcome-back-sandra-dee/

      Anyways, thank you so much for your visit and for your thoughtful comments.

  2. I’m very grateful for a site like this! I wish we’d all turn our heads back to what it’s truly natural, innocent and pure instead of embracing darkness as part of our lifestyle!

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