How to Be Free
Author: Joe Blow

Chapter 20
The Inner Child

While it is true that, in our neurotic state, our inner child suffers greatly, we need to understand that the inner child is not vulnerable in the way that a real child is vulnerable. Nothing can ever kill or injure the inner child in any way. Our scars are a part of our neurotic ego, our inner child, suffer as it may, can never be scarred.

The essence of the inner child (or our original nature) is unconditional love.  We are capable of feeling love that does not depend on the behaviour or nature of the one loved. And this capacity is a function of our inner child.

When we are neurotic, not understanding the nature of the inner child, it is easy for us to feel paranoid, to feel that the inner child judges us harshly for oppressing it. Once again there is the phenomenon of projection. We can assume that the guilt that we feel, the lack of self-acceptance, has its origin in the inner child rather than in the fragility of the neurotic ego structure itself. And, in some cases, we may project aspects of our own state onto that which we have disowned and thus see the inner child as something evil and malicious.

These phenomena account for a tendency in our society for some individuals to feel a fear of children or a hostility towards them. Culturally we have evil child horror movies such as The Omen which reflect this fear. And in religion the concept of original sin projects our awareness of our own selfish nature onto the blank slate of the new born child. And, in the extreme, we have individuals whose fear of their own inner child, and their belief that it may condemn them, drives them to torture, kill or molest children.

All of this is based on a lack of understanding that the inner child is incapable of condemnation. Love is not unconditional if it carries with it any capacity for value judgement. Condemnation and value judgements are functions of the neurotic ego.

Since the voice of the inner child is the un-warped expression of the natural processes of the universe as manifested in the organised form of matter we call humanity, the voice of the inner child is the voice of what religious people call “God”. In the Christian religion we can see this reflected in the concept that God tells us that we are sinful (i.e. selfish) but he loves us anyway. This is nothing more than what our own deepest self has been trying to tell us all along.

So the concept of self-acceptance is not just a gimmick to make us feel better, it is reunion with our deepest instinctive self and a realisation of the promises embodied in our religions that we would some day find salvation from our state of suffering and re-enter paradise. The whole of human history has been little more than an ultimately easily cured state of insanity.

In the Christian religion, much that is said about The Kingdom of Heaven also applies to a non-neurotic global society. The problem with this term is that “kingdom” implies submission to a higher power as we have in neurotically hierarchical forms of social organisation and “heaven” implies that it takes place on some otherworldly plane of existence. Never-the-less, if one ignores the inappropriate name, much of what Jesus said about this state and how it might come about seems very appropriate.

 

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