The Divine Child rejects the cold, stiff version of masculinity that leaves no room for play, emotion, or innocence.
Archetypes are recurrent symbols that offer spiritual advice to men and women as we travel the journey of life. This is the fifth in a 12-part series, in which this ancient wisdom is made relevant both to ecumenical (book) religions and to the non-spiritual as well through real life examples and everyday application.
While I highly encourage a spiritual path, as it feeds the soul, this wisdom will resonate regardless because it is within our bones and sinew as men. Twelve is a very significant number in spiritual circles. There are 12 months, 12 signs of the Zodiac, Jesus had 12 disciples, 12 indicates a complete cycle.
As we complete our cycle through the archetypes, we will experience the ancient wisdom offered to us around manhood. Whether you are gay, straight, bi, curious, confused, trans, married, unattached, looking, or fearful, this wisdom has the power to meet you where you are and help you experience the slice of divine that is you, as a man.
The Divine Child Speaks
I am your boyhood that built your manhood. I invite you to understand the innocence in wisdom and to celebrate your child-like nature.
The Divine Child is born of a divine union of a god and goddess like Mars and Venus. The Divine Child unites and serves as a peacemaker among the gods and among men. Famous Divine children like Jesus, Osiris, Hercules, and Cupid are all the moderate parts of their respective parents. People believe often believe in them and in their vision for a better world. In mythology, Divine Children often bring opposing sides and people together for a brighter, kinder future in a way that no one else can.
Within the Divine Child there is an idea of the innocence of the Divine but that which is also very wise. Although there is a tremendous solace in the all-knowing and all-being of the Divine, whether you call him God, Allah, Jehovah, the Source, or whatever name you choose, it is important to cherish your innocence within your knowledge. Knowledge, especially knowledge of the world can leave us jaded and out of touch. Innocence is helping us maintain the wonder of life and the world around us.
The Divine Child, ultimately, is the paradox of all-knowingness and innocence. This is a paradox that we all face as we get older. The key to unlocking the personal lessons of this archetype is to find your path amid this paradox. The ultimate expression of this lesson here is that as men, we need to foster our inner boy so we can be stronger men. This means enjoying play, cherishing innocence, and bringing much joy into our lives! This is no easy task by any stretch of the imagination but if this is an area of struggle, now is the time to incorporate some of this into your daily spiritual practice.
What is Innocence?
Innocence is the wonder about how everything works and a child-like sense of seeing and experiencing what you don’t yet understand. Remember when bugs and grass fascinated you? Remember how every day something new seemed to wander into your world and create a new feeling or sensation? New things provided your child-self such joy and excitement.
The Divine Child is engaged, present, and mindful of everything going on around him. This can have deep meaning in your daily spiritual practice but the journey to that is uniquely yours. Too often, through things we watch, listen to, or do, we can lose that bedrock of innocence that the Divine Child lives in. Many people think that the Divine Child is naïve, but they mistake his intentional innocence with naiveté. Don’t make that mistake yourself.
Rather than exposing your mind to every horror in the world, moderate your exposure. Rather than becoming jaded against everything, rediscover the feelings of revulsion at horror. Relearn how to be respectful and mindful of violence regardless of its digital or physical origins. The Divine Child invites us as men to rediscover our innocence around these things.
Coming to Terms With Your Own Childhood
This is a sensitive topic for some men. Many men have interesting or checkered childhoods, this writer included. From problematic relationships with parents and siblings, to histories of abuse or health issues, calling upon the innocence of the child or of childhood can bring back some very unpleasant memories and things we would rather forget.
Part of realizing the wisdom of the Divine Child is coming to terms with the past and dealing with your childhood in a way that feels right and authentic to you. There are some that call for a “release” or “letting go” of the bad memories, stored feelings, and other baggage that comes with the negativity that affected you. But for some, release through a spiritual path is simply not enough. For others, like me, it will take some time in therapy, some meditation, a few angry journal entries, and some emotional moments before you are really able to begin the long process of moving on.
The Divine Child, the playfulness of the universe, asks us to find a way to really work with the problems, horrors, mistakes, and issues that surrounded our childhood so that we can reclaim some of that energy for the fulfillment of our present lives.
Fostering Your Inner Child
Once you have taken steps to begin the journey of coming to certain terms with your own childhood (it’s a journey, so it won’t happen overnight), you can get back to the work of fostering your own inner child. That begins with a simple question, “What have you done for fun lately?”
What have you done that brings joy into your life? I spend many hours at my desk. Between serving the needs of my family and my life as a full-time writer, it seems that if I’m not sleeping, I’m in front of my desk. While I work to get out of the house more, I keep a few things around my desk to make sure that I take fun breaks. My routine of fun usually takes place around when I eat. After meal times, I will take out my bucket of Squishy Sand and I will clear a space on my desk and start molding and creating with the sand (it never dries out and can be low mess if you have it on the right surface). I get about the business of just taking a few moments to make something with my sand. It’s completely unproductive, it does nothing for my word count, but it helps me stay sane. When my inner Cameron just can’t take one more moment of keeping my burgeoning media empire going, it’s time for play time with the bucket of sand. This also includes getting out of the house and doing fun things as well, but often, it is those little recess breaks during the day that make life more enjoyable and bearable.
Another area I use to foster my inner child is my collection of teddy bears. Now it might seem odd for a grown man of 27 to still keep bears, but I do without shame. Not only are they great companions you don’t have to clean up after, they provide a great link to my inner child and gives him great comfort and safety. When our inner boy is safe, the man can do what he needs to do in the world. Your task is simple: find a childish activity and indulge!
Creating a New Childhood
Children can help you retain a strong sense of inner child as well as discovery and wonder of the world around you. Children experience the world around them in a fresh and inherently innocent way. Not having children, I’m not going to dole out too much advice about fostering this in your children. But I will say that childlike wonder is probably one of the most exciting things about children. With their little art projects, adventures, and ideas, the world is a wondrous place. Allowing your children to be children is probably the most important gift you can give them. And while you’re creating that world for them, you can re-learn the lessons you didn’t realize you forgot from your own childhood (see above)!
The Divine Child and Your Love Life
The Divine Child in sex is equally important because in our modern age sex and sexuality have lost a great deal of their innocence. They have become fetishized and in some ways departed from the natural state of sexuality. The departure has been caused, in no small part, by pornography and the overall commercialization of sex.
The modern male obsession for porn is not new, but it is exacerbated by the free availability of porn. Rather than creating a natural sexuality based on personal desire and experience, male sexuality is formed privately in front of laptops and mobile devices. The Divine Child is here to remind us that we need to maintain the innocence of our sexuality and that innocence is important to the overall health of sex and sexual relationships regardless of their length. Whether it is for a night or a lifetime, the Divine Child reminds you to have innocence, wonder, and openness to the full spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of your sexuality. It can be easy to get lost in fantasy, but being lost in fantasy does not allow you to enjoy the wholeness of innocent desire and sexuality that is truly one and of the Divine.
In modern masculinity, men are constantly told to “man up” and leave boyhood behind as fast as possible in favor of a cold and stiff masculinity that leaves no room for play, emotion, or innocence. The Divine Child is a rejection of that claim. The Divine Child teaches us that having a strong inner child and retaining a sense of play is vital to a long, joyful and good life both within our bedrooms and in all areas of our lives. Whatever your choice of fun is, it’s important to have a healthy appetite for play and ecstatic joy. You will be surprised at how it will quietly and subtly change your life for the better and fulfill those nagging areas of your life that toxic “man-up” masculinity just cannot solve.
Image credit: Gwyrosydd/flickr