Shattered Innocence

I grieve the loss of my innocence.
The mystery and possibilities that once were my world abandoned me,
Frivolousness and claustrophobia left in their stead.

Each door traversed turned an infinitude of magical could-be's into one cold has-been.
No longer an endless, multi-dimensional path ahead,
But a long line of footprints behind.

I ache in sorrow not for my failures, but for my successes.
They revealed the hollowness of early dreams,
Failing my childhood.

I feel grievously disappointed in people,
From whom I once expected wisdom, strength and reassurance,
But who are just as lost as me.

Knowledge betrayed me.
Maturity is the fall, and I fell.
Having seen through my innocence, I now feel naked and vulnerable.

In knowing, I have come to distrust the world.
Even my own body is an insidious alien forced upon me by nature,
Ready to ambush me at any time.

I feel angry at nature for her being what she is.
I feel furious at myself for having been such a fool,
And for having allowed myself to drift so far from where I started.

There are no masters.
There is no safe refuge.
There is nothing to hold on to.

Where did I lose myself?

Fragments of shattered dreams,
Evanescent shadows of what I once was,
Are all I still have.

I desperately miss the myth that once was real.


  1. A suiting background instrumental music for reading this poem:

    Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion

  2. Yes, Bernardo, I have been there too. But I have found that there is only one way forward: to recultivate one's belief. It takes work, it takes time, it takes commitment. All the saints have spoken about the kind of dryness, even meaninglessness, that sometimes ensues when one "plugs away" at it, seemingly to no avail…

    However, faith will eventually come — but only through grace, it cannot be manufactured, it is not the result of an inner decision. One has to earn it, by way of establishing a firmness of belief, and one keeps taking refuge. Belief may well depend on taking an inner decision, but not faith.

    There is no other way, except through the eye of the needle. There is no other way except the long trek through the desert of the soul, in order to find the oasis of the heart…

    1. Disagreeing with both of you... The night is only as long as there is insistance on being 'a separate self'. That is where the 'heart' seems to be lost. And yet to find it again, just realize it was never lost. Being a separate self, is just a thought, an assumption. How long is required simply to let go of the assumption?

  3. Lost as a child once lingering
    On the edge of the all knowing hurt
    Found as the grown all shimmering
    In the light that allays bursts

    As we burst we find the way
    Drowned in the opportunity of the dark
    But when the light finds us again
    We shy away, remembering our mark

    Oh dear growers and children
    Understand I am afraid of myself
    Afraid of what I might find
    When I look in places carefully found

    Cause my treasure is not where I used to be
    But in places ambiguous and unrefined
    In places unevolved and unforeseen
    In a new and ever surging sea

    I am the rest and the other
    Although in never sleep
    And in my dreams I wake up shuttering
    Because I know to much of me

    I wish I could fall up in the unknown
    But I'm scared to be alone
    I Wish I could conceptualize
    But I'm afraid to catch a cold

    Forgive me for my cowardliness
    I know I have forgiven mine
    I wish we could be together,
    unless, I have to decide

  4. I'm in two minds of how I should respond to this, assuming I'm reading this correctly. I was never great at poetry. On the one hand, you have this talent and respectable (it sounds so shallow to mentiod this) background to argue this great alternative to the prevailing cultural myth and it would be a shame to let you be discouraged. On the other hand, you're fighting prevailing winds here and as a scientist you are being put on the fringes of the vocation you so much respect.
    I'm not a scientist, but as a lay person I have deep reservations about some of the assumptions and impact of said assumption on our culture. I've experienced the shut down and threat of being pushed to the fringes from social circles, that I love and respect, that defend those assumptions vehemently. I've told myself , it's not worth it, I want to be happy and focus on what's important, my little family. It's better, for me, to be inside the circle and influence subtly from the inside, rather than draw solid battle lines.


  6. Bernardo - I met you at SAND in San Jose last year and followed you around - in awe - because your work had given me a compass. You are not lost. You are on the path, my brother.

  7. I agree, Bernardo. How did our souls get so caught up in this world? If it's not the Demiurge pulling the wool over our eyes, I fear it may be some sort of awful addiction.

  8. Ben — please drop the "Demiurge," that's just another blind alley, and many are still getting caught up in that lie and that scenario, using it as a crutch or an excuse to postpone their own ability to move towards and choose the Transcendent…

    The best m.o. is to practice surrender: choose whatever represents the highest good to you — not merely what can be humanly posited, but the Transcendent — and submit to that, express devotion to that, cultivate that… and it will be responsive to you.

  9. In More Than Allegory, the 'demiurge' is called 'the magician.' The book than reveals who the magician is...

  10. Great - I believe in The Magician. And The Trickster!

  11. As to the Demiurge, the Magician, the Trickster, and all Others who acquire the status of the Named… If a rose is a rose by any other name, then why not just call it a rose? ;-)

    1. Perhaps names are useful to identify the different roles the Named plays to Itself...

  12. Hard to know what to make of this, Bernardo. However, I can say that I have dark nights of the soul from time to time. I've always found, however, that day follows night, and over time, night becomes easier to deal with: even, its own way, almost welcome.

    Michael Larkin

  13. Replies
    1. For me, the magic I knew as a child has remained. Navigating my way through the illusory material world over the years has dimmed it at times, but it has always returned.

  14. Once upon a time, there was a young prince. His grumpy old father wanted to find out who among his three sons would be fit to take his place as ruler, so he gave them all an impossible task. The youngest of the three was beaten and stripped naked multiple times during his quest. The details of this fairytale can be explored further in small, 120 page book by a very wise old woman: Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz titled "The Cat". It is a profound commentary on masculine psychology, despite how the description of this book is written. The tale speaks
    to a bit of magic as well.