Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8
This is one of the most profound sayings of Jesus. This saying is most basic to understand the message of Jesus and also the most difficult to achieve. Innocence is the door through which the divine descends into the human or vice versa. To be successful in the world a person has to be cunning. The more cunning a person is the more is the success. A person who is more calculating will become more efficient in the ways of the world. The nature of the human mind is being cunning and calculative. But because of this cunningness the Kingdom of God is missed even though it may help in attaining the Kingdom of the world.
The door to the Kingdom of God is exactly the opposite to the ways of the mind since there is no need for calculation or cleverness. The mind is not needed at all since there is no need to be clever or cunning. So the mind is unless with regard to the Kingdom but the heart becomes the source of being here because the heart is innocent.
Jesus’ emphasis is on innocence. Hence He talks about the innocence of children, or the beauty of flowers, lilies and the innocence of the birds. But the innocence of a child is not possible in an adult because it is already lost. Hence it is clear that Jesus does not intend us to take these words literally, it has to be understood symbolically.
How is it possible to be a child again? There is no possibility of going back the only option it to move forward. Once a person has tasted knowledge through the mind there is no possibility of losing what has been known so the only possibility is to transcend.
A saint becomes a child because of transcending and going beyond the mind by understanding the futility of trying to be successful in the world. The desire to be successful, the desire to impress others is renounced. The desire to become the greatest, the most important is relinquished. When this happens the person is transformed into a different dimension. Then there is childhood: ‘being born again’
This second birth is a virgin birth as it is brought about by the Spirit, and a person is innocent again. This innocence is higher than a child’s. The child’s innocence is not earned by the child but it is a gift of nature. It will be taken away and lost as the child grows. The saint remains innocent as it cannot be taken away.
The innocence of the child is poor because there is no experience: it is just the absence of something. But the innocence of the saint is the presence of something. The saint has known all the ways of the world and moved beyond. Having experienced all that the world has to offer the saint has now come out of it. This innocence is rich because of experience and cannot be destroyed.
When children are born they look at the world without the mind. The body comes first and the mind follows after many years because it takes time to develop. Till then there are no distinctions in the child. A person who has been born of the spirit will drop making distinctions. In short put aside the mind and look, be aware without the mind. When the clouds of thoughts are absent then the sun shines fullest. There is true awareness of reality like a child.
A child in the beginning, a child at the end – the circle of life is complete. This is what perfection is, returning to the source again.