Author Topic: What do Innocence and Experience mean for the purposes of SOI/SOE? (Spoilers)  (Read 417 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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The narrative of I->E->I and other cues suggest that Innocence is preferable (good) and Experience is something to overcome (bad) in favor of Innocence.

For me personally, they are both good. Innocence may be pure but experience comes with maturity and wisdom.

So what does Bono mean by these and why has he cast Experience in a negative light?

It seems to me he may be using a Biblical model, where Innocence is close to God and Experience is close to Satan - the latter involving ambition, desire, temptation.

I see that fame and money really went to his head starting from JT and going through much of the 90s. But these were the things his younger self worked very hard to acheive so this idea that he was not ambitious and desiring of wealth and somehow more pure is honestly bunk.

I see now he has attained a wisdom that is good, yet it comes from experience, not innocence.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 06:18:30 AM by laoghaire »



Offline JFW

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Innocence isn't perse good, it has heavy emotions. Eg. Iris, Raised By Wolves, SFS, EBW. It's forming a picture of the world.

Experience is the part where he reflects back to his youth, and how he was right, or not. It's also giving away the lessons he learned to the listener.

Offline laoghaire

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Why does he set the goal as going back to innocence rather than acheiving wisdom and maturity?

"I knew more then than I do now." He only thought he did, imho.

Offline miryclay

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I take from it that holding onto to some of your innocence is actually a good thing for your soul. Acknowledging many of the worlds shortcomings can also have detrimental effects on your personhood.

Offline popsadie

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I feel that recovering innocence has more to do with attitude than denying the wisdom you've gained through experience. Experience can bring us wisdom, but it can also put us in the danger of becoming cynical or even hopeless. This seems to be an assessment of their (or at least Bono's) journey of "experience", which acknowledges the 'wisdom' but also criticizes some of the hardening of heart (a Christian view that basically means that you are too proud/unwilling to forgive/unwilling to repent) that can occur as a result of our choices and experiences and/or our reactions to them.

Offline laoghaire

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And hardness, it sets in - you need some protection, the thinner the skin.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Innocence, in its purest state, is not something that you will retain as an adult, unless you are somehow mentally impaired.  Everyone will learn about limitations and evil as they gain in age and experience.  However, you can experience a return to a state of innocence through faith--in yourself, a Higher Power, commitment to a person, family, community, etc.  It's more of a hard-won innocence.

Offline laoghaire

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Innocence, in its purest state, is not something that you will retain as an adult, unless you are somehow mentally impaired.  Everyone will learn about limitations and evil as they gain in age and experience.  However, you can experience a return to a state of innocence through faith--in yourself, a Higher Power, commitment to a person, family, community, etc.  It's more of a hard-won innocence.

Great, can you explain more what this innocence that you can keep/recapture through fairh is?

Offline shineinthesummernight

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     Hmmm...I think Jesus described it as being "born again".  Not as the televangelists would describe it, but I think of it more as a movement of the Spirit (however you conceive of it) following some sort of dark night of the soul (St. John of the Cross).  I'm not sure I'm explaining it well.  I like Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle" description.  You can work toward holiness but only get so far and then the Spirit takes over.  She uses the imagery of a caterpillar going into its pupal state and emerging as a butterfly.  She also describes the soul as a castle within, but surrounded by serpents and other worldly distractions. 
    My opinion is that non-Christians could attain to something similar....the Nirvana state of Buddhism for example.  The reason why I say this is because I think of God as sort of an "equal opportunity" entity (through the merits of Christ).  Wow, this thread got quite theological all of a sudden :o

Offline laoghaire

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It was supposed to be theological! Hot damn, great thoughts to work on, thanks!

Offline laoghaire

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One more push and I'll be born again.

Offline JTNash

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I think of it like this when your a child and innocent the little things are wonderous. When my four year old was taking a bath when he was about two he loved the faucet he called it a water fall.  Everything was joyous, little things like chocolate cake and kisses from Mom. 

As we age we get caught up in the things that don’t matter.  And we lose our sense of wonder in the world. Our life experience can harden our hearts.

If your lucky with experience you come out on the other side and get some of the wonder back.  You stop to see a sunset or listen to waves crash at the beach and cherish kissss and hugs from loved ones.


Offline laoghaire

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So innocence = joy.

It's true, it's incredible to see a happy baby or toddler see the world in joyous wonder.

Offline JTNash

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So innocence = joy.

It's true, it's incredible to see a happy baby or toddler see the world in joyous wonder.
interesting could be

And Joy brings us back to faith

Could it be questioning your faith is losing innocence?

Then feeling Joy can bring back your faith?

Offline Lizard

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Wow, what a great thread. I've also been wondering about the idea of innocence versus experience.
Just something I might add. A dictionary gives two explanations for innocence:

1. the fact that someone is not guilty (of a crime)
2. the quality of not having much experience of life and not knowing about the bad things that happen in life