Just as a second reading of notes increases our chances of understanding more the lessons in class, a rereading of a book certainly makes you aware of a thing or two that you might have overlooked when you initially read it.
That is the case with the book ‘And End to Innocence: Facing Life without Illusions’ by Sheldon Kopp, which I have briefly noted about three years ago (see the entry here). This last rereading is in fact my third time, the second being a total loss as I did it in the midst of a mountain of school works.
I realized that I appreciated more the first part and have since inculcated it in my mind. This is about a basic truth (for lack of a term that would aptly describe it) that as we grow older we tend to shroud our minds with the thinking that there are still other people that would be taking care of us. Much like babies. The book proceeds to expound on this through the personal experiences of the author, who was himself a psychotherapist and through some of his patients' and literature citations as well. And finally help – in simple ways, at least – to break through our respective pseudo innocence.
It was good to test yourself against those characters, or mentalities in some instances, that are tackled in the book.
Do you have the Pollyanna attitude – that you always think things will work out for the best eventually? This part was a fine read, especially if you have already read the story of Pollyanna. Or are you a Paranoid, thinking that no good is to come out of the world outside of yourself?
Inherent in these two is the concept of denial, posed to pan the attention away from ‘unacceptable aspects’ of their ‘inner life’.
On a bigger scale, there is this ‘communal innocence’ as termed by Kopp where individuals – knowingly or unknowingly – consent or protect their respective pseudo-innocence.
The book is a good read from a psychological viewpoint but it is also a book for the common reader. It is a first-person narration that engages you to know more about the way we insist, most of the time, on our innocence in (and about) this undeniably vicious and unfair world.