THE INNER FLAME
Deep down, beyond what we can see, exists a tiny flame.
This tiny flame floats in a void like a star, and it’s so deep within each one of us that we can't even see it. It is so delicate that a little wind can make it dance desperately or even make it fade away. This tiny flame is the part of us that feels sadness and joy. It is the part of us that knows what is good and bad. We are all born with this little star deep inside us; it is our nucleus.
The body is our hands. It is our brain, our legs, and our eyes. Unlike the translucent and fixed flame, the body has form, is visible, and changes and evolves with time. The body is the instrument of the flame.
The child is born almost without a body—only flame. Therefore the child is born able to feel sadness and joy and know what is good and bad. The child that has not been influenced by the world around him suffers when he sees injustice, cruelty, and violence. He rejoices when he sees joy, is glad when he discovers a truth and is happy when he knows he has done good. The child is born wanting to be happy, wishing to fix everything, and seeing everyone around him happy as well.
THE FADING AWAY OF THE INNER FLAME
Time goes by. The child's body grows a little more. Now the child's body can do more things. His arms and legs have practiced more. His eyes can see better; before, everything was just a blur. One day the child sees that they are killing a cow. The child cries, "Dad! They're killing a cow!”
But his dad does nothing. Why doesn't his dad do anything? Has his dad lost the capacity to feel? Has his dad lost the ability to know what is right and what is wrong? Has his inner flame faded away?
His dad, who was a child and knew better, has now become old. His body is fully developed, and he thinks he knows how to do everything, but he has forgotten what he was supposed to do in the first place. His inner flame has faded. He has ceased to be a child. And therefore failed to save a cow.
THE WORLD OF THE OLD
The problem is that we live in a world dominated by the old. And for some reason, the old have gotten rid of their childness. They have covered it up and pretended that it doesn’t exist. They have extricated the flame from their body.
“When I grow up, I will fix the world,” says the child.
And how do older people react? "How innocent and cute,” they say. "Children! they think they can do anything!” This affects the child. The child believes it because he thinks that older people know everything. Then there's a race to grow old as soon as possible, which means ignoring their inner flame, which the old find ridiculous, so the child ends up disregarding his inner flame and eventually becomes an older man who only knows how to do things (technique).
Another big influence on children is toys. Children's toys can be anything; pebbles, sticks, earth, water, trees, flowers, mud, and all those things in nature, as well as spoons, keys, hats, shoes, pillows, and all those things that surround us. Playing is exploring, discovering, and getting to know the world around us. But not anymore. Children’s toys in the present world are not children's toys but toys for children. It is important to understand that they’re older people's toys made by older people for children and not children's toys. This is another way in which children are influenced to become old; Playing with older people’s toys for children. One should never become old. One should only become an older child. One must keep the inner flame forever radiant while simultaneously developing one’s body to have it ready and able to do what the flame tells us. One must live like an old child.
THE OLD-CHILD ARTIST
The old-child artist is not a child. The old-child artist is not old. The old-child artist is an old child. The old-child artist never forgets his dreams and visions of when he was a child. The old-child artist practices all his life painting what he wanted to paint when he was a child but couldn't.
Old-child art is an art of maximum simplicity as well as maximum profundity.