Inner Michael » Neverland: More than a Cultural Treasure II

Neverland: More than a Cultural Treasure II

“Children are the worlds foremost idealists and optimists.” ~Michael Jackson

Have you ever seen a baby that doesn’t laugh with abandonment and joy? Joy is our natural state. Joy is hardwired into our existence when we come into the world. Joy is what the world is before the corruption begins.

Children are not immediately exposed to the harsh reality of the cruelness the world can deliver and they are not aware of how people can change when they leave that zone of childhood joy. People can and do hurt other people. That realization when it comes to a child, causes an earthquake in the psyche and creates an incomparable grief called “the loss of innocence.”

As the child grows, the awareness of disappointment, duplicity and corruption informs the picture of their “real” world and the ideal world fades into the background and maybe even into the unconscious, never to be heard from again. The delight, the sparkling newness, the wide-eyed adventure of exploring this new existence– the innocent entry into the world fades with it. The place that the child came from, the place before time, before birth, before corruption– the place that holds the essence of the divine beginning, is forever gone. And that is a grief that cannot be described nor fathomed. It can hardly be remembered because we can’t bear to remember it.

“Neverland” is not just a physical location or as self-indulgent manifestation of a pop-star’s dream as it was portrayed; it is a state of mind, a state of existence. “Neverland” is a place where the precious innocence of a child is revered. It’s a place where imagination without limitation takes one to fanciful heights and giant dreams that when respected, are retained throughout life and realized in adulthood.

When a child’s wonder and imagination is not interfered with and indoctrination of what’s “real,” and “practical,” and “socially acceptable” does not destroy the child’s spirit, imagination become invention soars and innate talent allowed to blossom and mature examines all things from untainted, unrestricted and unlimited human brilliance and expression. It is the indoctrinations that come with growing up that begin to limit, create boundaries and stifle the mind of a child.

Innocent childlike unrestricted imagination and magic has a beauty unequaled anywhere else and a fierce determination untampered with by adult admonitions about what is culturally acceptable changes the world. The messages, spoken or unspoken are clear: “Don’t be too full of yourself; defer to the adults around you; censor your true thoughts feelings; doubt your own abilities; don’t do it your way, do it ours. And the creation of a miniature adult “act your age;” “don’t be silly;” “that’s all in your imagination (as if the imagination is something bad);”tone it down;”be quiet;” “don’t talk back;” “don’t concern yourself with that;” “where do you get these crazy ideas?”

Steven Spielberg tells the story of wondering out loud to his mother what would happen if the pressure cooker blew up and she allowed him to rig it to explode. No adult lid on that singular magnificent imagination has brought us some of the most beautiful films of all time.

Given the impulse of adults to limit, indoctrinate, insure conforming, and discount the mind of children, is it any wonder that children gravitate to the Neverland state of being? In Neverland there is happiness, adventure, joy, exploration, peace, uncorrected conversation and one never has to grow up into the “real world” which is, if we admit the truth– painful. In Neverland the child does not have to enter that passage to adulthood where disappointment and duplicity are an initiation of a developing human into the “real world.”

We get angry with children who resist growing up. I think it’s caused by unconscious envy of that free state of being. And we don’t tolerate adults who try to hang on to their youth or innocence. At the same time we try everything to avoid looking old or being perceived as beyond our prime. What a mixed message. What a double standard. What a mess!

Some who left Neverland behind or had it ripped from them spend a whole lifetime trying to figure out who they are because they were told who not to be. Is it any wonder that children resist leaving Neverland? Is it any wonder we ridicule adults who try to go back? The truth is too painful: we all mourn the exile from Neverland and we all secretly want to go back there.

Do you remember the harsh moment when you realized you had been expelled from the garden? When you learned about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? The Easter Bunny? Do you remember the feeling you had when you discovered the world was not the logical outgrowth of idealists and optimists? Do you remember the sadness, the tearing apart of Self and the rending turbulent emotions? Do you remember the disappointment? The grief? Do you recall the searing yearning and the acute helplessness of the discovery that the world was not a perpetual “playground” and it– oh horrors– was not safe? Do you remember how you felt when you discovered that people did not always follow that inner voice of love and compassion? Or maybe your world was never safe right from the beginning, depending on the circumstances you were born into. Maybe you longed for a place that you never knew. Don’t we all?

You might assert that children are naturally happy because they are naïve, have no concept of duplicity and have not yet witnessed how harsh and cruel the world is and haven’t felt the hardships and challenges life presents to us. They haven’t discovered yet that people hurt other people and that it sometimes is not an accident. The world of “maturity” is far removed from the magical world seen through the eyes of a child.

We’ve got it backwards.

Michael Jackson knew that. He built Neverland because he knew.

Neverland is not just a cultural treasure; it’s a demonstration and physical manifestation of how to love unconditionally.

It’s a different way to become human.

~To Inner Michael~



  1. Dalia said . . .

    “Neverland is not just a cultural treasure; it’s a demonstration and physical manifestation of how to love unconditionally” Yes we the fans know…Who else knows?

    Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:09 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    One cannot blame the locals and landowners who want their quiet valley paradise to stay quiet and not become another “Graceland.” It’s agricultural land, dotted by groves and wineries. It’s a charming place and that charm would be lost with a stampede of visitors. And the local infrastructure would not support more tourist trade. There is understandable opposition.

    But that can all be regulated. Open source can be exchanged for appointments. Nobody is thinking “out of the box.”

    One cannot blame fans for being angry and grieving the loss of something it appears they alone, can understand. Fans wrote to Lady Gaga and pleaded with her to purchase Neverland and it is reported she is interested. It’s also reported that Jay Z and Beyoncé are curious about the property as well as Justin Beiber. Since it’s tabloid reporting, the credibility of any of these reports is questionable. And any negotiations would be undertaken in secret by necessity.

    The problem with Neverland as of right now is the limbo that it’s in and the checkmate imposed by locals. It is not making any money and its future money-making prospects look bleak. That’s the perceived issue. And, let’s face it, the reputation of the fans is not favorable because of some immature past behavior. With a different reputation, there might be a more generous sentiment from locals toward “fans;” unfortunately misbehavior gets lumped together and generalizations are made. In some cases (such as defacing a resting place) the reputation is more than warranted.

    It’s also true that some things should be preserved not because they make money but simply because they are cultural treasures. The controversy surrounding Michael and Neverland misdirects (in some cases deliberately) the public and misses and cynically dismisses the realization of what Neverland actually means. It’s not just a symbol; It’s an archetype. The future will look back at the history of Jackson, of his life and work and to what Neverland meant and stood for- and if there is any humane and conscious progress, will weep out of regret.

    Marauders, through history, have pillaged and destroyed art, temples, ancient sites and cultural treasures. Once destroyed, those treasures can never be reclaimed. That kind of history and art doesn’t belong to some, it belongs to everyone. The one constant about humanity is that it evolves. We are in a period of major upheaval that is about the restructuring of human consciousness and culture. What is not known now about valuation and what is important or treasure, will someday become evident as the race becomes more enlightened. Someday what Jackson was saying and trying to teach and demonstrate will be clear. All treasure is not measured in gold. The current system of “everything is about money” and money elevated as ever the prime currency has led to some of the saddest human endeavors arising from greed.

    Human greed and making money and commerce the god of humanity has destroyed civilizations, tanked modern economy, divided the world into “them” and “us.”, brought climate change, made oceans failed states, created dangerous and exploitive artificial agriculture and food production, political indifference or influence, poaching and inhumane and abusive treatment of animals, land grabs and mismanagement, a scramble to buy water rights as a commodity instead of a public utility and human right, the duping and exploitation of third world cultures and their resources, abuse of the Indigenous elders and indifference to their wisdom, collective psychic disconnection and denial, moral depravity, racism, double standards, the mafia, gang, cartel and terrorists, the rising phenomenon of a spiritual vacuum within humanity, an absence of stewardship for the planet, abuse of authority and power, the trampling of human and civil rights, gun gods, military dominance, slavery, conflict, genocide, war…

    Thinking in terms of “cultural treasure” is not an understanding or mentality that business and commerce minds can understand. They see everything as enterprise. Money-making enterprise.

    Michael Jackson’s wealth and fame was not a commodity chased for its own sake; that was a myth created by projection of others’ envy onto him. His wealth, fame, popularity was a side effect of his art. Let me repeat that: “Michael Jackson’s success, wealth, and fame was not a sought after end; it was a means to an end. It was not a commodity chased for its own sake; it was a side effect of his art, his genious. A tremendously gifted artist took the risk to freely share with a fickle humanity and the world, his divinely inspired (and credited) art.”

    The sacrifice and gift goes unappreciated because the world was not ready to understand what it had and what it lost and why. Someday it will be realized and understood. And then all the costumes, memorabilia, possessions, collected fan gifts, his lovingly built home and shrine to the child and child within and their stewardship– torn from him by modern marauders, will be gone. The value from visiting ruins and museums and monuments to human history is not inherent in the structures; it is in the reflection and self-reflection that accompanies the witnessing.

    Michael’s children have not made a public statement about how they feel but they have not reached the age where they can consent or not to its disposal. What arises, of course, are questions. And a sadness about losing the symbol, the archetype, the innocence and the imposition of all kinds of rape. It would be wise to ponder more deeply than simple surface rage to see what feelings arise from within self and why. Then go about righting the injustice through regret and vowing to create a better future. That is “all about love.”

    Posted August 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  3. souldreamer said . . .

    Thank You for these entries. Blessings All…*~*~*~*∞

    Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

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