When the child is born, he is a pagan. Each child is a born pagan, he is happy the way he is. He has no idea what is right and what is wrong; he has no ideals. He has no criteria, he has no judgment. Hungry, he asks for food. Sleepy, he falls asleep. That’s what Zen masters say is the utmost in religiousness - when hungry eat, when feeling sleepy go to sleep. Let life flow; don’t interfere.
Each child is born as a pagan, but sooner or later he will lose that simplicity. That is part of life; it has to happen. It is a part of our growth, maturity, destiny. The child has to lose it and find it again. When the child loses it he becomes ordinary, worldly. when he regains it he becomes religious.
The innocence of childhood is cheap; it is a gift from existence. We have not earned it and we will have to lose it. Only by losing it will we become aware of what we have lost. Then we will start searching for it. And only when we search for it and earn it, achieve it, become it - then we will know the tremendous preciousness of it.