Owning Body, Mind, and Soul

It’s my body, not yours

There is a real need to take ownership back: ownership of one’s body, mind and soul. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what other people think or say. One’s well-being ultimately falls to what we think and say and believe about ourselves.

In the world of nudism and naturism, there is often the same dialogue and drama about the human body as there is among the rest of the human population. There seems to be more should’s and should not’s than one would expect when the clothing falls off. There is a fear, a real fear about the unknown, the person beneath the exposed skin. There is this idea that humans should follow rules rather than respond to their environment of people, place and time in a natural way seems to be non-existent. Humans just don’t trust each other, or themselves. We’ve somehow come to believe that humans are essentially not to be trusted, that somehow humans and their bodies are basically flawed.

With the modern psyche accepting this idea of humanity being flawed, as a central belief embedded in religion, law, and social relationships, with the exception of activities that serve economic interests; there is a built in filter that has us cover up our self-perceived flawed bodies, and our self-perceived flawed characters. Humans work hard to present a self-idealised version of themselves, typically achieved through the clothing they wear, clothing which is carefully selected. Other strategies include exercise and diet. To do any less is to be vulnerable, to give up power over self to others – at least, that is what we tell ourselves. Yet, all of these strategies achieve precisely the opposite. Power remains with the nameless “others” and becomes even more oppressive in spite of our efforts.

We also have built in filters to cover up the truth about our inner selves. We adopt different personae to convince our various audiences that we are okay, worth the time and effort for a relationship. And, we hope like hell that the shadows we are deliberately hiding, stay hidden. We worry that no one would come within ten feet of us if they saw who we really were under our social disguises.

We work harder and harder to keep the physical and psychological truths of who we really are at bay. The harder we try, it seems the more cracks appear in our efforts which force us to up the ante and adopt newer and proclaimed more effective strategies to appear perfect in the eyes of others. Or else, we simply say the hell with it all and go nude letting the self finally become free. Caveat: going nude is problematical in a world that is phobic about human nudity. Expect to be harassed and perhaps even persecuted.

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9 Responses to Owning Body, Mind, and Soul

  1. Alex Makarow says:

    And probably prosecuted as well. Nudity is normal, it is the natural state for everyone. We need to normalize nakedness.

  2. Rick Romig says:

    I often feel that we are at war with nature, especially our own nature and we are ultimately the casualties of that war.

  3. mike b says:

    Yes instead of embracing nature and natural nakedness, we resist it and then get all sorts of hangups about our true selves.

  4. Vittorio Volpi says:

    I wonder about the opposite meaning of the word «naked» in these sentences:

    I’m naked by Nature
    I’m naked by Culture

    the first sentence seems to be neutral; it states the obvious.
    In the second sentence, you see all the burden of (social) connotations.
    Something in between?…

  5. Allen Knudsen says:

    We begin to sense ourselves owned by so many forces in our culture, I think: educational, ecclesiastical, communal — but one of the most insidious is economic, and so we become the more vulnerable to these economic and other forces. Even the medical world makes its claim on our bodies, our selves. All the more important, then, to heed your insistence, however difficult it may be, to (re)claim our (ultimately, naked) bodies. Thanks, Robert, for this reminder.

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