Unconscious Responses to the Naked Body

“Those who do not consider the implications of the divided human soul remain unconscious and are therefore dangerous to self and others. Those who do stop and look, and ask why become more and more attuned to the complexity  of their own psychological processes; their lives grow more interesting to them; and they become less dangerous to themselves and others.” p. xiii

A conscious choice to work nude

Okay, so where do fit into these set of statements made by James Hollis? Is what I am doing by reading Hollis’ book – Why Good People Do Bad Things, analysing so much of my present life and my history; part of what he is asking each of us to do? Perhaps, I hope so.

I can’t pretend that I really know what I am doing or why I am doing it all the time. Nor, do I think that most of the human race can claim to such awareness. I know that personally, I catch myself and wonder “what in hell was that all about,” hoping that somehow I didn’t cause too much damage in the process. I can’t absolve myself if I have caused damage simply because I didn’t realise it, consciously, at the time, that I had no intention.

As for my life becoming more interesting, I would have to say that it has, at least to me. I am fascinated with the human body and its response to nature when one is not wearing clothing. I know that my nudity doesn’t harm my body as long as I keep alert for environmental conditions which require that I cover up in order to protect my body. Does my nudity cause real harm to others – physical harm, psychological harm? I don’t think so. If anything, others harm themselves psychologically in their irrational response to seeing a human body in its natural condition. However, the modern world I live in is working hard to having simple human nudity be legislated as something decidedly evil. Is the collective right? Not even a little bit; however, the collective has power on its side and has little patience with being questioned on its irrational responses to nudity.

I have to admit that psychologically, I am far from being aware of all the nooks and crannies that exist within me. I have learned that I, and by “I” I mean my ego, am not consciously in charge of all that I say and do. Study and analysis has taught me about complexes and archetypes, including a personal shadow. I know that I need to be wary of my own self so that I don’t project too easily my own shit onto others. That is part of the key, monitoring my anger, my frustration, my moments of hatred, and signals that I am holding too hard onto some belief or idea. Perhaps this is a good start to being attuned to the complexity of my own psychological processes.

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3 Responses to Unconscious Responses to the Naked Body

  1. john says:

    I believe that the whole of our consciousness is that part of us that survives the body after death. The body itself is the means whereby we affect changes in our environment. We all have one. For me, being naked before the eyes of God is symbolic of my acknowledgement of the Divine and my communication with arms raised is indeed a prayer.

  2. Joe says:

    I have been seen nude many times hiking in the woods. I have received many smiles, laughs, a “high five”, some inquiries, and only a couple objections. I am not trying to offend anyone, only enjoying being one with nature. One may experience as visceral reaction to nudity as some do to the sight of blood, but neither nudity nor blood are bad, but rather it is the viewer’s prior conditioning that makes either sight offensive.

    The body is a magnificent intersection of form and function, and hiding it behind clothing only provokes the imagination as a picture under a canvas covering. Art should be enjoyed, and if one doesn’t appreciate art, they are free to look away, go away, or stay home. Ultimately, they are better off reevaluating their attitudes toward the body and developing a better appreciation for the human body, natural and healthy, and without hangups.

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