Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: September 2021

Hiking and Eating and Naturism

Last moments in our little cabin

Well, today is the last day in Ucluelet, BC. Tomorrow we head to Courtney as we begin to head back to our home on the prairies. Most of the return trip is about visiting extended family. Needless to say, I miss being in my own home and in my own bed after more than two weeks of being away. There is still another week and a half to go before then.

Hiking has made up the bulk of my activity for more than two weeks. During this time I hiked about 170 kilometres, hiking in sunshine, rain, and overcast skies threatening rain. I has been a blast. I am certain that the exercise, along with a reduction in boredom eating, has allowed me to feel so good about my body.

This is an important realisation – treat the body as though it is a temple. Eat well to feed the temple and exercise to allow the temple to withstand the ravages of time. The biggest winner in all of this is my psyche. The whole process is like a full body meditation. The Tibetans don’t just sit in meditation. They engage in walking meditation. Their daily chores are another offering of meditation. And, their exercise is purposeful meditation. I am no where near this level of mindfulness, nor do I expect to ever get there. And that is okay.

For the past four days, and for two days earlier in this journey, I have been enjoying time in a hot tub. Naturally, in all instances, even at my brother’s home, time in the hot tub was done while clothing free. Once inside our accommodations, clothing was again dispensed with as unessential. With the body uncluttered by clothing, the mind was uncluttered as well.

Road Trip to the West

Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island

I’m writing from my first stop on Vancouver Island. We are in a rural location in a private accommodation. It is mostly raining though we are getting enough breaks in the weather to go for daily hikes in the cedar forests. The temperatures are hovering between ten and fifteen degrees Celsius as daytime highs. It is definitely not free-hiking weather. Weather aside, we are not in anyway hiking in remote locations. Despite the weather, the desire to be clothing free remains strong. Once indoors, clothing is unnecessary.

In four more days, we will be on the west coast of the Island where I will brave the elements and take on the challenge, if not dare, to sprint into the very cold water of the North Pacific. So far, there is no ocean or sea that we have visited where the challenge hasn’t been met including a couple of late winter dips into the Mediterranean Sea. Will there be a photo? Unknown. A photo is not the reason for the skinny deep. The reason is simple. Tradition.

I don’t imagine I will be writing another post until we are settled into a tiny cabin on the west coast, a tiny cabin with a hot tub on the front deck with the wild Pacific very, very close down a steep and wooded craggy coast line. Until then, be safe.

Good vs Evil – Perception and Judgment

It’s all good . . . or is it?

One thing that the political world is demonstrating with a vengeance is that what one person sees as good, another person sees with an opposite point of view. Though not currently in the crosshairs of the majority, nudity is a good example of how humanity is polarised with regards to the nude human body. I see simple nudity as good. Others who have internal alarms go off when seeing a nude human, don’t. For them, for a variety of reasons, nudity is “not” good. I see this image of Emma as good, as pleasurable, interesting, and provocative at the same time.

I see nudity and experience as a pleasurable state while at the same time, I don’t find wearing clothing to be “bad.” I guess one could say that I am pragmatic when it comes to wearing clothing and being clothing free. There is no good vs evil visceral response for me. Perhaps it has something to do with living in a temperate climatic zone where mother nature has well defined seasons with temperatures alternating between -40 and +40 Celsius. Despite what I think and believe, there are people in my orbit who would be shocked should they ever see me naked, people who would though they may have seen me in a positive light for decades, wouldn’t hesitate to call the police and have them deal with the pervert who is a threat.

“Good and evil are opposite poles of a moral judgment which, as such, originates in man [a human]. A judgment can be made about a thing only if its opposite is equally real and possible.” – Carl Jung

Naturists are well aware that good and evil have nothing to do with nudity or clothing. Good people do exist who are repelled by nudity. Good people exist who don’t care one way or the other, and good people exist who struggle with clothing. The same can be said with “Not Good” people. They exist in the same groupings. Accepting this reality, I then turn to what Jung said about good and evil – there are about moral judgments and actions based on these moral judgments.

An example of this that is currently causing societal reaction, is the right of a woman to choose what happens with regards to a fetus. The prochoice and anti-abortion polarity begins with a personal judgment. And that, is okay as it is a personal response. However, when that judgment becomes a trigger for a significant sector of society, then bad things happen. The more the scales are tilted in one direction, the worse things get until they reach a point of real evil. The women in Texas, USA, have just been legally declared criminals of the highest order should they abort a fetus that has passed six weeks of existence. Two Canadian provinces are making access to abortions very difficult. And a major political party is predominantly in favour of following the example in Texas.

The problem with any group getting extraordinary power, is the likelihood that the issues they view through a fundamentalist lens are very likely to become laws that punish. All those who hold an apposing view are enemies and are evil.

Good and Evil and Nudity

I have to admit that I’m not in the best of moods today as I sit here at the computer. The world around me is going crazy. In Texas abortions have once again become illegal with penalties that are stricter than what exist for terrorists – Wade-Roe had been overturned. Likely most other Republican states will soon follow. In Canada the newly elected provincial government has fired the complete Department of Health, that same group that had the best defensive response record in the country for Covid19. Nationally, the Federal election is being covered by media with the intent on demonising the Prime Minister. Photos of him being hung, death threats, a group of American Patriots are following the Prime Minister around Canada to rile up and interfere with any public meeting [with the exception of in Quebec – an issue for the Patriots – where the language is French].

That said, this post isn’t really about the insanity that is running amok in the outer world. As Carl Jung once put it, “for in the self good and evil are indeed closer than identical twins.” It is something we all wrestle with, trying hard to be our best self. It is hard work, for it takes only a moment, a slim crack in our armour for our worst self to emerge and cause havoc. Yet, too many of us take that battle to the outer world and act out these two aspects of ourselves. We self-identify with the white hats and project the darkness onto others who hold opposite views. Good versus evil not dealt with as an inner “self” problem, becomes a world problem. Balance gets lost within and without. That lack of balance within is the root cause of most mental-health issues. We internalise “shame” for what we know is wrong with us, and express it outward in anger, fear, and hate.

As the outer world is presented with more and more nudity, one is deluded if one thinks that normalising nudity will be the end result. Human consciousness doesn’t work that way. The motivations for being clothing free within the normalising-nudity community aren’t built on balance. All the prejudices, the us vs them, are alive and well. The us vs them dynamic exists within the community itself though we are loathe to admit it. Rather than deal with the problems, they are projected onto the rest of society.

Personally, I am leery about groups, about collectives. I find that to fit in, I need to basically stop being myself authentically. I need to put on a persona that will allow me to enter into the collective. Going without clothing is often the same thing. We shed clothing to fit in with a group. Sometimes it is a compulsory thing such as a naturist club , sometimes it is to take a dare to fit in with a crowd [I did this in middle school when challenged to go skinny dipping in a prairie dugout], and sometimes it is to ease the tensions in a relationship with a partner who is a nudist/naturist. Of course, the opposite is more often the norm, wearing clothing to fit in, to belong to a group, to ease tensions.

In the end, it becomes a question that is tied to one’s solitary being. If all things are equal, is one nude or not? Even then, there are environmental factors that often makes decisions for an individual. I am clothing free as often as possible. When someone other than my wife makes an appearance in our home or yard, I wear clothing. Yet, when it is cold and windy outside, even if I am alone, I find myself putting on clothing to stay warm. In the house? Alone? Then, I am clothing free … unless the house is too cold – think of a prairie winter.

So what does any of this have to do with good and evil? Nudity in itself is a battleground. The collectives in one’s life determine, for the most part, that nudity is bad, evil is bad, nudity outside of the bedroom between a married heterosexual couple – preferably white – is bad. Laws are made, Church doctrine is entrenched, nudity is determined to be sinful and evil. If one attacks all that is nude, one is on the side of goodness. If one dares to be nude, even as a solitary event, then one becomes the enemy to be targeted and punished.

And to return to Jung’s words: “there is absolutely no truth that does not spell salvation to one person and damnation to another. All universalisms get stuck in this terrible dilemma.”

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