Happy Summer Solstice

It is another one of those points in time where the thin membrane between the collective consciousness and collective unconsciousness becomes even thinner allowing for strange things to happen. For a short while, ego control is seriously challenged resulting in a breakdown of sorts leaving individuals either in panic facing an inner chaos, or leaving individuals intuitively affirming the rightness of who they are. Life on the fringe as outliers of the “normal” human community often leaves one doubting “self.” At those “liminal” moments one could talk about magic, but one would do better to talk about spirit. Our ancient ancestors (and some in the not so distant past) knew all about this universe that exists in between. To even dare approach this liminal world, one needed to take a guide who was as much a spiritual being as he or she was a human.

In Christianity, this is no different. All of our religions point to the need for the guide so as to avoid being so overwhelmed as to become insane. How can one even hope to look upon the face of our creator? How could we ever know that we are in her/his presence? The other worldliness of such an encounter is too magical for us to attribute that presence as being our creator.  More often than not, even our guides are unable to truly understand this presence and so attribute the mystery as magic and evil.

The solstice that tells us that we have entered the summer season, has arrived and we have marked it and continued on with our lives, just a bit more aware of the awesome creation of seasons and of the whole of all seasons. Of course, the book of Genesis tells us that all of this was crafted by God and that God remarked that her/his creation was good not evil. As children of this God, we celebrate all of creation including the days, nights, earth, water, sky, animals, humans and season within which we follow the paths laid out by the creator. Yet somehow, many of our churches have seen fit to categorize the celebration of the solstice markers of our seasons as something demonic.  God created these solstice events and called them good – but men in their wisdom say otherwise. God created men and women without clothing and called them good – but men, again tell us God was wrong and that people without clothing are agents of the devil.

If one is to believe the church leaders, God has bungled up quite badly. Not only did he make mistakes, he somehow is losing the battle between good and evil (Did God create EVERYTHING?) to this devil. The only way to escape the greedy claws of satan is to do exactly what our church leaders (ordinary humans) tell us to do and make sure we pay our church leaders well for our salvation and never, repeat, NEVER, ask questions.

At the risk of going straight to HELL without passing GO, I wish each of you a happy Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and happy Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. This is truly a time to give AWE to our creator.

Happy Summer Solstice

It is another one of those points in time where the thin membrane between the collective consciousness and collective unconsciousness becomes even thinner allowing for strange things to happen. For a short while, ego control is seriously challenged resulting in a breakdown of sorts leaving individuals either in panic facing an inner chaos, or leaving individuals intuitively affirming the rightness of who they are. Life on the fringe as outliers of the “normal” human community often leaves one doubting “self.” At those “liminal” moments one could talk about magic, but one would do better to talk about spirit. Our ancient ancestors (and some in the not so distant past) knew all about this universe that exists in between. To even dare approach this liminal world, one needed to take a guide who was as much a spiritual being as he or she was a human.

In Christianity, this is no different. All of our religions point to the need for the guide so as to avoid being so overwhelmed as to become insane. How can one even hope to look upon the face of our creator? How could we ever know that we are in her/his presence? The other worldliness of such an encounter is too magical for us to attribute that presence as being our creator.  More often than not, even our guides are unable to truly understand this presence and so attribute the mystery as magic and evil.

The solstice that tells us that we have entered the summer season, has arrived and we have marked it and continued on with our lives, just a bit more aware of the awesome creation of seasons and of the whole of all seasons. Of course, the book of Genesis tells us that all of this was crafted by God and that God remarked that her/his creation was good not evil. As children of this God, we celebrate all of creation including the days, nights, earth, water, sky, animals, humans and season within which we follow the paths laid out by the creator. Yet somehow, many of our churches have seen fit to categorize the celebration of the solstice markers of our seasons as something demonic.  God created these solstice events and called them good – but men in their wisdom say otherwise. God created men and women without clothing and called them good – but men, again tell us God was wrong and that people without clothing are agents of the devil.

If one is to believe the church leaders, God has bungled up quite badly. Not only did he make mistakes, he somehow is losing the battle between good and evil (Did God create EVERYTHING?) to this devil. The only way to escape the greedy claws of satan is to do exactly what our church leaders (ordinary humans) tell us to do and make sure we pay our church leaders well for our salvation and never, repeat, NEVER, ask questions.

At the risk of going straight to HELL without passing GO, I wish each of you a happy Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and happy Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. This is truly a time to give AWE to our creator.

Going Sane In An Insane World

Yes, ours is a sick society, a profoundly sick society as Krishnamurti tells us. I have a lot of respect for this original thinker and his lifelong quest for answers, for a way to help the world help itself. I turn now to Wikipedia for a few words about Jiddu Krishnamurti:

“According to Krishnamurti, many problems in the world such as poverty, war, the nuclear threat, and other unfortunate circumstances, have their roots in our thinking. In his view, as we live and behave according to our thinking so wars and governments are a result of that thinking. We each have our own beliefs, conclusions and experiences, to which we cling, thereby isolating ourselves from others. Self-centered activity is expressed outwardly as nationalism and religious intolerance, creating a divided world, in which we are willing to kill for the sake of belief. Understanding our relationship with the world crisis is necessary to understand ourselves”

Of course, many are not well adjusted to this world, many are suffering in a host of ways: physically, emotionally, psychologically and ethically. Why are they not well adjusted? To put it simply, ours is a very, very sick society. Our governments give approval to the work of pharmaceutical corporation, fossil fuel corporations, all manner of money-making and money-laundering schemes that try to pry as much money from individuals and their families, as possible, all done in the name of the people and for the people. The pornography industry is thriving with distribution shops found in mind-boggling numbers in every community in the world. Governments bend over backward to fund this massive rape of human society and the planet.

Yet, in almost all of these communities, even a hint of expressed discontent with being raped is met with all sorts of punishments. Complain of being raped, bullied, battered? Well then, we will de-fund women’s shelters. Complain about the pornography? Well then, we will find any excuse to put you in jail for non-sexual nudity whether it be in your own home or other private setting. There is no logic or rationale for what is happening to our planet and to the humans who make this planet their home. We rape the planet: the land, the water, the air and the very bowels of the earth. We rape our neighbours and call it good business practices. We fund wars – both sides – to make sure our factories producing weapons actually get sold and used. And we spy on ourselves and call it patriotism in the name of anti-terrorism.

What is most surprising is that anyone can turn off their heart, conscience and soul and go through each day believing that all is going well – with money in the bank, a car in the garage (or two), all the latest technological toys, and a government more concerned about the evil others and the misfits that are likely to steal all the hard-earned toys and prized possessions, life is good.

If others are suffering, they likely deserve it. She got raped? What was she wearing? He got beat up for being gay? He may as well get used to it as he’s going to hell anyway. That mother fed her baby breast milk in a public setting? Would serve her good if the Children’s Aid Society took her baby away and gave it to a real woman. A naked man in an isolated region on a lonely hike far from children, schools, towns, parks – put him in jail for contempt and keep him there until he learns that the law doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is to grovel and beg forgiveness even if you haven’t done something wrong; especially if you haven’t done something wrong and you know it. Shit happens. Suck it up and move on – or not!

Sometimes it feels good not to belong. Time to do something right. Time to get real. Time to be real. Don’t hide behind masks, behind jobs, behind fear – strip away all the lies and stand proud as a whole human with a heart, body, mind and soul.

Going Sane In An Insane World

Yes, ours is a sick society, a profoundly sick society as Krishnamurti tells us. I have a lot of respect for this original thinker and his lifelong quest for answers, for a way to help the world help itself. I turn now to Wikipedia for a few words about Jiddu Krishnamurti:

“According to Krishnamurti, many problems in the world such as poverty, war, the nuclear threat, and other unfortunate circumstances, have their roots in our thinking. In his view, as we live and behave according to our thinking so wars and governments are a result of that thinking. We each have our own beliefs, conclusions and experiences, to which we cling, thereby isolating ourselves from others. Self-centered activity is expressed outwardly as nationalism and religious intolerance, creating a divided world, in which we are willing to kill for the sake of belief. Understanding our relationship with the world crisis is necessary to understand ourselves”

Of course, many are not well adjusted to this world, many are suffering in a host of ways: physically, emotionally, psychologically and ethically. Why are they not well adjusted? To put it simply, ours is a very, very sick society. Our governments give approval to the work of pharmaceutical corporation, fossil fuel corporations, all manner of money-making and money-laundering schemes that try to pry as much money from individuals and their families, as possible, all done in the name of the people and for the people. The pornography industry is thriving with distribution shops found in mind-boggling numbers in every community in the world. Governments bend over backward to fund this massive rape of human society and the planet.

Yet, in almost all of these communities, even a hint of expressed discontent with being raped is met with all sorts of punishments. Complain of being raped, bullied, battered? Well then, we will de-fund women’s shelters. Complain about the pornography? Well then, we will find any excuse to put you in jail for non-sexual nudity whether it be in your own home or other private setting. There is no logic or rationale for what is happening to our planet and to the humans who make this planet their home. We rape the planet: the land, the water, the air and the very bowels of the earth. We rape our neighbours and call it good business practices. We fund wars – both sides – to make sure our factories producing weapons actually get sold and used. And we spy on ourselves and call it patriotism in the name of anti-terrorism.

What is most surprising is that anyone can turn off their heart, conscience and soul and go through each day believing that all is going well – with money in the bank, a car in the garage (or two), all the latest technological toys, and a government more concerned about the evil others and the misfits that are likely to steal all the hard-earned toys and prized possessions, life is good.

If others are suffering, they likely deserve it. She got raped? What was she wearing? He got beat up for being gay? He may as well get used to it as he’s going to hell anyway. That mother fed her baby breast milk in a public setting? Would serve her good if the Children’s Aid Society took her baby away and gave it to a real woman. A naked man in an isolated region on a lonely hike far from children, schools, towns, parks – put him in jail for contempt and keep him there until he learns that the law doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is to grovel and beg forgiveness even if you haven’t done something wrong; especially if you haven’t done something wrong and you know it. Shit happens. Suck it up and move on – or not!

Sometimes it feels good not to belong. Time to do something right. Time to get real. Time to be real. Don’t hide behind masks, behind jobs, behind fear – strip away all the lies and stand proud as a whole human with a heart, body, mind and soul.

What The Soul Knows About Nudity

It was hard trying to begin today’s post. I found it hard to sit still at the computer and get started. My mind kept racing all over the place. I was making plans for all sorts of activities over the next several months in my head without recording any of these ideas. The time out I gave to myself to sit quiet in meditation helped for a short while, but even that peace began to be drowned out by the constant chatter in my head. Finally, I was able to sit down and begin. My mind, my ego was rushing around doing its best to avoid this sitting down and return to the work of soul healing. However, I did get something worthwhile down while my mind played ADHD – I got my daughter to buy some tickets for a musical performance at the end of the month. There is something positive about every moment, even if one seems to be out of control of one’s mind.

Now that I have my ego back under control, I can begin today’s post about respect and about values. Of course, as a naturist, I have learned that society, as a collective, has no respect for naturism, nudism, nude activism or just the simple enjoyment of occasional nude activity.  As a result, there is a growing underground collective of those who want to be naked, nude, au naturel, etc. It is understandable, but it doesn’t solve the problem of having the general population be respectful of a sizable group of citizens who pay their taxes, contribute to their society in various enterprises and work positions.

Respect is a difficult term. For the general society, it really isn’t about respect at all, it is about obeying and conforming, or else. And to back up the “or else,” laws and religious edicts are continually put forth to enforce compliance. And where there are no laws, communities make up unwritten laws in order to ensure that differences are not tolerated. Why? Being different for many is viewed as a negative criticism of the group. In response to one’s being “not like the others,” a defensive response, the group reacts with demonizing, humiliating and shaming. As I say this, I want to make sure you understand that I am talking about groups, not individuals. In every group there are some that are more aware than others. And because they are more aware of themselves and others, there is more tolerance and respect. They have already learned that no human is either good or evil, but that every human is a complex blend of conscious and unconscious behaviours and attitudes.

Now, I realise that there are so many gray areas here. There are people who, on an individual level have reason to be “naked wary.” There are too many who have suffered sexual assaults, too many who have been humiliated about their bodies. I respect their position of being extremely discomforted by nudity. I have also seen how nudity has been abused by corporate industry through advertising all the way to hard-core pornography.  That has left even more people unable to separate personal nudity from the evils of a corporate world determined to make addicts of every one of us: addicts of sex, addicts of fear, addicts of whatever it is that they have to sell none of which is good for our heart and soul, and often our very bodies. So how do I show respect for these hurting individuals? Obviously, I don’t become a threat to their well-being by getting into their spaces and getting nude. Do I expect a response of respect back from them? Well, yes I do – but I don’t expect it or demand it.

Like almost all naturists, I just want to be left in peace, to not have to worry that if I get seen in some peaceful nature setting, or even in my own yard, naked, that I won’t have to deal with the threat of law, or be harassed and bullied. My getting naked is about my feeling good about who I am, it isn’t about trying my hardest to offend or traumatize anyone. My getting naked is about making peace with my body as part of my own journey of healing of soul.

What The Soul Knows About Nudity

It was hard trying to begin today’s post. I found it hard to sit still at the computer and get started. My mind kept racing all over the place. I was making plans for all sorts of activities over the next several months in my head without recording any of these ideas. The time out I gave to myself to sit quiet in meditation helped for a short while, but even that peace began to be drowned out by the constant chatter in my head. Finally, I was able to sit down and begin. My mind, my ego was rushing around doing its best to avoid this sitting down and return to the work of soul healing. However, I did get something worthwhile down while my mind played ADHD – I got my daughter to buy some tickets for a musical performance at the end of the month. There is something positive about every moment, even if one seems to be out of control of one’s mind.

Now that I have my ego back under control, I can begin today’s post about respect and about values. Of course, as a naturist, I have learned that society, as a collective, has no respect for naturism, nudism, nude activism or just the simple enjoyment of occasional nude activity.  As a result, there is a growing underground collective of those who want to be naked, nude, au naturel, etc. It is understandable, but it doesn’t solve the problem of having the general population be respectful of a sizable group of citizens who pay their taxes, contribute to their society in various enterprises and work positions.

Respect is a difficult term. For the general society, it really isn’t about respect at all, it is about obeying and conforming, or else. And to back up the “or else,” laws and religious edicts are continually put forth to enforce compliance. And where there are no laws, communities make up unwritten laws in order to ensure that differences are not tolerated. Why? Being different for many is viewed as a negative criticism of the group. In response to one’s being “not like the others,” a defensive response, the group reacts with demonizing, humiliating and shaming. As I say this, I want to make sure you understand that I am talking about groups, not individuals. In every group there are some that are more aware than others. And because they are more aware of themselves and others, there is more tolerance and respect. They have already learned that no human is either good or evil, but that every human is a complex blend of conscious and unconscious behaviours and attitudes.

Now, I realise that there are so many gray areas here. There are people who, on an individual level have reason to be “naked wary.” There are too many who have suffered sexual assaults, too many who have been humiliated about their bodies. I respect their position of being extremely discomforted by nudity. I have also seen how nudity has been abused by corporate industry through advertising all the way to hard-core pornography.  That has left even more people unable to separate personal nudity from the evils of a corporate world determined to make addicts of every one of us: addicts of sex, addicts of fear, addicts of whatever it is that they have to sell none of which is good for our heart and soul, and often our very bodies. So how do I show respect for these hurting individuals? Obviously, I don’t become a threat to their well-being by getting into their spaces and getting nude. Do I expect a response of respect back from them? Well, yes I do – but I don’t expect it or demand it.

Like almost all naturists, I just want to be left in peace, to not have to worry that if I get seen in some peaceful nature setting, or even in my own yard, naked, that I won’t have to deal with the threat of law, or be harassed and bullied. My getting naked is about my feeling good about who I am, it isn’t about trying my hardest to offend or traumatize anyone. My getting naked is about making peace with my body as part of my own journey of healing of soul.

Being Brave and Being Naked

Today, the weather is sunny and it promises to be the warmest day this late spring, a good day to deal with this image and message. Perhaps the most courageous thing anyone can do is to confront the reality of themselves. In today’s world of mass media doing its best to sell us anything and everything, and in the process convincing us that we are not okay, we are not beautiful or handsome, we are not smart enough, we are not spiritual enough, we aren’t even lovable without the goods and services that they are more than willing to sell to us, it takes courage to look in the mirror at oneself without clothing.

I don’t think very many of us realise just how influential we are in the lives of the people around us. Beginning with our children, what do we teach them about being brave? We have long known that our children learn from what we do, not what we say. We teach them about being individuals, about standing up for what they believe in, as well as many other important values. Yet, what do we do to make our words become more than simply meaningless babble for our children?  How do we teach our daughters about body acceptance? I know that we typically tell our daughters they are beautiful just the way God made them, even when by societal standards there are a few (or more) things about their body that is called into question. And almost in the same moment in time we deny our own beauty as we head to gyms, buy the latest diet book, invest in aesthetic plastic surgery, etc. Our children aren’t stupid. They learn that parents are supposed to say they are beautiful in their natural state, but the also learn that their parents don’t believe that humans are naturally beautiful. They see their parents hide their natural beauty as humans, and they get the message that they too need to hide their natural beauty and replace it with brand names, the latest styles of clothing and so on. Our children see what we do and learn the real message, the truth that they must hide their natural bodies, and even their natural person. We teach them to trust in clothing, in masks and “polite” lies. We teach them that it is unnatural and even immoral to be “natural.”

Why? Fear.  Yes, it does come down to fear. This fear is at an existential level, a spiritual level, and a societal level. It is about risking and daring the unknown, risking censure, ridicule, safety and perhaps even love. We are born trusting but soon learn to be afraid – afraid that mother and her milk will not be there. We learn to be afraid when we begin to deal with our human spirit as we get taught and told how humans are sinners and that sinners go to hell where we will burn in eternal darkness unless . . . And for each of us, that “unless” is tied into everything we eat, everything we think, everything we do and pointedly, it is tied to our naked bodies.

“Embarking on a spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. . . .  but sooner or later we will also encounter fear. For all we know, when we get to the horizon, we are going to drop off the edge of the world.” [Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, p. 1]

So with that fear, a fear that goes down into our very souls, we hide and lie about who we are. At least we hope we can hide enough so that our life within our families and our communities and our churches can be less fearful. As we hide from the world behind clothing and roles and disguises, we hide from ourselves. We learn almost too late, if we learn at all, that each and every person out there is just as afraid as we are, even our church leaders and law makers. I share that fear with each of you; after all, like you, I am human.

Yes I am afraid and I am human, but I am tired of lying to myself and believing in the lies of a world that is just as insecure or even more insecure, as myself. This is part of the reasons, the rationale, for the existence of this blog site. I am finally daring to be me, imperfect but human.