Intimacy is about relationship, a significant relationship in which one discloses the fullness of oneself, more than what one knows consciously about the self. Nudity tells our significant other that we trust her or him enough to make ourselves vulnerable. We open ourselves to everything that comes with intimate relationship; not just sex, but everything. Part of that intimacy with other is as much about cultivating an intimacy with oneself as it is with the other. When my significant other sees me, naked, she sees more than skin. She sees things about me that I am unaware of, things that I am blind to – perhaps she isn’t even consciously aware of what she sees and senses in me, but it is all there because of the gift of vulnerability and openness. Sharing these two gifts with each other, we experience something deeper, an intimacy of soul as well as body.
I understand this and accept this as the way it needs to be for cultivating a relationship. I am one of the lucky ones and have been rewarded with forty-two years with my significant other, my wife. That said, I have not been so lucky when it comes to having a positive, relationship with myself: my body, my psyche and my soul. I have not given myself the gift of openness or vulnerability in order to enter into an intimate relationship with the whole of who I am. And needless to say as a result, the same can be said for my relationship with God in whatever name or form I choose to acknowledge her/him.
For many, many years, I have done the work, the psychological work to develop a healthy relationship with my psyche. Yet for all that work, so much remains clouded and wrapped in shadows. I have never been able to find the clarity that I craved about who I was. No sooner had I achieved a breakthrough and begun to believe that the work was done, when a new crisis would present itself casting me deeper into the shadow world, into darkness. I began to turn to more spiritual avenues with the adoption of Buddhist practices and philosophy while trying to enlarge my psychological field of self reference. I travelled much of the world to stop in at as many places of worship as I could, hoping that somehow one of these places would provide the key. But, the key wasn’t to be found in India, IndoChina or anywhere else in Asia and Europe.
Discouraged, I returned to my home and watched things fall apart, taking refuge in my meditation. For whatever reason, I meditated while nude. It somehow felt right. I found myself going again and again to meditation for release from the grips of darkness. I admit that I am a slow learner as it took quite a while for me to realise that it was more that meditation that was giving me release. When I was able to meditate outdoors when in Latin America, the feelings of health increased dramatically. I fell in love with the sun as it warmed my body, as it gave light to guide me from the shadows. It wasn’t long before I dared more than nude meditation, I risked sun-bathing and was rewarded with a sense of wellness that had been missing for so long. The we returned home to Canada and a withdrawal from nudity with the exception of my daily meditation. And I crashed.
It was my wife who noted what had happened. The only change was the discontinuation of my being naked outside of meditation. I listened to what she had to tell me and then I though on it for some time, wondering just what it was with nakedness that made a difference. Nakedness didn’t mean more sex or better sex with my wife; nakedness wasn’t about getting thrills and attention from strangers. Somehow, nakedness was about giving myself the gifts of vulnerability and openness. And somehow, in the process, within myself I found a path back to my soul. In moments of nakedness, the intimacy of mind and soul naturally led me back to the original source of all life that dwelt within me as it does within each of us. Nudity allowed me to participate in an intimate relationship with holiness.