Becoming Light in the Darkness of a Modern World

Speak to Us of Love – Kahlil Gibran

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

It’s the last day of November, and as with other years, it is the time for me to put up our Christmas tree and decorations. I love this season of colour and lights, a time when as a collective, we unconsciously revolt against the darkness and despair that come with the shortened days, killing cold, and confinement as if we are going into hibernation simply to survive. I opened up the post with another bit from The Prophet, as Gibran’s book has recaptured my attention after a decade or two of sitting on my book shelves.

One of the surprises as I revisited his book was to rediscover his images as well as his words. I wonder if my poetry book last year which paired each poem with an image had its genesis in Gibran’s work? This year’s poetry book is still in the image pairing stage though I hope that in the next few weeks to finish this project.

For now, it is my wish that we all become the light in the darkness that is the modern world.

Becoming Light in the Darkness of a Modern World

Sacred bread for God's Sacred feast

Sacred bread for God’s Sacred feast

Speak to Us of Love – Kahlil Gibran

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

It’s the last day of November, and as with other years, it is the time for me to put up our Christmas tree and decorations. I love this season of colour and lights, a time when as a collective, we unconsciously revolt against the darkness and despair that come with the shortened days, killing cold, and confinement as if we are going into hibernation simply to survive. I opened up the post with another bit from The Prophet, as Gibran’s book has recaptured my attention after a decade or two of sitting on my book shelves.

One of the surprises as I revisited his book was to rediscover his images as well as his words. I wonder if my poetry book last year which paired each poem with an image had its genesis in Gibran’s work? This year’s poetry book is still in the image pairing stage though I hope that in the next few weeks to finish this project.

For now, it is my wish that we all become the light in the darkness that is the modern world.

Your clothes conceal much of your beauty

On Clothes – The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

And the weaver said, “Speak to us of Clothes.”

 And he answered:

 Your clothes conceal much of your beauty,

yet they hide not the unbeautiful.

And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy

you may find in them a harness and a chain.

Would that you could meet the sun and the wind

with more of your skin and less of your raiment,

For the breath of life is in the sunlight

and the hand of life is in the wind.

Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”

But shame was his loom,

and the softening of the sinews was his thread.

And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.

Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.

And when the unclean shall be no more,

what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet

and the winds long to play with your hair.

Your clothes conceal much of your beauty

The Prophet

The Prophet

On Clothes – The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

And the weaver said, “Speak to us of Clothes.”

 And he answered:

 Your clothes conceal much of your beauty,

yet they hide not the unbeautiful.

And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy

you may find in them a harness and a chain.

Would that you could meet the sun and the wind

with more of your skin and less of your raiment,

For the breath of life is in the sunlight

and the hand of life is in the wind.

Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”

But shame was his loom,

and the softening of the sinews was his thread.

And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.

Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.

And when the unclean shall be no more,

what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet

and the winds long to play with your hair.

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Winter

Winter snow on the prairies

Winter snow on the prairies

As I am writing this, a blizzard is raging outside. I am fortunate enough not to be homeless so I have the luxury of being able to stay warm and stay naked at the same time. Thankfully the outside temperature is not as bad as it usually is in winter, only -6 Celsius. However, the wind makes it feel like -20 and reduces visibility at the same time. As you can see, it is perfect weather for a quick celebration of snow before heading into an outdoor hot tub. Sitting in steaming water while snow falls on you is a priceless experience.

In the water, I remember my first winter sauna in the mountains of British Columbia. I was attending university and my sociology prof invited my wife and I and others to visit him and his wife at their cabin on the side of a mountain. We ate, laughed, shared stories and then joined in with stripping off our clothes to experience a sauna, getting to take a turn at pouring water over rocks. When the heat became too much to bear any longer, we would race out into the snow making snow angels or throwing snowballs until we would again retreat into the sauna. Life was simpler then, but the passion for being naked and enjoying winter while warm still burns strong within.

Naked versus a Cover-up

As I have often blogged about nude meditation, part of nude yoga (or is it the other way around), I wonder if my readers get tired of hearing about nudism as a spiritual endeavor. I have been writing a novel that focuses predominantly with the depth of spirituality that one can access while nude. History has taught us so much about being clothes free when approaching whatever it is that is the source of our soul, our spiritual centre. It is only in relatively modern times with the dominance of the three desert religions that nudity has become the portal to evil rather than the portal to the temple of heaven within each of us. And, it has taken a serious and determined effort on the part of the good fathers of religion to make this happen in spite of the documents they claim as the authentic word of the Creator.

For example, the Creation story begins with God/Allah/Yaweh creating man and woman, creating them nude and then judging that creation as “good.” Go a little further into that story and we find this first man and woman noticing their nudity and covering up in shame (why is irrelevant at this point). Now upon noticing the “cover-up” the Creator loses it asking who told them that there bodies were shameful and needed covering up. Notice that covering up is synonymous with lying. When we cover up, we are actually creating a false image of God/Allah/Yaweh. I don’t know about you, but I have learned that it is best to confess one’s error rather than covering it up hoping that it doesn’t get noticed or that the blame then falls to someone else, an innocent someone else. We have to risk being vulnerable and authentic. Who can trust you when you hide behind masks?

What are we rejecting when we reject our natural selves, our bodies created naked? We are rejecting our authentic self. We are rejecting the good self created in the image of the Creator. To demonize and pathologize nudity is to defy the value held by the Creator, to pass judgment on the Creator. Yet, we play loose with rational thought by then blaming the devil for it all as if it was the devil who invented nudity.

Naked versus a Cover-up

Some places are inviting us to be authentic and thankful for being alive.

Some places are inviting us to be authentic and thankful for being alive.

As I have often blogged about nude meditation, part of nude yoga (or is it the other way around), I wonder if my readers get tired of hearing about nudism as a spiritual endeavor. I have been writing a novel that focuses predominantly with the depth of spirituality that one can access while nude. History has taught us so much about being clothes free when approaching whatever it is that is the source of our soul, our spiritual centre. It is only in relatively modern times with the dominance of the three desert religions that nudity has become the portal to evil rather than the portal to the temple of heaven within each of us. And, it has taken a serious and determined effort on the part of the good fathers of religion to make this happen in spite of the documents they claim as the authentic word of the Creator.

For example, the Creation story begins with God/Allah/Yaweh creating man and woman, creating them nude and then judging that creation as “good.” Go a little further into that story and we find this first man and woman noticing their nudity and covering up in shame (why is irrelevant at this point). Now upon noticing the “cover-up” the Creator loses it asking who told them that there bodies were shameful and needed covering up. Notice that covering up is synonymous with lying. When we cover up, we are actually creating a false image of God/Allah/Yaweh. I don’t know about you, but I have learned that it is best to confess one’s error rather than covering it up hoping that it doesn’t get noticed or that the blame then falls to someone else, an innocent someone else. We have to risk being vulnerable and authentic. Who can trust you when you hide behind masks?

What are we rejecting when we reject our natural selves, our bodies created naked? We are rejecting our authentic self. We are rejecting the good self created in the image of the Creator. To demonize and pathologize nudity is to defy the value held by the Creator, to pass judgment on the Creator. Yet, we play loose with rational thought by then blaming the devil for it all as if it was the devil who invented nudity.