"So much of our energy, that could be used toward creativity or
toward the genuine pursuit of happiness, is misspent on our
conscious and unconscious preoccupation with keeping
AS WE ARE
By Daniel D. Ziegler
Closely related to our need to express ourselves is the strong desire to
reveal ourselves, and to be seen and accepted as we appear, as we are--
naturally, honestly, without disguise. We wish to be accepted as we were
born and presented to the world. Our presence is based on our
individuality, on our uniqueness. We want to be ourselves not having to
pretend we are something else, and we want to be seen and accepted that
way. To be able to do so is in many ways validation of our very existence. It
is a simple desire yet it is a very deep desire, and it plays itself out in many
ways—some acceptable, others not, depending on society’s rules.
The desire on the part of social nudists to be nude in the presence of
others, the desire of an exotic dancer or even a porn star to be sexual in
front of the camera, the desire of a streaker to run nude through a public
place and even the desire of an exhibitionist to flash a stranger, to some
extent are all manifestations of this desire, that is, attempts to satisfy the
desire to be seen and accepted as we truly are. Some of these are
harmless acts, but others obviously are considered extreme and potentially
harmful and threatening to others, yet for the most part they all are attempts
to be seen and accepted as we are.
The problem with many of these acts is not that they cause any real harm to
ourselves or others, but that we are simply breaking the rules that our
society has laid down for us. The rules, for the most part, do not allow us to
be ourselves, and so, often, when we act out on this desire, we are in
violation of accepted or appropriate behavior. For example, according to
societal rules, we are to cover ourselves and hide many of our natural
functions, particularly those associated with our sex organs. The result is
that we are either forced not to act on this desire to be seen and accepted
as we are naturally are, naked, or if we do act on it, we must do so in
violation of the rules and risk the consequences. This often is not an easy
choice, especially for those who have a strong sense of who they are and a
strong desire to express it.
So much of our energy* that could be used toward creativity or toward the
genuine pursuit of happiness, is misspent on our conscious and
unconscious preoccupation with keeping ourselves covered. It requires a
great deal of energy to carry on a dual going on within us. On the one
hand we are burdened with the shame, embarrassment and guilt resulting
from society’s rules imposed on us to keep our bodies covered and our
sexuality hidden, and on the other hand, we have the natural inner desire to
express ourselves naturally as we were created, to be seen and accepted
as we are. This tug-of-war is constantly going on whether we are conscious
of it or not, resulting in wasted energy that could be much better used in
expressing ourselves as the magnificent beings we were created to be and
solving our world’s problems. What a waste!
I saw a bit on TV recently of a woman at a spa getting a massage for the
first time. She admitted that she was a bit nervous before hand, but
claimed afterward that it was a totally relaxing experience for her. To me
watching, it seemed to me to be a constant preoccupation and effort on her
part to make sure the towel draping her was always in place. Her
nervousness prior to the massage was probably based on her fear of being
seen naked--a deep culturally induced fear most people have. How could
she totally surrender to the massage experience and enjoy it when her mind
was really being distracted and she was focusing, consciously and
unconsciously, on her shame and embarrassment? Although it may have
been a somewhat pleasant experience for her, she missed the real
experience, being trapped in culturally induced shame, embarrassment
and guilt—and she was doubtlessly not even aware of that. Any nudist who
has ever received a massage nude knows what I'm talking about.
The fear of being seen naked is a very common fear and it is such a deep
fear, it often enters our dreams. Dreams have a way of revealing much of
what unconsciously goes on in our minds during our waking state. This
gives us an opportunity to become aware of it in order to process and
reconcile it or work through these issues. Dreams of being naked in public
places or among people we know are common, indicating buried fear. I
even read results of a survey that showed that among many Christians, the
fear of being naked on judgement day is a major fear.
So, how much of our lives are affected by this often unconscious fear of
being naked? How much of our behavior is influenced by it? Probably more
than we think. How would our lives be different if we didn’t have this fear, if
we weren’t preoccupied with it? How much more could we accomplish if so
much energy was not wasted in worrying about being covered properly?
How much happier could we be if shame and embarrassment over our
bodies were not a part of our lives? Probably a great deal.
But I would like to go beyond the fear of nudity because I know that our
fears of being naked are really based on another deeper issue. Getting
naked in the presence of others, as nudists do, is a step forward, but only a
step. Merely getting naked, as nudists do, still leaves a deeper issue, the
very issue that our fear of being naked is ultimately based on, largely
untouched. It still leaves an unnecessary preoccupation with shame,
embarrassment and guilt, over our sexuality.
Largely, as a result of western religion, we have a deep-seated fear of our
sexuality. We are taught that this natural part of us is largely animal-like and
must be curbed. It must be tightly controlled or it will get out of hand,
resulting in a total breakdown of society. But the results of our repressing
our sexuality in order to follow society’s rules regarding it, is that we have
become a sexually frustrated society. Energy that should be expressed
sexually—and there are many HEALTHY ways of doing this safely—is
instead being repressed; but like a stream of water that is being blocked, it
will always find another way. Repressed sexual energy turns into
misdirected energy, and often displays itself in the form of perversion,
depression, anger and violence and of course a preoccupation with what
could be called ‘junk sex’.
We all know that one of the things we must do in order to maintain healthy
bodies is to eat good food. When we don’t eat properly and get proper
nutrition, such as when we eat a lot of junk food, our bodies cry out in
cravings for what they are lacking. However, with junk food that is often
lacking in the nutrients that we need, we pig out, eating way too much in an
effort to get what the body is craving. But of course we never get it, but we
get fat instead.
Such is the case with sex. When our healthy sexuality is repressed through
social taboos, religious constrictions, social conventions, etc., and we
aren't getting proper “sexual nutrition”, we tend to pig out on “junk sex”. That
is what is happening in our society. Our obsession with incidents such as
our leader having sex in the White House is an example of that, as is our
pornography** interest on the Internet.
The sad thing about being obsessed with junk sex, is that we probably don't
have much of a clue yet as to what healthy sex is or could be because we
have never been allowed to experience it.
So, we wonder what’s wrong with us and our violent society! But it’s quite
clear. While are we preoccupied with supposedly keeping our sexuality
under control, our repressed sexual energy is manifesting itself in many
other ways, including violence. THIS is destroying society—the very thing
we were afraid of happening.
Must we be afraid of our sexuality? Is it something that left uncontrolled
would destroy us?
As nudists know, nudity does not destroy society as is often thought in
mainstream thinking. In fact, nudist communities often have a stronger
sense of family and community than non-nudists, because nudity is our
natural state, and it is in our natural state that we function in healthier ways.
It would be no different with sexuality. Sexuality is our natural state, and if
allowed to display itself in healthy ways, much of our frustration, ill health
and related dysfunctional behavior would cease to exist, leaving plenty of
creative energy to solve the world’s problems and pursue higher
expressions of our human experience than we now know.
Presently our televisions are allowed to show naked violence yet are not
allowed to show naked love. Our children are exposed to thousands of
incidents of violence, including murder on, TV, yet never see people
making love or even a mother nursing her baby. We have it backwards and
thus we are creating the very kind of world that we fear.
If we could get over our fears and release the energy that is consumed in
our preoccupation of concealing who we are, we could emerge into the
magnificent caring creations of who we are—something we don’t even
I see a world in which we are neither burdened by shame of our bodies nor
by fear of our sexuality, and we are free to seek the highest expression of
our human experience. ddz
*Wasted energy on our need to try to stay covered—a preoccupation with
staying covered, it becomes a distraction, losing site of what is really going
**Porn –a desire to see ourselves as we are--sexual beings—looking at
ourselves through others, vicarious living.
Copyright 2008 Daniel D. Ziegler
LESS-ONS FOR TRUTH
Reclaiming Acceptance of our Original State