Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

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Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby pugiofidei » Tue May 10, 2011 1:39 am

In 1905, Chesterton wrote, "The great misfortune of the modern English is not at all that they are more boastful than other people (they are not); it is that they are boastful about those particular things which nobody can boast of without losing them. A Frenchman can be proud of being bold and logical, and still remain bold and logical. A German can be proud of being reflective and orderly, and still remain reflective and orderly. But an Englishman cannot be proud of being simple and direct, and still remain simple and direct. In the matter of these strange virtues, to know them is to kill them. A man may be conscious of being heroic or conscious of being divine, but he cannot (in spite of all the Anglo-Saxon poets) be conscious of being unconscious." (Heretics, first paragraph of Chapter 10)

When I read this, my mind immediately pictured any one of our modern politicians. You know who I mean; he finds most of his constituency quite creepy. No doubt he secretly wishes that the constitution had not made them the prerequisite of his taking office. Nevertheless, he must make himself appear to be one of them, in order to win their vote. His simplicity is an illusion, and a vulgar one, even if he had fooled himself; the moment he begins to define himself as a "good ol' boy", or a "down-to-earth, practical man", he ceases to be either. There are preachers and (alas!) even priests of my own confession, who do the same thing.

Now, it may be something very good to be a down-to-earth, practical politician, or it may be something very bad. Likewise, it may be something very good to be a down-home country preacher, or it may be something very bad. But a man who is simultaneously one of these things, and aware of it, is something very nonexistent. To define oneself as unsophisticated, is sophistication; it is to make simplicity a rhetorical device, aligned, I believe, with pathos, mostly.

This raises in me a question. Is it possible for an ordinary American to truly engage in "simple" nudity? Or have we, in our sophistication, considered what simplicity ought to be, and sought to replicate it? Some Himba girl may go topless according to custom--that is, according to simplicity. But then, a Himba girl may wear rattles on her ankles according to custom--that is, according to simplicity. But I could only wear rattles on my ankles according to art--that is, according to sophistication. Perhaps I've thought about it, and concluded that putting rattles on ankles is a sensible thing to do (and, indeed, it probably is). But what I have not done, is be simple.

Simple nudity would be this: walking into any department store naked, and being genuinely surprised at the gasps of horror, perhaps looking around fearfully for whatever dark demon had elicited the clamor. What we have, gentlemen, is sophisticated nudity. And that is tragedy.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby natman » Tue May 10, 2011 1:48 pm

I think that for once I am speechless. I will never look at "simple nudity" the same. :(
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby pugiofidei » Tue May 10, 2011 10:20 pm

taking something simple, and using a lot of words to complicate it doesn't make it "sophisticated".


This is correct, but its placement beneath my post tells me you mean to criticize it in some way. I have no objection, but would prefer to see a more conscious interaction with the real text of my post. Otherwise your objection appears to be coming out of the blue.

I think "Simple Nudity" is enjoyed by all of those who don't sit around trying to disect and explain it as if it needed explanation, they have just accepted that "it is" and it is good...and for Christians, because God said it was good.


Reading this, I would be willing to bet every spoon in my cupboard that you understand by the word "simple" something other than what I understand by it. In any case, your statement here is something of an explanation itself; you appear to be saying that going without clothes is irrational (for only irrational things have no explanation). I disagree; there are good reasons not to put on pants in the morning. Therefore, I say, going without pants is rational.

Besides, just because someone wrote something down a long time ago, doesn't make them right, it is only their opinion placed on a shelf with millions of others waiting on someone to read and agree with them.


It may or may not be "only" an opinion. It may, in fact, be a considered opinion--one that takes in the world and its mystery in its thereness.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby natman » Wed May 11, 2011 10:20 am

pugiofidei wrote:Reading this, I would be willing to bet every spoon in my cupboard that you understand by the word "simple" something other than what I understand by it.


That appears to be OBVIOUS to me. :doh:

pugiofidei wrote:you appear to be saying that going without clothes is irrational (for only irrational things have no explanation).


He did not say that there was no explanation, only that simple nudity did not require that we sit down and analyse an explanation. In fact, he provided a "simple" explanation for "simple" nudity...

CnSnC wrote:... they have just accepted that "it is" and it is good...and for Christians, because God said it was good.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby pugiofidei » Thu May 12, 2011 5:14 pm

CnSnC wrote:
pugiofidei wrote:
taking something simple, and using a lot of words to complicate it doesn't make it "sophisticated".


This is correct, but its placement beneath my post tells me you mean to criticize it in some way. I have no objection, but would prefer to see a more conscious interaction with the real text of my post. Otherwise your objection appears to be coming out of the blue.

I think "Simple Nudity" is enjoyed by all of those who don't sit around trying to disect and explain it as if it needed explanation, they have just accepted that "it is" and it is good...and for Christians, because God said it was good.


Reading this, I would be willing to bet every spoon in my cupboard that you understand by the word "simple" something other than what I understand by it. In any case, your statement here is something of an explanation itself; you appear to be saying that going without clothes is irrational (for only irrational things have no explanation). I disagree; there are good reasons not to put on pants in the morning. Therefore, I say, going without pants is rational.

Besides, just because someone wrote something down a long time ago, doesn't make them right, it is only their opinion placed on a shelf with millions of others waiting on someone to read and agree with them.


It may or may not be "only" an opinion. It may, in fact, be a considered opinion--one that takes in the world and its mystery in its thereness.






No, I wasn't trying to be critical. One problem with forums is how something is read and can be taken the wrong way. If we had been standing in the same room, you probably would have taken it differently. Tone of voice plays a very important role in communication. And I don't think going without clothes is irrational, and has no explanation or reason, but I don't have to have a reason to not put on pants in the morning and I certainly don't feel it necessary to explain why. However, an opinion is still an opinion, no matter how it is considered. What is right for one isn't always right for another. The world and it's mystery may have different meaning for me (I have seen a lot of this world and its a HUGE mystery), but my opinion considered in it's thereness, doesn't make it more right than yours. I liked your post, because I like things that make me think (and I thought it a little funny). I was just "pokin a liittle fun", at the long sentences and big words I don't understand (I speak mostly Southern English), but apparently I was the only one laughing. I promise I won't respond to anymore of your posts, I'm not here to hurt anyone's feelings.


One of the most elusive skills in the art of writing is the ability to convey mood through words alone. This is as you say, and I have a long way to go if I ever want my writing to always create in the mind of my reader the same idea present in my own. Feel free to comment on my posts at any time; my feelings were quite unscathed. I was only jousting with you in the same good humor you had directed at me. My mirth, sadly, failed to sound through the words on the screen.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby Ramblinman » Thu May 12, 2011 6:00 pm

When I am at a certain campground, it is true that neither I nor the others there are wearing a stitch. It is true that for a few minutes after I leave my clothes in my car trunk I feel their absence, but that awareness doesn't last long.

With the activities and conversations with friends, your attention shifts to that.
From time to time I perceive a greater sense of comfort than usual: the unhindered breeze as I play volleyball, the sleekness of water as I glide through the pool.

I find inspiration in the beauty of all, but without apology, in particular in the form of an unclad young woman. The graceful curves are the work of a gifted sculptor; the lovely texture of skin is a pleasing visual whole, no longer interrupted by gaudy fabric. This is an artistic delight ordinarily only seen by one who engages in life drawing or figure painting, but now happily made part of everyday life. Can we not shout in praise to the Great Artist?

I do not fret about sporadic moments of self-consciousness. The path of nude living is a journey. Faster than you might think, it becomes the "new normal".

As a Christian, I take pleasure in the knowledge that this is what God intended for us from the beginning and I know that he is pleased as we make that return journey.

Truly our journey is a gift from God.

I'll conclude with the lyrics to one of my favorite songs:

Simple Gifts
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain'd, To bow and bend we shan't be asham'd, To turn, turn will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come 'round right
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby JimShedd112 » Thu May 12, 2011 11:54 pm

To CnSnC and pugiofideli,

I'm glad you were able to settle your "differences" so you have both decided to stay and continue posting. I'm not real sure I truly followed your "disagreement" but have enjoyed rading both your comments.

Ramblinman , I think you comment, "The path of nudity is a journey. Faster than you think, it becomes the 'new normal'". Wow, how true it is. I just became a nudist last year but am thoroughly and totally committed to living as a nudist as much as my life will allow. I wait until the last minute to dress for work or to go out and get undressed as soon as possible, sometimes while driving home once I'm sure I won't have to make any other stops.

Unfortunately, my wife is NOT a nudist but is semi-tolerant, allowing me to get away with only wrapping a towel around my waist if nude in her presence for extended periods. She accepts the fact I sleep nude and am nude around the house, even in the backyard, and am 100% commando all the time. Sometimes she will complain about me being nude outside, fearing the neighbors might notice. But, if they have there've been no repercussions so far.

Nudism has definitely become the "new normal" for me.

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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby jochanaan » Fri May 13, 2011 3:07 pm

I've been thinking about this for a while now. It is not simplicity that understands complexity, but to degrees, complexity that understands simplicity. An animal knows nothing about clothes, probably even if we clothe it as some do their pets. And sometimes it seems that those humans who for whatever reason are addicted to clothes don't really know about them either. :roll: But we who have broken the addiction can understand the simple heart of nakedness. We may have complex reasons (which the textile world would call "excuses" and "self-justifications") which we give when asked about our preference for nudity--but the first and final reason is that it just feels good and right! :D And this feeling is not a deception, but a perception of Reality. 8)
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby JimShedd112 » Fri May 13, 2011 8:47 pm

Jochanaan,

You're absolutely correct, nudity does feel good and right. Until I became a nudist last year I never realized just how great and freeing it feels.

And I agree man does tend to complicate things by trying to overthink almost everything.

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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby Ramblinman » Fri May 20, 2011 1:10 pm

jochanaan wrote:...when asked about our preference for nudity--but the first and final reason is that it just feels good and right! :D And this feeling is not a deception, but a perception of Reality. 8)


Jochanaan,

In ages past, the natives of Tierra del Fuego on the rainy windswept island south of the tip of South America so relished nudity that their only garment was a leather cape worn lightly around the shoulders and only used to capture a little warmth and deflect rain. Otherwise they cheerfully set aside their capes and enjoyed the sun and breeze with their entire bodies. Well, they did build fires to warm up, preferring basking naked before their great fires to wearing clothing. And for those who need a little translation, Tierra del Fuego means "Land of Fire"

In my case, it is not a love of nudity, but a love of complete and total contact with my environment in ambient weather, and sometimes when the weather is a little less than ideal. Only nudity can give this to me, so it is a means to an end.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby prairieboy » Sun May 22, 2011 11:37 pm

pugiofidei wrote:Simple nudity would be this: walking into any department store naked, and being genuinely surprised at the gasps of horror, perhaps looking around fearfully for whatever dark demon had elicited the clamor. What we have, gentlemen, is sophisticated nudity. And that is tragedy.

The problem that I see with this definition is that it has to be defined within the context of a textile society.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby Ramblinman » Mon May 23, 2011 12:08 am

prairieboy wrote:The problem that I see with this definition is that it has to be defined within the context of a textile society.


The word "nudity" itself is a problem.
If we take no action, the default state of man is the entirety of his skin in direct contact with his environment.

So that should put the onus on us to define the opposite situation: when a person has covered all or part of his skin with some solid material.
Hats are no longer universal attire for men who are outdoors. So it would be odd if you described a man as "hatless". In a world closer to the original plan, you would likewise not hear about "unclothed" people, as clothing would be the abberation.


When we have arrived at a proper way to define these two body conditions: covered or the natural state, only then can we take on the secondary issue: defining the state of mind of one who is in his natural condition.

The "simple" natural condition is accepting that natural condition as normal because it has been all you have known since birth, or at least the most common situation.

For others, a degree of acceptance for body simplicity can be acquired, at least to the point that one spends increasing amounts of time in the natural state with his focus being elsewhere. This is typical for someone raised "textile", but well-established in naturist society.

For some, in what should be the natural state, their conditioning teaches them to be either uncomfortable or embarrassed, or sexually aroused by this condition. We can be taught to be embarrassed about most anything. Not wearing a hat, not wearing a coat and tie in certain settings. Wearing sneakers at a Texas dance hall!

There are many online who embrace the concept of living without clothing, but have not put it into practice. In many such cases, his or her first experiences with social nudity would involve feelings of self-consciousness at odds with the head knowledge that both personal nudity and social nudity are great forces for good.

This last condition of intellectual assent combined with real-world jitters is usually just a passing phase on the transition to ever greater body acceptance.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby peacebwu » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:15 am

I had to read this topic two times to understand what was being communicated to the reader regarding simple nudity, or sophistication. And furthermore, I think the writer makes good on the point that because nudity is, according to our sophisticated level in society, still frowned upon, and still an activity that may involve a police arrest if not conducted within local laws and city ordinances, that any attempt at non regulated public nudity would then become sophisticated nudity, because simple nudity would not exist. I am not sure if I am stating this at a point where the reader understands what I am communicating, so, I will provide another example of what simple nudity would mean to me, per the related topic. If I were in my back yard, alone, and no other person was able to see me through the fence, then I would say this type of nudity is just as simple as the nudity I would enjoy if I were taking a bath. But, if I then decide to go from the back yard to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread, and all I am wearing is a pair of tennis shoes, in order to protect my feet, and there are people at the store shopping, who are clothed (because we live in a society that regulates this type of freedom), this then eliminates simple nudity because it no longer exists. Now it is at a sophisticated level, because the action (nudity) is now possibly going to be questioned according to societal regulation. In simple nudity, like when a baby is born, or one is bathing, or showering, or even sleeping, there is no validity to questioning the act of nudity, because there are no societal regulations in place to regulate it. Therefore, it is easy to think simple, but issues become sophisticated when the issues are brought forth in interacion with regulated society.

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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby Ramblinman » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:29 am

peacebwu wrote:I had to read this topic two times to understand what was being communicated to the reader regarding simple nudity, or sophistication. And furthermore, I think the writer makes good on the point that because nudity is, according to our sophisticated level in society, still frowned upon, and still an activity that may involve a police arrest if not conducted within local laws and city ordinances, that any attempt at non regulated public nudity would then become sophisticated nudity, because simple nudity would not exist. I am not sure if I am stating this at a point where the reader understands what I am communicating, so, I will provide another example of what simple nudity would mean to me, per the related topic. If I were in my back yard, alone, and no other person was able to see me through the fence, then I would say this type of nudity is just as simple as the nudity I would enjoy if I were taking a bath. But, if I then decide to go from the back yard to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread, and all I am wearing is a pair of tennis shoes, in order to protect my feet, and there are people at the store shopping, who are clothed (because we live in a society that regulates this type of freedom), this then eliminates simple nudity because it no longer exists. Now it is at a sophisticated level, because the action (nudity) is now possibly going to be questioned according to societal regulation. In simple nudity, like when a baby is born, or one is bathing, or showering, or even sleeping, there is no validity to questioning the act of nudity, because there are no societal regulations in place to regulate it. Therefore, it is easy to think simple, but issues become sophisticated when the issues are brought forth in interacion with regulated society.

peacebwu8)


Nudity is an action? Ridiculous! You have to take action to put clothes on.

As for your explanation of a distinction between simple nudity and "sophisticated" nudity, I think you miss Pug's point.
A little boy who gleefully flings off his shorts on a beach and runs around naked is in a state of simple nudity from his perspective.
In the warped reasoning of someone uncomfortable with all nudity (even a child's), he is perceiving "sophisticated" nudity.
Both are perception.
As Christians armed with a deeper understanding of the goodness of God's creation (including our nude bodies), we have the revelation that the child's perception is correct, the prude's perception is erroneous.
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Re: Simple Nudity, or Sophisticated?

Postby jochanaan » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:51 am

It seems to me, peacebwu, that the same nakedness can be seen as either simple or complex, depending on who's looking. Take for examples some of the pictures in our gallery. Most of us see them as simple nakedness, the only "sophistication" being our perception of the contrast between binding, clinging bathing suits and the skin God "clothed' us with. But a non-naturist conditioned a certain way would see only pornography--child pornography at that since some of the participants are children and adolescents! :shock:

Two men, one a naturist, walked down a street one evening and saw through an open window a woman showering. The non-naturist thought about the sight for weeks, imagining despite himself what it might be like to do sex with her. But the naturist only smiled and walked on. Which of the two men is the more perverted? Which of them knows what simple nakedness is?
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