Does nudity make you vulnerable

Does nudity make you vulnerable?

Let me start with a question: Is the soul vulnerable? It depends on the person you ask. Some may think a soul isn’t vulnerable at all because it is the seat of all your power. Others may well agree that the soul is very vulnerable; why else would it be so hidden away so deep within everyone?

What have philosophers and mystics said over the many years?

Let’s go back in time a little. Let’s say to 300 BCE. And let’s hop over to the Indus valley in India. Sages who lived there got rid of all their clothing and all other worldly belongings. It was their philosophy and it still practised by people in India.

lala mysticIn that same India, a ‘few’ years later (in 14th century CE), a female mystic named Lalla wrote:

Dance with nothing on but air. Sing wearing the sky. Look at this glowing day. What clothes could be so beautiful, or more sacred?

Not just India, but also ancient Greece

Greek athletesAnywhere between 800 BCE and 600 CE, the Greeks were known to have nude athletes, and even statesmen were depicted in the nude. They weren’t afraid to be naked. In fact for them it was a way to show their power.

But we don’t have to go back that far to find writings of well-known authors. For instance, George Bernhard Shaw wrote:

I am strongly in favour of getting rid of every scrap of clothing … I know the mischief done by making us ashamed of our bodies.

Also musician John Lennon & Yoko OnoJohn Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono,were known for not being afraid of nudity.

Vulnerable. Or not.

I can add to this list for a while longer but I am sure you get the picture. Nudity isn’t just for the common man, it’s for everyone. And with such famous and well-known people in favour of, and speaking out for nudity (come on, admit it, you have heard of Lala before, surely), I think it’s safe to state that being nude doesn’t make us vulnerable.

The soul of an artist often is more open to impressions on many levels. This is true for musicians and painters, as far as I know, and for myself it’s also a truth. Without opening up my soul to everything around me, I can’t write my stories. Since I write stories about nude people, I open my soul to nudity, being naked. Through that I allow myself to be vulnerable, but it’s not something I’m afraid of. I embrace it, and from within that embrace I let my stories grow.

2 thoughts on “Does nudity make you vulnerable”

  1. I don’t think it’s nakedness that makes one vulnerable. I think it’s more that one’s willingness to be vulnerable makes one open, among other things, to getting naked: just as it’s one’s willingness to be vulnerable that makes one willing to be a writer. As you have suggested frequently, one does not simply write in order to demonstrate what one knows; one writes in order to discover. And as one writes as one is naked, one can discover more and more about living as a naked person. It is, as you suggest, about “opening one’s soul to being naked”: and then sharing what one has discovered through that vulnerability.

    You have written about the nakedness of the Greeks and of the Hindu mystics. But I would add that the early Christian mystics, the desert fathers and mothers, were not afraid of their nakedness, either. They went into the desert south of Alexandria in order do dispossess themselves of all material goods, in order to be closer to God: and
    for a number of them, that meant dispossessing themselves of clothes as well. For some of them, ALL clothes. Talk about making one’s self vulnerable to God, while making one’s self vulnerable to the elements of sun and moon, heat and cold.

    One wonders where that thread of Christianity disappeared to. And why.

    1. These are very interesting comments about the early Christian mystics, Allen! Is there a source you could recommend to find out more about the naked “desert fathers and mothers”?

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