Why be naked? Nudism and the Edenic Call

Note #1: If you are angered or offended by anything I say, let me know by commenting and we can talk about it. Thank you.

Note #2: This post contains an artistic depiction of female nudity.

Have you heard of the “Edenic Call”?

The Edenic Call is a concept that I heard from a professor.

The Edenic Call is each person’s, deep down, desire to return to the paradise that was lost — Eden.

What does this have to do with nudism? This:

Having talked with nudists on this blog for a little over a week now, I’ve come to the conclusion that people choose the nudist lifestyle because of the freedom that it offers.

The freedom that nudism offers is, at first glance, just from clothes. As the name implies, those who practice nudism go naked.

But nudism offers people other kinds of freedom: A freedom from shame, and a freedom from objectification.

A freedom from shame: From what others have said, shame doesn’t last long when you’re around others who are naked, too. After a while, the fact that everyone is naked is no big deal. For example: At a nudist resort, you drink wine, play sports, swim, get a tan, go out for dinner. Just like you would vacationing anywhere else. Only you do it naked.

A freedom from objectification: What was surprising to me was to hear that nudity didn’t cause a person to be looked at as an object. On the contrary, their fellow nudists would see them as more of a human being, not less of one. The reason why, I think, is that this person who is going naked is sending a message: See me and love me for all that I am. And people are responding to that message with: Yes. I will see you. You are human. You are accepted. You are loved.

What does this have to do with the Edenic Call? This:

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were naked without shame. ( Genesis 2:25)

It is after Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that sin, and thus covering up, comes into the world. (Genesis 3:7)

Nudism, I think, is an attempt to recapture some of what Adam and Eve lost.

Eve in the Garden of Eden by Anna Lea Merritt

Nudists acknowledge that no one is perfect. But say, too: “I’m not going to let imperfection stand in the way of what it is that unites us as a species — our humanity: The fact that, in the end, we’re all human beings. Not objects. Not a means to an end.”

And how do nudists go about saying — implicitly or explicitly — “I am a human being, not an object”?

By returning to the state that Adam and Eve were in before the Fall.

Woman
Free!

That doesn’t mean, though, that going naked is the be-all and end-all key to happiness.

Nudists acknowledge this.

Taking off clothes is not going to wipe away every single problem that plagues a person in particular or the human race in general.

But, to those who practice nudism, it is a step in the right direction…

For further reading:

The Hunger for Eden

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24 thoughts on “Why be naked? Nudism and the Edenic Call

  1. As a Christian, the more I’ve thought about the issue of nudity, the more I feel it should be natural for Christians. The shame Adam and Eve experienced and we all subsequently inherited was not as much an issue of physical nakedness, but of spiritual nakedness – the removal of God’s perfect covering of righteousness. As believers we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and all of our humanity (including nudity) can be redeemed. That doesn’t mean that all temptation, sin, and shame go away, but I think it’s possible that Christians should be able to enjoy and partake in nudism (depending on convictions and other issues) *because* of our beliefs, not in spite of them.

    1. Jay Byrd,

      Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

      I like hearing others’ feedback because it gives me much to think about.

      Tim

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