Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The naked truth - 2

Dear Arjun and Anirudh,

You must have realized by this time that there is too much hidden beneath these clothes. Peeping through them to see what they are really covering would be quite exciting. I need to focus my attention strictly on the subject or else it will drag me to somewhere else. So, I will be more serious this time.

Like food and shelter, dresses are also essential. Their role in human life is multiple, some of which are essential and some are not. Like shelter, it will protect us from the severe weather conditions. That is likely the primary use of clothing during initial period of human race. The secondary use of the clothing is for the 'cultured society' to protect them from their shame of nakedness. No other roles of the clothing are fundamental for human beings.

There is a major Jain division called 'Digambara' which treats the sky as their clothing. Thousands of years back, they had realized that clothes aren't a basic necessity of human beings. According to some traditions, all the followers of jainism were renounced of all the attachments and bindings, including the emotion of shame at ones nakedness. A part of the community migrated to south at some point due to the prediction of famine, and the other stayed back in the north. But, gradually the community in the northern part became relaxed in their practice of austerity and started wearing white clothes. That sounds quite logical as the weather in northern part of India is very cold compared to the south.


That makes me wonder whether the clothes are really essentially for human beings. If there are still people who think it isn't essential, it wouldn't have been essential part of human life for some time. But how do we go back in the history to find when people really started thinking 'nakedness is a shame and we need clothes to cover that'. When everyone is naked, why would some one even consider that as a shame or problem? Imagine a world where we are brought up in an environment where our elders don't program our brains with their perception of what 'shame' is. In that world, would we be so paranoid about people not wearing anything to cover their body?

Perhaps I don't need to go back in the history to find the answer. The answer might be just around us, in you and me. I didn't have any issues roaming around naked till the age of 5-6 years. After starting school, I started feeling the 'shame', because others repeatedly told me that it is 'shame'. You certainly enjoy not wearing clothes at present. The joy of not wearing them is very evident in your expressions. After all, we share the same genes! If we are surrounded by people of our mentality, when would we start feeling the guilt of not wearing anything? Would it continue till our adolescence? That is still a hard question as we are trying to answer something we would never experience in our life. It is not much different than going back in the history to find exactly when human race started thinking of wearing the clothes to cover the shame of nudity.

No one has come up with a convincing theory for human evolution. Darwin's evolution theory worked well only in our high school exams. Even if we accept his theory of evolution by giving some additional credits, it only proves that clothes weren't essential part of the human life. None of the early descendants of homosepians were seen wearing clothes. Except for us, none of the other species in this world has seen the need for wearing clothes. So let us forget the evolution theory and believe that God created us all as a 'special species'. I don't know whether God is also ashamed of nudity or not. But I am sure he didn't want us to feel the shame of nudity. According to Abrahamic religions, Adam and Eve didn't have the shame of nudity till they ate that rotten apple. If god wanted us to wear the clothes, he would have created us fully cladded with beautiful clothes. But none of us are born with clothes, neither we wear any clothes after the death. So the need for clothes in human life is only transient.

Thinking again, I no longer think that the primary reason for wearing clothes is for protection against the weather. The other species in the nature use food and some kind of shelter for their survival, but don't use clothes for the protection against adverse climate. The same logic should hold good for human beings as well. The initial human race might have started in a hot terrain and later migrated to other colder places for whatever reasons. The weather is unlikely to be the key reason for clothes even in those places as our body would have found some way of bearing that similar to other living beings or the migration wouldn't have happened. So, the primary reason for wearing clothes must be same everywhere. That is to cover up things that we don't want to expose!

What we are trying to cover up isn't that easy to understand. If you think that the clothes are to cover up the sexual organs, you are certainly wrong. Every one has got the reproductive organs, so what is the need for hiding it? I can't see any pressing issues. The cover is needed only for those secrets that we would like to hide from others. Those are the secrets that others wouldn't have expected from us. Those are the secrets that would have changed their opinion on what we really are! Those are the secrets that our mind cannot effectively hide from others like our normal thoughts. The cover is essentially for the mind that has the control over our secrets, not for the body parts that acts as a vehicle to express it!

The growth sprout during adolescence period brings a number of rapid changes in ones body and the brain. The physical and psychological developments during this period also includes the production of hormones that control ones sexual desires. In the absence of clothes, the naked body acts as a catalyst for ones sexual desires. The natural desires aren't easy to control and the desire soon stimulates the hormones turning what was essentially invisible in ones mind into physical form through various body parts linked with sexual arousal. It is those desires that aren't common to all and the ones everyone want to hide from others. If not, those thoughts at a wrong time will make the situation very uncomfortable for everyone involved. The thoughts are hard to control, but not the actions. So, it makes perfect sense to hide those thoughts, that need not necessarily result in any action. People who have absolute control over their sexual thoughts, don't need to cover up anything for themselves. Still, they will have to do that for others to prevent being a source of stimulus igniting the sexual feelings in others. That will also help in maintaining some order in our society. Many wars have been fought in the name of love and sex. Absence of clothing could have only made it worse. So, covering our body is essential to keep our secrets of sexual desire within our-self and also to minimize the sexual desires of others. That is the basic need of clothing for human beings, all others are secondary.

I finally got a convincing answer to Ashwini's question. I can go out naked in the public when I reach the stage where I have absolute control over my hormones. Still, I wouldn't do that unless I am sure that others watching me also have achieved the same level of control. That is when every one of us attain the status of those Jain monks. For them, the 'salvation' can't be reached unless one wins the war against their hormones. When we achieve that, we won't have anything to hide anymore! But not every one is after the 'salvation', we have our choices!

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