Naturism and the true self
Hello folks I am intrigued by the name and intention of this group a welcome change this is my first post contribution to that intention and a bit of an introduction - my practice of naturism and consequently my preference for being in a natural clothes free state and communing with nature and the natural world as much as possible is my main pathway to reconnecting with my true self. Being clothed and away from nature for too long feeds my shadow (see Carl Jung) side. While that side is always present and acknowledged staying connect my true self is rooted in my connection to nature and being naturally clothes free
I was really interested to read that being clothed too often feeds your shadow side. I hadn't thought of it before but now, on reflection, I can see how this is true for me too. It is hard to be anything but your true self when you are butt naked and fully exposed! But clothing enables us to hide aspects of ourselves and I wonder if perhaps this also creates a psychological state that makes it easier for us to hide other things when we are clothed as well? I have worked hard to accept and embrace my shadow side, so it is not about denying or repressing it, but as you say, being naked and connected with nature keeps us grounded and well balanced. Being clothed all day I become more reactive and develop a greater tendency toward those shadow attributes.
I can understand where you both are coming from as well. When I'm totally and completely naked (as in like when born) I feel I am authentic and I am just me, every attribute and flaw becomes unique and beautiful just as they are in every nude person. And when I am among nature this feeling of freedom and authenticity is heightened further. I'd almost say going back to nature totally and completely naked is an euphoric experience.
I find being nude in nature to give me a great feeling of peacefulness, where time slows way down and there is a reluctance to leave. When I have been to a clothes free club with their own property and am nude with others that are nude, there is a comradery and a connection to that community which is also good but yet different. Both these experiences bring life up to a higher level, one non-nudists don't know.
I have worked hard to accept and embrace my shadow side, so it is not about denying or repressing it, but as you say, being naked and connected with nature keeps us grounded and well balanced. Being clothed all day I become more reactive and develop a greater tendency toward those shadow attributes.
This is an interesting thought. To my understanding the shadow as defined by pioneering psychologist Carl Jung
Shadow: Hidden or unconscious aspects of oneself which the ego has either repressed or never recognized.
Is meant to be acknowledged and brought to awareness. This is so the unconscious aspects of the shadow do not overwhelm the true self or drive ego oriented behaviors. Light shines brightest when we are aware of the dark. Being in nature helps me brings the shadow side to awareness engage it with an aware perspective. Nature provides is the nourishment the psyche needs according to Jung.
Im not good at explaining my inner self to me or, at times, even being able to understand what, when or how emotions are interpreted or even felt.
Im sorry but I cant put what Ive read and how it answers a lot of questions for me into words, except to say it makes sense and thank you for sharing it.
Yin/Yang is a similar concept but shadow ego and self dont fit into a pure dualistic frame.
Two opposing forces within the one. Not sure about what ego is? think back to times when you or have heard another say "I don't like this about myself". There can be only one of you, not two of you! So which of those two is the real you? I or Myself. This made me start delving further and found I was a victim of my ego for most of my life. So I have been trying to change and steps of progress I have made.
In a Jungian Jungian schema the shadow and the true self must learn to coexist the ego is the false self that masks the shadow and present that mask to the world. Think of it this way when the sun is brightest in the sky you can see your shadow more clearly. So the more your true self develops they more aware you become of your shadow side. What you do with that awareness is the key. If you mask with the ego then the true self doesnt evolve. If the awareness brings acceptance then you have more agency to evolve and grow the true self.
In Jungian psychology there is also something called the collective unconscious that may well relate to what we often call the universe. It is the psyche patterns of human life formed from all generations.
As to what is experienced when naked in nature - I had an image with a quote from one ofJung,s book but apparently uploaded images in posts are being deleted. So here is the quote.
"We all need nourishment for our psyche. It is impossible to find such nourishment in urban tenements without a patch of green or a blossoming tree. We need a relationship with nature."
Carl Jung - The Earth Has a Soul
I can honestly say that I can be my true self during my normal day-to-day activities. I do, however enjoy a clothes free walk when I can do so from time to time and become a natural part of my surroundings. I was able to do so recently for a special occasion. With the current extremely hot summer weather I am experiencing, it will likely be sometime in the fall before I will venture out again.