Article/Publication Details

Gymnosophy: The Wisdom of Nakedness

(Original title: Gymnosofia – moudrost nahoty)
Filozofia, 2010, vol. 65, No 7, pp. 683-690.
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The paper asks the question, whether nakedness embodies a potential wisdom. It deals with two different approaches to the phenomenon of nakedness: the first one rejecting, the second one appreciating the corporeality. The authors show different meanings the various cultures and civilizations attributed to nakedness, e.g. nakedness as a religious symbol of social subordination or belittling (Mesopotamia, Israel) or of a specific national dominance (Greece). Attention is paid also to the meanings of nakedness in Jainism, where the nakedness is a symbol of non-possessiveness; in Christianity, where the approach to nakedness is ambiguous, in tantrism with its vision of a person with numerous bodies, where the role of nakedness and sexuality is seen in cosmic context. Thus the meaning of nakedness remains multiple, depending on its context and visualization. The authors reject the pornography culture of contemporary society in favor of gymnosophy as the hierophany of the naturalness of nakedness.

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