© 2014 joeaguy 2014-06-14 16.55.18

Connections

 

Every weekend in late spring and summer, I disconnect. Usually its at a stream at the top of a mountain in New York’s Hudson valley.  I lay down in the water, naked, and let it flow over me.  There is no mobile phone service here.  Its just, the water, the air, and the trees, as well as a few other like minded naked folks who manage to find this spot.

This place, and many like it, represent a new connection. They let us be human in the purest sense. We can shed our clothes and a society that demands we cover ourselves with a shell of consumption. I can feel the wind water and sun directly, my body reconnected to the environment.  We can relate to each other without the signifiers that may give us away or keep us apart in regular life.

Laying naked in that stream is a transcendental experience. Feeling the smooth rock on my back, the water rushing around my body, hearing its story in my ears with every ripple, and looking up at sun passing through layers of brilliant green against deep blue. It is better than and unlike anything I can experience in the confines of normal society. It is that moment when I can feel the universe has energy and purpose and I am part of it.  It is so powerful that even after I get dressed and renter the real world, it stays with me for the rest of the day and into the next.

What I find sad is that so many people have never experienced this.  They may have been made too self conscious to reveal their bodies, may feel like their clothing defines them so much they cannot imagine being seen without it, may have a fear of seeing the bodies of others, or they may have so dismissed the natural world they do not think they could find joy there.  It can seem daunting and strange the first time.  Society indoctrinates us into this hiding and separateness, so it can sell us back what it has taken away. Its hard to realise you can be just yourself in such a literal way.

I urge everyone to find some safe and beautiful spot and make that first leap.  If more of us can feel this new connection, it may give us a new perspective on the difference between need and want, on fearlessly being our true selves, on making the world so all connections are more meaningful, where we are not so apart from nature.  Knowing that this feeling is possible, we can build a civilization where transcendental experiences can happen without first having to escape it.

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