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I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but Master Yoda said it right:

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Every one of our fears – particularly the irrational ones – can be visualized as a wall. Each wall is a boundary we dare not cross. We may feel safe within those walls, like inside a cocoon we never left. So when eventually the cocoon becomes too tight and the walls begin to break, we’re afraid.

Should one happen to dislike the idea of social (public?) nudity for whatever reason, I believe he or she is somewhere along this line which starts with fear and ends with suffering. Shame of being naked – of one’s body – is just one way of suffering. This suffering fuels one’s fear, which fuels one’s anger, which fuels one hate, which fuels one’s suffering (shame). And we’ve come full circle of this self-reinforcing loop.

As the suffering intensifies, one makes excuses – rationalizations – for not breaking out of the loop, such as “Everyone wears clothes”, or “Clothes are a mark of a civilized man”, or “The only reasons I’d strip naked are to change clothes, or to have sex, or shower”. I’m perfectly fine with that – let each man do as he pleases. But I’m not fine with being told how to behave by someone who shrinks away at peer pressure, someone who suffers the burden of his poor choices and in a vicious circle turns this suffering into fear, then anger, then hatred – for anyone who has not made the same choice – for anyone who has successfully demonstrated that the exact opposite choices lead to happiness and safety. Those who have erected their walls of fear fool themselves into thinking that they are the ones who are happy and safe, when in fact they are curled and twisted from fear inside their cocoon. This is exactly why to them, the existence of those who have not succumbed to the irrational norms, feels like a slap in their face. That’s why those who dare challenge the norms are labeled as perverted, disgusting, ugly, mentally ill, or whatnot – because they put the lie to whatever the mediocre tell themselves to stay mediocre.

The only way to step out of this vicious circle – which many don’t even know they’re in until it’s too late – is to tear down those walls. Face your fears. Toughen up! Step out of your comfort zone and dare to do something you’ve never done before – or have never seen anyone doing. This is not just about nudity, it’s about every single fear you have never dared to overcome, and realize that the disgust, the shame – the suffering – stems precisely from the fear, and not from some inexplicable innate instinct.

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