History – Where it all began.
Gymnosophy was originally the doctrine of a sect of philosophers who practiced nudity, asceticism and meditation. In the early 20th century, the term was appropriated by several groups to denote a broad philosophy that included as a central thought that the nude human body is a natural condition and should be accepted widely for the betterment of society. Definitions.net
“Anything from complete nakedness to casual body covering was a lifestyle component from prehistoric times through the Greco-Roman civilizations and into part of the Middle Ages.”1) Goodson Aileen, Therapy, Nudity & Joy: The Therapeutic Use of Nudity Through the Ages from Ancient Ritual to Modern Psychology, ch 6 pg 155
Gymnosophy: A philosophy and lifestyle based around the idea that nudity is a natural condition and should be widely acceptable in society. 2)Wiktionary Gymnosophy was originally the doctrines of a sect of philosophers who practiced nudity, asceticism and meditation. In the early 20th century, the term was appropriated by several groups to denote a broad philosophy that included as a central thought that the nude human body is a natural condition and should be accepted widely for the betterment of society. 3)Definitions.net The philosophy and practice of clothes free living
Pre history – The early beginnings.
Human nudity began when humans began. The earliest men and women were naked they had no concept of clothes, no concept of nudity or shame.The first humans originated in Africa4)Recent African Origins of modern humans where the temperature didn’t require any clothing. Science has shown that the earliest humanoids lived in Africa5)Wikipedia, a warm place where protection from the elements wasn’t needed. 6)National Geographic
Humanity spread out and found that certain places on earth required body covering to stay warm. That covering was functional.
Nudism and nakedness through the ages.
Over the centuries nudity came and went. Despite many movements opposing the view of the naked human body, nudism has never disappeared.7)Nudism History Yaia.com In fact in throughout history, many cultures in geographic locations, all over the world gymnosophy in some form was and is a normal part of everyday life.8)what if nudity was the norm. So called “primitive” tribes like the Yanomamis of Brazil continue to live in society without much need for clothes. They decorate their body without any textile finery. Unfortunately modern civilization is encroaching on their environment and as in previous instances forcing compliance with western dress codes.
The first documented example of what is described as social nudism today was found in Ancient Egypt under Pharaoh Akhen-Aton (1385 – 1353 B.C.). Akhen-Aton and his queen Nefertiti, introduced sun worship to Egyptian society. They considered the sun, Aton, to be the source of life which justified the practice of nudism for both spiritual and physical advancement.9) Goodson Aileen, Therapy, Nudity & Joy: The Therapeutic Use of Nudity Through the Ages from Ancient Ritual to Modern Psychology, ch 6 pg 155
Ancient Greeks inspired by their encounters with the India sages they called gymnophists brought the practice of social and spiritual nudity back to Greek society.10) Goodson Aileen, Therapy, Nudity & Joy: The Therapeutic Use of Nudity Through the Ages from Ancient Ritual to Modern Psychology, ch 6 pg 155 In ancient Greece, the Olympian participants wore no clothes. There was no shame about that, as the Olympic Games were a tribute to the human body as well as a celebration to Zeus, their main God. In ancient Greece the Olympian athletes participated in the nude as a tribute to the human body. 11)Olympia Greece
Through the Dark or Middle Ages, the very poor wouldn’t wear any clothes simply because they had none. They weren’t frowned upon for being naked. Also people would get together and be naked for communal bathing12)Myths about the middle ages, the very same way the ancient Romans did. Sleeping naked was also very common then.
Modern gymnosophy has been described as an opportunity for humankind to reconnect with nature and fellow human beings. 13)Parmalee, Maurice Nudism in Modern Life According to Parmalee, modern gymnosophy is both philosophy and practice.
…the direct and personal enjoyment of nature can be attained to the highest possible degree only when unclothed, because then there is nothing artificial between man and nature… 14)Parmalee, Maurice Nudism in Modern Life
Modern nudism and clothes-free living started in the 18th century in Germany when the “Frei Körper Kultur” (Free Body Culture) movement emerged.15)Wikipedia’s FKK page Organized naturism at this time was called Freikorperkultur (Free Body Culture) in Germany. German sociologist Heinrich Pudor, sometimes referred to as the “father of nudism”, wrote “The Cult of the Nude” promoting naturism.16)The History of Nudism Clothes Free International The FKK movement was based on an attitude towards life where the naked body is not a source of shame.
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References [ + ]
|1, 9, 10.||↩||Goodson Aileen, Therapy, Nudity & Joy: The Therapeutic Use of Nudity Through the Ages from Ancient Ritual to Modern Psychology, ch 6 pg 155|
|4.||↩||Recent African Origins of modern humans|
|7.||↩||Nudism History Yaia.com|
|8.||↩||what if nudity was the norm|
|12.||↩||Myths about the middle ages|
|13, 14.||↩||Parmalee, Maurice Nudism in Modern Life|
|15.||↩||Wikipedia’s FKK page|
|16.||↩||The History of Nudism Clothes Free International|