Back in the Garden

Near the beginning, back in the Garden of Eden, before the encounter with the serpent, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). They were also without sin. Then along came the serpent. Adam and Eve ate from the tree, disobeying the only rule God had given them. Their eyes were opened, they saw that they were naked, and made loin coverings of fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). Thus began the irrational tradition of body shame and the equally irrational compulsion to wear clothing.

Shame is a state of disgrace or dishonor caused by a sense of guilt embarrassment, or unworthiness, usually occurring when you know you’ve done something you shouldn’t have. When God expelled Adam and Eve from Eden, they had only committed one sin, that of disobeying God’s commandment.

It was not wrong for them to be naked since they were naked and unashamed before they sinned. God never told them to be ashamed of their naked bodies. That was their own idea. John Berger, in Ways of Seeing, wrote, “Adam and Eve became aware of being naked because, as a result of eating the apple, each saw the other differently. Nakedness was created in the mind of the beholder.”

Throughout the Old Testament, God had several prophets go naked for a number of years to prophesize and serve Him. I haven’t seen any reference to God rebuking or smiting anyone for simply being naked.

From the Gospel of Thomas, 37:

His disciples said, “When will You become revealed to us and when shall we see You?”

Jesus said, “When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then [will you see] the Son of the Living One, and you will not be afraid.”

So, it would appear then, that God wants us to be naked and has made it a prerequisite for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Body shame is an invention of Man. We all come into the world naked and unashamed. Body shame and the resulting compulsion to cover our bodies is a learned behavior. It is not instinctive or natural and it can be unlearned.


Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.