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On the Other Side of the Material World/How I First Bathed in the Lake Completely Naked...
How I First Bathed in the Lake Completely Naked...
In one of the hot spring days the four of us came to the big forest lake.
All happily got rid of backpacks, began to take off their clothes.
“Only I… stood there, stiff in astonishment... How — to bathe? I did not bring a swimsuit! I do not know how to bathe without it! What if someone suddenly sees!
... The fact that Vladimir and his friends always bathe in forest lakes without clothes, if there are no outsiders, — I already knew, after reading about it in his books. But I did not even think that I will have to do this!...
Vladimir, Anna, and Katya quickly undressed and were walking towards the water. Then they all suddenly turned to me, standing in a stupor...
“What has happened? No incarnate strangers are! God and spirits see our bodies and through clothes. We are in front of them — always naked!”
... While my thoughts were moving very slowly, I, nevertheless, had to agree...
My friends a few seconds were looking at me in surprise. Then, Vladimir made a gesture with his hand, saying “leave her!” — And they went into the water.
I was for some time gradually coming out of my stupor...
... The most difficult thing was to remove the panties. Before that, I once again very carefully looked around the neighborhood in all possible directions...
... When I finally decided, they already were getting out of the water — happy, blessed!
... When I then also went to the beach, my first impulse was — rather to dress! But they… were blissfully happy without any dress in the sunny warmth, only occasionally looking around the forest: in case someone does appear.
... And it seemed to me that a multitude of eyes looks at me from all sides... I unsuccessfully tried to relax...
... Suddenly it seemed to me that something is moving in nearby bushes... I grabbed my panties! Standing on one leg, losing the balance because of excitement, I could not manage to stick into panties the second leg...
Vladimir was looking at me in surprise:
“What are you doing?”
“I thought that someone goes here!”
“But there is no one!” — looking at that side, where I indicated by my glance (because both my hands were shackled by holding the panties), he said: “Most likely, there just flew out the jay.”
He showed with hand a distant tree on which the bird just set down.
Then, a little reflecting, he exaggeratedly yet seriously said:
“Maybe if indeed imminent danger was coming up, it would be ethically correct first to put panties on everyone else — and only in the last turn take care of yourself.”
After a pause, he added:
“However, since this situation was only training, we will not enter this mistake in your karma as a sin.”
... They all laughed...
* * *
Vladimir rightly argued that we have no reason to be ashamed of what God has given to each of us — if, of course, our actions conform with the principles of esthetics and ethics.
Regarding the latter, he had in mind the maximum care of not harming anyone, including those who have beliefs different from our own.
He spoke on this subject as follows:
“Do not expose your body too, if it can provoke sexual or other aggression or ‘offend’ dissidents!
“But to complicate your life with too much modesty in front of friends, which are advancing along with you by the spiritual Path... — such modesty is the manifestation of non-conquered ‘lower i’ and ‘human form’.
“Shame because of the nakedness of my body — before God — this, in my opinion, is a clear sign of a deep mental deficiency.
“By the way, in whole of Europe during the ‘Middle Ages’ i.e. when the completely primitive and aggressive form of pseudo-Christianity dominated, all the women were obliged to not only bathe in outdoor clothes, but even sleep at night in any case not naked: ‘if suddenly you die in a dream at night and appear before the Lord naked — what a shame then will be!’
“Echoes of this intellectual primitivism are somewhere traced and now.
“But God has towards us — the opposite wish: to get rid — as souls — of all symbolic membranes separating each of us from Him! Clothes — when not needed — are one of these shells. (But in this case, of course, we must take into account all the contraindications, which we have already discussed many times).”