Author Topic: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights  (Read 300 times)

jbeegoode

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Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:50:17 PM »
Gotta say this. This has gotta be said...

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/05/20/body-rights-spiritual-rights/

Latest post at the website, not a typical trip report...Trip report next week.
Jbee

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jbeegoode

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 02:15:29 AM »
I have gotten a couple of PMís from people in concern with the legal side of this article. There seems to be some controversy about the first amendment. I am stating that the spiritual is at par with organized religion. Of course that there is debate on the question.
 
Some would disagree with this. Some have said that this is a Christian country, period. Hereís what the constitution says:

ďCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Ē

I remember my old pastor at the Unitarian Universalist church (UU), an atheist. Does Buddhism have a God? Is it a religion? Some do, some don't, but they are getting at something and called religions. The divination of Hindu practice is religion. It is achieving a higher state. It is religion. Fire and brimstone, too, is religion.

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Ben Franklin, most responsible for the protection of the 1st Amendment, were Deist. It has been clear from the earliest, that that protection was not just for organized religion, but any spiritual path, or solution. This is not just philosophical pondering, a thought process, a rationalism, but spiritual. On the other hand, it protects atheists, because of the establishment clause which keeps the government from declaring religion, or establishing it.

Just read this broad definition of Deism:

https://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/deism.htm

There are many types of Deism. Beware internet articles written by people who arenít Deist about Deist.

What is religion/spirituality in the Constitution?

A religion is simply declared as a tax relief otherwise government must stay out of it. Tax law does not declare a religion a standard in constitutional law as a definition, but to tax. That is only for tax purposes.

As I walked about my friends property the other day, (trip report soon to follow, probably next week) he declared that this was his church, with a grin quietly laughing inside at those that would refute him. It is a special natural place that brings him close to God, to feel a part of God.

I remember my friend Louie, an ex-Catholic, who stood on my rock outside my house one day and confessed, ďYa know Jon, If I canít look up at those mountains on a given day, and just get it, Iím lost.Ē

My naturist experience is every bit my sense of religion, not my philosophy, but my connection with my concept of God. That makes it a part of my religion, which I have a right to. Some of my Quaker ancestors who came here to escape religious persecutions, to gain that freedom of compelling choice, who began this settlement, would be near Deist, some were very much less tolerant, but they brought with them that sense of religious diversity, which homogenized into the constitutional issue. It is a foundation. You can make your own new religion, you can break away, and you donít have to label yourself, use a book, a single piece of liturgy, nada. Things like meeting once a week are just definitions for tax purposes, period.

Many Native American religious beliefs, spiritual connections are just as nature worship. A sense that all things are alive, even rocks, is evident to them. They donít need to come up with a quantum physics all creation is vibration to understand. They donít have a belief, or faith, necessarily, like reading a book and listening to parents. They have a sense of oneness, just as valid as a big guy in a chair on a cloud, by the law.

So Louie looks out at his mountains, he needs that. Jim walks among the plants and rock formations. I do too. I also walk naked to bring me closer to that same nature and the amazement that is my body and the interrelationships of it all. I get a sense of oneness. That is my ďfree exercise.Ē That is integral for me personally. I should add, that Iím not limited to that and my use of naturism isnít either, but that explanation alone should be enough. I personally have other practices and reasons to exercise my spiritual, religious rights as a nude being. They are more complex, but I wonít go on with that road, now.

I shouldnít try to write out a dissertation, so here is a clear article (actually three) that basically covers it, certainly better than I could:

 https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-i/the-free-exercise-clause/interp/32

No, we are recognized as spiritual beings by law. We have a right to pursue our connection with creator (etc.) in any sincere manner that we are compelled to do. Any interference of this process by government must be justified in the strictest test. We all need to protect ourselves from government interference with our rights, no matter what the religious belief, odd, weird, or just against the mainstream.
Jbee



« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 03:53:31 AM by jbeegoode »
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BlueTrain

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2019, 11:52:31 AM »
The constitution also says that no religious test shall be applied as a qualification for any public office. I'd say most people ignore that. I'd also say that those who wrote the constitution were conscious of how Europe suffered through religious wars in the previous century and they were between Christians, or rather, Christian countries. However, most religious wars aren't really about religion anyway. It's just an excuse. Most people are probably not aware that before the revolution, some states did have established religions, as some still countries still do, although that does not mean there was no freedom of religion. It varied.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't believe there is such a thing as a right, merely privileges conferred upon some by those who have the authority. Right to life? There is a lot of lip service on the issue, to be sure, but it's difficult to see any practical consequence. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That wasn't even true when it was written and they knew it. As you may have guessed, I am not among those who have the authority.

Bob Knows

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 05:52:54 PM »
I agree with Jbee.  The state establishment of puritan religious sin about human bodies tramples heavily on the rights of everyone.   These are the same people who insist that "One nation under God" does not insert religion into our government and public lives. 
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BlueTrain

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 09:51:53 PM »
Sometimes, religious arguments boil down to who owns god. Or God. I can understand the concept of spirit, or spirits, but when someone says they are spiritual and not religious, I have difficulty following them. Obviously, the problem is mine. I have no understanding at all of prayer. It has never been satisfactorily explained to me.

Religions generally do not speak of rights, much less democracy. They, pretty much all of them, are about obligations and not just to god (or gods). So I guess we all fall short of the mark when it comes to our obligations.

jbeegoode

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 03:38:34 AM »
We cannot say that Naturism is a religion. There was some difficulty about that from a couple of PM's to me related to this. It is not even a particularly spiritual activity for many of us. For many it is just nudism. Also, I don't see it as a philosophical position, that requires too much intellectual orientation. Philosophy is speculative and naturism, that is exploring the natural naked is observational.

Being amazed and feeling at one is observation of one's self, or existence. It is more intuitive and irrational. It is sensing the complexity, not taking intellectual understanding, but being in that moment, which is a different way of understanding. This is spiritual experience. It may border on belief, which is an intellectual exercise, or maybe a desperate jump, but there is an experiential element to the spiritual.

Just walking barefoot on an uneven surface can be a spiritual experience for me. Complete nudity, however, expands my awareness and this provides a key to a deeper understanding and mindful activity, similar to gazing into that incredible vista.

If you get this, as I get it, then you have had a significant spiritual experience, something precious. Something significant and precious can be integral to spiritual practice. For those who experience naturism as I do, for those with the potential to experience naturism as I do, we are being cut short, illegally, immorally and that is fundamentally unjust oppression.

Sitting by the pool in comfort with a BEER, or just doing something just because it feels good and is harmless, is okay. I have fun naked, just read my stories. It isn't always a serious thing. My difference is that my spiritual exploits and my feel good naturism have converged and I find myself morphed by this. I generally feel really really good.

All of this will seem a bit over done to a few of us, but if it would be any official religion's beef, it would be considered protected. If a topknot, curly sideburns, a beard, or head covering have a significant religious meaning and are protected. My nudity is certainly integral on those terms. It isn't an act, an identity, a statement, a symbol, or a reminder. It isn't about others. It is about me and my relationship to a divine in my life.

My nudity is used by me as a prayer. What law is justified to take a persons right to prayer? Some of us consider prayer, that is a working relationship with our God in all things as prayer. Have I the right to pray, to be reminded to associate my entire existence in the framework of something divine?

This is all fundamental and obvious to me, yet I'm seeing people and authorities not understanding, if not rejecting out of hand, MY truth.

Last week (trip report forthcoming) we walked natural into the mountains streamside. I have been going through a stressful time, my contented consciousness is being disrupted regularly. My mind calmed, I regained my spiritual sense, when I threw off my garments and began to sense being there. My Hindu training has brought me to value that being, that relationship to mindful experience. Who has the right to take THAT from me? Pursuit of happiness, too?

My other practices have brought me to other consciousness and it is directly related to divination and sense of the universe. Part of that practice is mindfulness training as a route to an infinite end. It works. I have found nothing like naturist practice to keep on that track. This is my take, my acquiring a part of Hindu and Buddha and applying it to my spiritual practice and falling into the discovery that the naked thing really works with it. I can't call myself a Hindu, nor would I declare myself a Buddhist, but my sense is much the same and that is religion.

Am I required to register my practice as a religion, get tax exempt, hold services, apply some name to my own stuff for the benefit and and contextual labeling for the sake of others? Or do I have the right to mind my own spiritual business and still be legit?

The answer to all of these questions has been yes. I have legal right to wander in whatever dress or lack of as it sincerely prescribes my spiritual journey. There is an unconstitutional law that bears the burden to adjust itself. Law has constantly only had the right to offend a religious practice if it shows a detriment to others. No detriment can be shown.

It sure as heck messes up my spiritual journey. I have to jump through hoops to be free and have a constant legal consequence hanging over me like a dark cloud, like all of you other free range naturists.

What I'm looking for is for people to say, "Gosh Jbee, if that is how it is for you, then you should be able to go for it."
Jbee   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 04:02:53 AM by jbeegoode »
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BlueTrain

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 12:45:36 PM »
This has become an especially interesting thread. It isn't overdone, either, although some of it may go over my head.

A good approach to the subject is to study how other people have evolved regarding the things being discussed here. And here we are talking about people (or "peoples") outside the mainstream of modern life. I almost said "Western civilization" but that would be wrong in so many ways. Just about everyone is "westernized" these days and have been for a long time. But we're really just talking about nudity here. That's all we're interested in, I assume.

As I said, a logical approach would be to study people on the fringes, as it were, of modern life; modern meaning nothing more than right now. The first thing we learn is that we aren't really going to find a lot that supports our position that public nudity is generally accepted and ordinary. Nudity on European beaches is probably going to be mentioned but that deserves a thread of its own, unless you live on the beach, perhaps. In any case, a week or two at the beach every summer is limited anyway.

Religious nudity does in fact exist, as you probably know, in India, though one would not say it is common. The nudity seems to be limited to men, although there are female followers, too. It should be noted that the nudity is not so much about being nude as it is about not owning possessions. It is, to say the least, extreme. The practice also relies heavily on public support in the way of alms.

In the few other places where public nudity appears to be somewhat common, at least for some, it does not seem to be religiously motivated or in any way related. It is a primitive practice, to be sure, and those who live that way are all in danger of being pushed out of the way, same as how the American Indians were forever being pushed out of the way. For people like that, in the Amazon and other places, it's merely a practical way of living. But be assured that the do feel cold. If nothing else, such people have always been favorite subjects of the National Geographic, who I think are running out of places that people don't know much about these days.

On a secondary note, I have observed that such primitive or relatively isolated folk who carry loads for any distance invariably wear something on their feet and generally do even when not carrying a load. It always looks like what matters most is the ground they walk on.

Finally, I have used the word primitive only to mean living without the modern conveniences of paved roads and motor vehicles, electricity and such things, which in fact was still not unknown in this country when I was born. Primitive and modern are relative terms. And that's the naked truth.

John P

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2019, 05:54:48 PM »
If Louie said "If I canít look up at those mountains on a given day, and just get it, Iím lost", ask him if he knows the first verse of Psalm 121: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help". A lovely set of words there.

But JBG, as I read it, the https://constitutioncenter.org text you linked to is all about religion, and what you're doing isn't likely to be accepted by the courts on the same basis. It says that the courts haven't been totally consistent about exemptions from law for religious reasons, but there's no suggestion that a philosophical belief, rather than a religious requirement, is a valid reason for an exemption. That goes back to the 1st Amendment--you have the right to follow your religion, but no other system of belief is mentioned in the Constitution. Now, if you were a Jain monk, you could claim that wandering about owning nothing, even clothing, was a necessary part of your religion. That's established for those people, but you haven't suggested a need to give up all your possessions and you wouldn't be naked all the time, and you can't claim that God (or the Gods) have told you to do anything. What you'd claim would be a sense of personal fulfillment when you're naked outdoors, and I don't think that has any legal standing. In a way, I think you're setting up a smokescreen of argument about what the law should do to accommodate religion, when the real issue is whether nudity can ever be claimed to be religious at all. I suspect that the courts would speedily tell you that it can't.

If there's hope for progress, I think it's more likely to be along the lines of what's happened in some European countries--thinking of the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Spain and Germany--where the law and public opinion have shifted to recognize non-sexual nudity as tolerable, and not a criminal matter. I wouldn't promise that this would fit the American outlook, but it's already true that some states don't have explicit anti-nudity laws, and in some places, the courts have said that nudity isn't "indecent exposure". That applies to both Florida and California, for instance, although both states allow local anti-nudity laws, which are certainly a problem. Other states have laws that use wording that only make it a crime if nudity occurs "for sexual gratification", or similar wording. I'd hope that there's a chance for legal rights to be established there, if it happens in a way that doesn't get people calling for more restrictive laws. But linking it to religion, no, I think you're going in the wrong direction.

Bob Knows

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 06:23:56 PM »
We cannot say that Naturism is a religion.
Jbee   


I'm not so sure.  In the US we now have the Pastafarians who claim to worship "The Flying Spaghetti Monster."   The US government has a hard time saying what is and is not a religion.

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jbeegoode

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 08:21:47 PM »
Oh John P. I think that you need to go back and read again. Philosophy is intellectual and the spirituality of which I speak has an observational, irrational, intuitive component. Iím talking about spirituality. Spirituality is a major basis for the existence of religion.

The basis of the ďprohibiting the free exercise thereofĒ came about from Deists. There was no ďDeist Church.Ē There were various concepts in Deism even among the three founders that I mentioned. One was so rational that he sounded almost atheist, but added a ďcreator.Ē Ben Franklin (mister air bath) has quotes that I could identify with. There is no need for a physical church to qualify religion, no organization, only a personal matter is required.

When I went before the draft board, back in the day, it was constitutional law that required a scrupulous defense of a sincere conscientious objection. A formal religious background was not required. They asked and explained that, and I sincerely explained my beliefs and that I didnít think that I qualified.

Putting that aside, letís look at Merriam-Webster:

Definition of religion

1a : the state of a religious a nun in her 20th year of religion
b(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

This is what the Bill of Rights protects. It is also about personal.

As for my practice of nudity, I got very candid and did my best to simply explain. I suppose that I wasnít clear enough. Perhaps this is foreign to you. I donít know. Iíll try to clarify.

There has always been a concept of divination, like Jung explained, and he got it from studying eastern religions. We are in a process of finding divine being. Karma, higher consciousness, attainment of Buddha, becoming one with the divine, divination, an evolution, all have come up in organized religious teachings and practices. People speak of divine order, a surrender, a devotion to a nebulous entity, or a God that seems to direct. Getting in touch with that ďthingĒ (lack of a better term at the moment) is the basis of many a religion. When I studied in India, I took to some of these things, as I had sense of them before. I had to let go of rational sense, leap of faith to experiment, get shown miracle to shake off some of my doubts to let the process happen. Much of it, and the most significant for me, was not intellectual study, but experiential. It opened a whole new world and I took much of the practices and outlooks home. Organized religion is wide and varied in India. You may walk into a home and find an alter with several entities, introduce a new one and that one is welcomed. People talk with the divine, they eat dinner with the divine. There can be strict forms of communication and there is also much diversity and devotion. All of this is less usual here, but it is protected.

So, here I was, with new practices toward a higher state of being based on and borrowed from religions. One of the practices is mindfulness. It is Buddhist and Hindu. Mindfullness erases the inner chatter and one is more in the moment. This can be a permanent state, but ever changing. All things are in the moment, the moment is incomprehensible; this is existence, a concept of consciousness, this leads to bliss, all of these nebulous, all infinite. How does one put that into words, let alone rational thought? It must be understood in a different way. Who is so brilliant to be able to truly comprehend, being nothing, everything and an observer all at the same time? It is experiential.

So, back to this mindfulness, I was taking actions to practice this, to get to a state where there are no labels, judgements, no will. For example, drawn to a saguaro, it is not green, not a saguaro, not tall, it is just what it is. I would do things like brush my teeth and only brush my teeth, wholly in the moment at what is. I was practicing staying away from other concerns at that moment. These actions are religious practice. Not just the act of cleaning teeth, but how it is done and to what end. Not just taking off oneís clothing, but to do it with an intention and practice.

Before India, I had mentioned how I had other sense experiences while naked at TSNS. I discovered that naked is a fantastic vehicle for getting mindful and then crossing over into this ďstate of beingĒ stuff. That is higher consciousness, closer to a realization of a fusion with what would be called God. The more time that you spend in these states the more it wears off, the practice will often wear off, sort off like a habit, or behavior modification would.
Of course this is not for everybody. I have been avoiding explaining. But nudity is often for me a religious practice as defined. It is a vehicle. It is going to church for me. Does this high fallutiní out there cosmic stuff make enough sense to give the inkling that naturism can be religious practice? Of course it does.

There is more to it and the nude aspect. Iíve taken this very seriously for several years, but this piece should be enough to justify in any court as religious practice. The question is, at what point does it qualify? My thinking is that it is enough to merely get a sense of God/Divine by communing with nature, nude, or not.

It is also about exploring the inner person, the observer in the body and nudity enhances that experience. This takes it out of the context of just being naked in say, the woods. Mindful is awareness. There is only ultimately awareness to do. The feelings, reactions all bodily interactions with the environment  are a part of and must be aware of.  To escape the trap, one must embrace the trap and surrender. Clear as mud? Thatís why it is my personal approach and understanding in my own way. Oneís religion is nobodyís business but my own. A government is controlling my religion, merely by demanding that I define my understanding. Just like negating concepts of faith in a religion, because it isnít proven, is to regulate religion. As long as I am sincere and it does no harm, that should be enough. That is the bottom line.

As you say that the courts would speedily throw my plea out. A lower court might. It depends on the judge. There are many half ass politicians in robes there. But that is what appeals are about. There are many high principled educated defenders of the Constitution that can understand these concepts and liberties. They all are put through a rigorous training. Some of them actually believe it and place their position in high studious regard. They werenít all drinking beer and raping other students during their studies. They all arenít members of the right clubs, that politicians want to stack the courts with for political gains.

The tact that you are suggesting is the free expression argument. It has been debated convincingly on both sides. I may have a copy of a very good debate somewhere on my computer. It probably doesnít have the odds to win. It has been tried and failed standing alone. It is a good argument and has succeeded when applied with the 14th amendment. Sometimes it will work.

This tact hasnít been to trail. Other similar defenses have been successful. Religious practice is sacred. It is apparent that it is integral religious practice. It would strike down laws, but may not keep new laws that accommodate, like breast feeding has, from popping up. It might make one personís body free, but not another. It boils down to the state proving intent.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 08:24:11 PM by jbeegoode »
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Bob Knows

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2019, 12:40:57 AM »
The question of a right to go naked hinges on this.

Does the government have a valid reason to deprive citizens of our right to choose not to cover our bodies simply because someone else is "offended"? 

Found this on Facebook today.
 
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BlueTrain

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2019, 12:10:16 PM »
That is, unless you weren't free to begin with. Or happened to be a woman.

Even then, the rich ran things.

jbeegoode

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2019, 09:47:16 PM »
Might not have been born free, but the "Right" is still mine and declared and acknowledged.

Those in power, their greed, their self righteousness, their egos, and the minions and opportunists thinking that they are being practical, are the enemies of my freedoms and "Rights." There is a lack of democracy. There is a disrespect and outright conscious and methodical undermining of the Bill of Rights, which is perpetrated by those with wealth and the power that that money gives. When corporate, business and wealth meld with the government you have fascism defined. All aspects of a fascist state and totalitarianism follow. Before WWII fascist got clear into body rights, naturism and a walk in the woods, just to maintain power and use it to their advantage. One writing coming out of this was "1984" where the last gasp of freedom was a naked walk in the woods and the act of love.
Jbee
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BlueTrain

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2019, 10:13:06 PM »
Nudism in Germany was made legal again after Hitler took over, although by then, people may have had bigger worries on their mind. The argument that convinced authorities to change their mind was that it was good for the health of the nation. Whether or not a country is a democracy or not is not the issue. The issue in this case, nudism, is that of minority rights, even when the minority is really the majority. If you have citizens reporting the transgressions of their neighbors, real or imagined, you don't even need a secret police.

That hardly covers everything and issues quickly become very complicated. And we should remember that ultimate freedom is anarchy.

Da muss Ordnung sein!

jbeegoode

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Re: Body Rights/Spiritual Rights
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 05:11:36 PM »
Jainism, and renunciations of earthy things, are not all that a monk does. Being without clothing is only one part of the system, but it stands out the most to westerners. Shiva has some people naked in graveyards rubbing ashes all over themselves, too. There, nudity is a part of, a tool, not the whole enchilada.

Being without clothing is from a textile perspective. Being nude is the natural orientation. Textile oriented judges would have to grasp that idea. If you are to experience one's natural sense, then you would need to be nude and not shut off from your nature. This is more than philosophical thinking. It must be know from experiential means what the nature of one is in the universe. In naturism, realizing that being naked is quite an experience is done by experiencing it, not thinking about it. There is a deeper search, like meditation is generally different than sitting thinking about what to have for lunch.

Being dictated to by a priest or an ancient holy book is another orientation. It is generally different than exploring within. The goals are different, too. Faith can have many forms.

Diversity as good is not a happening thing in western religious culture.

Nature is to be conquered and it is there for man to use up at will are true for most western religious culture. That doesn't wash in many religions and sense of oneness.

All of the above are religion. All may be unfamiliar in a U.S. court's judges perspective, but they are valid religious practice. They are huge in other parts of the world. They are based on spiritual exercise. An attorney has to present a case to ignorance most likely. An ignorance entrenched in a familiar perspective. The "free practice" is the principle, not just the official trappings. The judge must not judge the religion, but the sincerity of the practitioner.

Looking at a vista to "git it." Looking at a flower to "git it." Looking at the workings of the experience of a human body to "git it." Getting to know all of these and their interaction "to git it." These are spiritual acts. Would gazing out at an infinite stary night be not be spiritual? Would any of these things justifiably be illegal? All of these things are taken from people to punish them. That's what prisons do.
Jbee
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 05:38:49 PM by jbeegoode »
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