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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 18: Shame Was His Loom

Almustafa says: Your clothes conceal much of your beauty - not much, but almost ninety-nine percent. Even you are not aware of your body. If your body is brought to you without its head, you will not be able to recognize it as your body. You have never looked at it. We know people only by their faces. But the whole body is an organic unity, and unless the whole body is beautiful. Just the face can be very deceptive, it is such a small part.

And the whole of the East laughs and feels very proud when they hear about Western beauty contests, naked women allowing thousands of people and judges to decide whether their bodies are beautiful or not.

The East thinks it is very cultured. The reality is that you are not able to see a naked body. Not because the naked body has some obscenity it; you cannot see the naked body because you are full of repressions. In your dreams you have seen naked bodies; in your desires you have longed for naked bodies. And I am not condemning your dreams and your longings, I am condemning your repressions. The repressed person can easily deceive himself that he is cultured, more civilized.

If man becomes more civilized again. Once he was, but it was a natural gift. Every child is born naked, without any shame. In the childhood of humanity everybody was naked. Hence I said the biblical story has some truth in it. After becoming knowledgeable, Adam and Eve both felt ashamed of their nakedness.

What is there to be ashamed of in your nakedness?

And there are such idiots in the world that in the Victorian times - Bertrand Russell remembers it from his childhood, because he lived almost a whole century and saw thousands of changes happening during the century - even dogs had clothes. And it is to be noted that, in London, there was a society consisting only of old and ugly and dilapidated women who were forcing everybody, and creating much fuss, that dogs should not be left naked: it can corrupt their children, their morals. So, special garments were made for the dogs.

Particularly in England, people take dogs for a walk but the dogs’ chains are in their hands because of the simple fear that dogs have not yet eaten the fruit of knowledge. If a dog comes to see a beautiful young lady dog, then he is not going to miss the opportunity.

And all the dogs which were not owned by anyone were shot. It looks stupid, but stupidity has no limits: even the legs of the chairs were covered with beautiful clothes because they are called “legs,” and they may provoke in someone his repressed sexuality. Is man really mad?

But you will note one thing: there are beauty contests only for women, because it is a male chauvinist society. Why are there not contests for male beauty? And all those thousands of people and the judges who are watching the procession of beautiful women are nothing but voyeurs. The women of the world should demand, “We also want to judge. And there should be contests of naked men, and the audience and the judges will consist of women.”

And I am sure if they insist, beauty competitions for women will disappear. Man is not going expose his nudeness, because he’s not so beautiful in his body as a woman.

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