Letters to Domai
I think some people may be right when they say that looking at naked women is sin, and you may be equally right when you say that it is not, or even that not looking could be sin. Let me explain: Did you ever look up to a majestic tree? In all 4 seasons, even in winter with just the bare branches reaching to the sky, it is a rewarding sight to me. I think of this combination of weight and elegance, of strength and calmness, and the more I think of it, the more I marvel at this living being, how it manages to bring water up to every leave, to withstand storms, to transform light into energy...
But I know there are people who don't see trees that way. They rejoice in the sight only because they expect it will be of some use to them or because they just like to see the trees crashing when they are felled! What has this to do with looking at naked women? Well, if you look at them as the wonderful creatures that they are, and rejoice in their natural beauty, then you are right, Eolake, there's nothing wrong with it: God likes it when we joy- and gratefully accept His gifts, and women are one of them. On the other hand, if you look at a naked woman only to supply some selfish wants, then Henry is right, it is sin indeed! It took quite a number of years until I came to this dual conclusion. I grew up on the outskirts of a town, in a house with a big garden. In my early teen years, I fell in love with plants, especially trees. I liked to see them growing, enjoyed seeing the wind playing with the leaves, and the birds exploring every branch in search of some food. This was a good, peaceful world, giving animals a living and humans some shade and much more in fact.
But most humans I perceived as spoiling it all: cutting down trees to build roads or for whatever, wasting and polluting all sorts of natural ressources. So I did my best to fight that human madness, feeling total harmony only out there in nature's bosom! I was nearly 30 years old then, when I at last got to know that girl from the mountainous southeast of the country, known as the holiday corner of switzerland. Sabine was my very first girlfriend, and she was very positive about my interest for nature. After a few dates she told me: "come with me, I'd like to show you that there's more to nature". So we went uphill for a hike. It was late spring in the valley, a fine, quite warm day already. I was still wondering what Sabine might want to show me when we came to an alp with old trees scattered about.
At this altitude spring was only just fully underway, the fresh air was scented by the many thousands of flowers all around. Then, all of a sudden, Sabine stripped off her clothes and just kept standing there in the glistening sunlight, naked as Eve in paradise. It took my breath away: Those lovely, feminine forms in the midst of that just awakened nature, surrounded by majestic mountains still bearing their snow caps - it was a scene that words will never suffice to describe!
It was not only because of Sabine's beauty, although she was quite pretty, with lively green eyes. And it was not only because of the alp or the mountains around, they were still pretty much the same as the last time we came up here. No, I then realised that this was giving a completely new dimension to nature: that Sabine's beauty in fact was multiplying nature's beauty, and vice versa! For the first time I really understood that this woman was coming from the same 'factory' as nature was, i.e. that both were a marvelous gift of God, and that both demanded the same reverent treatment to preserve their beauty.
I presumably had quite a strange expression on my face, while all those thoughts were racing through my mind, because, when I at last surfaced back to the present, I realised that Sabine was still smiling rather timidly at me, obviously not yet quite sure whether I was enjoying the sight...! And it struck me that it would hurt her if I now would turn away in shame: that might have been the sin of NOT looking, as you pointed it out, Eolake! But there was no danger of me doing that: I really thorougly enjoyed the sight of her on that alp, and I recall it as if it had happened only a moment ago. And I will never forget the whole new dimension it opened to me!