Apple for The Teacher

Tony Ryan - Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I believe that few humans live their lives from the depth of their essence. We may be born as feeling beings but are born into a world of rules and structure. A world that imposes a very definitive and cold doctrine over many of our most powerful experiences.

One of the most powerful aspects of life is the naked human body. It can inspire us, repulse us and very often overwhelm us. It would seem that this aspect of life as much as any other is subjected to definitive society control.

Recently the wife of a friend of mine found herself conflicted due to the judgment and control that society places towards nudity. She has modelled for my photographic workshops for a few years. She supports the concept of the workshops which is to promote the beauty and grace of the female nude. Further she was and still is very proud of the images. However she is a qualified teacher and now wishes to make teaching her career.

She and her husband have a great fear that should the education board find her nude shots that her teaching prospects will be ruined. As a consequence of this they asked me to remove any nude photos I have of her on my online portfolios.I felt very pressured and compromised by their request and the desperate agression that came with the request.

In general I feel that many parents, schools and governments seem to prefer to bury issues rather than embrace them with open communication. As it is many kids are confused about bodies, looks ect and their teachers are too. Further many of these same teachers have a passion for nudity and expression but feel scared to be open about their true thoughts on such issues.

There is no middle ground with regards to nudity and as such deep understanding is blocked in favour of ignorance, avoidance and control. Hence the experience of nudity is either through sexually suggestive imagery or parents, teachers and other authority figures making
it a taboo subject.

Whilst preparing this piece I was reminded of the Adam and Eve story. We are led to believe that God was hurt by Adam and Eve and that we are born into sin.Religion has us accept this without deep questioning just as society pressures us to accept it’s doctrine on things like nudity and exposure to children.

I believe that in our society many things that are accepted as definitive truth are far from so. In this situation I do not believe that my friend’s wife should lie and manipulate in order to get a job teaching children. Further I do not believe that the education board is helping anyone by pressuring teachers to feel a need to compromise their values in order to get a job.

Once again the Garden of Eden story seems relevant. Adam and Eve had no fear or guilt over their bodies until Eve took the apple presumably against God’s will. This story seems to be implanted in many human physche’s. If this story is true surely God would not be angry at or threatened by anyone for seeking knowledge.

It would seem that the modern God is the judgment we fear from society and each other. Surely no secure body or person, let alone God, would judge another for following their passions. If we continue to pedestal society judgment over our knowledge then we are supporting dysfunctional emotion and irrational behaviour.

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