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Old Hippie Revival?


JenellYB
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Something I've thought about in recent years, and quite a bit lately, is, what of the old hippies?

 

It is as true for a society as for an individual, that where we are now is where our previous walk has brought us. No more than as if to think as a person that where, who, what we are now can in anyway be disconnected from the experiences and events of our life, so is true of a society.

 

A few years ago, an interesting experience that really set me to thinking about the influence old hippies might bring to bear upon our society as the surge of baby boomers reaching retirement reaches a critical flood stage..

 

I was breakfasting with a friend, a Seattle area Washington resident, at a local cafe' in Forks, Washington. A logging town, of course, and around us were locals to whom logging has been a way of life for generations.

Through my "empathic" gift/curse, I felt a sudden and very powerful shockwave of emotions..one of the most powerful I've ever ever experienced in my life. So powerful, I can't imagine anyone, even without any such empathic sensitivity as mine not feeling it. A wide full range of powerful emotions, sheer power, force, determined energy, as well as anger, fear, and agitation.

 

I looked around, toward the front doors, where other eyes around us were directed, and saw two tall slender women, mature in age, whip-tough and muscular, with long hair streaming, eyes like burning coals set straight ahead, clothes straight out of the 60's hippie movement Their faces, body posture, and powerfully bold confident strides all declared forcefully, "don't mess with us!" The atmosphere was electric as they purchased items to go, and swept back out in the same manner in which they had entered.

 

My friend leaned and whispered to me, "Green Peace."

 

My immediate thought....Wow, so THIS is where all those old hippies of the 60's went...they are alive and well living in the Pacific NW forests!

 

I have thought of how so many of the idealistic young people of turbulent 60's truly helped transform our culture, then following the natural course of human life, married, bore children, settled down into family life, into jobs and the burdens of just surviving raising a family, getting their children launched into the big world.

 

But did they really lose that idealisitc spark that set so many fires throughout our culture, from Civil Rights tothe War on Poverty to environmentalism? Or did they merely adapt, for a time, to the normal cycles of a human life....biding the time...

 

Of the popular images of our older generation that bombard us in media, ranging from some Utopian "Golden Years" of rounds of golf and endless senior parties, to the hopeless despair of old folks suffering poverty, having to choose between medicine and food, there is one that seems a kind of out of sight, out of mind alternative..

 

Presently before Congress are 2 Republican House bills, that if passed, will roll back the 40 yr old "Clean Air Act" as part of the right-wing agenda to eliminate government regulation of business and industry. I live in a region, near several major industrial chemical and refining complexes, that has seen over those 40 years DRAMATIC improvement of air quality and related health issues.

 

Ok, old hippies of the baby boomer generation, it's about time to let that hair down...its about time for the Second Act....to take up a popular "retirement lifestyle" the present populist movement doesn't seem to see coming....and will quake in fear and anger when they do...to pick up where we left off when the cycle of life tied us down with the responsiblities of raising families.

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Jenell,

 

I missed the 60's by a just a few hours, being in elementary school at the time. My sister, however, was definitely a full-fledged hippie. I'm sure, if she had lived, she would have taken up your call go action as it were. Your post touched me, it made me chuckle, made me miss my sister, and made me wish I was more like her. She was braver than I for one thing.

 

Your call to action reminds me of what I said in an earlier post. It seems liberals are not as vocal as conservatives (except the extremists). I feel that, while we can continue to be open minded, that we need to make a little more noise. Point 7 in the "8 Points" calls for social justice, to me, that means a call for action. I wonder, though, what I can do. Yes, it is good to make donations for worthy charitable organizations. But that's only feeding for a day; I want to teach people how to fish, or maybe supply the bait. :P How do I do that? How do any of us do that?

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Re teaching to fish rather than just feeding them, that's fine as long as someone hasn't killed off all the fish in the lake.

 

Re you and your sister..for me, I was the older one, was much tied into raising babies earlyon...it was my younger sister that was the full-fledged genuine hippy. Even until she passed away almost 3 yrs ago, despite having dropped any obvious style of dress, anyone that knew what a hippy was could recognize her as an old hippy within 10 minutes or less of observation and conversation. Unfortunately, her involvement in the latter half of the 60's and into the early 70's also put her into the period of transistion from the 60's peace movement to the 70's drug culture, something she had to struggle with many years into her life.

 

When the opening song of her funeral service began..."If you're going to San Francisco, you''ll meet some gentle people there..." all heads nodded and eyes teared up...I don't think we could have chosen a better one for opening, or for the closing of her service, "Spirit in the Sky," that everone agreed, represented the essence of her.

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Jenell so many nice thoughts you bring up. Thanks to the 60's I was kicked out of my home my senior year in High School and disowned, my parents thought I had become a communist. I am still active and have started a movement against our school district. Broad Corporation is trying to corporatize public education. It is a virus that is silently sneaking into our communities. I was with a group of teachers and one teacher asked if anyone had been arrested. I said I was to everyone's shock and said hasn't everyone been arrested.They responded no. In my mind my ideology and activism has conveniently put me behind bars and the unjust actions that go around it only made me more idealistic. These actions and my search for spirituality lead me overseas for 20 years. When Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India. She put the country under Marshal Law while I was a monk and the motto of our group was "Spiritual progress Social Change" which put me at odds with another unjust justice system. MY spiritual journey took me to Iran in 78 for their revolution and then to South Korea where I was able to witness a coup and the repercussions. I am a very quiet person, but when a thought stirs deep from within and especially when it interrupts my meditation I am compelled to follow and witness the reactions. We are what we think, having become what we thought so Past, Present and Future are happening at this very moment as I try to live in the present moment to moment to moment witnessing this connection. I would not trade anything pleasant or painful that has happened to me so far. Thanks for making those connections.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel the hippie era was idealism in the extreme, which was great preparation for me for the next step, which is in the moment witnessing the act and the part one plays in the Divine Comedy. I am still idealistic, but real in not trying to change anything, but just doing my part. I am involved in what could be tense negotiations with what I don't agree with, but am eager not for the change, but to see how it plays out. The school district has all the power, and I only an unattached inner law of the heart. I can't think two steps ahead like in chess, but can only listen to the internal compass. That compass is not locked on to a specific pole or direction, but is showing me the way.

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..idealism in the extreme can become mellowed, more moderated by practical realities, over time, a maturing process. You know, when you build a campfire, the flames at first flare high and wildly, you have to let it burn down a bit before you're ready to set the pot on and start cooking. I'd say that might hold true for each little campfire as well as the whole movement. Many little candles distributed about provide more useful light to more people spread about a larger area than a single violent flare.

So being many just LITTLE unf***ers probably works out better in bringing change than just a fewer bigger ones. :D

 

Jenell

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Those not already familiar with this resource, I'm subscribed on my FaceBook to www. MoveOn.org.......some of what is actually happening now gives me chills, good chills....i think our Hippy Revival is happening now...the counter-movement to the Tea Party is arising and its exciting!

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Although this site is not TCPP (the center for progressive politics), it is not possible to neatly separate our religion and our politics, both of which are motivated by the same basic values. So, I will just comment that I am pleased to see the long delayed reaction to the economic injustice that had been developing in our country for the last 30+ years that culminated in the financial meltdown and subsequent recession.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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