The Hippies Were Right . . . right? (part one)

Attempting to write about the hippies is akin to a young soldier hunkered down on Omaha Beach attempting to write about the battle surrounding him. He hears it, but all he sees is the sky above his head.

To give the battle proper perspective, every man taking part, including the enemy, would have to have his story told also because every guy had a different story and every story was just as viable as the next if the truth was to be unadulterated by personal bias.

To tell the whole and honest story about the counter culture would be just as difficult . . . and quite honestly I don’t have the talent to do it. I was there. I experienced it first hand, but like the soldier on Omaha Beach I can only tell my part of a story that is so big, so diverse, that for the whole thing to be written the reader would have a hard time carrying the book it was written in.

One thing I CAN say for a certainty about the movement was that although it wore a uniform, it was not the “look” that counted, It was much broader in scope than all that ‘long hair, tie dye’, media inspired stuff that went on in the Haight, Ashbury district of San Francisco.

The power of the hippie movement lies in the “feel” of it and the sense of rightness in belonging to something larger than oneself. This feeling is what set our country on it’s heels and helped end the tragedy taking place in Vietnam.

Eventually this feeling evolved into the broad based environmental movement taking place in this country right now. The hippies may have left the Haight, but even today we are deeply active in the environmental movement . . . this may be our greatest legacy.

So, though others stories may differ, this is mine as I experienced it . . . The Tale Of The Two Jim’s . . . The story begins in the summer of 69 when I drove across the high desert of Eastern Oregon to meet up with a friend in Portland and ended up driving smack dab into the arms of the aquarian age . . . and the much needed rebirthing of my soul.

The Age Of Aquarius

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

The tale of the hippie is not at all about drugs . . . or about misguided youth in funny clothes . . . or even great music. The tale of the hippie is about the search for deeper meaning to life.

Most of us didn’t wear flowers in our hair or dress like circus performers. Quite a few were not even taken in by the lure of psychedelic drugs. The one thing we pretty much all shared though was the revulsion for our parents world and the desire for “change.”

We were sick and tired of the madness, and even more than that we were sick and tired of watching our friends get killed for no reason other than the war was good for business.

In reality, taking into consideration the cause and effect of all things both straight and hippie, I’d say that we were absolutely on the right path, but we got side tracked by naivety, immaturity and drugs. When it came to creating something real out of the Utopian dream, there were not enough true believers to make it happen.

Peace. love, freedom to do your own thing as long as it doesn’t harm anybody else, were wonderful ideas, but when the rubber hit the road, what happened? We were invaded by runaway kids, and addicts, and ex cons, and drug dealers, and drifting, dark minded people of all ilk. The counter culture movement, because of it’s non exclusivity, weakened, shriveled up and died.

The greatest cultural movement since the civil war came and left in a heated rush. In it’s wake, though there are many pretenders still hanging around, the core of true believers fled into the hills and valleys of rural America and began the environmental movements that today are all that holds back the juggernaut of big oil from completely destroying this country in it’s lust for the few fossil fuels still around.

Without us they would not stop until, like the old chief said:

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realize we cannot eat money

Cree Indian Proverb

(to be continued)

Advertisements

7 comments

  1. Neil Samuels

    “Peace. love, freedom to do your own thing as long as it doesn’t harm anybody else, were wonderful ideas, but when the rubber hit the road, what happened? We were invaded by runaway kids, and addicts, and ex cons, and drug dealers, and drifting, dark minded people of all ilk. The counter culture movement, because of it’s non exclusivity, weakened, shriveled up and died.”

    On the one hand it probably needed its second revolution which has yet to sufficiently manifest with respect to a more unified consensus and conviction of transformation among psychologists, philosophers, poets and people of all walks of life with respect to how we relate and live – not just in the portals of our inner individualized consciousness but in every aspect around us. Naturally this has to be inspired because there is an inner drive or imperative call,amongst many, a call or drive and silent realized conviction from within (and I don’t mean “religious”). It has to be voluntary and passionately moved from within and with intellectual integrity, articulation of vision and empathic understanding of differences that proactively encourages new healthy forms of relatedness and sustainability (but not just “sustainability” out of a necessity of survival), rather than a continued gospel of fear, isolation disparity and dis-eased ego.

    Like

  2. jjwalters

    We were just kids
    Trying something new . . .
    Kinda normal stuff
    We did for kids to do . . . but
    Now we are old (those of us who made it through)
    We are legion waiting
    For the dawn
    To carry on
    in a much more wise and saner way.

    least that’s how I sees it. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s