By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
It's breathtaking to me that Woodstock is celebrating its 40th birthday. Ang Lee has made a movie
about the event and I suppose it will be entertaining, although reviewers are not being particularly kind -- me, I doubt it could recapture anything but the trappings. This is one of those times when you really DID have to be there, or alive and young, anyhow; Woodstock, whether you were there or elsewhere, was organic. You had to feel it to believe it. It was the defining event of what has been called the First Wave of the spiritual movement. It happened before drugs became, as a matter of course, lethal; and when we still used them to take us somewhere other than into oblivion. It happened before the government understood how powerful the communal energy of love, and freedom from the repressive societal model of the 50s, would prove to be. It happened before the open hearts of the Boomers closed around possessions and ambitions and egoism. It was a moment of innocence
that proved the cynics wrong about human nature; when, by some estimates, a half-million rowdy, pleasure-seeking kids came together under difficult circumstances and were still able to celebrate one another in a vibration of love and peace, and prove humankind's possibilities. I always think of Willy Wonka's comment when I think of those sweet days: "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
Being a California girl, I was on the opposite coast at the time. Not long before, my then-mate and I had taken a run to Santa Cruz for a beach day and at twilight, made our way over to Monterey to eat fresh calamari and watch the seals dive for their dinner. Back then, the whole concept of urban renewal had yet to be imagined; tourist shops, always on the lookout for cheap rents, had begun to inhabit the old obsolete warehouses on the piers. We wandered into a weathered, disheveled old cannery that had been converted into a makeshift movie theater. Laying on fat madras-covered pillows on the floor, passing doobies around and opening our psychic fields to one another, a few dozen of us got high and watched Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat;
filmed at that very location 27 years earlier, and by only a slight stretch of the imagination, the exact place that inspired Steinbeck to write Cannery Row.
We were complete strangers, yet we had the comforting sense that we were family. Extraordinary innocence then, and gone too soon.
To understand how exceptional all this was, we need to remember what had come before. This young generation had seen both Kennedys, and our black brothers, Malcolm and Martin, fall to assassination in the years prior. Vietnam
had claimed over 50,000 American lives with some 300,000 wounded; it was estimated that over a million Vietcong had died. The Democratic Convention
in Chicago had drawn close to a hundred thousand anti-war demonstrators, and was welcomed by the Daley machine; some 11,900 Chicago police, 7500 Army troops, 7500 Illinois National Guardsmen and 1000 Secret Service agents met them with batons drawn over 5 days. It became a bloodbath. Nixon had won the election promising to get tough on crime, drugs and godless hippy freaks -- as well as end the war -- and in short order thereafter, instituted a lottery system for the draft to fill the bloody boots of the young men who had gone before, and began to fashion his similarly punishing War on Drugs. We had little to be optimistic about; but there was something moving deep within us that couldn't be denied. It's the same thing that's moving within us now; just a more adult version, tempered by the remarkable history we've lived through.
It's difficult not to hearken back to earlier days as we witness where we are today. This was the week when a dozen citizens showed up at an Obama town hall meeting in Arizona carrying loaded weapons, one with an assault rifle
slung over his shoulder. Pundits have couched this event in terms of preservation of the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms but don't believe it; this was about intimidation, plain and simple. Barack Obama is hated for the most illogical of reasons; the color of his skin. For a country that spies on its citizens' communication, raids the public pocketbook and ignores civil liberties on a regular basis, it seems odd to me that we're suddenly so super-sensitive about this gun issue; but perhaps understandable. There are four groups that few elected representatives will deal with in any meaningful way, even presidents. One is Wall Street and the Fed, another is Big Pharma; there's AIPAC
(the Israeli lobby) and the last is the NRA. Obama has taken on three of them; I suppose he doesn't want to provocate by fussing up the gun-slingers unless they step out of line. I hope it doesn't take a tragedy to come full circle on our belligerent need to display force instead of brains.
Still, it's hard to imagine a bunch of guys with guns allowed to gather at a political rally; that is not our national model. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme
pointed an unloaded gun at President Jerry Ford and spent 35 years in prison; of course, being a Manson minion colored the waters. We still talk about Charlie as if he had horns; Charlie was a grifter and career criminal and he had insane delusions, but some of them ... at the time ... were pretty savvy observations of life. He said he gathered up the children that society had thrown away; in those years, he had an excellent point. If you watch the old clips from that time, those who had the authority were dour-faced and stern, hair shorn and standing soldier-stiff in their suits, ties and hats, they were singularly humorless when they made public statements -- you couldn't imagine them doing anything that wasn't buttoned down and grimly proper. That their children were doing the opposite outraged them to the point of putting them out on the streets. Manson simply took them in; and if you study their profiles, these were kids who too often depended on that authority model, even as they sought to break away.
Charlie also said that being in a state of fear was as alive as you were ever going to get; and although he was correct on a physical level, his life had given him little to convince him that there was another, more potent life force available: love. We're still choosing between love and fear 40 years later. I recently read a series of blog posts
by avant-garde filmmaker, John Waters, about his friendship with Leslie Van Houten, who has spent the majority of her life behind bars for participating in the murder of the La Biancas. She has educated herself, shown remorse and done everything she can think of to rehabilitate and become a contributor; and still, I think it unlikely we'll ever let her out. The Manson zeitgeist seems to have caught us in its snare of unreasonable fear and those who still hold grievance are not inclined to forgive this 60-year-old woman her youthful period of mind-control; meanwhile, the young folks don't even recognize her name or relate to her crime.
I think the nostalgia on this anniversary of Woodstock is inherent in the astrology of those who participated, as well as the state of our nation and the world. The earliest Boomers first Uranus square came along during their early turbulent years; the second has come just as they're preparing to retire -- where we are today. Our rebellion has returned to us, in a time of more unwelcomed and unwise wars; more of the old culture attempting to dominate the new and stodgy old fools telling us what we can and can't do, even as we face warnings of extinction from our scientific community. More violence wherever we look; continuing corruption of authority. And, most likely, many of the same Boomers who marched off to 'Nam and then home to duplicate the lives of their parents are now pitted against those who danced nekkid in the mud or passed the pipe in a darkened warehouse 40 years past.
They say that those who forget their history are destined to repeat it; well, heads up -- we repeat it anyway. We're pattern-driven; it takes a number of passes over the same old thing to get a new sense of it, and it takes more than a bit of self-awareness to notice we're in a re-do. We're in a re-do now on profound levels; attempting to put the old way to bed and begin again, despite the scratching and clawing of many who don't want to move forward. It seems chaotic and challenging and frightening and out of control; but it's comforting to remember we've been here before. How well we do this time around is dependent on what we believe about where we've been, where we're going and most importantly, who we are.
The 60s gave us the template for that First Wave of spirituality; we discovered sexuality, a larger context of God and a heart-inspired sense of community. The Second Wave came along 22 years ago this month, at the time of Harmonic Convergence;
we discovered spiritual process, instructing ourselves in natural and green living, learning about holistic health and wholeness, rethinking food, herbs and environment. One of the most important revelations of that time-frame was that collective thinking made the world go round, so what we thought and did individually was critical to our collective becoming. The Third Wave of spirituality is what we're doing now. What?
you say. Spiritual? There's no new gurus around, no spiritual leaders giving us directives, no enlightened new religion to join. In fact, organized religion is dying away.
Exactly. The First and Second waves were organic, prompted from the stirrings of our soul. The Third is an undeniable impulse to meld our soul-understanding into our humanness and lift all of our brothers and sisters up with us. We don't need a guru if we have discovered our authentic self. We don't need rules and regulations if we have taken authority over our own activity and brought it up into higher moral ground. We don't need anyone telling us what to do next if we have begun to listen to our Source and rely on our own inherent intuition and wisdom. Ultimately, our individual lives are defined by where we put our attention and there are as many side-trips as our imagination can muster; we've all explored our share. Yet now we're being stripped down to fighting weight; we're letting go of much we thought we needed and finding that we're fine without it, perhaps even freer than we've been in a long time. We will choose, once again, where to put our attention now, but we do it with more awareness than we've had before; information does not arrive from outside of us, but from within us. This Third Wave is about 'will.' What 'will you' do, beloved? What will you create?
In the last weeks we've discussed those things that get in our way of thinking in tandem with our soul-self. Across the planet, we are letting go of simplistic religion or putting it in the proper perspective of its higher resonance; stepping away from patriarchal models of authority and seeking a more just, compassionate governance configured around the needs and will of the people. We notice, now, what appears to be self-protective and needy, as well as demanding and greedy, not only in others but within ourselves; the false voice of ego-self is more easily identified now, as is that of shame and ultimately, the fear of punishment that so often silences our authentic voice. Our fears are still collective on some levels but we are picking apart the manipulation that drives them and coming to new understanding about loss and gain, passion and compassion, and the self-defeating error of judging rather than simply discerning without emotional charge.
The Boomers have been accused of me-me-me'ism
; we went from Hippies to Yippies to Yuppies to corporate raiders -- we clutched a bright moment's innocence to our hearts, then traveled onward to cynicism and disappointment, to getting and having, and brought ourselves to this rare moment when we are forced to rethink the entire journey. I'm not one of those Boomer-bashers, although I've not been comfortable with the competition model that has inspired its later years. All that we've experienced works to good, as self-revelation; completing this leg of our journey and now, refining its meaning, allows us to come into the final portion of our experiment -- we'ism
Attempting to join with others before we have learned how to understand Self and meet our own needs only makes us co-dependent, clinging to form rather than contributing meaningfully. We are not co-creators in such an arrangement; we're dead weight, trapped in the choices we made long before we understood what was required to participate fully. We are unable to grow when we are afraid to leave the nest; any nest. Perhaps that's why so many of us are getting kicked out of it by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune now. As we come together with a new, hard-earned self-awareness, we will discover ourselves able to work together, joyfully, for the common good while meeting our own individual needs. To be sure, we're not all there yet, but millions of us are; millions that have made the journey into our authentic soul-signature.
As above, so below; as within, so without. The way in is also the way out because everything is a circle, and going through the core experience -- the ring of fire at its center -- is the only way to complete it. To begin our journey in innocence, pass through the tight knot of cynicism and judgment, then forward toward a new beginning ... as many of us find ourselves doing now ... requires our complete presence, our ability to communicate truth and make sure that our lives reflect, by our thoughts and actions, what we believe to be valuable -- what we have come, with purpose, to create with an open and fearless heart.
We know enough about ourselves now to let go of the projection of 'futurism;' we have all arrived at that place where we are pivotal to the future, that "someday" place where we need to shine the brightest. This Third Wave energy is about claiming what's ours, using our own authority to define our reality and taking responsibility for it. We are not in the business of overcoming our humanness, as if we could attend classes that will somehow allow us to sprout wings or leave this contentious planet behind. Our very humanness is the Master's Degree we've earned along the way; and nothing more exotic is required of us to make this coming shift work. If we've become thoughtful and self-reflective along our path, we have everything we could possibly need to contribute our wholeness to this process. Our spiritualized God-sense has made us aware that what we seek is already within us, our primary business on this planet is only about bringing that brilliance forth; not for our own aggrandizement but for the healing of the whole of us.
I AM was the resonant beat of the last era; WE ARE is the new. We are now aware of our link with Source, able to work within it -- no longer toward it. What others are doing is no longer our responsibility; we can bless them along their way, knowing that they have the ability to tap into Higher Mind if that is their choice. We are creators; our creation has the integrity to dissolve lower forms of thought. Getting a full sense of our own Self allows us to fully integrate into the Collective Intention of this planet to ascend into a new era, without losing ourselves. Literally, we've come to the point where we aren't just along for the ride -- we ARE the ride.
Every morning, when you wake up, tell yourself this truth: "I'm changing the world today." Every thought you think, every kindness you offer, every transference of energy to another is co-creating our new era. You are fully able to empower others; you are fully able to empower yourself. Call the things you want into being, present time -- be grateful for them NOW. Know that they are in the process of creation, even as you envision them. If you have done your homework and taken a good look at your own internal workings, you can trust yourself to be an active participant in your world rather than an interested bystander. You can step into your own power at any moment that you decide you're no longer afraid of it. You no longer have to fight for it; in truth, it was always there, buried under those things you used to sabotage it.
Life on planet Terra is an exercise in Free Will. We have not allowed ourselves to be free for a very long time, or use our will lest we lose love or money or acceptance or ... whatever. When we come into true understanding of ourselves, we are complete enough not to need those things to be given us as rewards. They are simply what we require and they come to us. We are not fledglings in need of tending; we are the Masters of our own universe, deserving and powerful. If you reach out into the possibilities to feel the enormous energy we are capable of raising collectively, you will truly appreciate what's ahead of us.
What 'will you,' then, dreamer of dreams? That is the Third Wave of spiritual empowerment that has brought us halfway toward a New Paradigm of loving community and compassionate, collaborative global commonwealth. The rest of this journey home -- easy in our skin and finally in love with our humanness -- is, literally, up to us.