Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spirituality, the last taboo of the 21st Century

Spirituality, seems to me, to be on the tips of our tongues. People seem interested in exploring it, but it is still a tad taboo. In the 60's it was out in the open like never before. The hippies talked so much about it that it became cliché and now epitomizes the era. Well that and the drugs, protests, free love, and the like. The idea of getting more out of life through alternative means was at the center of popular culture and very à la mode. Over the past year or so we've been nudged to slim down our lives to the essentials by re-evaluating possessions, priorities, and lifestyles. This is why I feel the 60's are such an intriguing era right now.

I just read "The Underground Revolution: The Hippies Yippies and Others" which was written in 1970 by Naomi Feigelson. It's all about the 60's and how the underground revolution became so influential. I like it because it's told in the past tense, but written right after it happened. It's interesting hearing about the innovators/ eccentrics/ hippies/ crazies/revolutionaries making headlines in The New York Times as the movements progressed from the underground, popular culture, politics and even religion.

The chapter about the popularity of spirituality and pop culture was really interesting. I learned that the commercial viability of the eastern spirituality in the western world, or "whole Indian love cult",  came to a decline in the late 60's when the elitism and materialism of the trend outweighed the spiritual experiences. Even Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's offerings fell short. "They wanted to believe, and he gave them nothing to belive in." was said of the guru of new religious movement called the Transcendental Meditation movement. Maharishi had the following of the Beatles, The Doors, Mia Farrow, the Rolling Stones and thousands. But in May 1968 in New York, the Beatles confessed in a press conference that they meditated now and then, but that they had "made a mistake on Maharishi." After all, said John Lennon, "We're only humans." (The Underground Revolution, Feigelson, pg 59)

So what I'm finding most fascinating about this books is the surprising number of similarities between the ideas of the hippies, yippies and underground movements in the 60's and to the ideas in the air right now. It's been a good half century, and I think spirituality is coming back to the forefront of popular culture.

This post is getting too long, so I'm going to leave it there with some pretty nostalgic pictures and get back to it after my alternative healing session this afternoon. Today I have a session with Sara, my new room mate. She's a practitioner of a holistic healing technique called LifeLine Technique which she learned from a doctor in Chicago. I feel I have some healing to do in mind, body and maybe even in soul. So I'm really looking forward to it. Shortly I'm going to walk a bit further down Main Street to her studio to get an alternative form of healing to my useual jogging, yoga, physio and wine-therapy.

No comments:

Post a Comment