The Last Hippie Standing
Then I moved to New Mexico and things shifted. Many here loathe hippies. To be one can only be made worse by being from California. But somehow pipe toting, medicine pouch wearing, "native American interested" white folks wearing t-shirts with wolves on the front are OK in the SW. Do you see why I am confused?
Last night I watched a doc about the Goa trance scene in India starting in the 1960's and leading up to today. The title, Last Hippie Standing. It's was OK, not awful not great. I learned from it that Indians, much like New Mexicans, had little patience for the hippie. Goa wanted them out mostly because they did not have any money to spend in their city. It's funny how hippies went to India because it was uncommodified and then were encouraged to leave because the were not commodified enough. Hippies always seem stuck between these two ends struggling to find a new place to stand.
Hippies borrowed spirituality from other cultures too. A few featured in the film wore orange robes instead of indian feathers. They used spiritual practice to foster their goals and map something outside the boundary of society.
The film offered up a hippie definition. They described a person who sought to live outside the system and find truth, peace, love and freedom. By this definition, I am a surely a hippie, though I do find the definition a little thin. I mean each part of it needs flushing out. If being a seeker, and searching out an inner world (through meditation and contemplation), makes my hippieness all the more distasteful than so be it. To live exclusively in the material world is suicide! I will not being "going to sleep" any time soon. I am grateful for the tools I acquired wherever they may come from, the middle east, India or from hippie culture itself. I've always been clear about the fact that I seek truth over happiness. To do so one must stay awake and have their wits about them. Life can be tough. Our culture is expert at lulling to sleep and offering up mimic's that claim to be the real. The tools wo/man has today have been passed down at great cost. And even the hippies have done their share at preserving them and keeping the idea of change alive.
All this left me wondering. . . where is hippie culture today? It seems to be in a dark period. Has complacency has once again covered us over? What event will bring hippie culture out again? The arrival of 2012 and all it's theories and imaginings? A deeper economic sinking that furthers the back to the land movement? Or perhaps something (finally) more sophisticated, an authentic awareness that we are better together than apart, that love is actually a more enjoyable agenda than war, that life is better lived in celebration than in destruction, and that work can be self inspired and joyful and not forced by a hierarchical system that serves the interests of a powerful few and not the many. When will the boundary of society expand to take in all that is good, free and kind? When will we mature enough to know we do deserve happiness. Call me a hippie. I vow to die screaming about every way in which humanity hides this world's truth from itself.
Posted by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne at Friday, June 24, 2011