Going back to the late '50s and the Beats, there was a new quest for spirituality, for finding a universal oneness, for looking within and then creating community.
Throughout the '60's, people---particularly young people-turned toward the East and oriental psychology and religion, first popularized here by the writing of D.T.Suzuki and Alan Watts.
Western versions blended human potential and humanistic psychology as taught at growth centers like Esalen in Big Sur, California, with Zen and other forms of Buddhism...
The Hare Krishna movement grew popular and with it, Krishna Consciousness and its peacefulness amidst an escalation of the War in Vietnam.
Richard Allport, a colleague of Dr. Timothy Leary at Harvard, dropped out and became Ram Dass and taught about living in the present ("Be Here Now,") while getting beyond the "dance" of our everyday lives.
Others turned to Native American religion, ritual and altered states with Mescaline and Peyote, or drug-free, observed "Namaste," seeing "The God Within Each of Us."
Some consulted the ancient I Ching, annotated by Confucious, for their enlightment, following the philosophy and guidance of "the superior man" or "crossing the great river," ideas amazingly similar to the biblical verses of "Turn, Turn, Turn" (there is a time for everything under heaven").
Many turned within with The Marahershi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation or gathered atop Mt.Tam, across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, to listen to broadcast teachings of Alan Watts at sunrise.
Still others became "Jesus Freaks," attempting to follow Jesus' ideals
as the musical Godspell celebrated, or as Father Malcolm Boyd popularized
in a hippie point-of-view, with his best-selling book and record, "Are You
Running With Me, Jesus," or adopted the philosophy of Desiderata, by an unknown
author....but all the time moving away from more traditional
and organized religious dogma.
Intertwined, too, were new ways of social and sexual relating, as written about in Robert Rimmer's "The Harrad Experiment." And here grew the seeds that gave birth to the modern womens movement, the gay movement and new male/female consciousness.
Through it all, there was a child-like innocense, a sense that, as The Beatles sang, "love, love, love....love is all you need...all you need is love." Or, as Bobby Kennedy said, "only love can climb the hills of the Acropolis."
These sites explore the mostly non-drug searches for enlightenment of the mid-to-late 1960's that had much to do with that very special Summer of Love, not only in San Francisco but at Be-Ins and Love-Ins in New York's Greenwich Village, in Ann Arbor, in Boston Common or wherever young people gathered.
If you want a real sense of the mid-''60s-mid-'70s, light a stick of your
favorite incense and really explore every link below. You won't just discover
history here, but perhaps a whole new (or renewed) state of
------Don Fass, Editor
"Whether we call ourselves communists or capitalists,
Hindus or Buddhists, Moslems or Christians, whether we
are blind, lame, well or happy, this earth is ours...
not somebody else's...it is not only the rich man's
earth, but our earth...yours and mine."