Monday, August 06, 2007

the summer of love. one generation later. what the hell happened?

john lennon
sgt pepper's lonely hearts club band
jimi hendrix @ monteray
dr martin luther king jr
bob dylan
jim morrison
janis joplin
pink floyd
andy warhol
timothy leary
allen ginsberg @ the san francisco be-in

i don't know. maybe i'm crazy. maybe i'm romanticizing. but it seems to me as if there was some sort of a massive spiritual bubble of wonderful goodness that began to surface around this time exactly one biblical generation ago. (40 years) and i have to ask... what happened? could anyone who actually lived through the period or has read about it help me out? i'm just curious how we could have been on the cusp of such wonderful changes only to find them surrepetitiously snuffed out. a lack of planning? pipe dreams with no bearance in reality? is it so much to think that we could actually live together in peace? is it so much to think taht we could actually love each other and accept one another? is it so much to think that we could let kids be kids and artists be artists and so on and so forth? do we have to make everyone be just like us? or can we let everyone be who they are?

is it never for us here to know anything wonderful? does my one life here really have to be wasted doing THIS? this current modern life? can't we continue the uprising they started by learning from where they failed? or must we simply give in and accept this world as it is? is it really unrealistic to acknowledge that the world truly is filled with infinite possibilities and that the way of doing things we have known is not the ONLY way for things to be done? can we not still create new worlds better suited for the people of our era instead of continuintg to live out the ideals of people long dead hoping that they might give us a pat on the back some day when we die?

i mean, when studied, these people showed that when enough people of like mind ACT, things change. which is why they were beat down by the establishment. if only we could try again. but perhaps be better organized this time. i don't know. i'm just not a big fan of this beast that i live within. i'm not a big fan of knowing that this beast has life because i give it life by participating in it and enagaing with it every day. if possible, i would love to stick a sword right through it and watch it die. but i know i can't do it alone. i need other people who are willing to walk away from it. because without the people who actually give it life every day, the beast will have to die. yet, without the beast, we would not know how to survive right now. as chris rock said, "it's like that rich uncle who puts you through college...but molests you." what to do. what to do.

any and all thoughts are welcome.

31 comments:

Nate said...

Live in the world, not be of the world. That generation tried to be the world. That is not what God wants. We are not to be the world, but a subculture.

Let me tell you about Adam. I met him tonight. I think he may be about 18. He has already learned that his baptist church is full of crap. The revolution is coming, and faster than some people want.

Dena G said...

Jon, you are NOT alone. I've been studying this whole "intentional community" thing a lot lately...and talking with quite a few people who believe, as my hero Shane Claiborne does, that "another way IS possible". And not only possible, but happening. Here and there. In small ways. But growing.

A friend of mine who is currently doing Katrina relief work in MS lived in an intentional community iin Georgia prior to Katrina--they run small businesses to provide for the needs of the community.

I know that I am in the process of mentally and emotionally "walking away from it" with the full expectation that I will someday (not sure how soon) walk physically away from it. If I didn't have that hope, I'm not sure what I would do.

erin said...

speaking as the daughter of former hippies, might i suggest that those people who sought a revolution haven't disappeared or lost interest in a different kind of society, but have simply gotten older and taken to new ways of revolting. i'm only privvy to my parents way of thinking, but even though they were "flower children", they continued to thumb thier noses at authority even into this day. conforming really only as much as they needed to so they could take advantage of the system. have you ever heard of the term "bleeding the beast"?
i don't know what happened, if anything to the masses of unwashed non-conformists who strived to create a utopia independent from the government at large. maybe they were so good at evading the system that they only seem to have disappeared, but are really somewhere remote and thriving peacefully.
i'd really like to get away from the controlling close minded politics of modern american society, but i must be honest and ask myself "am i too dependent on what the government has provided for me and my children to really break free and make a different way?" as much as i detest about our society, i am not really an anarchist at heart. well, maybe a little bit, but enough to really walk away? i feel cowardly to admit my reservations.
ANDALRIGHTALREADYI'LLMAKEADAMNZAAVANCOUPDATESOMETIMETHISWEEKNATE!!!!!!

Nate said...

Thanks for the Zavaanco update in advance.

Valorosa said...

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
McCartney/Lennon

What do you think of this song, Jon

jON said...

it was running through my head when i wrote this. as i contemplated those people i think lennon at least had, in this song, a very blanaced and realistic look at the current situation. many people talking about reveloution, but no one with a genuine, workable, solution.

for instance in san francisco, hundreds of thousands of teenagers just showed up. they brought nothing to add to the scene, they just shoed up and expected things to just magically work out. they didn't. but at least "free clinics" were born. as jerry garcia said,(roughly) "what started s a party with everybody bringing something to share ended up being a lot of people who didn't bring anything to contribute. and the wonderful freedom that was going on became freedom to break a bottle, freedom to kick someone who's lying down..."

nate, what you said reminds me of something i thought about 2 months ago and hen heard put into concise words in an ozzy osbourne song.
"i don't want to change the world. i don't want the world to change me." i think where many who have had good ideas on life have failed when they reached the stage of bigger impact is that they feel everyone should abide by their convictions. i think i'm past that. past he point where i think everyone should live up to my ideals. i'm at the point now where i don't mind if you are different and want to be the way you are. i just want to be fre to go somewhere and be who i am unfettered. leave me alone and i'll leave you alone. and hopefully, we can both be happy.

dena, this has played out most in my mind through thinking about intentional community. wendy, we talked about this briefly last summer and that seed has only begun to grow. thanks to you i have been able to shake some "messianic weeds", (thinking that this idea could "save us") but the thought is still there and growing all the same.

i would very much like to move to a small town. a very small town. a town small enough, that if you had enough people of a like mind to move together, you could shape the community. a genuine, real life, workable plan seems to be emerging. it is to this idea that most of my brain power goes right now as i believe it is where i am being lead.

i am interested in talking about this idea with all of you to help me in perhaps seeing things i have not thought of. i'm not looking for reasons why it won't work, but rather obstacles that i may not have thought of in order to find solutions for those as well to make things as smooth as possible. yet, walking in with eyes wide open and knowing it will be the most difficult undertaking of my life.

erin, you're right here with me in the midst of these thoughts and plans for our family and future. your thoughts are always welcome here in the forum. i think they help add a much needed shape for everyone as to what life is like on our end of things, and what we're thinking about. i love seeing you here.

so much more to come, but that's enough for now. any questions? thoughts so far?

Nate said...

Well, Jon, overtaking a community like Nimrod, will take political umph! Do you want to deal in politics? Zoning that can make what you want to do illeagal in that area. Upset the neighbors becuase you are, "Those wacky new age emergers", and they want nothing to change. All that and more. But if you are being lead of God. Do it. Just know that God doesn't always ask you just to do the fun stuff.

PS I ain't a movin' thar neither.

Valorosa said...

Always liked McCartney better than Lennon ...

jON said...

yeah i've thought about that. but that's one of the things i enjoy about the thought. to find a town that is next to dead but is still an incorporated place. of course the ideal would be for enough people of like mind to congregate. so that come whichever set of elections you as a group feel are the right ones, you suddenly (the "group you", not one individual) not only run for all of the offices, you also vote in everyone you want. mayor, sheriff, school board, etc. then, having control, you would be able to make changes in a tiny tiny local level, but that's all you would need. simple things to make your community the way you (once again, the group) would like a community to be.

the change is not immediate. it is more gradual. like a seed. move in as "normal" citizens with "normal" lives, much like we have now. and slowly learn how to do things for yourselves. bit by bit and just participate in the system less and less.

i'm not a communal sort who thinks all technological advances are evil. there are many i enjoy and would like to find a way to keep some. big fan of the printing press. and the blog. but i am also interested in seeing people being able to find a place where they fit in. not because it is the "great hope" or a salvific anything, but rather because it is home for some who have never found a place quite like it before. (this is the micro. i have also had visions of what a macro could look like, but this is enough for now i'm sure.)

rather than waste my brain and tremendous work ethic on making some corporation rich and "successful", i would rather put the majority of my time and energy into something like this.

i'm not against america, i'm not even against technology. i'm against money and greed and the slavery and despair that many people become trapped in because that is the basis of "success" and "growth" in our society. and like i said, i don't want to change the world, i just don't want the world to change me. the rest of america can continue to be that all they want, i just don't want to anymore. i don't want to complain about it anymore, i just want to shut the hell up and DO something about it.


interestingly enough tuesday night, after i wrote this post but before our conversation started here, an aquaintance dropped by for a short visit. in the course of conversation he mentioned wanting to move out of the city. he said he's been thinking alot about wanting to find serious hardworking people who would like to move to a small town somewhere and do something else...

i found that interesting.

Valorosa said...

"...could anyone who actually lived through the period or has read about it help me out? i'm just curious how we could have been on the cusp of such wonderful changes only to find them surrepetitiously snuffed out."

:-) lived there ... at the tail end .. so many young people trying to figure life out ... amidst times that were a changin' and fast ... in any revolution there is much rebellion and there was a lot of that ... and because of that, there was also a lot of harm ... and a lot of fun ... there were Jesus freaks and they were sure freaky all right ... LOL

Make love not war brought along a whole lot of venereal disease ... the free use of drugs brought laughs and fun but also robbed us of great thinkers and musicians that you have posted pics of here.
To let you know the climate towards traditional religion and thought and even toward the message of the Bible I will relate to you something that happened while I was in university.
This was very typical of the day ...
A man came to the campus and began to preach in the centre square ... he drew a crowd ... I stopped to see what he was saying ... he was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ ... many were listening ... he was heckled severely.

I came to know who God really was in the midst of all the craziness and the many many philosophies of that time ... there was much experimentation. I felt almost foolish when I understood the truth ... having had it right in front of me all along, but because we were looking for something "new", something else :-) and different from the way things had been ... we were missing it ... so the reason why this revolution failed had nothing to do with surreptition... it had everything to do with a generation who turned their back on tradition which is not bad in itself ... but in the process turned their back on the one and only true God because He had been taught so traditionally .. but even that turned to good as those of us He reigned in during that time came to know Him in a less traditional way ... He met us in a beautiful, intimate and real way that no church service could ever deliver. The Lord met me where I was ... and it wasn't in church ... in fact church wouldn't be a place I frequented for another two years.
Interesting times ... very ... a lot of good things came from that time ... Martin Luther King Jr... Medgar Evers... Malcolm X and more ... JFK ... Rosa Parks ... the race riots ... take note that none of these revolutionary leaders were hippies ... the hippies were only one group of fairly harmless people who were usually too stoned to make any real impact.
LOL

Nate said...

I am just going to throw this at you. It is really the only thought that comes to mind.

You are going to become the establishment, to be free of it.

If God is leading you to this, make sure you do it. Obey. But if it is an escape from the pressures of the establishment, you will not escape. There is the county, the state, and the federal government that will still mandate things that have to be done whether you like it or not.

Nate said...

Sorry, I am always so practical. But, God is not calling me to do it. Like I said, if God is calling you to do it. DO IT.

jON said...

i know. no problems, no fouls. those are things that i have already contemplated as i have contemplated the idea. having to become the establishment for the purpose of restructuring it. as well as having to deal with the others who have authority ovre it from afar. which is one of the reasons i asked for people to find info on it. as far as i can tell with Nimrod, this one example of many towns like it, it is well off the radar of the world.

but don't think i didn't notice with each thought that you came across you backed it up by saying "if god is asking you to do it, then do it." whether it is something you would do or not. or course, that's kind of what you said about blogging when i first asked you to jump in back in 2005... :)

wendy, thank you for your account. that seems to be consistant with what i have heard from most people about their personal experiences. and it can be a hard lesson for people to learn. that it's not god that needs to be thrown out, but our ideas and practices. but god, who is infintie, will be right with us in anything.

in the end, i guess i don't think the time was right. i think some very important new ways of viewing the world and living in love with one another were born through that time. and even though the kingdom didn't burst onto a global scene, i do think another tiny part was birthed to encompass yet another group of people. and that is something that i see living on even today in the hearts of those who were and are affected by that time period.

most of those who were at the forefront of that movement who didn't die, however, seemed to move to remote places.

Valorosa said...

I'll have to lovingly disagree with you Jon.

We are in the world ... not of the world ... the kingdom of God will not be established here on this present day earth ... there are no new ideas ... there has been thought like this before ... Acts has told us so ... and there have been many communes that have failed. Even the people of Acts had to find refuge and deal with terrible persecution and a scattering and delusion among those who followed Christ in those days ...
THE THING IS ... our enemy has not yet been put away. Imagine struck the chords of desired peace of the day with wars and rumours of war wich has gotten worse as the years have gone by. It is unrealistic to think there will ever be peace anywhere on this planet ... pockets in individual homes "maybe" but there will be no group of people that will live in complete harmony anywhere until Christ is ruler. As individuals, our only mission here is to love God and to love our neighbour and "watch" for His coming in the midst of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Love means working for change when there needs to be change. There are lots of things that need caring for ... in every facet of our lives ... and maintaining love is a big enough job for us all.

Why don't you join forces with those in your country that are seeking change in whatever avenue you know the most about ... like your health care system ... have you seen Sicko.

We are the salt of the earth ... think about this... when salt is sprinkled into whatever it is seasoning, it is a small amount. A very small amount makes an immense difference in the flavour of the meal. Too much salt will ruin the meal. It is a preservative as well ... used in high concentrations at a time when we had no other way to preserve some foods.

It also melts ice ... :-)

Dena G said...

Jon--here's a community that hasn't failed...for about 65 years. You might want to read their story.

http://www.koinoniapartners.org/index.html

From what little I know so far (I know a guy who lived there for awhile), they seem to be going about community in the right way.

jON said...

nate: you zaavanco. update is hot and fresh, ready for your consumption.

wendy: i'm sorry, i'm a little confused. what are you disagreeing with me about? i didn't see anything in your comment i disagreed with.

jON said...

dena: thanks for the link.

jON said...

i don't think that this community is going to be the kingdom of god on earth. i did once, and that's what wendy talked over with me last summer and i thank you for your wisdom. like i said, i see it as simply being a place where people can come to have a little more influence and control over the community they live in. most small towns are very conservative, that's true. but they are only that way by consensus of the majority view in town. yet my aim is not to supplant by force, but rather through persuasion. free choice.

that is the thing about america. its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. because when you find yourself on the other side of the majority, your life can become a virtual prison. one in which the person that you truly are and the life you desire to live become difficult if not downright impossible.

i'm just talking about trying to start over again knowing what we know now. instead of trying to salvage a sinking ship that's going to take down whoever is on it when it goes.

and we all know it's going to go. right?

Valorosa said...

in the end, i guess i don't think the time was right.

The time was ok ... it was a post war generation raised by parents who had lived through the second world war and grandparents who had lived through the first. A lot of their ideas and attitudes came from listening to their families talk about these things. They were not stressed in the same way ... it was for most a time of peace and reflection. The generation that would emerge were not wanting to have anything to do with war. We met a few Vietnam draft dodgers this side, many sent away by their parents.
I'm still not very agreeable to Nimrod ... but I'm thinking this is a cultural thing between you and I ... although there are not huge cultural differences between us ... there are some and the way the poor are treated in your country vastly differs from mine. So I am probably not understanding all there is to understand about the beast you talk about there. Mr. Moore has
opened our eyes a bit more.

also
most of those who were at the forefront of that movement who didn't die, however, seemed to move to remote places.

Maybe those who could afford to ... the rest of us blended back in with the society as it was ... forever changed but forever the same. :-)

jON said...

the main "beast" that i speak of is the fact that our current paradigm (in the place i find myself)is one that does not work for everyone. i understand that everyone's life experiences are going to be different. i understand that. that's normal. no one goes through exactly the same thing.
what i am talking about is how some people's experiences of this life suck really really bad. and if i through the use of my talents and gifts are able to alleviate that for even a few then it is an idea that i want to explore more.

if it would be helpful for me to spell out in detail all of the things in my immediate surroundings, as well as the moment in history that i find myself in, and the movment that i feel myself being caught up in, then i will.

but it would be at VERY great length. which i don't mind. never let it be said that any of us are afraid of words! but i don't want to lay myself that vulnerable again without cause.

i tried it once only to be ripped to shreds and finally be able to fathom the mystery of matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."

yet, i will never forget, wendy, the tremendous kindness you did me in standing between me and my attacker here. i am thankful and touched deeply that you would put yourself in harm's way like that for me. so don't ever feel bad in disagreeing with me or sharing your viewpoint. if i have any questions, you know i'll ask. i respect you immensely. thanks for everything.

what is it you disagree with about the idea of nimrod? do you feel it's not being "in the world"? or that maybe it'd be a jonestown-type thing? all things i've contemplated and meditated over. of course, i'm just guessing. i could be way off! i'm genuinely curious.

i created this place to be a safe place for people to come and converse freely about the lightest AND darkest places in their being without judgement or fear in order to connect with one another in spirit and in truth and love. i hope it can be that still.

because i don't know about the rest of you, but my faith-o-meter is going absolutely bonkers these days and i'm changing and growing by the moment and i need people who at least kind of relate to that sensation with which to discuss it. and i really hope it's you guys. because i love you all. you touch my life in more ways than i could ever number or count. thank you all for being who you are and being willing to come and share yourselves with a crazy guy like me.

much love. jON

Valorosa said...

LOL I don't think I ever thought of your attacker as dangerous ... :-)

And I'm not sure this is a safe place ... it is really too wide open for that ... there may be those who are looking in who are not friendlies ...

Digging down real deep and being real honest ... what is your motivation ...
Interesting name ... do you know the history of the town and who named it?

jON said...

no. in a physical sense, the attacker never was 'dangerous'. but the psycological and emotional damage as well as the damage to my faith has been, to this point, irreparable. i'm carrying on, but something has been lost. perhaps my naivete. definitely a wide open heart, ready to share with the world around me.

i know that this place is too 'wide open' for genuine 'safety'. and there are indeed those who come here and look in who are not 'friendlies.' you and i have experienced that firsthand.

and no. i do not know how nimrod got its name or its origins. that's why i was asking for help in online research. there is not much out there to be found online. i suppose i would need to either travel there, or perhaps the county seat of wadena where i'm sure most of the records are kept.

and if i have not made it clear, i am not sure that it necessarily HAS to be nimrod. i think it could work with any tiny town i am directed to.

my motivations? several. faith-based, religious, economical, social, and political.

first and foremost faith-based. it started as an idea. and the mroe i have contemplated and prayed about it, the more the idea grew. after i was demolished last year, the idea went away as i tried to do my best 'jonah' and hide. just say, 'forget it. i've tried this radical faith stuff and it has only lead to misery.' and it did go away. but i was still broken and frustrated. you read all about it in the interim. then, in june, nate called me to say, 'god told me to give you a little nudge. it's time to get moving again.' he had no idea what he was saying, but to me the message made perfect sense. which is why i acted on it. i had been holding onto my side of the story from my outsing with the church that god directed me to send back in december but i never did out of fear. when nate gave me the message, i knew i had to start there.since i was finally obedient, a major unblocking has taken place. the idea has come back even stronger and continues to take more and better shape all of the time. not just in my mind, but i actually see circumstances that are out of my control coming together to bring about something of this nature. as well as the fact that the idea doesn't go away but grows bigger and brings more joy and peace with it when it grows.

of course there still is the religious, economical, social, and political motivations to be discussed. but this has been long enough. if you have questions thus far, i'll break so you can ask them. if you're ready for me to move on i shall.

Nate said...

Alright, God had me watch a show on the mormon community Colorado City in Arizona. (Isay God did because I would never watch the show otherwise) It is a Mormon community that has sprung up in a very communal way. It is self sufficient, and very prosperous. It allows them to live their beliefs. Maybe you ought to do research on it.

jON said...

working on it. just not really sure the best way to go about it.

Nate said...

Wickepdia had something on it. I did not read it.

jON said...

i read a bit about it. sounds like it is the real-life community HBO's show 'big love' is based off of.

of course the things i have read so far have had a very negative slant on them because of their religious beliefs and the way they live them out. and not saying i agree with all of their beliefs. but it is nice to know that they can indeed live them out somewhere the way they desire.

Nate said...

I think big love was based on a community a few miles away that was very negatively portrayed as people that forced amrriages on very underage girls. This community is not like that at all.

jON said...

ahhh. all of the stuff i found so far about colorado city, az has been about the community with forced marriages...

do you remember what channel you saw the documentary on? perhaps it has a web page with more info about the community you're talking about.

Susan said...

I seem to remember reading about Floyd McClung from YWAM establishing or living in some sort of community. I've looked but can't find which book it was in.

jON said...

very interesting, susan. my mother actually gave me a book recently by floyd called 'how to start a home church.'

i'm only a couple of chapters in, but perhaps there is something in there. thanks for the heads up.

Nate said...

Jon,
YWAM mreged with Last Days Ministries, and Melanie Green is working with them in Dallas. The show was called the Outsiders from the Primetime news program that airs on Tuesday nights. Maybe I got the cities backwards and It is the city in coloerado, not arizona. Check mapquest.