There was a time, not so long ago, when the ‘Western World’ was infected with an explosion of new, fresh ideas and ideals. It was a time when all authority was recognised as arbitrary, when leaders were routinely questioned, held up to real scrutiny - and sometimes paid real penalties when found to be engaged in illegal or unethical conduct. A time when all war was recognised as an unnecessary evil, a tool of control for the rich and powerful. It was a time when organised religions came to be recognised as pernicious fairy tales and new ways to evolve the spirit were sought in truly ancient places.
It was a time when young women encouraged, sheltered and praised young men for avoiding government orders to murder strangers in their homes. Many became active in creating an alternative vision of life, love and politics and began to enact real changes in their lives and relations with each other. They stood up to defend the persecuted and rallied to save the environment and bring an end to war.
They decried injustice and rampant mindless consumerism (shopping) and recognised industry and business as blind behemoths pushing the world toward disaster.
They learned to effect change without violence. And often they said, “Never trust anyone over thirty,” as they saw most of those older than themselves as the cause of the world’s problems as they watched them suck up and sell out their dreams and children for imaginary and toxic ‘luxuries’.
It was less than two generations ago that the young suddenly outnumbered the old in the West. Not since the Renaissance had well educated youth seized a chance to transform the fossilised crap heaped on them by their terrified bumpkin elders and create new dreams and pathways to growth out of old offal.
Today this demographic exists in the ‘East’.
In reality, 99% of the young people in those halcyon days paid mere lip service to change and burrowed into the cocoon offered them by society when they had the chance, recapitulating the caterpillar lives of their parents and grandparents. They became part of the problem, ignoring the truth they’d known in their hearts and ending up helping to put to sleep the revolution of awareness sweeping the globe. They went out and ‘got a real job’ working for The Man – working for the Beast, working out of fear – fear of being seen as different, fear of insecurity, fear of the unknown, fear of old age and death.
Only a vanishingly small minority ever actually worked toward changing the dumb oligarchies and transform the feudal fraud foisted on their parents. Only a small number chose to have a great time transforming themselves in this, the best of all possible worlds - instead of blindly burrowing to create their own tomb, mindlessly working, consuming, reproducing and dying.
While most became lonely box-watchers living in boxes, some entered a different cocoon, a chrysalis, and transformed. They saw, lived and communicated a version of the world which could thrive without the interfering lies of mummified politics, money, religion, aggression - tools used by the burrowing builders of hives for the domesticated, unevolved bulk of terrified humanity. They created spaces where the paradoxical combination of freedom and sharing could replace the blind-leading-the-blind slavery of wage serfdom.
Imagine. They knew that none but ourselves can free our minds. Their songs of freedom and redemption pointed out new ways and many people came to see the obvious – that the Emperor wore no clothes and that nothing stood in the way of them all making a just and wonderful world for themselves. They knew that there was no reason to wait and the time for enlightenment is always now.
While many adopted hip fashions and patois, only about one percent actually lived and spread word of these new ways of living. Hardly any stood together in the streets or forests and said “Stop – no further!” at peril of their freedom and health. Only a few consciously and actively changed their own lives and the world.
But they could live with themselves – and die without guilt. They did what they could and seeded the wider cult(ure). Many were infected by these seeds of transformation explored possibilities that their parents and contemporaries couldn’t understand, out of sight and out of the bright glare of history. Yet most of the social and environmental advances we have come to experience in the last generation have been a result of their efforts.
It’s time for the sleepers to awaken. You know who you are.Time for us all to start living our ideas and ideals - again. Look around. Smell the flowers or smell the coffee. How will you live, now that you have a choice? This is the best of all possible worlds.
- R. Ayana
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society."
- Thomas Jefferson
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