This is the first article in a two-part series by this title.
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The climate of the 60s: America’s youth uprising. Questioning everything, challenging “the system” and the established worldview. Refusing to serve in a war, bringing about the end of it. Experimenting with sex and drugs, toying with every new or forbidden philosophy. A better world was around the corner – we were sure of it. Soon we’d be, as Arlo sang, “walking hand in hand with every man, sleeping in the sun with everyone.” The times, they were a’changin’.
Fifty years later, the world is no utopia. We’ve had two more wars. The only sleeping in the sun we do is on vacations. There’s less freedom, more surveillance. Independent journalism has virtually disappeared, original voices in the press replaced by dumbed-down TV nightly news. Our schoolteachers teach to standardized tests instead of teaching to kids.
What happened? Where have all the flowers gone, and all the flower children? How did something as radical, colorful and vital as the hippy movement simply vanish one day when no one was looking? Perhaps the answer lies with the Maharishi.
Maharishi MaheshYogi, 1970s version. Founder of Transcendental Meditation and the Students International Meditation Society. SIMS was an organization that descended on US campuses, grabbed pothead kids by the scruff of their raggedy necks, cleaned them up and turned them into upstanding members of society.
Just by giving them a mantra and teaching them to meditate. It soon became the rage – hippies converting to TM, trading in swear words for mantras, tie-dyed shirts for three-piece suits. Most kids were recruited to become teachers, pulling in still more people … Click here to continue with this article