The Hippies….Warriors Unleashing The Power Of The Human Brain

THE HIPPIES….

WARRIORS UNLEASHING THE POWER

OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

by

Frank W. Andres

© Copyright, Frank W. Andres, 2021.

All Rights Reserved.

This book is dedicated to Avalon.

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Introduction

The Hippies…Yes!…I know about the hippies!…I was there!….In fact, I was older than they were…I had already graduated from college…and had started my family. My wife, then, had many friends…and we formed a group that met almost every other month…to talk…they smoked weird stuff…We considered thoughtfully, thoroughly all the problems of the world. And we solved them!…well, so we thought…We had all sorts of activities together…

walking the aesthetic stretches of Stinson Beach in Marin County in the Bay Area, the redwoods in northern California, frolicked in the hot springs of Pyramid Lake in the Tehachapi Mountains….Yes…we did everything… panned for gold by skin diving to the bottom of rivers in the Sierra Nevada mountain range…We loved everyone…We solved every imaginable problem there was to be solved…I was planning intensively, seriously…. how to help develop five specific countries in Africa and the Far East…

Then it was over…in a puff of smoke, it would seem…The guys put on suits and ties and worked for aerospace or the government…The hippie wives put on plain dresses again and raised families in the suburbs they had grown up in…business, again…was…as usual…

I remember the time back then…There had been such faith in the human brain…to solve problems….faith that the world would be an even greater place than it was then…I mean, this was the richest time in the history of the world…and we were fortunate to be living in the richest country on earth…Yet as the century passed by…it was evident that there were still problems… alienation, materialism, and two-thirds of the world just could not seem…to move forward….We look back now….to marvel at the confidence, the faith we possessed back then…we had our brains, we had each other..and we…yes, just little old us…we could make a difference!…we could help build the future!…

I remember a music video during the 1990s….There was Annie Lennox….sitting naked in the center of a vacant hardwood floor in a suburban house…tears streaming down her cheeks….She was singing, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale,’ which was written originally in honor of the Beats who developed stream of consciousness creativity…Yes, she was singing about that long ago age of the Beats!…of the hippies!….Where were the flower children now? she was lamenting. Where was that hope…that faith that existed back then…faith that all problems could be taken on…and summarily conquered?…Perhaps simply by opening our mouths and starting to babble…a river of words with Truth somehow embedded within them wold pour out…It would be a Truth which we of course could, would sort out later when the smoke cleared… Where the hell are you now? she was asking…sternly, plaintively…almost shouting…through her tears…I…am here….I…am still… here! Where the hell…are you?!

My entire life has been devoted to helping build the future. I have passed up numerous opportunities to leave my cherished City by the Bay…leave my friends who are still dancing, singing, smoking, frolicking on desert sands. W are working together in a Creative Cluster now…I have thankfully, miraculously been able to make some progress in my efforts over the years…and I have inherited a genetics that hopefully will give me extra years to continue the fight, exploration, work, adventure…of creative thought. Back in those days of o’er…I read two books by Theodore Roszak…

The Making of a Counter Culture… and Where the Wasteland Ends…Politics and Transcendence in Post Industrial Society.…in the latter book he thought three groups of people in history…were instrumental in fighting, what he called, Urban-Industrial Society…Rousseau, the German Idealists, and the Counter Culture….Now with fifty years of perspective, I am writing three little books…in response to his assertions…I think he was wrong…about many things…although I have to say….that he was one of the first…to take the hippies seriously….In this book, we are going to explore together…one set…of his assertions….Who were the hippies? What was their experience? What were they really fighting for?…and… How…can we recommence their fight… today?

Alienation in the Suburbs

Yes, I was part of the pre-baby boom generation…I was actually born in the States as the War was being won….My father was instructing recruits scheduled for immediate deployment to Europe….in the arts associated with weapons of mass destruction…which at that time was mostly about chemical warfare…Both of my parents had graduated from the University of California…only about one percent of the U.S. population was fortunate enough to be able to go to college before the War….Well, there was Depression…and the War…That generation had more than its share…of challenges…So it is quite understandable that they would consider it a miracle when suburban living appeared…after the War. I mean, come on…people now were able to live as nobility of old…palatial estates, surrounded by garden-lawned landscapes…with mechanical servants…of every type. For that generation, God herself…seemed to be smiling down upon them.

For the children…it was different. There was cement. There was stucco. There were fences…high fences…I became adept at scaling fences one after the other and circle a large part of adjoining properties…as a sort of individual protest against the isolation…rebellion against the separation… against the lack of knowledge about those living around one….

One might protest that I am making too big a deal about suburban living…after all, people have lived in urban areas for sometime now…and the suburbs were on a continuum with living in towns and cities in the past. Well, an anthropologist would object to such a short-sighted point of view…Human being have been living apart from primal bands for only about 5,000 years now…with the rise of the agricultural empires in the Middle East….Our bodies…psychology…are consistent with that primal way of life…Even more recently, humans have been living in small towns where everyone knew each other…or in cities where people lived next to each other in multiple dwellings…Yes, the suburbs were on a continuum with the past…but it represented a new extreme…as far as alienation is concerned…

In those oceans of houses….kids had to walk miles to have friends…well, there were bikes,…there were skates…but adults had little patience to drive kids to friends’ houses…they were on the road enough already…one-third of people’s waking hours seemed to be in a car as it was…As a consequence, most social interaction was institutional in nature where kids could be dropped off by car at a location for an activity that would be sufficient in duration and interaction to justify a parent’s trip….

like school, scouts, or church….Friendship was usually abstract and limited in space and duration…Well, it was an age of oil…gasoline was twenty-five cents a gallon…So according to Recardian economics…or organic physiology concerning the behavior and growth of molds…it was rational, even organically sound, for towns and cities to expand as population increased dramatically and transportation costs became minimal…Eventually, an elaborate complex of organic-plaster amalgam and circulation would evolve as the human organism spread in every direction according to travel times…vis-a-vis the center of the metropolitan areas. It seemed as if this cancerous-like spreading of the organism would ooze outward forever into an uncontrolled sprawl of sorts…which lost all sense of urgency when viewed from the satellites that would eventually circle the earth…. From that perspective, it became apparent that no more than four percent of the total area of the U.S. was actually urban…From this new aerial perspective, it became apparent that somehow…humanity indeed… was beginning to evolve backwards…from primitive bands…to a type of primitive multi-celled protoplasm….enmeshing humans into their tools…spreading fiercely upon the earth….

So this was the childhood experience of the hippies…an alienated culture…in which adult males worked at great distances from their residences for the largest part of the day…women worked in isolation in their homes…

and children were housed in a day-care sort of educational edifice for half of their waking hours….This was a lonely time…in which nuclear annihilation was expected…at any moment.

Here… I shall make an observation that shall conclude the next two sections also…There is no way that the statement can be made…contrary to what Theodore Roszak may have asserted…that any person who lived during the period 1960-1970…actually began to rebel against what had become an urban-industrial society…there was no way that any person that I knew…desired for humanity to return to the Darkness of the previous 1,500 years….Instead there was a learning process…experience from which conclusions could made…as to what might be done in the future to make society better…Vast affluence was good…there was no way anyone was going back…to the cave…It just seemed we had the opportunity to see where more and more affluence could lead…we could see that it would probably lead to diminishing returns…and actually produce some things…that were negative…in this case…the alienation of people…And as we are building the perfect world…of the future…we should start working back to a life where people live and work…in groups of loving, caring individuals…moving past this moment in history where humans are entrapped…in an artificial, alienated expanse of cement and stucco….

Affluence and Materialism

So as I say…this was a time of great affluence…a time of the rise of great corporations making every sort of thing inexpensively…One’s life began to be filled with objects…with commodities. It is granted that a certain minimum of material things is desired…is required for a minimum satisfactory sort of life…like food, clothing, and shelter. And it is the experience of history that ninety-nine percent of the population was always in need of more…of these essential things….Now there was new knowledge… There was diminishing returns to material abundance. First, there came alienation…Then second…it became apparent…that once a certain level of availability of ‘things’ was obtained…a new stage of human ascendance emerged…the desire…no, the necessity for some things…that are more than the material. Quality of things began to become important. For the first time…quality began to be associated with things provided by Nature…and for the first time quality because important…in the things produced by man and woman…

Corporations viewed Nature as input…which possessed little worth beyond what might be converted into profit…As corporations revved up their world-wide engines…it soon became apparent that resources are limited…which meant two things…first, increase in production would not, could not, occur forever… and second, a nation’s resources were Nature…which in most cases represented a Nature that was irreplaceable…and Lo! And Behold!… for the first time people were beginning to recognize what they really understood all along… that Nature itself possesses great value…in terms of quality of Life. The first alarming reminder of this fact…was the loss of fresh air…that is, a world army of cars marching to work every morning…was producing air filled with deleterious smog….Then there was a fragile level of warmth that was naturally available and necessary for existing humanity to continue its journey of Life on earth…too much carbon dioxide…too much warmth…Problems! There was a finite amount of clean ocean…soon to be filling with plastics…Then, as I say, it soon became apparent that there was a finite amount of resources themselves…The United States had spread from coast to coast…it had possessed a wonderland of resources…It had possessed enough oil, for example, to last centuries even with an explosion in the number of cars…But then came the World Wars..The U.S. won those Wars…by filling the sky with planes, the seas with ships, and the ground with vehicles….which consumed millions of barrels of oil…per hour! When we landed on the moon…the real discovery…was when we looked back…back at that blue ball of rock moving slowing in the black nothingness of space…What the earth possesses…is all we have!…It was time for society to take in account externalities…that is social costs caused by corporations that in the past were ignored in a rush towards greatest profits…but now represented great danger ahead…

Also what man and woman produced could be evaluated in terms of quality,…and quality usually was related to diminished profits…As I say sometimes there was benefit from producing nothing…just allowing portions of Nature to exist…Then there was ‘culture’…there are things that can be produced by humans…that are not desirable profit-wise but instead are related to quality of Life…in terms of aesthetic experience…As material abundance increases, there comes a point when, where quality of goods is related to quality and meaning of Life…desirable because they give reason for Living.

All of this was part of the hippie experience…growing up…in America during the 1950s and 60s…Again, there never was any thought of returning to the Dark Age that had been left behind…Industrial Revolution was not a bad thing…Two -thirds of the world still requires it…actually demands it…and this is a demand that must be met if the horror of world-wide terrorism is to be avoided….It is just that for developed countries a new stage in the progression of society had been reached…when quality of life in every aspect…beyond that of objects…beyond that of profit…began to be considered….

Hippies and College

So alienation, and materialism were important to the world of hippies as they were growing up. But surely the War in Vietnam had something to do with things,…one might abjure…Well, yes, of course…but not in the way one might think…Of course, young men were concerned about the draft…but one did not gain a platform and decry the immorality of bombing peasant villages because one fears death…No…one could avoid willingly signing up for service without pointing out to people one’s stand on the issue…No, there was something else about the War that was related to being in college and learning to utilized the human brain in a creative way…

You see, the human brain was designed to find and eat bananas…Well, you are right…the brain seems designed to do…way more than what a monkey can do…At some point for some reason the human brain…did gain the ability to create….create things besides babies…somehow, for some reason…But this capability does not come automatically…and there is a certain minimum ability that is required… regardless of whether a person is right or left hemispheric dominant in his or her brain. The fact is…for some reason, in general, the human brain has to be ‘tricked’ into developing ideas that are new…that are original…and this creativity like making babies is rewarded for some reason very well…very well indeed…with joy and happiness!…Such joy and happiness can only be reaped from a creative act…and there are only three kinds of such activity….physical creativity…that is, as I say, from having children…intellectual creativity…that is, creating ideas…well, mental tools…and Cosmic creativity…that is, taking an original idea and making something concrete… well, a physical tool…that can be used to impact the world around us….

Very few people in a society are able to to use their brains in a creative way…A few people are so smart that they just can start composing, painting, or writing books…but in general most people never develop this capability… that they actually have the potential of developing…For some reason, going to college can lead to such development…and curiously, it does not seem to be related to attendance at lectures or reading textbooks…there is something about….something in…the environment, the ambience around a student that seems to trigger originality…a sudden arrival of confidence… in the ability to develop ideas of one’s own…

So college is a key here…and the fact is…that for Americans…in the 1950s and 60s…well, for the world in general…college for so many was a new thing….According to the Census…at the beginning of the 20th century, there were fewer than 1,000 colleges, with 160,000 students in the U.S. Explosive growth in the number of colleges occurred in bursts…especially in the the period 1900-1930 and during 1950-1970. The Gross National Product of the United States…doubled in real terms…between 1950-1970. The number of bachelor degrees conferred during this time…rose from 432,000 to 827,000. Of course, the number of kids actually attending college was much higher… approximately ten tines higher..In 1955 there were about 3.5 million college students in the U.S….in 1979. around 8.5 million…..This trend has continued….until at the present time…in 2021… close to fifty percent of young people are receiving some sort of college instruction…The Internet is partly responsible for this high level of participation…the rapid expansion of community college systems…is another.

As I say…what it is about college that might introduce one to a new world of creativity…is not obvious…As I think back…the potent ambience that surrounds the University…seems to involve older students and professors that one might talk to…well, in the instance of the topic now under discussion…these ‘talks’ quickly became a hippie form…that of ‘pot parties’…In ‘talks’ such as these…older more experienced chaps who had already learned how to ‘trick’ the beast would not so much instruct a younger person in that art…as they would instead just start haranguing and incessantly badger on certain topics until one just had to take a point of view…and respond….

Or…one could be enticed into starting to read…After all, one of the prominent features of every great University…is its library…and one can simply just spend a lot of time there in his or her own isolated personal carrell in the stacks…I was going to U.C. Davis..but I was given a pass from my professors to utilize the library at U.C. Berkeley….My first month there…I read all of Nietzsche…moving left to right…quickly devouring an entire shelf…These great authors, writers, of course, have great ideas…but most also have the knack..of instructing you… by example…in the art of thought…You can see exactly how Bertrand Russell comes to his conclusions…and I realized then that my mind was not built his way…Nietzsche and Hegel were another matter…I knew immediately what they were talking about…and I was stunned…I realized instantly that my philosophy professor, as astute and enlightened as he was…had not the foggiest notion as to what these two men were saying…My brain worked like some of these guys…Berkeley, Hume, Lock, and not like others….Plato, Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant….[see my minibook on Goethe and Hemispheric Dominance in the Brain…soon to appear.]

Well, first I just read…then I began to agree or disagree with what I was reading…If I agreed …well, it was probably that at first I had not an idea in my head….then gradually I began to become angry….yes, irate at times…That goddam guy is just…wrong! That was the first step towards… well, away from the banana…The next step was more difficult…I had to come up with a reason that that writer was wrong…I had to come up with my own Truth…and then it was that I realized…that there are those…it was Nietzsche in my case…who have prodded a person unto his or her first step….Nietzsche is a young man or woman’s philosopher…one is excoriated, almost forced by verbal assault… well, written verbal attack…to forget all that one has learned…to start with a clean slate…and by god…find your own goddam Truth!

Well, either through talking or reading, I believe…a student suddenly becomes someone else…He…and of course, She…She’s were becoming important in the hippie world….Well, in the instance of the topic which I am presently addressing…he or she…became…a hippie…mainly as a result of this collegiate process …Yes, there were childhood experiences that helped shape a person such that he was susceptible to becoming a hippie…but more than anything else…it was the college experience that created…a Hippie… with a capital H…..He…She…was quickly becoming a thinking person… some sort of philosopher!

I believe it is no accident that college and demonstrations became synonymous during the 60s…the parents of such children could not recognize their own flesh and blood…Well, in most cases, the parents had not gone to college…Their children had entered a new world…not just in terms of their family history…but in terms…of the history of the world!…Never had so many been equipped with the ability to create the new…to actively oppose anyone.. including those in charge…with ideas newly created…ideas of their own which could often stand the test of scrutiny and debate…

Again the hippies may have sported clothing resembling primitives of old…But no one…and I mean no one…was willing to go back into some massive Dark Age…any time soon…It is just…that things now…well, yes, they were good… but they could be better….

Conclusion

So my conclusion is that college was essential to the making…of a Hippie….It is shocking that someone has not come up with this perspective concerning Hippiedom before. The appearance of the Hippie upon the scene… their appearance in history…. underscores the need for an entire revamping of our education system. In the past the ability to use the creative potential of one’s brain might have been discouraged because…well, there simply was no time. Life was short and brutal… to quote some idiot…Well, it was Darkness for too long and people were lucky to survive…let alone squander precious hours in thought…The encouraging thing now…in 2021…is that close to half of young people are being able to benefit from some type of college instruction mid their hectic lives…mainly as a result of on-line schooling…Of course, as we have just seen in this minibook, there is a problem with such learning at a distance…as it is the ambience of the University experience that seems to be most crucial…That is, exposure to and verbal interaction with upper-class people and professors…and access to the greatest libraries in the world…both are essential to the unleashing of the Powers of the human brain. It is this unstructured but crucial ambience aspect of college that our parents may actually have been paying for all along…

Yes, unlocking, unleashing the potentialities of the human brain is what is at stake here….Of course…it should be the fundamental goal of education in general anyway…period! The rote memory of grades K-12 does not touch this. I remember when I graduated from high school…I realized that I had learned absolutely nothing in thirteen years of school. In college things have to change…if one is to benefit from the experience. ..and as I say…lecture halls and text books are supposed to stimulate a person to actually begin to think…but they are not…nearly enough! Yes, there is a spectrum of mental ability…not everyone is a genius…but creativity is not an individual act…. it is a group effort ultimately…and soon…everyone with every level and type of ability can and should be involved in the creative process…in some way…and we need to learn how to undertake such group effort…early!

We are finding that thought…real thought…creative thought…is a catagion. And we do in this instance, in this conversation about Hippiedom…require…actually require…a pandemic…. Creative ability…breeds creativity…I remember my first week at the University…my first friends were two juniors…One said…’Avoid the social sciences…They are Mickey Mouse.’ These eight words changed my life. Actually I disregarded his advice…I majored in economics and economic history…which were two…of those ‘soft’ sciences….But for the rest of my life…I have been pursuing the development of …The Science of Everything…I have been endeavoring to make the social sciences and the humanities…respectable subjects…to be studied…I have taken the first steps towards placing these subjects on a biological base… After all, we are animals now…as if this has been some sort of recent transformation…or something!…But the idea of that continuity…that Onesness… of all Life…has been transforming.. as a result of which…we now are building a science of man and woman…in which the social sciences and the humanities…can begin to talk to each other…because they now can all use the same language…and the same investigative methods…and…they in turn…can talk to the biological and physical sciences…All disciplines now…can work as one…to build the future!

Why are children made to memorize ideas by rote? Why are not abilities associated with right and left hemispheric dominance in their brains identified and developed?…Why are not kids with different abilities working in groups in creative play and thought…from pre-school forth?….Why are the awesome potential powers of the human brain left unlocked…unleashed?

…Somehow our brains must be ‘tricked’…. into doing what Nature has somehow endowed us with…Why is not the fire…the fury…of the creative imagination…the Power of human brains enticed to emerge….stride forth? …to explode?…allowed, encouraged, trained to begin building together?… to begin building a glorious future…together?

It all began around the Hippie fire…a fire with ions surging upwards..

possessing consciousness…a consciousness that is looking right back at you…

Brothers and Sisters…Family…One blood…

Finally, after all these years….the real revolution…is here! It has to do with education. It has to do…with building the future. Please read my book…Omicron Blue...on Amazon…It costs almost nothing…And it shows a world…where Hippiedom …can one day take us.

Start a Creative Cluster today…Join us!…Together we can build…the Twenty-first Century!

THE END

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