7. Blowin’ In The Wind

Beatniks, Hippies, and Consciousness Expanders Trip Toward the East

From the book: The twenty or so years between the end of World War II and the volcano we call the Sixties are associated with conformity, materialism, suburbanization, songs of innocence, and gray flannel ennui. But beneath all that, a subterranean current was making the culture a fertile field for a bumper crop of gurus and Yoga masters.

The chapter describes the cultural evolution that led to a perfect storm of receptivity to all things Indian: its music, its fabrics, its food and especially its spiritual bounty. Along the way it describes the remarkable legacy of two towering figures who died in 1950 and never set foot in America:

Ramana Maharshi ramana maharshi bustramana maharhis wide shot and

Sri Aurobindo aurobindo

The chapter recounts the fascinating origins of the Esalen Institute and the human potential movement, both of which were influenced mightily by India, and culminates with the Summer of Love.

summeroflove colorhaight_ashburyLearyginsberg_chanting2

More to come. Please send ideas, links, etc.