Friday, December 7, 2012

My Generation

Jim back then
When I think of the changes I, and many of my generation, have witnessed in our life times, and the iconoclastic lives many of us have lived, I feel deeply grateful.  We were born into an amazing time.  The fifties, despite “Papa Knows Best” TV pablum, had brilliant writers, free thinkers and artists laying the seeds for the 60’s.  Some of my favorite teachers were 50s rebels, I’ll always remember the passion of one of my high school English teachers when talking to us about any piece of literature.  He would turn the literary mirror on us and help us imagine, beyond an English test, what these characters were living and trying to do.  I got an excellent education in freethinking, as well as literature, from his class.  He must have had some freedom in selecting curriculum to suit his message because he introduced me to Sartre, Voltaire and  Bocaccio, among others.  For my senior thesis in his class. I first proposed, “Was Mary Really A Virgin” but settled for “The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church.”  He gave me an A+; I wonder if I have that paper somewhere?  I’m grateful to him and to the many great teachers I’ve had, in public schools, university and post-grad.

My generation was encouraged to think, to feel and to experiment. Yeah, there were definitely failed outcomes to some of those experiments, but we dreamed of making a better world through spiritual values: Peace, Love, Joy, and yes, song.  I came of age living the shifting paradigm of the 60s.  I always remind my peers that we, who have been very blessed, (I mean, come on…the music alone!) have to give back.  We’re not a generation that will fade away into “senior” citizenry. 

So, post-election I commit myself to making what difference I can in the service of those same values.  My spiritual path, of course, is dreaming, and my passion is to share it, as I do here and when I lead workshops.  I know many, many others, friends and teachers I admire of my generation, who are making a huge difference in their communities, country and worldwide following their own spiritual paths.

I admire many individuals from younger and older generations, as well, and I only mean to go on about mine for a bit to strengthen my dream that we will help enable a great shift in consciousness on this planet, all of us dreaming it into being together.  We elders have a great opportunity to help make that happen. 

By now, most people know that the date 12/21/2012, this Winter Solstice on the Mayan Calendar,  is not a prediction of certain doom, but represents the Mayan culture's astrological mapping of the ages of time.  (For a fascinating insight into parallels in Mayan, Egyptian and other ancient cultures regarding the ages of human history, view the fabulous documentary, The Pyramid Code, especially in Pt 2).

According to the Mayan’s, we're at the end of a particularly dark cycle of time, not at the end of the world.  Out of this authoritarian, patriarchal age, we’re moving into an age of balance of opposites, of new awareness and new organizational paradigms.  We can do it, as our parents use to tell us, in one of two ways:

We can resist the awakening and go kicking and screaming into a hell we help create.

Or we can embrace new possibilities, drop old worn out paradigms and dream a new dream of human survival based on our divine being ness that can never die.  I love the interview Eckhart Tolle did at Google with Google personnel; it’s on YouTube, worth looking up.

I wouldn’t have wanted a woman’s life before my own generation.  My mothers?  My grandmothers?  No, thank you.  I’m grateful, especially to my mom, since both my grandmothers died before I could know them, for going out of her way to ensure my education was unhampered by gender role expectations like hers had been.  She didn’t want me to follow in her footsteps, though her own accomplishments, as cook and seamstress, were legend.

Of course, women were shattering the cultural/patriarchal paradigm way before the 60s; Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Isadora Duncan, Betty Freidan, Ursala Le Guin, to mention but a few. My contemporaries are Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly, Sonya Johnson, Charlene Spretnak, Merlin Stone, and Starhawk, to mention just a few; I had so many women role models my mother and grandmothers didn’t have.  My generation of women opened the door much wider than my foremothers could. 

In this election, my peers helped champion what we deem important. Kudos to the PSA Leslie Gore did that helped me contribute my cyber bit by passing it around. Many of my women friends and I fought long and hard to overturn social and legal restrictions on any woman’s right to govern her own uterus, to earn equal pay and to have equal career opportunity and don't want to see ourselves restricted again.

As without, so within; the 60’s also burst the self-inflated bubble of institutionalized religion.  Many paths for spiritual exploration and practice were open to my generation and we’ve helped illuminate many spiritual paths for soul seekers today. Those of my generation are the grandmothers and grandfathers, the great aunts and uncles.  We have the opportunity to continue to dream our collective dream forward.  I think we are the silver fox warriors of new dimensions of transcendence.   Well, maybe I’m carried away, but I like that image. We’ve pushed so many boundaries and pushing has paid off. We still have a lot to do; the results of this election encouraged me to think that there are many of us, which makes for light work, pun intended.

I was never a fan of the band, The Who, but I can't help ending with this song.  
According to Wiki, “Townshend reportedly wrote the song on a train and is said to have been inspired by the Queen Mother who is alleged to have had Townshend's 1935 Packard hearse towed off a street in Belgravia because she was offended by the sight of it during her daily drive through the neighbourhood...Townshend talked about the famous line "I hope I die before I get old". For him, when he wrote the lyrics, "old" meant "very rich". 

The Who is still performing, the 2010 Super bowl no less. I’m sure Pete’s glad he didn’t die or fail to get rich, but the point is, we are still, many of us, going strong. I see us using that strength to create the world we want, to dream it forward; I'm talking bout my generation.


  1. Magnificent! Thankyou for the pleasure and inspiration of your thoughts my friend - my generational comrade. I love this: "... silver fox warriors of new dimensions of transcendence." yes!

    1. Imagery is everything, no? Your wonderful work in mindfulness based, humanistic psychotherapy is an example of what I'm talking about.

  2. Wow. What a fantastic post. May we re-post? You have nailed it, amiga.

    1. Yes, of course, amiga. There's always something to think about and be inspired by at Synchrosecrets, it's an honor to take part in the cyber community you and Rob have created.