“Come together!” was the cry that became a Movement in the ’60s. It was in the heart of a whole generation, fueled by a desire for a love we sensed was possible and a justice we knew the world needed. Woodstock in 1969 offered the hope that people could actually come together and love one another, caring for each other, sticking together like glue, being loyal friends and lovers forever. Something basic in the human spirit was ignited to motivate a new generation to abandon the status quo and strike out to find the elusive dream of love.
We who were the children of the ‘60s want to touch something deep inside your soul … something more than a memory. If you still have a spark burning to capture the elusive dream of a life of love, our hope is to rekindle it by introducing you to the Movement we were looking for, a real place to belong, and the true hope that does not disappoint. We write with a present hope for the future, not a nostalgic memory of the past.
Several decades ago, our generation believed that we could change the world by focusing our lives on love, not hate; peace, not war; sharing rather than greed. What was it that gave vision to the Woodstock Nation? Was it real? Where did it go? Is that hope still there in anyone? Is anything left in the soul of the Woodstock generation that still longs for peace on earth and justice for all mankind? Few would argue that we have become very similar to those we once criticized — materialistic, self-centered, and, above all, comfortable.
So, what gives us this hope? We see the changing of our lives into the image of a dream. We actually are learning to love each other — to come together and not fall apart when the going gets tough. We invite you to get to know us, to open up your heart, and see if the same heart that compelled you 25 years ago, just might find fulfillment of that desire that lay dormant beneath the clutter of middle-aged life.
We write to all of our brothers and sisters who may have become “hippie-crits.” I remember in my youth how much I despised hypocrisy when I recognized it. It was detestable in my sight. “Not me!” I firmly resolved. But we are around 50 now, the millenium is on our doorstep, and what do we see? Looking back, looking forward, and right in the here and now – we’ve run out of time to make excuses. We speak in love having come through the ‘60s and everywhere after that. We’ve been humbled by the realities of our desperate need for life. We want to share what we’ve found with you – in the hope that you are still looking for a life of love – only this time, we invite you to come move in to the reality of our life. We can give you the addresses where this true movement of love is happening. Nothing magic or hallucinogenic, just a life where people are learning what it means to love – to love others more than self – and to reap the fruit of the spiritual seeds we are sowing. It produces life and peace, especially in our children. Won’t you come see?
The desire for a life of love that would change the world and bring justice to all mankind didn’t start with the beautiful flower children of the ‘60s. Men have thought about it for thousands of years. Idealists have committed their lives to “changing the system,” but actually practicing justice in a life together as a people or nation has always remained an elusive dream — utopia.1
Human history has been a mournful, whining tale of woe and hardships, murders and wars, lies and schemes, the rich oppressing the poor. Kings, politicians, and philosophers down through the ages have tried government policies, moral systems, and experimental lifestyles to conquer greed. Nothing has worked because when it comes right down to it, at some point everyone puts good old number one first — and everyone lives that way. It’s painful to think about it. It was just as painful forty years ago when the Movement was in full swing, but we told ourselves we were different. We believed we could rise above selfishness simply because we wanted to.
When the time of our destiny came, however, we were unable to put love into practice. We could see the absolute need to share if a revolution of love and justice was to prevail. We scorned materialism and self-serving comforts in our quest for a simpler, less complicated life. We resisted putting security in possessions or in the rules of the establishment. We longed for a better way to live, free from hypocrisy and greed. We ached to be the ones who could really do it. Many tried living communally to put this faith into practice. But for most, the vision quickly dimmed as the cost became self-evident. It was hard to put others first. We couldn’t do it. A barrier surfaced from deep in our own soul: the self. We simply couldn’t lay down our own lives for others every day like true love requires.2
That’s why “free love” didn’t change the world. That’s why injustice remains decades later, with no real end in sight. The problems are the same — even worse. Hope is gone or is at best an elusive dream. The sad but true result is that a whole generation, once hopeful, enlightened, idealistic and beautiful, are now the greatest of cynics, almost completely distrustful and fiercely independent. Instead of being an example for the world to follow, the Woodstock Nation has become just another wave of survivors, trying to make the best of it until we die.
Now solidly in middle age with the world in our lap, what statement does the Woodstock Nation have for humanity about injustice? Beyond the easy exchange of our dope and our bodies back then, how much more have we come together for justice than those who went before us, whom we so easily scorned? We failed to make justice roll down like water and righteousness like everlasting streams.3 Instead we are reaching 50 still largely searching and unsatisfied.
Consider the residue of the Woodstock generation: 80% divorce rate, unpaid child support orders, sexual dysfunction and impotence at an unprecedented high, teen suicide, single parents in untold numbers, AIDS, the feminist and gay rights movements splintered with internal divisions, and the list goes on. Loneliness and alienation persist. Mistrust and fear abound in personal relationships because pure intimacy is so rare. Drugs didn’t set us free, but only caused the void to become deeper, leaving irreparable scars in countless numbers of people.
Many parents today are asking, “Where can we turn? Where can we lead our children? Should I return to my roots – family and religion?” The Woodstock generation is greying, still looking for spiritual foundations to stand on. Many are not settled; they haven’t landed because they haven’t found home. The cognitive ones are beginning to realize that the Movement failed because it had no unity — no true, deep, spiritual foundation, and no true authority to bring it about.
Destroy — spoil so that restoration is impossible; to break down or break up due to the impossibility of the “perfectibility” of the human nature by man’s own strength or will.
Like believing that communism is possible without God, so it is trying to perfect or enoble human nature and solve problems by living in community. It is an illusion to think that the fact that living together can empower people to overcome their “imperfectability” and somehow achieve peace and harmony with their fellow man. This is a mere delusion. Individuals who believe such claims are deceived.
Regardless of how creative one’s imagination is or one’s tendency to indulge in the fanciful or make believe world, attaining to “Utopia” is an absolute impossibility without the very Spirit of the true God, the Creator of all. If you took all the fanciful communities like the one written about by Sir Thomas More, and based them on Acts 4:32-35, you would find the solution to why community always fails. Here in verse 33 lies, without question, the answer to what destroys community life — the absence of “abundant grace... upon them all.” If, in community, the lovingkindness, favor and good will of our Master Yahshua, the Messiah, is not upon them ALL, then the destruction of community and the lives of the individuals involved is at hand.
Living in “community” without Him means putting your faith in the perfectibility of human nature by human means. This way of life has utterly failed as evidenced through countless times of placing cruel masters in positions of unlimited power and authority over others. This has caused immense human suffering and disappointment. The same is also true when community is set up without authority and everyone does what is right in his own mind — lives are ruined and wasted. No one can get anyone to take out the garbage. Without individual members in community experiencing daily “abundant grace” upon them, “Community” will continue on its delusional pathway and will remain a threat to the life and happiness of those who indulge in it.
Living in the “commonwealth of Israel” as Eph 2:12 and Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35 describe in the New Covenant Scriptures, is the only way God’s people can and will live together on earth in this age or the next age when the whole world will belong to the Master Yahshua as is quoted in Revelation 11:15. Then, at last, world peace will be achieved by those who did live communally, but by the grace and strength that God supplied for their every human need and achievement (1 Peter 4:11). Community cannot exist any other way than the way that gives God the glory and not men.