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The Great Awakenings

The Essence of Contemporary American Religion

Part Thirty-Five


By Shlomo Phillips © 1989
(most recent update March 05, 2015)

The Fourth Great Awakening?

And then in the 1960's the world exploded!

People were questioning and challenging everything. Blind faith in the add-on tenets of materialism, consumerism, and the capitalist-bankrolled sciences were being regarded as unacceptable as traditional organized religion by more and more people. The nation was now adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

'A Brave New World' was again being formed by unseen social engineers and manipulators (note 35). The social trends they presented were generally accepted by the masses but an uneasiness was clearly present, just beneath the surface and not only among the protesting youth. People were sensing that an unnameable "something" was out of sync with history and with what it meant to "be American." Aldous Huxley, the well known member of the influential globalist family, shed light on this during his speech at UC Berkeley in 1962 when comparing the visions of Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984:

The Ultimate Revolution | by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World, Aldus Huxley's Vision, (1980)-Full Film

People were again speaking of the dawn of a new era. This time the utopian "Age of Aquarius." People like Huxley and Orwell were insiders warning the world that this proposed New World Order would not be something humanity should pursue and embrace. But the world did not listen to them and they still do not.

1984, George Orwell's Vision, (1956) - Full Film

This growing cynicism and apathy, coupled with the idea of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, lead to a new if short-lived Fourth Great Awakening.

Onward Through The Fog!

In the 1960's and 70's entry into this new age of expanded consciousness was not dependent upon traditional religious conventions nor on the cold logic of the Enlightenment. Filled with a spirit of universalism born during the Third Great Awakening with the World Parliament of Religions and carefully manufactured 'hope', many people took what worked for them from the existing beliefs and left the rest behind. In this brave new world it didn't so much matter what one believed as long as one believed in something that was politically correct. What was not politically correct was adherence to traditional Christianity or Judaism.

Again the established paradigms were being tossed aside but this time they were replaced by a previously unknown fluidity of perception and consciousness that was devoid of all known implications of what they lead to. The nation was rushing onward into a dense fog with no idea of the world that awaited them. This growing social transformation was not dependant on LSD and other artificial substances, although they certainly played their part! The US war against Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and other countries also fueled an already discontent nation into a cultural revolution that wiped away many of the previous paradigms. This Fourth Great awakening directly impacted everyone on the planet and laid the foundation for is happening today.

The Beatles summed up the mood of the day well: "Love is all you need."

Other than being 'free' it was not at all clear what this overused word love meant however! Free Love, Free drugs, Free Clinics, Free Boxes, Free Lunches, Free STD's, free OD's... Freedom is good but it requires self and social responsibility.

In a land that was actively rejecting its past, marriages crumbled. Today over half end in divorce. Most of the nation's children live without one or both of their biological parents in the home, something unusual before the 1960's, and a large percentage of kids are today born to single mothers, something previously viewed as scandalous. A new age was indeed dawning.

Inspired by people like Dr. Timothy Leary (October 22, 1920 - May 31, 1996) thousands of young people 'turned on, tuned in, and dropped out' of society during the two decades of the Fourth Great Awakening. They hopped to 'find themselves' and yet most only became more lost. Some of these people went to the Hattiesburg district of San Francisco, others to Greenwich Village in New York, or similar places where self-discovery was promised and seldom if ever achieved. Others traveled to India in the hopes of finding their guru, or to the mountains of Peru. One of these seekers, Baba Ram Das (born Richard Al pert, April 6, 1931), spoke those immortal words, "Bite your fingernail and you're eating your guru alive!" and "Just BE HERE NOW!" (BHN).

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