I met John in the mid-1960s, a hotbed of radical change. In those early days we had many discussions about our ability to manage change—to roll with it rather than watch it pass us by or run us down—and looked deep within ourselves for a fountain of renewal. We wanted something to stave off stagnation and despair. We knew it would involve keeping an open heart and mind, remaining flexible, learning to love ourselves and others, and staying connected with Nature. We needed to be closely-knit halves of a perfect relationship that embraced cooperation and eschewed competition.
Perhaps we would end our pursuit of the American Dream that provided us great incomes while leaving us emotionally drained and feeling neglected. Yes, I know that is counter-intuitive. If you are like most people, you want enough money that you don’t have to worry about where it’s coming from. But owning money is like owning a house—it must be maintained, and there are several ongoing expenses.
We turned our focus toward social engineering and created Sandstone Retreat to provide a pathway into the “changing lifestyles of the 70’s.” Sandstone Retreat opened a crack in the centuries-old wall of sexual suppression. We changed out of our designer clothes into total nudity, the one suit everyone can afford but finds most expensive suit of all to wear. Part with a few hundred dollars and you can deck yourself in Georgio Armani, but rock your birthday suit and you have to part with a whole mindset! Unlike Georgio Armani suits, when you discard one mindset, there is another one waiting around the corner to replace it, and you’d be surprised how good it can be! In the Sexual Revolution Era we had an expression, “If it feels good do it,” and we did it, and it felt good.
We found it necessary to resist the dominant cultural path that said dedicate your lives to earn lots of money and that will heal all of your woes. Now, over forty years later we see the danger of such bridled vision leading down the pathway to moral bankruptcy.
Our perception was the earth was quickly becoming over crowded with humans now having the capability of purchasing unlimited number of toys, automobiles, appliances, hi-tech gadgets and severely creating misery and alienation within. At the same time folks were neglecting their critical emotional needs such as human touch, compassion, intimacy, caring, love, openness and truth that really makes our lives hum with a rich sense of well being.
Resisting change whether it is out of Fear or facing the Unknown keeps us locked in to a stagnant quagmire. Embracing change (easy once open to it) is Mother Nature’s way!