How Did Hippies Practice Spirituality? (Solution)

Hippies often practiced open sexual relationships and lived in various types of family groups. They commonly sought spiritual guidance from sources outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern religions, and sometimes in various combinations.

What did hippies believe in?

  • Introduction. Hippie culture encouraged exploring these new paths, leading many hippies to embrace unconventional beliefs such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Native American mysticism. Many hippies sought to expand the horizons of their minds, gaining new experiences and fresh perspectives on the world.

Why are hippies Buddhist?

Non-Western religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism thrived in post-World War Two United States because they offered alternatives to traditional American religious practices. It was Buddhism that proved most attractive to American hippie trailers.

What did hippies embrace?

Though they were mocked by many as tree huggers, hippies’ culture led to the philosophy of taking care of the Earth through recycling, organic food, vegetarianism and forest preservation. They embraced ethnic and cultural diversity and tolerance.

What did some hippies do?

Hippies created their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the sexual revolution, and many used drugs such as marijuana and LSD to explore altered states of consciousness.

Are hippies spiritual?

Hippies often practiced open sexual relationships and lived in various types of family groups. They commonly sought spiritual guidance from sources outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern religions, and sometimes in various combinations.

Did hippies do yoga?

Practical working professionals then viewed yoga — which has deep roots in the East and is speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions — as a new-age hippy movement.

What are two negative impacts of the hippie movement?

Drug Addiction and Crime Achieving a higher level of consciousness via drugs was a central tenet of the hippie movement. But the abundant availability of drugs resulted in overdosing and crime—in fact, by the fall of 1967 there was a considerable number of drug-induced rapes and violent crimes.

Do hippies still exist?

Although not as visible as it once was, hippie culture has never died out completely: hippies and neo-hippies can still be found on college campuses, on communes and at festivals; while many still embrace the hippie values of peace, love and community.

Who is the most famous hippie?

The 10 Hottest Celebrity Hippies of All Time

  • Joan Baez. Image via Complex Original.
  • Janis Joplin. Image via Complex Original.
  • Joni Mitchell. Image via Complex Original.
  • Jade Castrinos. Image via Complex Original.
  • Grace Slick. Image via Complex Original.
  • Stevie Nicks. Image via Complex Original.
  • Jane Fonda.
  • Lisa Bonet.

Is the word hippie offensive?

The term “Hippie” in itself is not offensive. It describes someone who tries to live a happy life filled with peace and happiness, and one who follows his or her own heart and passions.

What are hippies called today?

The Modern Day Hippies Nowadays, they are called bohemians or naturalists. You can read more about living a bohemian lifestyle or what it means to be a modern day hippie in these articles. Learn more about the movement in the trends and lifestyle sections here.

What is a real hippie?

“Hippies” were a youth movement that began in the United States during the mid-1960’s. They were known for their long hair, colourful clothes and love of life and freedom. Hippies are also known as flower children, free spirits, indigo children and bohemians.

What bad things did hippies do?

Hippies attacked middle-class values, institutions, nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War by embracing elements of Eastern spirituality, free sex, vegetarianism, ecology, psychedelic drugs for the expansion of consciousness and community life.

Were Hippies good or bad?

To many others, the hippies were primarily a nuisance. People living near hippies resented their carefree ways, for hip-pies were notorious for not taking good care of their homes or apartments. Mayors of cities ordered police to chase off those hippies who slept or begged for money on the streets.

What happened to all the hippies?

Originally Answered: Whatever happened to all of those hippies from the 1960s? They sold out and got jobs, and either worked for the government, went into academia, or became part of the democratic national convention; all the afore mentioned got very rich.

How the Hippie Movement brought Eastern Religion to America

When we were in high school, the most of us experienced this experience more than once: walking into the auditorium with our classrooms to hear an alum deliver a speech. However, when the speaker is well-known enough to have a Wikipedia entry dedicated to them, things may become a bit more interesting. While I was attending Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, it’s safe to say that no lecture was quite like the one delivered by globally known spiritualist, philanthropist, and author Radhanath Swami during my junior year of high school.

Deerfield High School’s administrator had hailed his speech as “a possibly life-changing experience” prior to his return to the school in 2014.

However, as soon as this Class of 1969 graduate began speaking, I thought to myself, “boy, was I wrong.” Swami Radhanath explained how he came to have an adopted worldview and a deep interest in religion, which led to his path to become a Hindu sannyasa.

He has also written a number of works on spirituality, including his best-selling memoir, The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami, which was published in 2011.

  1. Finally, it didn’t feel like it was “life-changing” at all.
  2. He recalled his childhood in Chicago as the son of a Jewish family of Eastern European heritage, and how his metamorphosis into a Hindu monk began after an unexpected time in his life as a hippie, which was one of Radhanath Swami’s most memorable events.
  3. He was raised as a Roman Catholic.
  4. The Civil Rights Movement was coming to an end at home, as the Voting Rights Act was approved that same year, signaling the end of the Civil Rights Movement.
  5. and the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1960s.
  6. Even though he was already unsatisfied with the deaths of his fellow Americans, he was devastated by the loss of his companion when he was just sixteen years old.
  7. The counterculturist movement, or hippy movement, was founded by our beloved guest speaker, who followed in the footsteps of his pals and became one himself.

He eventually went on to college after graduating from Deerfield High School and enrolling in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Illinois.

He began researching Eastern religions as well as Transcendental Meditation.

In order to achieve his lifelong goal of comprehending the meaning of life, he realized that he would need to find a guru in his life.

And, as they say, the rest, as they say, was history.

It does, however, speak to a subject that is larger than any single human being on the face of the planet.

So, how did individuals who gathered to watch Woodstock while sporting tie-dyes and peace signs contribute to the establishment of new religions in the United States?

Allow us to travel back in time for a moment, shall we?

According to Time magazine in June 1968, the concept of monks and monasticism, which stressed renunciation of worldly lives in order to seek for the purpose of life, was possibly the initial inspiration for the hippie movement.

Tolkien, and Hermann Hesse, have drawn inspiration from early monasticism and its traditions.

A group of anti-agriculturalists known as Der Wandervogel (“wandering bird”) was active in Germany about 1900, when the country celebrated its bicentennial.

They also made a point of expressing their aversion to formality and urbanization.

A culture of going against the grain had taken hold among young adults and teenagers in the United States throughout the 1960s.

Beyond opposing the war and persecution at this point in history, counterculture advocated for sexual liberation, vegetarianism, environmental conservation, and the use of recreational drugs among other causes (such as marijuana, methamphetamine, and LSD).

What greater example could there be than that of the Beatles?

During the period between 1967’s Summer of Love and 1969’s Woodstock festival, hippie culture (which never truly went away) had an impact on American society, including art, dress, sexual conduct, and travel patterns.

Religion has come up again again.

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Swami Vivekananda had arrived at the Chicago World’s Fair at the turn of the century, and his foundation of the Vedanta Society is often regarded as the beginning of Hinduism in the United States.

However, although numerous Americans who embraced Eastern religious traditions maintained a public identification with the term “hippie,” others took it a step farther and converted to their new religions.

Because of their psychedelic sound and recreational drug use, they were quickly labeled as emblems of the counterculture movement once they gained widespread popularity in the 1960s.

As part of the commemoration of his death in 1995, his cremated ashes were spread in India’s spiritually significant Ganges River.

Famous actor Jeff Bridges, who served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for seven years during the Vietnam War, is a Buddhist who continues to practice his religion even now.

Additionally, during the Civil Rights Movement, Islam gained a stronger foothold in the United States of America.

Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer, turned to Islam in 1961, and is perhaps the most notable example.

After being convicted of draft dodging and stripped of his boxing titles, his resurgence in the sport elevated him to the status of a heroic emblem of the American counterculture movement.

As history has shown us, the introduction of religion into a new area has frequently been accompanied by an invasion in the form of “God, glory, and gold.” As a result, how did so many new religions gain popularity in the United States with little to no violence on the home front?

Since the turn of the century, Hinduism had been practiced in the United States.

For a long time, they had just never been given the opportunity to shine.

As a result, minority religions discovered a vehicle to gain popularity at a period of social and international unrest: the Counterculture movement.

To discover one’s own place in society rather than being taught what to do by social standards, young Americans aspired to adopt hippie lives and utilize their actions to learn more about themselves.

Those who chose to follow a religious path, such as Muhammad Ali and Radhanath Swami, were making a commitment to a religion that provided not only comfort during a difficult period in the country’s history, but also assurance that their questions would be answered once they established a relationship with the Divine.

  1. I was once so naive that I believed that the only way for religions to spread was through invasion and conquest, and I was right.
  2. Last but not least, a spiritual man such as Radhanath Swami has a great deal to teach, whether it is about life as a student at Deerfield High or about living in general.
  3. A civilization that is involved in war will always suffer the consequences of that involvement, regardless of the time period in which the conflict takes place.
  4. After all, the Hippie movement and everything else that occurred on the home front during the Vietnam War may have seemed as an anti-establishment, short-term answer to a pressing social problem.

However, its influence on bringing new religious views to the forefront of American society altered the course of history in the land of the free for all time.

Spirituality and Religion

It was a period of new ideas in the United States throughout the 1960s, including new religious movements, spiritual awakening, and liberation from conformity. Hippies began to fight against established traditions such as their parents’ religion and cultural expectations while they were in their early twenties. This was a period of unimaginable freedom, tranquility, and love that cannot be described. The arrival of several new “gurus” (teachers) in the United States during this time period helped to promote their teachings.

Many hippies wanted to broaden their mental horizons by engaging in new activities and obtaining new insights on the world around them.

People believed that using psychedelic substances would help them to transcend the external world and experience what it was like to be alive in its truest form.


A great deal of interest in Buddhism, and particularly Zen Buddhism, was evident in the early years of this generation. According to a Time magazine story published in 1970, “Zen Buddhism is the most well-known of the many different types of Buddhism practiced around the world. Inward meditation as opposed to doctrine, an emphasis on the visceral and spontaneous as opposed to the cerebral and structured, and inspiration as opposed to linear ‘logic’ were among the guiding principles adopted by the early beatniks and incorporated into the mystique of America’s counterculture, which continues to this day” (1).

  1. For their Zen-related writings, writers such as Daisetz T.
  2. The public adoption of Zen by other prominent cultural icons such as the beat authors Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder has provided Buddhist teachings with further popular credibility and support.
  3. Others were interested in Buddhism as a result of the Vietnam War, which sparked their curiosity.
  4. Buddhist teachings brought comfort to many of those who were upset by their military experiences.
  5. Meditation is considered to be one of the most important practices in Buddhism.
  6. The video below, titled “Allan Watts: How to Meditate,” is from Allan Watts and it presents a comprehensive and extensive discussion of meditation and its features.
  7. Of course, in Buddhism, spirituality is seen in a different light than it is in the majority of Western religious traditions.

Watts has already addressed this in further detail “Zen does not equate spirituality with thinking about God while peeling potatoes, as some people believe. Peeling the potatoes is all that Zen spirituality entails” (2). Alan Watts demonstrates how to meditate in this YouTube video.


Hippies were also particularly interested in other areas of south Asian spirituality, such as yoga and meditation. The majority of Americans first learned about Asian faiths through Indian professors who traveled to the United States as early as the 1890s to educate and speak on their respective beliefs and practices. Several of them, such as Paramahansa Yogananda, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, rose to prominence and found a large audience for their ideas, which they shared publicly.

  • A prominent guru in the late 1960s was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who rose to prominence in part as a result of the Beatles’ visit to him in 1968.
  • The findings of past studies indicating that genuine physiological changes can occur during meditation have now been validated by Harvard researchers.
  • In fact, according to the experts, meditation may even be beneficial in the treatment of tough issues such as alcoholism and drug addiction ” (3).
  • In response to their public endorsement of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, his teachings acquired widespread attention and acceptance within the hippie movement almost immediately after he passed away.

Youtube video:Transcendental Meditation – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Hippies were also particularly interested in various areas of south Asian spirituality, like Buddhism and Hinduism, among others. Indian instructors who traveled to the United States as early as the 1890s to educate and speak on their religious beliefs were the primary source of information for most Americans when it came to Asian faiths. Several of them, such as Paramahansa Yogananda, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, rose to prominence and found a large audience for their ideas, which they shared widely.

  1. At one point in the late 1960s, Maharishi Mahash Yogi was one of the most popular gurus, thanks in part to a visit by the Beatles to his center in 1968.
  2. Earlier studies demonstrating that genuine physiological changes can occur during meditation have now been validated by Harvard researchers, according to the journal Science.
  3. Meditation, the experts think, may even be of use in easing such severe issues as alcoholism and drug addiction ” (3).
  4. Because of their huge popularity, the Beatles were able to have significant impact, particularly among teenagers and young adults, on the culture as a whole.

His ideology, which he characterized as “Life finds its meaning and satisfaction in the growth of happiness,” resonated with hippies, and many of them accepted his message (4).Picture: The Beatles with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India (4).

Picture:Free Yoga offered by two hippies

This is a quote from George Harrison (guitarist for the Beatles): “The world is ready for a spiritual revolution; it is ready for the revelation of the God that exists inside each and every one of us” (5).

Youtube:George Harrison My Sweet Lord

Native American mysticism had also a significant effect on the hippie movement. Traditionally, this form of spiritual and religious journey was intertwined with nature and shared community resources. Native Americans exhibited their spiritual essence through the worship of Mother Earth, the reverence for their ancestors, and the performance of ritual dances, among other means. The concept of owning land was unfathomable to Native Americans at the time. Native Americans were known for living in small groups, and even in modern times, some Native Americans attempted to create “utopian” small towns.

  1. An Oregon Native American provided another explanation “For some reason, it seems strange to conceive of land as property, as something that can be owned, purchased, and sold; and I don’t believe anyone around here does either.
  2. Environmentalist beliefs were a fundamental part of the hippie movement.
  3. It was hippies who introduced Native American philosophy into their lives, which provided much of the spiritual underpinning for their views.
  4. On the surface, this resulted in a significant increase in demand for Native American clothes, jewelry, and artifacts among the general public.
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Slideshow:The pictures from “Indian Dance Circle” performance in August 1960

Vine Deloria said the following: “People who are terrified of going to hell should turn to religion. Spirituality is reserved for those who have already experienced it.” Native American knowledge and wisdom (8). (1). The art of Robert Hughes (Time, Dec. 14, 1970; reprinted on April 27, 2013). Robert Hughes, Art: Sudden Enlightenment (Time, Dec. 14, 1970; reprinted on April 27, 2013). (2). Alan Watts quotations, Zen quotes, and other sayings (accessed April 27, 2013). (3). Behaviour: Mind over Drugs (Time, October 25, 1971; reprinted in Time on April 27, 2013).


(6) Timothy Miller, “The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond,” p.

153 in The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond. (7). Timothy Miller, “The Hippies and American Values,” pgs. 153-154 in The Hippies and American Values. Quotes about Native American Wisdom (number eight) (14 Quotes). (n.p., n.d., April 28, 2013). N.p., n.d., April 28, 2013).

The hippie trail and the search for enlightenment

Vine Deloria said the following in his speech: “Those who are terrified of going to hell should turn to religion. For those who have previously experienced it, spirituality is a welcome addition.” wisdom of the native americans (8). (1). The art of Robert Hughes (Time, Dec. 14, 1970; reprinted on April 27, 2013). Robert Hughes, Art: Sudden Enlightenment (Time, December 14, 1970; reprinted on April 27, 2013). Secondly, quotation from Alan Watts or phrase from Zen (accessed April 27, 2013). (1) Mind over Drugs (Time, October 25, 1971; reprinted on April 27, 2013).

  1. (4, n.d.) Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Quotes,, (accessedApril 27, 2013).
  2. Famous Hippie Quotes – Hippyland, Category: Spirituality, selcat=Spirituality, On April 28, 2013, I was able to visit this website.
  3. 153 of “The 60s Communes.” (7).
  4. 153-154 in Timothy Miller’s “Hippies and American Values.” Quotes on Native American Wisdom (nineteenth quote) (14 Quotes).
  5. N.p., on the internet (n.d., April 28, 2013).

The Hippie Way of Spirituality or What а Piece of Soviet Hippie Samizdat Can or Cannot Tell us about Hippie Spiritual Beliefs

Juliane Fürst is the author of this piece. In 2017, I received an unusual package from Moscow that I had never seen before. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I was working with the Wende Museum on the preparations for an exhibition about Soviet hippies when I was approached by a friend and colleague of mine. In addition to his belongings, he brought along a suitcase full of items, which, when I unpacked it in the garden of my Airbnb while simultaneously inhaling the strange, smoky smells emanating from it, revealed itself to be one of the most significant Soviet hippie archives I had encountered during my many years of research on this topic.

  • Azazello, born Anatoly Viktorovich Kalabin (1956–2016), was a poet and painter who created surreal and fantastic miniatures.
  • Even though I was familiar with Azazello’s background, it was via leafing through his hurriedly prepared files that the entire intricacy of his creative and destructive existence burst forth from the pages in front of me.
  • There is a great deal more to say about Azazello, his period, his output, and the inspiration that fueled his interests than what has been written thus far.
  • Because of its pictorial writing and composed form, the notebook, which became known as AZ3 in our archive, stood out right away from the rest of the collection.
  • Among the chants and Buddhist jargon are occult and oriental symbols, as well as what appears to be a long list of quotes.
  • AZ3 Juliane Fürst’s address book front cover, designed by Sasha Zmei When Azazello handed over his archive, he said that he had acquired this booklet from his acquaintance Sasha Zmei – Sasha, the Snake – and that he had given it to him.
  • “Something associated with Vint,” the synthetic heroine that was circulating throughout Moscow at the time, caused his death sometime in the 1990s.

The only other person who would have been able to supply information is no longer alive (or lost to the Orthodox Church).

In 1991, Ofelia died as a result of an overdose of Vint.

Even when he was alive, he was difficult to obtain information from, despite the fact that his recall was exceptional.

Sasha Zmei is a model and actress.

According to the transcript of the handover exchange, it is evident that the booklet held little significance for Azazello and his family.

As he concluded, “He bored me,” he added, with usually sneaky humor, that he used to taunt Ofelia with suggestions that she should sense Zmei’s spiritual communion with her (“Do you feel Zmei talking to you?,” he would say).

According to Azazello, Zmei believed in the power of atmospheric vibes, which was nothing new among the hippy population, even if Zmei seemed to be a little more loud about the concept of ‘invisible waves’ than other members of the group.

This might very likely be an indication of Sasha’s specific interest in Eastern religion, in which the snake was a significant and semi-divine creature, as indicated by his moniker Zmei.

The notepad in our hands, on the other hand, is the most palpable reminder of Zmei’s presence.

However, it is evident that he is not the originator of many, if any, of the words that are contained inside the document.

When one looks through the journal for the first time, it is immediately apparent how much effort was put into it.

Its meticulous attention to detail and visual style are evocative of the labor of medieval monks who were tasked with accurately transcribing the Bible in order to conserve and spread the message of God.

Most samizdat was copied or typed by hand in the larger dissident community, typically in nocturnal marathon sessions, according to one source.

Despite the fact that hippies were not particularly enthusiastic makers of literary or political samizdat, they did transcribe with enthusiasm, as did broad swaths of Soviet youth in general.

Theodore Sasha Zmei II and Juliane Fürst The fact that many Soviet hippies didn’t know enough English to understand the phrases they were copying begs the intriguing issue of why individuals were willing to put themselves through such arduous work.

The fact that the text’s incomprehensibility gave the reader a sense of globality and internationalism was one probable explanation for its success, according to others.

It’s possible that the same might be said for Zmei and the works on Eastern religion that he collected and copied.

He was “into this things the same way we were all into it,” according to his buddies, who do not imply a serious involvement with the subject matter.

Communist-Leninist language was used to communicate official morals, which sounded stilted and complex to the average person.

The writer and reader were immediately transported into a different universe, one in which familiar concepts were given mysterious names such as Samsara and Karma, and in which powerful forces existed that were truly above Soviet dialectics.

The fact that Zmei’s notebook contains a diverse range of references lends credibility to this interpretation of the notebook as a voyage into the “other.” As well as references to Buddhism and the wheel of Samsara, which represents the never-ending cycle of life and death, other references on the first page mention Zoroastrianism (“religion of good”), God (“God is truth and good”), the Sanskrit word for fire (Agni), which refers to the fire that provides light and warmth.

  1. In addition to images of a star and a Hindu solar sign (the reverse swastika), there is also a visual representation of the mantra Om.
  2. (I am a Zoroastrian).” It is likely that the phone numbers were associated with the individuals responsible for the booklet’s creation.
  3. The inscriptions are both mystifying and informative at the same time.
  4. It is rumored that Emu Ugodny Lish’ te Deiania in Samsare will be prenebrezhenie, which will be similar to the samoubiistvu of the same name.
  5. Hippies were adamant about not being defined.
  6. They did not want to be associated with rebels, whom they considered to be the polar opposite of official culture.
  7. Juliane Fürst is a German actress and singer.

Later in the book, in addition to a discussion of the relationship between Karma and vegetarianism and a deliberation on the relationship between solidarity, brotherhood, and equality, the philosopher Kant makes an appearance with a quote on beauty consisting of unattached pleasure rather than excited lust.

Observations about God and monasteries can be found on the other page.

Furthermore, preoccupations with certain concepts central to hippie lifestyle, such as pleasure (referred to in the hippie slang wordkaif), beauty, and goodness, demonstrate that this booklet of spiritual guidance is intended to respond to hippie questions rather than present a coherent school of thought in this booklet of spiritual guidance.

Juliane Fürst is a German actress and singer.

Even the most solemn declarations of “truth is neutral” or “truth eliminates all illusions” are tainted by the first example of cause becoming effect: “I want to fuck” becomes “create fuck” – with the bulk of these phrases written in English and Latin letters – We could be dealing with an instance ofstiob – the sardonic and sarcastic humor that was so distinctive of late socialism – because of the crassness of the remark.

  • The next sentence appears to be equally out of place, however it is more appropriate: “I desire goodness – I pray.” The majority of hippie ideology could be found somewhere between these two poles – the desire for goodness and the desire for sex.
  • Despite the fact that hippies had chosen an alternative route from conventional Soviet culture, they had not completely abandoned their Soviet upbringing.
  • There was always a nagging worry among them that their lives were somewhat insignificant compared to others’.
  • There has been far too much frivolous enjoyment.
  • But what, exactly, was it that made a person good?
  • The answer to this question may be found within the pamphlet.
  • Furthermore, it is possible that this will be perceived as a redemption for the excessive amounts of kaif.
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It is also not surprising that the pronoun “I” appears on a number of occasions throughout the text.

This was true both in the East and in the West.

It was therefore not only produced as a guide to a greater comprehension of the higher spheres of life, but it was also used as a tool for self-definition and as a bearer of carefully crafted identity.

Every member of Azazello’s inner circle, including Ofelia and Zmei, was a regular user of various psychoactive substances that caused them to experience an altered state of consciousness.

Moreover, it is obvious that for Azazello, the feeling of otherworldliness occurred most frequently while under the influence of drugs.

Although there is the occasional mention of tokaif, which in those circles was usually used to refer to drug highs, there is no apparent attempt to integrate the question of drugs into the quest for a more/deeper spiritual life in accordance with Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian, and Orthodox-Christian teachings.

The creation of a manual on how to be a good person as a hippie – with or without drugs – is an attempt to establish a standard.

In spite of the fact that he himself was clearly less taken by its content than many other hippies, Azazello managed to hang onto it throughout the chaotic final years of his life.

This is not the case by Zmei, By Ofelia, or by Azazello.

Use this citation to reference this article: Juliane Fürst, “The Hippie Way of Spirituality or What A Piece of Soviet Hippie Samizdat can or cannot Tell Us About Hippie Spiritual Beliefs,” in New Age In Russia, May 18, 2020.

Hippie Values & Beliefs

The height of the hippie movement occurred during the time of social turmoil that preceded the United States’ engagement in the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that the economic realities of future years drove many of them into the mainstream, they continue to create a subculture of free spirits that share comparable hippie ideals and common hippie ideas with the rest of the population.

Understanding Hippie Culture

The beatniks, a group of avant-garde poets and writers who rose to prominence in the early 1960s, are credited for coining the term “hip.” A response to the cultural homogeneity of postwar industrial America, the beatniks’ works found a receptive audience among the intellectuals at colleges across the country. One of the characteristics of being hip was the ability to see through the social expectations of the day and retain a Zen-like detachment from them. That individual was often well-educated, enjoyed jazz, frequented coffee shops, and had a bohemian lifestyle that included the use of marijuana on occasion.

Taking Drugs in the Hippie Era

Throughout the 1960s, the hippie movement evolved from being a group of erudite nonconformists to being a response to American military and militarism in general. There were two fundamental themes that emerged from the hippie movement: peace, love, and global brotherhood on the one hand, and the anarchy of psychedelia on the other. Both themes were rooted in hippy beliefs. Many credit Harvard professor Timothy Leary and his famous “tune in, turn on, drop out” speech, delivered at the Human Be-In festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1967, for bringing psychedelia to the forefront of popular culture.

Practicing Hippie Beliefs

Many hippies were drawn to the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, whether it was because of their Zen detachment, their experimentation with mind-altering substances, or just because they felt an inner urge to go beyond conventional norms. In the hippie period, symbolism and imagery from both religious streams pervaded the art and music of the time, and many hippies went on to become bona fide practitioners of their respective faiths. Through the disciplines of religious practice, they were able to leave drugs in the past while embracing the peace, idealism, and Zen detachment that characterized the hippie movement at the time.

Expressing Hippie Values

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam neutralized the polarity that had powered the hippie movement, and the movement lost some of its importance to the general American populace as a result of the pullout. Many hippies embraced mainstream culture while keeping the hippy principles of music enjoyment, environmental awareness, and spiritual exploration that were synonymous with the hippie era, according to historians.

Hippies from all over the world assemble for the annual Rainbow Meeting, a traveling, back-to-the-land communal gathering; or Burning Man, an annual spectacular in the Nevada desert where hippy ideals and hippie beliefs dating back to the beginnings of the counterculture movement are honored.

1967: Hippies, Bohemians, Spiritual Seekers

Imagine this: a hippie commune in 1967, crowded with spiritual searchers and one enormous baby (me), listening to an elderly guy named Samandari, who claimed to have met the prophet of God, tell his story. As a result, we find ourselves somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, around 1967 or so, a long time after meeting Mr. Samandari at Sea-Tac airport, in a big run-down house near the university, filled to capacity with a bunch of bohemian students and spiritual truth seekers from all corners of Seattle, all seated around this tiny man, who claims to have met Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of theBaha’i Faith, and who actually met him The opportunity to meet Mr.

  • Why?
  • He was confined to a cell on a continuous basis and was subjected to severe persecution.
  • This has always been the passionate goal of the Baha’is, and they will endeavor with all of their hearts and souls to dedicate their lives for this cause until the divine light illuminates the entire globe of humanity.
  • 29 So, returning to the huge bohemian pad, I’m guessing my parents are handing out cookies and punch to a group of students dressed in John Lennon spectacles, leather jackets with fringe, and bell bottomed jeans, among other things.

It would only be a few months later that my parents would divorce, my mother would go to live on a commune in Oakland and subsequently work at an insane institution in Bismarck, North Dakota, and my father would take me to live in the jungles of coastal Nicaragua and start an oyster farm with his brother.

During those times, a large number of spiritual truth seekers congregated in one place.

It had become a vital component of the counter-culture that was just beginning to grow up all across American cities, directly preceding the approaching “Summer of Love,” to investigate alternate manifestations of spiritual life and the journey of the soul.

Spiritual insight and even religion itself, according to the majority of progressive thinkers, might provide solutions to life’s problems—as long as it wasn’t the religion of their forefathers.

During that time period, tens of thousands of young Americans would join the Baha’i Faith, which was then the world’s youngest religion at the time.

This was the environment in which I grew up.

Agnostics, Buddhists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sikhs, and all manner of ambitious seekers are diving into life’s most difficult issues and looking for the answers by delving, questing, and searching for truth and cosmic insight.

Pots of coffee and tea that never run out.

There’s music everywhere.

North Vietnam was an opponent that most Americans had never heard of before, and who had never endangered anybody they knew in any shape or form throughout this period: America was at war with them during this period.

Rumors of horrible brutality against poor peasants were finding their way across the border to the United States; poisons that melted trees, illegal bombing campaigns, and genocidal slaughter were all being reported.

What is the point of all this fighting?

What if all we truly need is love, as the Beatles proclaimed so many years ago?

–Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p.

–Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p.

Another battle was being fought in the southern provinces and in the cities.

Dogs are lunging towards you.

Because individuals of color desired to be able to sit on buses and at lunch counters, as well as receive an education, all of this was accomplished.

What is the source of all this animosity?

Furthermore, consider the people of your own race and those of other races as members of one organism; as sons of one Father; and let it be known by your conduct that you are indeed the people of God.


Even if the orthodox churches and clergy of our parents’ generation are unable to provide solutions, it is possible that alternative forms of spirituality may provide an answer to all of this lunacy and uncertainty.

People began to search for significance both outside of themselves and inside themselves. There’s a way in.

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