Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Woodstock's Poisonous Legacy

The media has already begun unrolling its wave of commemorations for Woodstock, or what is euphemistically referred to as "The Legacy of Woodstock", which for some reason is described in vague terms as "Peace and Love", instead of more accurately, hundreds of injuries, of which only three were fatalities, not counting the miscarriages, the rapes, the drug addictions and all of Sullivan County being shut down. Defenders of the festival naturally argue that it could have been much worse if not for all the "peace and love", they might do better to admit that it might have been much worse had local residents not stepped in with food and water, for hundreds of thousands of wannabe hippies and the cynically mismanaged music festival they tried to attend.

But Woodstock's real legacy is not in the relative handful of fatalities, or the people who got stoned and stared at the sun, or those who cut their feet open on broken glass. They were the lucky ones, because while Woodstock is over, aside from the regular commemorations, (some of the lawsuits over the rapes from the 1999 commemoration are still ongoing), we now live in a Woodstock nation. Long after the trash from the campsites had been picked up or had rotten away, the cultural trash still lingers over a nation and across the world.

The anthem of drugs, sex and rock and roll, is still around. And while rock and roll is in bad shape, annual drug overdoses are in the tens of thousands, and out of wedlock births are slowly crawling up to the 50 percent mark. And today we have a Woodstock White House with a leader who was conceived out of wedlock and used both marijuana and cocaine. The thought alone would have blown the minds of even the most radical at the festivities 40 years ago, because the idea was inconceivable in the America of the time. It is no longer inconceivable. It is now reality.

When the media talks about the importance of Woodstock, pegging it somewhere between the Civil Rights movement and Washington crossing the Delaware, what they really mean is that the myth of Woodstock was part of the cultural propaganda that helped change America, that made the unacceptable, acceptable, that shattered moral and social boundaries, selling a generation on the ideals of reverting to the animal state, without warning them about any of the consequences. The poisonous wave of deaths continues to resonate across generations, as drugs and promiscuity take their toll. And for all the smiling returnees, taking the weekend away from their corporate jobs to don tie dyed headbands and reminisce about the good times, far many more are missing, dead of drug overdoses or a disease whose 40th anniversary is yet to come. Those are the haggard skeletal faces the media will not show. Woodstock's ghosts have no place at the feast.

Woodstock was not important for what it was, but for the image it represented. The image of another America embodied in Jimmy Hendrix's tortured and distorted version of the national anthem. We live in that America today. A country once unimaginable, a funhouse mirror image of America, where the nation's leaders openly admit their drug use, where every moral value has become extinct in the national culture except the rejection of morality itself, where everyone wants everything for free, even as prices spiral out of control. A year later Hendrix was dead of an overdose. Another casualty of a destructive and self-destructive control that could place no limits itself.

The self-indulgence of that culture helped spawn generations that raided American companies, instead of building them. Whose lack of self-control insured that the government would step in and regulate their lives in every minute detail, removing traditional American freedoms to an extent that would have once been unimaginable.As drug use spawned the War on Drugs, government power escalated, trying to use criminal laws to control a cultural problem, as if any amount of arrests could stop behavior produced by culture, more than by criminal enterprise. The only real consequence of this was manifest hypocrisy and greater corruption. By the time the first Boomer President admitted to using drugs, the Woodstock Nation had become a fact of life.

In the Woodstock Nation we live in today, Congress has long ago lost any ability to control its spending. Instead of cutting back, the deficit is simply passed on to future generations in a supreme act of selfishness whose total scope is chillingly destructive. The government meanwhile treats the American people as ignorant, helpless and in need of constant supervision. In public life no form of behavior, no matter how abhorrent remains off limits anymore. Entertainment has long since passed any limits. There is no prediction so certain that can made as that the worst things one generation can imagine, will become the punchlines of the next.

The myth of Woodstock promised happiness without hard work, pleasure without discipline and freedom without duty. The consequences of that myth are all around us. The hundreds of thousands who wandered blindly and without food or lodgings prepared ahead of time, have become the tens and hundreds of millions who no longer bother planning or preparing ahead, certain that someone else will do it for them, and baffled when the whole thing falls apart. Meanwhile the organizers who lied to everyone, cynically marketing and branding the festival in peace and love colors, when what it really was, was a moneymaking opportunity, and were unable to provide for or take care of the huge numbers of people who came... have become the congressmen and leaders of today, who promise the sun and the moon, only to discover that in actuality they can't even deliver the most basic services.

The real Woodstock was not some shining triumph of peace and love. It was an event organized by the wealthy sons of businessmen looking to cash in on the hippie trend. They marketed that festival so successfully that hundreds of thousands of young people flooded a small upstate New York town, all the while lying to the Bethel townspeople and officials, misrepresenting the concert as being a mixture of jazz and other music, and estimating that only 30,000 or so people were expected. The resulting disaster in which deaths, miscarriages and hundreds of injuries abounded, in which local townspeople had to feed starving hippies and an entire county became a disaster area; was transformed into a cultural event by a carefully edited movie and by the official spokesmen for the counterculture who saw in Woodstock the embodiment of the chaos and moral degradation they sought to bring to America.

On Woodstock's 25th anniversary, Newsweek wrote, "Woodstock proved only that it takes nicely brought-up young people more than three days to revert to savagery." It has been a great deal more than three days since Woodstock and every anniversary and commemoration only serves to remind us that the reversion to savagery is all around us. It is in the drug trade, in the children born out of wedlock, in the constant torrent of obscenity in the public square, in the constant erosion of decency and morals in favor of lewd mockery and the hooting laugh.

Civilization was meant to turn savage into man. The counterculture unlocked the savage, and then has done its best to clothe him in the rhetoric of moral equivalence, to somehow hide the savagery that they have brought out from the public. But what the cultures of the First World desperately need is to leave behind the savage that is Woodstock's poisoned cultural legacy, in favor of a reversion to humanity.

Forty years ago the New York Times editorialized about Woodstock, "The dreams of marijuana and rock music that drew 300,000 fans and hippies to the Catskills had little more sanity than the impulses that drive the lemmings to march to their deaths in the sea."

There is no more sanity in the impulses that drive the cultures of the West toward their own destruction now, than there was at Woodstock. The madness has been clothed in respectability, but civilization is still racing lemming-like toward the sheer cliff and the sea. If we cannot arrest that drive, it will become a death drive that will kill us all.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sultan. I have been reading and inspired by your stuff.

RE: the conclusion of your Woodstock Piece: Don't forget The LORD. YAWH. "Death Drive that will kill us all" is a bit harsh from the eternal perspective.

Woodstock was bad news, no doubt but it is part of a larger, developing situation whose outcome is foreordained. We who are alive and remain have responsibility to fill in the blanks. It's a tuff job and you surely do your part well.

Thanks fer bein' there, Sultan. Hang tough. Very, very tough.

Ironmule in Alabama

Sultan Knish said...

By death drive will kill us all, I meant destroy First world civs, obviously we will go on.

Thanks. We all try to do our jobs, play our parts and hope our phase of it leads to a better finale.

Dodi said...

Hi Sultan! First, thanx for sharing your reflections. I couldn't agree more. I think you really have a good point. Keep it up

Danny said...

The 60's were bye and large a reaction to the ultra-conservative, deep in denial, hypocritical 50's, and its legacy while it certainly has a dark side to it, has its positive aspects as well- great music (The Beatles? Dylan?), more freedom to be yourself, more freedom to talk about certain things that were taboo... hell, even the internet is part of that legacy.

I enjoy and appreciate your work but at times (like this one) you come across as really one-sided, one-dimensional, ranting, bashing... you catch my drift.

Do you really want to go back to the 50's, when women and men came in one size fits all?

You know, there is a middle, golden path. Aristotle preached it, the Buddha taught it- 2500 years ago but it's true now as it was true back then.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you except for one thing, it's not "civilization" which was supposed to make man out of a savage, it's G-d's commandments, being the 613 or the Noachide laws. As you see leaving it to man alone they will always reverse to become animals. The 60s were the decade when the young generation threw up responsibility, commitment and law in the West (the Chinese "build the communist empire on the bodies of their parents). Young Americans seeing their parents who have worked very hard in those 20 years after the war and accumulating such a richness, that never existed before for the simple worker, had nothing left to aspire to, so they went the other way, during the mature years morphing into me, me, me yuppies who accumulated as much money and toys as possible. While their parents worked for the betterment of the family, their children want to accumulate for themselves and their physical pleasures. They don't want to fight terror, they don't want to build anything, they don't even have children! Who would have heard in the 50s that a couple will live in a 10.000 sq. ft. mansion, no children, but 17 bathrooms? It's brought the destruction of the family, culture and society

Sultan Knish said...

Thank you Dodi

Sultan Knish said...


I would question the notion that the 50's were one size fits all. The 60's were not as radical as they have been made out to be, nor were the 50's as conservative as they were made out to be.

The radicalism that came was less a reaction and more of an outgrowth of both the left's influence and the inability of Americans to figure out what to do with prosperity and leisure time.

Sultan Knish said...


yes I essentially agree

A Jew With A View said...

Woodstock was before my time, so I read your article with interest.

When I think of the 60s, I tend to associate it with the Manson murders, as I've read several books on the subject. Nothing particularly appealing about any of the descriptions of that time period, to me - and the phrase 'free love' has always made me shudder, frankly...:)

I totally agree with your comments about moral equivalence; we see this mindset all the time and it's dangerous.

As for the speed and ease with which people become 'savages' - hardly surprising. We're never as far removed from our more 'primitive' aspects as we like to think we are. The Bacchae comes to mind.

Sultan Knish said...

Yes we're not, and when the restrains are removed, the ugliness comes out as people revert

that is what the "spirit of the 60's" was really about

Keli Ata said...

I was just a wee one in the late 1960s and lived in a nice respectable lower middle class community in a nice family.

B'H my parents were from the Greatest Generation.

Overall the 1960s were scary, though. The end of the Beatle's song "Strawberry Fields" always scared me--something about the way off key guitar at the end unnerved me. If I remember one late 1960-ish thing it's that song that rattled me.

I've only seen the Woodstock movie on TV--nothing attractive about it or remotely resembling peace and love. Just a lot of rolling about in the mud naked, people dropping acid, a mob invading a small town and Jimmy Hendrix and the most disrespectful version of the national anthem ever.

With the exception of the rolling in the mud Woodstock is re-enacted every year during March and April. It's called Spring Break.

The difference between the kids/young adult of Woodstock and today is that the Woodstockers were hippies 24/7/ The Spring Breakers of today leave Florida and Cancun after 2 weeks and will eventually graduate from college and become president (or other people of influence) to bring our country down.

Of course when I hear the word Woodstock I also think of Snoopy's sweet little chirping friend. Poor Woodstock, named after a drug fest!

Danny said...

Sultan, I agree that the 50's were probably much more complex than the images of those commercials showing a beautiful house wife reveling in here new kitchenware gizmo and serving dinner to daddy with a pipe and two Mary Poppins kids..
But that's just what Im saying, your account is really one sided and flattens the subject. I know its aim is to counter the mythification of the 60's in the popular culture but doing it this way only serves to convince the convinced and turns off the others.

The 60's WERE a period of an explosion of creativity, not only in Music but in technology as well. Many smart hippies did a lot for computer sciences and laid the foundation for the www.

Ultimately the me generation was a failed experiment, but in the context of American mythology, where individuality is a virtue, it was a legitimate try.

Sultan Knish said...

Well first of all I'm speaking primarily of the mythification of sixties counterculture, in this case Woodstock

Secondly while I appreciate creativity, it has to be focused somewhere useful. Stoned people are very creative, the results are just rarely worthwhile. Writers under the influence of drugs testify that they feel very creative, but that the output is generally a waste of time.

The Me generation was about self-indulgence, and its consequences have seriously damaged America.

Anonymous said...

I think Danny is to young to know how the society was in the 1950s (only from "rebel" movies maybe). There was a rock called home where mother, grandmother were home, sometimes in the same one. Aunts, cousins and uncles near by. I'm not generalizing, but this was the structure, families were together. The 60s brought a fierce individualism and centrality to the I, me and myself (just like the movie), which in turn brought destruction of this system. Do you think children are better now than they were with a family at home? Are they smarter? Pray tell me why the Beatles music is better than the music of the 40s and 50s? What great paintings have been done? Crucifix in urine? Elephant dung on Madona? Garbage instalations in museums? You have to take the society as whole and compare: what did we win by this separation? I think we all lost.

Bob Miller said...

The unsympathetic New York Daily News headline of that time was HIPPIES MIRED IN SEA OF MUD:

avi said...

Oh my God
I've read Sultan Knish for a while and have always been struck by the intelligent thought. But this article is some of the most uninformed drivel that I have read in a long long time.It is full of rumour and factual inaccuracies of the sort the lunatic anti-Israel crowd usually comes up with. To have an opinion does not pass for informed thought.What a disapointment to read such nonsence on Sultan Knish

Sultan Knish said...

Avi, you're free to take issue with any specific thing I wrote, with my facts or conclusions

Danny said...

To Anonymous#56

I am too young to remember the 50s, Im even too young to remember the 60s and most of the 70s...
And anyway it wouldn't matter as I live in Israel where societal change assumed similar, but delayed lines of change.

I find it hard to believe that the baby boomers of post ww2 rebelled only because they were bored and spoiled. It's a shallow explanation and might be true in part, but it certainly can't explain the deep discontent and misery that forced them to rebel.
I don't think ALL families were like those 2 from The Graduate, yet you can't deny that this was the model that was presented.
A lot of denial and pretending-that-everything-is-fine-and-dandy was going on. (still is btw)

IMHO it was too much materialism and no spirituality. (no, going to the church every sunday somehow does not cut it for young Americans anymore, not in the 50's, certainly not now)

1 out of 10 Americans are hooked on anti-depressants today so I think that lack of spirit is still the deep source of lots of the acute problems of the western world.

And both conservative Christians and Jews on the hand and post-modern, liberal, atheists on the other are totally intolerant for new ways of seeking spirituality. Nobody discusses Ken Wilber on the academies and when Oprah Winfrey pushes a new age agenda she gets so much heat from the Evangelicals, as if Eckhart Toll is the new anti-Christ. (Im not saying I support her agenda, Im just pointing out the intolerance)

As for art- yes, The Beatles are by far superior to everything that came before them (excluding classical music and Blues)... I could explain why but in the end it all boils down to personal taste so why bother... and even if we'll conclude that the 50's and 40's had better music- the real comparison should be between the rock and pop of the 60-70 and the rock and pop of today in order to appreciate that burst of creativity.

And to remind you- Marcel Douchamp put a urinal in a museum as early as 1917- are you going to blame the poor hippies for expanding on that theme? And Warhol was a true master, even if you can't "get" his work.

(You are forcing me to be an apologist to the 60s while all I asked for was a balanced review.)

Avi said...

I hardly know were to begin. This sort of article needs more of a serious debate than a couple of wise remarks. Mankind has always been torn between the Appolonion and the Dionysian. If you examine Sumerian clay tablets you will see that wine and beer making are amongst the oldest of mankinds concerns. The prohibition in America did not work and was a disaster. If a thing does not work , it does not work, full stop. If you examine the use of peyote in the Native American church, you will see a different pattern of drug use than in the rest of the society of which you are a part.The hippie life style did not orginate with them as such. Maybe you can remember Thoreau and Walden ? It was a rebelion against a culture of extreme self centered materialism based either on the pursuit of money as the prime purpose in life or a rejection of our spiritual selves.
Maybe you have forgotten the positive impulse to an ecological approach to life that was part of the life style.Have you forgotten the impulse towards holistic thinking by people such as Steward Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog ? This set a very positive course.
Society is more than just a couple of old fogies hanging around in private clubs, drinking Scotch and discussing halacah.

Danny said...

I need to know- did you censor my last comment or was it my browser fucking it up again?

If it's the latter- no problem, I have the lazarus add-on, so I can re-post it. If the former- would you tell me why?

Sultan Knish said...


Your comment was put up and two people answered it.

Sultan Knish said...

Danny 2,

rebellion doesn't stem from deep discontent and misery. Genuinely miserable and discontented people are also incapable of rebelling.

Bohemnian lifestyles among the artistic crowd certainly didn't begin in the 60's as a response to a conformist society, they were always here in one form or another.

What the 60's brought was Mass marketed rebellion was and is a marketing gimmick, just like Woodstock. Not truly original or unique either.

As for Oprah, she has nothing to offer but self-centered philosophies about individual feelings, that beyond functioning as individual therapy, add up to nothing in the end. These things have come and gone just like EST and Scientology,

Sultan Knish said...


the question isn't wine and beer, or even drugs, it's about a culture of people capable of being responsible for their own actions and owning their own selves.

Woodstock's real problem was not drugs, the drug abuse that took place then and since, was the behavior of people who were incapable of taking responsibility.

The drug problem is cultural, and Woodstock was the embodiment of a destructive and irresponsible culture marketed to the masses under the guise of freedom.

WomanHonorThyself said...

brilliant expose..but as long as they can sell Jimmy Hendrix t shirts again..NO one will blink!

Sultan Knish said...

thank you

A Jew With A View said...

Am I the only person who actually *dislikes* most Beatles music...?

I love 'Yesterday'.

That aside, their music just doesn't do it for me and never has.

Just thought I'd ask, given the topic of this thread... :)

Sultan Knish said...

I'm not really familiar with The Beatles, way after my time, but from the little I heard, there's lots of crooning and not much meat. It seems like music to moon by me or gaze aimlessly at things to. I've listened to Elvis and while I'm not a fan, I get the appeal. I don't get the Beatles appeal or the frenzy at all, a lot of it is borderline elevator music. I can see falling asleep to the Beatles, I can't see getting excited about the Beatles.

But then I can't stand most music from the 50's, 60's and most of the 70's for that matter. My tastes run more to classical, folk (Hebrew, Celtic) and jazz and some alternative rock. But then I think the Beatles, like a lot of popular music, were 90 percent marketing anyway.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Sultan. I'm forwarding it to many and hope it goes viral. The communists said they would destroy America. from the inside and they have done so. Those opposing your views are likely too young to remember and may be "drugged" by rock music which Dr. Dennis Cuddy reported in "Conditioning by Music, Part 2" start with Part 1 -

He reported that rock music causes aggression, one of the main problems in society today. In our area a 3 year old child was gouging the eyes of other children in kindergarten and authorities report aggression in small children is becoming an epidemic. I believe it is because of the parents' playing rock music which causes aggression. Here are two quotes from Dr. Cuddy's article, Part 2. [Emphasis mine.]

"In the late 1960s and through the 1970s, rock music was followed by “hard rock.” Writing about this in Crisis in Christian Music (2000), Dr. Jack Wheaton explained that “the repetitive, constant loud backbeat” of the drummer, “the pulsating (at an ear-splitting level), low-frequency vibrations, and the soaring, wailing, crying sounds of the amplified guitar ***trigger major subconscious emotional responses in the body, primarily stimulating aggressiveness, as well as providing increasing, but difficult to control, energy.” He further related that when this music triggers the listener’s fight-or-flight syndrome, “the body is actually getting ‘high’ on its own internally-produced drug (adrenaline), resulting in… an increased tendency to aggressive and anti-social behavior.”***


"Through the 1990s as heavy metal rock music was affecting our youth, evidence mounted regarding its deleterious effects. Earlier research at Temple Bell College in Denver had already indicated rock music could even kill plants within a month. Then, in the August 10, 1997 Washington Times article “Heavy Metal Makes Killer Mice,” one reads about research by David Merrel. According to the article, Merrel reported that ***“it was like the music dulled their senses. It shows point blank that hard rock music has a negative effect all around. I had to cut my project short because the hard-rock mice killed each other. None of the classical mice did that at all!”***

Often chill out music is classical. How often is it rock?

The link below shows how those wanting to destroy America pushed drugs and rock music to destroy the moral foundation of society and used top rock stars and the CIA to do it. It has worked Today society is as it was in the days of Noah. The Bible says Ps 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Is this not the state of America today?


Christian Zionist

Sultan. I can't remember my password. How can I get it?

Danny said...

Sultan, I'll have to disagree- there is a certain kind of misery that comes for living an inauthentic life. A man like this has the power to rebel, at least in theory. You may call this kind of misery a "luxury" for those who can afford it but I personally don't subscribe to this view.

I think that the 60s sprang from an authentic desire for a change, maybe the shrewd shapers of public opinion harnessed this energy to make money, but they certainly didn't create it. It's beyond their power to do so. You yourself said something along these lines in a recent article.

As for Oprah, mind you, I didn't say SHE has something to offer, but she has the power to expose to the masses people who do, like, as I said, Eckhart Toll or this woman, whose story I find fascinating though you'll probably think she's a loon:

And as for The Beatles, do yourself a favour and give Abbey Road a chance, it might change your opinion about them.

Anonymous said...

>>>I'm not really familiar with The Beatles, way after my time...

I had the impression you were a young man. Are you not? Are you in the older generation?


Anonymous said...

My husband just said that he always thought from your writings that you are older. He said, "He has too much wisdom for a young person."

Sultan Knish said...


thank you. What password do you want to get? Commenting on my site does not require a login. If you mean the password to your own Blogger account, check the email you registered with or go to and on the login, choose the Forgot Password option.

Sultan Knish said...

Tesuvah 2,

Age is relative. Mental age is not necessarily the same as physical age. There are young old men and ancient young men.

Sultan Knish said...


the question is what is an authentic life? What makes life authentic as opposed to inauthentic. The freedom of the counterculture was still conformist, it was just a different brand of conformity.

Or to cite Monty Python

"You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!"

"Yes! We're all individuals!"

Every generation seeks change. It's part of the cycles of a civilization. But change has to be fundamentally constructive, for it to have any meaning. Woodstock was not about any kind of constructive change. Its very chaos and lack of planning radiated the consequences of destructive change, which is one of the points of my article.

Change is inevitable, but the issue is not change itself, but how it is directed. Part of what the sixties did was severely damage the ability of people to think objectively, limiting them to their subjective feelings. They didn't begin the process, but they radically accelerated it.

Tolle like EST like Scientology like the many seminars and the entire cult of therapy, is the product of a culture that is no longer capable of thinking beyond itself, and needs emotional shock therapy by faux father figures to adjust it into line.

Lemon said...

""Woodstock proved only that it takes nicely brought-up young people more than three days to revert to savagery."

Sounds like a shabbaton for Bais Yaacov.
Ok, I'll behave now.

Keli Ata said...

Jew With A View--

I agree with you completely. With the exception of "Twist and Shout", "Help", and "The Long and Winding Road" I don't really care for the Beatles at all.

The Long and Winding Road is perhaps their best song in terms of melody and lyrics and lacks the eerie mood of some of their later pieces once Yoko Ono, drugs, and TM became a big influence on them.

Their song "My Sweet Lord" which drifts from hallelujah to Hare Krishna is creepy in how easily it flows from one to another. One, two three and your singing about eastern religion. What weird is even as you make the switch from hallelujah to hare krishna you don't even seem to sense any transition from one to the other.

As I wrote above, their music is creepy like that.

They made TM and eastern religion popular among the hippie set. Personally, I would never try TM. I don't go for all that "empty your mind" stuff. Emptying my mind is a scary thought.

Lemon said...

Sheesh , kids today.
You lot have to lighten up.;)

As I always say, the main problems of the world are mainly due to the fact that your mommies don't dance and your daddies don't rock and roll.

Danny said...

SK, I dont deny the herd mentality of that era- it had it, as in any other era, and again- I dont think it was all sweet and rosy. It was an experiment and it failed and the consequences are multi-faceted, not only dire, as you proclaim.

I think you missed out Avi's excellent points about the Dionysian component of life, which is very much suppressed in our modern existence. To suppress something doesnt make it disappear- just to build up till it blows away.

And also- you choose to ignore the philosophy of the autonomous subject that lay in the heart of the counter-culture which was just a logical extrapolation of Decart's cogito ergo sum (the subject is the anchor for proving reality, not the objective world) and an extreme interpretation of the bill of rights.

I'll say again- it is a failed philosophy, failed experminet- a person must be an object to others, must bare roles, duties, responsibilities and can't be just some a-morphic, "free" subject. Not if he want to be a full human being.

But to say that it was only a contrived trend marketed for spoiled upper-middle class kids is simply false.

"Tolle like EST like Scientology like the many seminars and the entire cult of therapy, is the product of a culture that is no longer capable of thinking beyond itself, and needs emotional shock therapy by faux father figures to adjust it into line."

I dont know what's EST but Im sorry to hear you throw in the new age mix that abusive, money grabbing cult of scientology (which contrary to what you said in an earlier comment, is very much here and very much vibrant. Unfortunately).
New age is a wide concept. It incorporates lots of silly things, but lots of valuable things as well. Mostly it aims to take the best of all cultures- mainly eastern practices (yoga, meditations) combined with the insights of western psychology. Is ther something fundamentally wrong in that? Is it because eastern religions are foreign, it means they are not for us?

I hear that in America, some Jews call themsleves Bu-Ju's or Hinjus. I find nothing wrong with that. That's part of the 60's legacy which I like- the definitions are less rigid, more flexible, allowing more freedom, more ways to experience life, more... but I'll stop or you'll start to hate me now

Anonymous said...

Danny wrote,

>>>I hear that in America, some Jews call themsleves Bu-Ju's or Hinjus. I find nothing wrong with that.

The Bible says to not go after strange gods, and they would be doing that showing they have NO LIGHT so there is something wrong with that. The key to knowing G-d is to obey (shema) Him.

Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: ***if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.***


A Jew With A View said...


- Celtic folk music can be beautiful, I entirely agree with you there.


- cheers :) Good to know it's not just me; all my friends love the Beatles so it's nice to know there are some others out there who find their music mediocre at best. I quite like 'The Long And Winding Road', though, good choice :)

Sultan Knish said...


The Dionysian is very much around us. A good deal more so than it was around the time of Woodstock. That has not made things better, it has made things worse.

It was in many ways just that, a carefully marketed and package trend, promoted by businessmen and people on the make, which sometimes got out out of control as it did at Woodstock, or when too much cocaine or insanity went into the mix, e.g. Charles Manson, who had things turned out a little bit differently would be remembered today as a major rock star.

Culture is not random. It is pushed by people who have something to gain from it, and adopted by larger masses who want to make it part of their image.

And bits and pieces of Westernized Buddhism and eastern philosophy have been behind a lot of the seminars and cults, and they have as much in common with authentic eastern philosophy as the Kabbalah Center does with Judaism.

But the real story is why people feel drawn to them in the first place. These are not truly larger ideas, they reduce larger ideas to subjective emotional experiences.

Sultan Knish said...

Regarding Hinjus or Messianic Judaism or anything of the sort, you cannot mix different religions together. What you get is an ugly muddy mess that is either one in disguise of the other, or a muddy mess that is neither here nor there.

And Jews worshiping idols is a national breach with G-d and with fellow Jews.

A Jew With A View said...

Jews who call themselves *anything* other than Jews are being ignorant and are dishonouring both Judaism and whichever other faith they are claiming membership of.

As for the specific group of evangelical Christians who pose as 'messianic jews' - they are a massive problem in Israel and currently becoming more proactive in Britain also, as well as several other countries.

The Tanakh makes it clear: a Jew who adopts any other faith becomes an ex Jew. He/she still has the Jewish heritage but they cannot in any way claim to be following or practising Judaism or to be Jewish. Indeed, historically Jews who left Judaism and later wished to return, had to *convert* back to Judaism.

A Jew who embraces Buddhism is an Apostate, just as a Jew who embraces Christianity/Islam/Hinduism is an Apostate.

Right, I'll jump off my soapbox now :) LOL

Anonymous said...

Sultan, I liked your answer from 9:38 AM! (hard to keep track). All the new age and "like" buddhism "religions" that people look for, are just in sinc with the me centrist. Judaism is to scary, needs structure, self discipline, getting out and doing for others, new age is simple just like a massage for the ego.

Danny said...

So what you basically say is that if I, a Jew, take a vipassana course (which I did. Twice), I make god angry in some way?
If that's your god, I reject him. MY god would be most pleased to see I make the effort to become a better, kinder human being.

Sultan Knish said...

People want fast food and comfort food beliefs. They want something that is

A. Not organized religion

B. Makes them more focused, productive and feel better

C. Comes with its own infomercial

If the West survives long enough, that's what its religion will look like. The Megachurch movement and a segment of Judaism I won't name, is already working hard to tap into that demographic.

Sultan Knish said...

Danny, the problem is that you are your own god and make your own religion from bits and pieces here and there. That is commonplace nowadays but it seems somewhat less intellectually honest than just plain atheism. If you create the thing you believe in, rather than believe in that which creates you, you are following a circular maze whose beginning and end is in yourself.

Danny said...

Anonymous and Sultan- if you'll delve a bit deeper to Budhism, you'll find it neither fast or easy nor obsessed with the self, nor lacking in emphasizing morality. It's true to say that it's more focused in revealing the light (I wont say god as Budhism is an atheist religion) within one self, while Judaism, according to Emanuel Levinas at least, finds god in the connection between people. I dont see a contradiction- If I have negative, sub-conscious thought patterns, it's not as if I'll keep that misery to myself, I'll spread it around to my fellow Israelis, wont I? What have THEY done to deserve it? (If they were Palestinians, it's a different story ;)

Further more, Buddhism was never meant to be a religion- the Buddha himself claimed it, he didnt want to be deified. All he offered was to teach a technique to free one self from deep, negative patterns. That's why Buddhism, in its purest form (most of the sects are a corruption of some sort of the Buddha's teachings), is not a missionary religion and has no problem if youll continue to identify yourself as a Christian, Jew or whatever. It soesnt want to uproot you.

I still dont see why a Jew cant take a vipassana course and if any other sees a problem with it... well, as we say in Hebrew slang- zaba"sho (his problem, not mine)

Teshuvah said...

Sultan at 2:28 pm. You are absolutely correct!

Danny said,

>I still dont see why a Jew cant take a vipassana course...

You can. That is your choice, but it is pre-Flood thinking. Joshua said:

Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

The current Flood is deception, and among other things, trying to drive people to the lukewarm center of consensus. Metaphorically, how well do you tread water? Esau chose wrongly and are not the Palestinians one downstream horrible result?

You are seeking your own way and He will let you have it. However, you will not receive the blessings of a righteous man. Those are reserved for those who prove they love G-d by doing what He says. See Devarim 28 for a list:

God gives understanding AFTER you obey Him, not before. His rule, not mine.

"We will do first, and **afterwards,** understand" (Shemot 24:7).

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and ***none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.***

Christian Zionist

Lemon said...

I want to go back to the 50's when things were nicer but hardly one size fits all.

Jews can't be christians either since the worship 3 gods instead of one.

Keli Ata said...

I think when discussing the 1960s you need to look at how and why the country changed from the hope and optimism and yes, patriotism, of the early 1960s and the late 1960s.

In the early pre-Kennedy assasination 60s young people were much more patriotic and genuinely concerned about civil rights.

I think of the sentiments expressed in the song "If I Had a Hammer." It's the sort of song the hilltop youth in Israel would sing about a hammer of justice, the bell of freedom and love between brothers and sisters all over "this land."

I'm not sure how that optimism and social consciousness and patriotism about "this land" switched to hatred of the US and the desire to rebel against it.

I don't believe America's young people rebelled over the oppression of the 1950s. If anything they had it good in the 50s compared to the what their parents lacked a decade or two earlier.

And surely after going through the Great Depression and all of the horrors of WW II they learned something about social consciousness and concern from their parents.

How that got channeled (no pun intended re previous comments about the New Age) into anti-war protests, drugs, and general irresponsibility I can't say but something did happen marking the end of the hope and patriotism of the early 60s and mid-late 60s.

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