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Hippies From A to Z: The Way of the Hippy   (Views: 322,100)


Contributed by skip on December 1st, 2001

The Way of the Hippy
from "Hippies From A to Z" by Skip Stone

…maybe it’s the time of year. Yes, and maybe it’s the time of man.
And I don’t know who I am. But life is for learning.
Joni Mitchell/CS&N (Woodstock) 1970

What’s a hippie? What’s the difference between an old hippie and a new hippie? Once a hippie, always a hippie? These and similar questions are the source of much debate today. New subcategories like web-hippies, cyber-hippies, even zippies have become fashionable. But what is a hippie and are you one? 

To answer this question, let’s see what defines a hippie. Some say it’s the way people dress, and behave, a lifestyle. Others classify drug users and rock 'n' roll fans or those with certain radical political views as hippies. The dictionary defines a hippie as one who doesn’t conform to society’s standards and advocates a liberal attitude and lifestyle. Can all these definitions be right?

It seems to me that these definitions miss the point. By focusing on the most visible behavioral traits these limited descriptions fail to reveal what lies in the hippie heart that motivates such behavior. To understand The Way of the Hippy, we must look at those circumstances that preceded the birth of the hippy movement, the important events that changed our lives, our resulting frustration with society, and the philosophy that developed from our spiritual maturation.

Hippy is an establishment label for a profound, invisible, underground, evolutionary process. For every visible hippy, barefoot, beflowered, beaded, there are a thousand invisible members of the turned-on underground. Persons whose lives are tuned in to their inner vision, who are dropping out of the TV comedy of American Life.
Timothy Leary (The Politics of Ecstasy) 1967

My view is that being a hippie is a matter of accepting a universal belief system that transcends the social, political, and moral norms of any established structure, be it a class, church, or government. Each of these powerful institutions has it’s own agenda for controlling, even enslaving people. Each has to defend itself when threatened by real or imagined enemies. So we see though history a parade of endless conflicts with country vs. country, religion vs. religion, class vs. class. After millennia of war and strife, in which uncounted millions have suffered, we have yet to rise above our petty differences.

The way of the hippie is antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since these are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom. This is why the “Establishment” feared and suppressed the hippie movement of the ’60s, as it was a revolution against the established order. It is also the reason why the hippies were unable to unite and overthrow the system since they refused to build their own power base. Hippies don’t impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe.

Imagine no possesions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing all the world.
John Lennon (Imagine)

To be a hippie you must believe in peace as the way to resolve differences among peoples, ideologies and religions. The way to peace is through love and tolerance. Loving means accepting others as they are, giving them freedom to express themselves and not judging them based on appearances. This is the core of the hippie philosophy.

…see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, …all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ‘em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums) 1958

The hippy movement erected signposts for all to see. Some warn us of impending danger, others direct us towards richer, more fulfilling lives, but most show us the road to freedom. Freedom is the paramount virtue in this system. Freedom to do as one pleases, go where the flow takes you, and to be open to new experiences. This engenders an attitude that allows for maximum personal growth.

If you want to be free, be free, because there’s a million things to be.
Cat Stevens (If You Want to Sing Out)

Our society only permits you one or two weeks a year of freedom to pursue your own agenda. The rest of the time we are slaves to the system. Hippies reject the 9 to 5 lifestyle and therefore are objects of ridicule by those whose lives run by the clock. Programmed people are jealous and resent the freedom we possess. The unmitigated freedom that hippies represent is the greatest threat to any system in which control equals power.

I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing of established order. I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road towards freedom - external freedom is a way to bring about internal freedom.
Jim Morrison

With all this freedom comes a lot of responsibility. The system does not make it easy for us to survive without sacrificing our values. Therefore we must discover alternative ways to make a living without being a drag on our planet’s resources and our fellow humans. Hippies have pioneered numerous lifestyles and alternative businesses including communes, cooperatives, holistic medicine and health food. We focused everyone’s concern on the environment to highlight our responsibilities to our planet and to future generations.

I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one.
And I believe it could be, someday it’s going to come.
Cat Stevens (Peace Train)

Other beliefs that spring from our core philosophy are: an earthy spirituality such as a belief in Gaia (the earth as an organism), the Greens movement (political activism), even shamanism and vegetarianism. These philosophical and political views reflect a respect for nature and the planet as a whole, something lacking in our capitalistic and materialistic societies. The world needs hippies to point out alternatives to the entrenched system and warn of the impending disasters that await us if we don’t change our lifestyles. The goal is not to make everyone a hippie (what would we have to protest?). Rather we can try to influence others by example, through tolerance and love and teaching the virtues of the hippie way.

You create your own reality.
Seth (Seth Speaks)

So being a hippie is not a matter of dress, behavior, economic status, or social milieu. It is a philosophical approach to life that emphasizes freedom, peace, love and a respect for others and the earth. The way of the hippie never died. There have always been hippies from the first time society laid down rules, to Jesus, to Henry David Thoreau, to John Lennon, to you and me. I believe there’s a little hippy in all of us. It’s just been repressed by our socialization process. We need to find it and cultivate our hippie within. Only then can we reach our true potential.

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

As hippies age they come to terms with the same situations all humans must face. Wiser than before, let’s help the younger hippies find a way to save the earth and achieve more freedom than exists in our wildest dreams. Let’s find our common ground, build a worldwide community, and once again let our freak flags fly and become all we are destined to be.

Peace and Love, Skip

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The Way of the Hippy
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Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Monday, February 21 @ 01:24:23 UTC
i wonder how it feels to be a hippie

What is hip? (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 @ 22:29:12 UTC
I like the lyrics to the song by Tower of Power, "What is Hip?"  Those lyrics should be posted somewhere in your website.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Andrew on Thursday, May 05 @ 11:48:10 UTC
(User Info )
I love you guys

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Willow on Sunday, May 22 @ 09:54:25 UTC
(User Info )
Love it! More people need to think like this.

Peace and light!


Re: The Way of the Hippie (Score: 0)
by darajean on Friday, May 27 @ 17:59:27 UTC
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growing up i lived organic my brother was older.he would return    after one of his journeys to whereever.one day i was in warm conversation with the oh so wiser brother.i questioned what he thought"hippie" realy ment? he smiled looking at the sky and stated.hippieis hope in people  pride in(the) earth.i took this respect into my adult life.my brother returned to his alaska to pass.he isthe greatest hippie i will ever knew.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by bobby on Sunday, June 05 @ 16:45:39 UTC
(User Info )
this page is butiful man its got such good karma man peace brothers and sisters

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Monday, June 06 @ 21:54:54 UTC
this is beautiful. i dont see why people are so up tight. you only live once (well what we know is that). so live free man. be free. and do what u please. even if that means sticking it to the man.
peace
love
and
earth
-Willow

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 21 @ 02:22:42 UTC
this is great more people shoud think this way

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 21 @ 02:22:41 UTC
this is great more people shoud think this way

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by me on Tuesday, June 28 @ 02:07:58 UTC
(User Info )
WTF that was awesome and spell female without the vowels

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 28 @ 22:58:58 UTC
I COMPELETELY AGREEI KNEW SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS WAY!

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Friday, July 01 @ 01:06:55 UTC
The Word hippie came from the beat generation as to the young kids , Get hip to the Man your working for Him. Dont be lame playing his game.

We co created a counter culture that folks want to kill by Taxing Marijuana and making it legal instead of ending the
Not  federal reserve bank and elimination 95% of crime, War and poverty like JF Kennedy was doing  then they killed him.


Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by old mountain on Monday, July 18 @ 05:49:47 UTC
(User Info )
Peace Love Happiness to all Give more than you take. Love the one your with.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Fern on Sunday, August 21 @ 15:21:35 UTC
(User Info )
Man this page is awesome! Really inspiring. Peace, peace, peace to everyone!

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Raisin on Tuesday, October 11 @ 16:49:41 UTC
(User Info )
nice article. I wonder are there many Hippies in the States today?

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Cynthia on Tuesday, October 11 @ 21:26:48 UTC
(User Info )
Thanks for not making me register in order to comment!  My 24 year old daughter has been calling me a hippy.  After reading this essay, I think she might be right.  Great essay.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Friday, October 28 @ 16:17:09 UTC
cools way to describe something so interestin

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by We Need a Hippy Revival on Monday, October 31 @ 15:39:30 UTC
(User Info )
Great post.


Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Friday, November 04 @ 16:54:48 UTC
beautiful n oh so true

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 @ 19:26:35 UTC
Jesus loves you

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Sunday, December 25 @ 16:44:50 UTC
"The way of the hippie never died. There have always been hippies from the first time society laid down rules, to Jesus, to Henry David Thoreau, to John Lennon, to you and me. I believe there’s a little hippy in all of us."
Thank you for making this site my friend.

The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Ronak ShAH... on Sunday, January 01 @ 08:52:01 UTC
(User Info )
Little keys open big locks........@~
Simple words reflect great thoughts...." *.* "
Your smile can cure heart blocks.....(.^.)
So keep on smiling it rocks....!!!
this is the was how hippy hopes....
Happy New Year 2012....

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 28 @ 03:24:04 UTC
People should respect the earth and the hippi ways of life 
           Flower power !!!!!!

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Littlebit on Tuesday, March 20 @ 02:36:18 UTC
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So enlightening, so beautiful and heart warming! Peace and Love forever!

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by hipster11 on Monday, March 12 @ 00:59:26 UTC
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ya man

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by matt. on Monday, February 06 @ 12:51:56 UTC
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 i have become frustrated with the society i was born into, and i feel that being nomadic is the way we humans are pre-programd to function. any one help me find my true happiness?

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Saturday, April 07 @ 22:10:43 UTC
This was amazing to read! && I love seeing that more people think like this!!!!!!
Peace, love , freedom and respect<3 

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Rain wispur.. on Tuesday, May 08 @ 16:24:17 UTC
(User Info )
I have become soo curious of the way of the hippie life. Because it amazes that people can be soo free and peaceful.. I want to learn to love, except and respect everybody and evrything just as you wonderful people doo.. i will reach within and embrace my inner hippie cause i feel this is the right way to live. And happiness Will come soo natrually if everybody just thought and felt as i will teach myself too.. The earth is a beautiful place and we are all beautiful people :)

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anjell on Saturday, May 05 @ 20:10:26 UTC
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I Agree brothers and sisters, i love you all <3 spread the love mann!!!

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Larry on Monday, May 07 @ 05:59:57 UTC
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May the light with in you shine for all to see. Peace and Happiness to the world we share.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by smith old mountain on Monday, May 07 @ 06:18:49 UTC
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True happiness comes from within. Let your light shine. Love and peace to all.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Kaytee on Tuesday, May 08 @ 20:13:08 UTC
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Here Comes The Sun.
    Peace

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by bob on Monday, May 14 @ 02:44:34 UTC
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hippies r really cool they r so layed back. i got a friend thats like a hippie and smokes weed and hes really chill

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by NOT A HIPPie on Wednesday, May 16 @ 00:25:11 UTC
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 BETTER IF HIPPIES WERE GOTH :)

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 05 @ 01:50:51 UTC
its just a wounderful way of living and thinking it just beautiful :)

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Charlene on Monday, May 21 @ 20:35:10 UTC
(User Info )
I wanna begin living my life more towards this. Living for this wonderful earth and all that is has for me and for everyone.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Get a Job on Tuesday, July 10 @ 02:45:34 UTC
(User Info )
Imagine a society where nobody works, nobody washes nobody cares, well what a wonderful world..........idiots Have more weed fools your all delusional

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by rainbow on Tuesday, July 24 @ 16:46:02 UTC
(User Info )
my parents are kinnda hippies so ya. me too. butt i love it

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 @ 04:26:48 UTC
Make love not war


Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by floyd on Friday, August 10 @ 03:05:58 UTC
(User Info )
love and happynise to all. ;)

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 14 @ 03:51:02 UTC
live free, live happy, and live on fellow hippies <3

KEEP CALM AND HIT THE BONG (Score: 0)
by Whisper on Wednesday, October 24 @ 07:16:29 UTC
(User Info )
One love <3

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Brad on Monday, November 05 @ 04:10:02 UTC
(User Info )
BLESS the earth. BLESS the people. BLESS life. Life is magic, always remember that.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Thursday, December 13 @ 07:42:32 UTC
light the candle of peace with the flame of love,
let those who nurture the peace with in feel the warm flicker of love wam there haerts.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by rena on Wednesday, January 02 @ 15:01:52 UTC
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i missed u a lot to hide our power united

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by john doe on Wednesday, March 20 @ 16:59:43 UTC
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hippies will be hippies.


Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by love girly on Tuesday, July 09 @ 20:47:25 UTC
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i love hippies

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Aine on Wednesday, July 31 @ 11:11:34 UTC
(User Info )
Thank you. I am a hippie at heart. Love it , love humans, love animals and in particular plants. Love my freedom and will continue to embrace it.

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by Skip on Monday, March 10 @ 21:51:55 UTC
(User Info )
I remember the magic. I do not recall writing this, but it is very good. I have come to Detroit, but i fear i must leave, there is too much for an old hippy to do here. It only vexes the mind. Adictive drugs are king, and it is not healthy. I hope someone reading this can come and start the change for the better, I have tried, but it is like bailing the tide.
Peace and Love
Blackowl

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by autumn on Saturday, March 01 @ 10:44:21 UTC
(User Info )
This is so beautiful !! I want life..not routine money or fame..just life..people need to think that too..


freedom. Love . And all things beautiful


Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by bub on Thursday, January 30 @ 23:10:57 UTC
(User Info )
this is weird

Re: The Way of the Hippy (Score: 0)
by mystery on Sunday, June 07 @ 20:26:57 UTC
(User Info )
Nurture nature, be kind until the first blow has landed, pay it forward, dance to the music of your dreams.

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