On Thursday December 6th, 2018, the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon will review and discuss “The Spiritual Meaning of the Sixties” (2018) by Tobias Churton. This is a 653 page door-stopper of a book subtitled: “the Magic, Myths & Music of the Decade that Changed the World,” And it certainly lives up to its subtitle. Even though Churton’s previous books have been in the mystical, occult genre, this one should break into the mainstream and be read by every thoughtful reader interested in the present spiritual, philosophical and political divisions in what we call Western Civilization. Using the Music, films, television, and popular fads of the period as his mirror of reflection he leads us through the decade. The cultural impact of the Beatles, and rock music, the sexual revolution, psychedelics, the Bomb, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and the rise of feminism are all dealt with in turn. And the inability of established religion to cope with the spiritual challenges of the time is considered. The author was a child in England and Australia during the period and gives us a remarkable picture of the era from a growing child’s perspective. My one criticism of the book stems from Churton’s memory picture. I was a teenager in 1950s America. I recall that repressive era which preceded the social liberation of the sixties. I think Churton should have added “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” (1956) to his list of media catalysts. So if you want to look back at the days of Flower-Power and Strawberry Fields Forever, turn-on, tune-in and give a listen.
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