By Alan Laurie

In 1969, I was into my second year as a Fine Arts major at Louisiana State University. The hippie culture on campus (being in the Deep South) was a low percentage overall, but significantly larger in the Art Department, myself included. One morning my clock radio woke me to some beautiful music I had never heard before: “The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius” sung by The 5th Dimension.

The song thrilled me. Its lyrics inspired me and burst through the radio with bright rays of light and hope. For decades following, such an image of a golden era of Utopia fueled my optimistic outlook on the world. Back then, we of the counter-culture frame of mind could see that there was plenty wrong and wondered why others could not. Take Vietnam and civil rights, for example. In the last few years, that optimism has faded and almost been smothered. The world is now clearly in great danger of being beyond repair and I believe in the coming few years will display worldwide catastrophe of Biblical proportions affecting every soul on this planet; everything from economic collapses and wars to famine and massively devastating earthquakes, floods and eerie changes in weather patterns. I truly believe that Mother Earth is a living being. She is in pain and cannot take any more abuse.

I moved to a slice of Heaven called Takilma [Oregon] less than a month before 9-11. No TV reception – so I went cold turkey. Friends shared reading materials I might have otherwise never encountered. Reading “real world” news and observations by intelligent and highly spiritual (I do not mean religious) people, rather than simply accepting what the corporate mass media had been feeding me, was like diving into the local Illinois River on a hot day. I also tuned into NPR. Then, I moved seven months ago to a location that receives a signal for the NBC channel. In the three years I have been TV-free, things in that medium have been ballooning in such a negative-values direction that it scares me. Donald Trump is still a national hero. Bigger gas-guzzlers are to be desired. And ever-newer drugs with arm-long lists of harmful side effects (while the gift of the medicinal marijuana plant is still slammed as being bad for you); all sorts of addictive fatty, salty, sugary fast foods; and the joys of bankcards and disposable plastic kitchen storage containers.

I believe that fundamentalists of religion, whether Christian or Muslim, are the complete opposite of true spirituality. The Jerry Falwells of this world who count themselves as “spiritual leaders” are nothing short of would-be dictators. I have never understood greed, but believe it is based on fear and a complete lack of spirituality. Spirituality begins in one place – love of the Earth. That expands to greater awareness and love of God. And praises to the Biscuit-logging protesters for their being arrested and jailed for defending what we all truly love.

We are now all subjects of government and corporate corruption, based entirely on the greed and fear of a few. We are seeing age-old predictions of indigenous peoples coming to be. The phrase, “Evil Empire,” does indeed apply to the good ole USA, and the collapse of the “system” and way of life as we know it is coming down fast.

We enter the Age of Aquarius in the year 2012. The ancient Mayan calendar ends that year. It is written in the cosmos that that year is a critical year for the planet Earth and the whole universe is watching. We will go through hard times as citizens of Earth in the coming years. The Age of Aquarius is on the horizon. Will we stay on-board the train bound for self-destruction, or will we jump off and begin repairing what is left behind?

I believe we will survive and establish the Utopia promised by the hippies in the musical, “Hair,” who glory in the reality of the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

Alan Laurie is an artist living in the woods of Southern Oregon. He received his BFA from LSU way back in 1972 and went on to a career as a fine artist and graphic artist receiving numerous awards along the way. He is now pleased to be at the age where he can legally wear socks with his sandals. You can see some of his work at