Tips and ideas for living an authentic life

I saw a show the other day on called, Bob Dylan – No Direction Home, and at one point in the show, someone said something to the effect that Dylan was a kind of spokes-person for the collective consciousness of the time (1950’s and 60’s).

I agree. The lyrics in his songs connected more with how I felt than what made sense, who I was than where I was going.

The show covered some of his time in Greenwich Village in New York City – places like the Gaslight Cafe, Cafe Wha? and others and people like Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, the Clancy Brothers and other famous and not so famous folk singers of the time.

I spent a good deal of time in the Village myself during that time. I remember it feeling like a big cauldron of soup where all kinds of people gathered in a sort of discovery mode fired by some kind of powerful group resonance. Anyone who spent time in the Village back in those days would probably agree that they didn’t really know what to expect other than maybe the unexpected.

My sister and her boyfriend Duke lived in the Village and he owned a Mexican restaurant called Tortilla Flat just off Washington Square on Washington Place. I would often go down there on weekends with a college buddy to have some fun.

I remember one time I walked into Duke’s restaurant on a busy Friday night and he was at the bar talking with a bunch of people. He was a real outgoing boisterous kind of guy who always seemed to be walking the thin line between what was acceptable and what wasn’t – not exactly a con man but not too far from it. Welcome to Greenwich Village.

As the night went on and the drinks kept coming, it turned out that there was another guy at the bar who locals called the Baltimore Bullet. He had a reputation as a fast runner.

As the night wore on, Duke started claiming that I could outrun the Baltimore Bullet. By around two o’clock in the morning a challenge was set and the bar emptied out into the street to see who was the fastest. It was raining and no one, crowd or runners, seemed particularly sober. No matter – this was serious and there was money on the table.

The Bullet and I went to one end of Washington Place and the crowd gathered at the other. This was truly the gathering of a motley crew and it didn’t go unnoticed by New York’s finest. Two cops walked over to the Bullet and me just as we were getting ready to go to the starting line. I think they had their hands on their billy clubs just in case and they asked what was up. We told them about the challenge and they immediately stopped traffic and blocked off the street for our showdown.

Dripping wet but well pleased with myself, I won the race and was promised free drinks ad infinitum for my victory. The Bullet was humbled and the girls were now gathered around me instead of him. Ah, the Village – you just never knew where things were headed.

There was a certain flow and fluid nature down in the Village – a flow that in a way represented the collective consciousness of the country at the time. You were either in the flow or trying at some level to resist it but regardless of which side you were on, everyone was in the same game. I think Dylan really got that collective feeling of flow and resistance into his songs.

What is the collective consciousness today (hint: look at cutting edge fine arts like music, art and theater for signs). I think we all stand on the shoulders of what happened back in the day and I feel again that there is something really awesome collectively happening today. Some people are in the flow of discovery and some resisting it.

The great thing about collective consciousness is that it doesn’t require you to be in a particular place like Greenwich Village in order to experience it. You are experiencing it no matter who or where you are. The times they are a changin’ again on a more global scale and this time, it’s your time.

Connect with your own resonant energy, the energy of collective consciousness and share in today’s soup cauldron of discovery. It was an amazing time to be alive back in the 1960’s and it’s an amazing time to be alive today when you engage fully in what feels right for you.

No need to be against something or to know where you are going – just be for whoever you are. Show up and keep that resonant fire alive and the soup of discovery cooking for those who follow us.

Please post a comment and tell me what you think – I read them all. I’ll be answering questions and reviewing comments personally whenever possible.

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