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The Woodstock Effect: And We've Got to Get Ourselves Back to the Garden

Woodstock, the watershed event for a generation, had a far greater impact on us than anyone could have guessed back in the late 1960s, when it was first conceived as a commercial venture by four entrepreneurs looking to promote a music studio they proposed to build. While the actual festival on a dairy farm in New York’s Hudson Valley was not without controversy and many less-than-harmonious components, the storied Woodstock spirit of Oneness that shines through it all is emblematic of our age-old desire for a higher way of relating with one another; of a more loving existence—the existence of our origins—and our destiny. At our depth, we know Oneness. With all its warts, the mythologized Woodstock, and the song it inspired, triggered our remembrance.

Though she did not attend, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell caught the spirit of Woodstock from her musician pals who had played there, and was inspired to pen what became the anthem for the fabled festival of “three days of peace, love and music,” popularized by Mitchell’s close friends, Crosby Stills and Nash. The song became one of the most powerful connecting points to the Woodstock experience for those of us who weren’t there, and has become, as well, one of the most beloved anthems of the Baby Boomer's idealism. Mitchell’s words not only captured the Woodstock feeling of unity, it planted a seed in consciousness, challenging us with a mandate: “and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden,” the last lines of the chorus. It was an initiation—a call to remember what we are meant to do—a depth charge of sorts, intended by the intelligence that inspired her to write it to detonate in our psyches and help wake us to the task at hand.

I was a somewhat naïve, rising tenth-grader the summer of Woodstock, and even if I’d had a clue what was about to happen in Max Yasgur’s field, I feel certain my parents would have flung their bodies in front of any vehicle that might have attempted to take me there. But along with so many of my generation, I was infected by the Woodstock spirit nonetheless. Of course, no matter how cool the music was at Woodstock, or the counterculture chic it represented at the time, it was not primarily the festival itself that we were actually attuning with and celebrating, but the rarefied feeling of unity that, according to lore, prevailed there. The stories of strangers sharing selflessly, of taking care of each other, in the difficult circumstances that only hundreds of thousands of people trapped by blocked roads, jammed together, enduring a shortage of food, continual downpours, and a limited number of toilets can create, are eclipsed in power only by descriptions of the “vibe” that pervaded the festival. Drug-enhanced or not, the magic of Woodstock was that it activated our recollection of Oneness—of life at a higher frequency—that lives inside us and always has, and reminded us that our destiny is to get back to the Garden.

So how far have we come on the return path to Eden? The headlines of most any newspaper would seem to suggest that we are farther from Paradise than ever. Based on the overwhelming number of reports of humanity’s hideous behavior towards itself and the planet, the picture painted by the media is of a treacherous world that appears to be getting more so everyday—hardly the peace, love, and harmony of the Garden. Yet, as the old saw goes, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” The time has indeed come for humanity to return to Eden—indeed, to recreate it. And that recreation is underway.

Let me provide a little primer on what—and where—“the Garden” is: The Garden of Eden—Paradise—is not a piece of real estate. It is a state of being. It is the state of harmony that existed prior to what is described in the sacred texts as The Fall of Man From the Garden of Eden. In this event, the first humans participated in an act of treason that evicted them from the state of perfect harmony they had dwelt in up to that point, and locked themselves out. They bought their ticket to the world of disharmony and strife by letting the voice of the serpent—their reptilian brain, the seat of a human being’s lower nature—override the voice of their creator—the voice of Spirit sounding within. They partook of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, something they had been warned not to do under penalty of death. By eating of this “fruit,” they activated duality (the perceiving of things in terms of opposites such as “good” and “evil”), a lower-frequency state that is the opposite of Oneness.

Duality is a reality matrix that they were not cut out for. And neither are we. We were created to thrive at a particular frequency—a specific positioning relative to the Source of Life Force—but by virtue of the choice to activate duality, the first humans lowered themselves in frequency—they lowered themselves right out of the frequency level where Eden manifests! Not only that, they separated themselves from the perfect alignment with Source necessary for a full flow of Life Force, assuring their eventual deterioration and death. On top of this, by virtue of their new alignment with the serpent, they were now magnetic to all kinds of stressful, lower-frequency energies. Life outside the garden was—and is—no picnic! Until we decide to opt out of the trap of duality and make the choice to rise back up in frequency to embrace Oneness once again, we, too, are locked out of the Garden.

One more critical understanding: the way human beings are designed, our inner feminine (we’ll call her “Eve”) is designed to be perfectly interfaced with Spirit to receive guidance and inspiration. “Adam,” our inner masculine, and the flip side of Eve, is designed to take the guidance and inspiration Eve receives from Spirit and act on it—you might call him God’s foot soldier in the world. The incident in the Garden, which came about when Eve’s attention was momentarily seduced away from God by the serpent, caused a serious rift in their relationship and henceforth (as stated in Genesis in the Holy Bible) Adam (ego) ruled over Eve, something he was not designed to do—something that was entirely foreign in the Garden of Eden (where, of course, they no longer lived). Because Adam had a glimpse of separateness when Eve turned away from God and toward the serpent, and discovered he could be king in that realm—the realm of duality—he became invested in maintaining that state. The time has come for Adam—ego—to recognize that he is king of a shadow, that the Light is where the actual riches are, and that fulfilling his role as chief administrative assistant to Spirit is where his true power lies. Until the Adam within us is willing to be restored to his rightful place in the scheme of things, we cannot return to the Garden.

The simple key to recreating Eden is in reversing The Fall. Like the online mapping software that has a “reverse route” feature you can click to provide directions back to where you started from, the route to Eden is found by simply reversing what Eve and Adam did. Recreating Eden is a matter of obeying the voice of Spirit sounding within while choosing not to act on the urgings of the reptilian brain—the lower nature that is all about fear, territoriality, and separateness. The path back is found by seeking reunion with our Source by restoring the rightful role of the inner feminine as the receiver of spiritual wisdom, and the role of the inner masculine as the active force that does what Spirit directs as provided through Eve so that we can rise in frequency by virtue of our perfect interface with the Source of Life Force, to fully embrace Oneness consciousness again—the Oneness consciousness we saw a glimmer of in the event called “Woodstock.”

That we can comprehend this means that we are on our way. That so many of us are consciously choosing to override our ego urges toward fear and separation and instead are increasingly seeking connection and unity, means that the movement toward the Garden is gaining momentum. The outer signs that it is time for the process to accelerate are many—the Harmonic Concordance, the Venus Transit, and 2012’s end of the Mayan Calendar. Even the deepening shadows that are represented in the news are an indicator of increasing Light, as shadows are always deepest where the light is most intense. But most telling of all are the signs within each of us—our sense of disenfranchisement with the world the way it is, our increasing repugnance at participating in the machinations of a world caught up in the soul-damaging ego-pursuits of a lower frequency existence, and the intensified longing for a transcendent spiritual reality that truly feeds us—in a nutshell, our yearning for Home. Yes, it is time.

Like a wave building energy in the ocean, it may appear on the surface to be only a small swell, but beneath the surface is a mighty force that is gaining in strength and will reach maximum velocity to sweep all in its path to shore. The movement back up in frequency to the Paradise of our origins gains speed with each choice we make to put Love first, and to focus on Oneness—oneness with Source, and Oneness with each other.

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.

Let’s go.

Julia Rogers Hamrick has been a spiritual-growth facilitator since the mid-1980s, and is the author of Choosing Easy World and Recreating Eden. Julia teaches about the relationship between vibrational frequency and experience.