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Directives for New Life by Dane Rudhyar.


Dane Rudhyar

First Published

This long out-of-print booklet essentializes much of the material from the larger volume We Can Begin Again - Together. Written in response to the pressing needs of the emergent "counter-culture" of the 1960s-70s, this engaging short work explores the deeper side of issues dealing with individualism, group and interpersonal relationships, education, ecology, social activism and more.


Directives for New Life by Dane Rudhyar.

to the Second Edition

This slender volume was written in December 1970 at the suggestion of young friends of mine who felt that my approach to the social and personal problems then reaching a state of acuity could be of value in helping many people of their generation to come to a more fundamental realization of the real nature of their problems. Whether or not the few thousands of copies in circulation have had any such effect can hardly be ascertained. The 1972 Elections and what transpired during the months of campaigning seem to have shown that the majority of American people are essentially self-satisfied, fearful of change and presumably unaware of the most basic issues to which mankind is now challenged to give a self-transforming and world-transforming response.

To decide which of two candidates for the Presidency were, as persons, most reliable in times of crises and best fitted to a grueling job was not the most important question, though it appeared to be so even to many young and progressive voters. The deeper issue was one having to do with the human value of practices and goals which have become entrenched in our American way of life during the last hundred years and especially since the end of World War I and II.

The sporadic revolt of many youths marking the years 1966 to 1969 and their protest against the Viet Nam war — or was it not rather against their enforced participation in it — has simmered down. It was not the most sensible or effective way to meet the issue, because it took an emotional and at times violent form instead of dealing with the basic issue of our times: do we or do we not want the type of society and civilization which today is ours and which may lead us to some catastrophic upheaval?

Such an issue can be truly faced only if one clearly is aware of all that is at stake and accepts a total but intelligent commitment to a process of transformation. That process demands a complete reeducation of mind and feelings, a new approach to human beings, to the earth-as-a-whole, and to the concerns of daily living. It requires a willingness to develop a new, but sustained and practical way of banding together in terms of super-personal and sociocultural goals clearly envisioned.

Such demands are not acceptable to the vast majority of human beings in our Western world. They imply a spiritual and mental revolution, a revolution in consciousness. They imply objectivity, a sense of historical processes, and the courage to question everything that has been so long taken for granted. This is a formidable enterprise; yet it is hesitantly beginning here and there. Eventually a creative minority may feel sufficiently sure of the validity of new (or deeply renewed) premises, and consecrated enough to the task ahead, that it can take practical and concrete steps to bring to a focus the unclear dissatisfaction of the masses.

The first step is to clarify issues. This is what I have attempted in this small volume and in a much larger one which should appear during spring 1973. It is entitled: We can Begin Again — Together. (Omen Press, Tucson, Arizona.) I have no illusion as to what such efforts can accomplish, yet it has been repeatedly said that nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

The time for the acceptance of the main ideas which I have formulated in this work, and in many others dealing with related topics, will come when the behavioral patterns, the intellectual idols and the deeply rooted feelings of egocentric ambition, possessiveness and greed for power upon which our society is now based will evoke no longer any enthusiasm, but instead indifference or disgust. It could be a long time off. It need not be. Forces may be at work more powerful than old institutions or even human inertia. If a sufficient number of individuals and steady groups with clear purposes can be attuned to these forces of transformation, and courageous enough to focus them into their minds and souls, the day will come for human rebirth.

December 1972

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1971 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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