Friday, March 4, 2011

Space Andromeda: Harbin's vision includes clothing-optionalness, Sierra Hot Springs, Nudity on the Harbin Property

Harbin ethnography:

... A hippie vision of vision has found form here at Harbin in the pool area, as place, ethnographically, too.

While Harbin founder Ishvara's vision includes, and has long included (since 1972), clothing-optionalness, so nudity as a kind of practice, on all of the Harbin property, his vision includes, nominally (Ishvara MacLeod Personal Interview 2008), creating Harbins all over the U.S., although this has never panned out in actuality. Sierra Hot Springs, Harbin's sister springs, about 4 hours away in the Sierra Valley, and also clothing-optional, is an example of how a second place, which shares Harbin's vision has taken shape in actuality; Heart Consciousness Church manages both places, and being a HCC member is required, and share a credit card system. At Harbin itself, one regularly sees people going without clothes around the Gazebo in Mainside, along the village path, and in the Meadow area, but in the the pool area, nudity is widespread, and quite normalized, for men and women. Part of the expression of nudity on the Harbin property has to do with topography – the waters and nudity in the pool area go together. The other places I've mentioned on the Harbin property are all in relatively close proximity to the pool area. And in the Harbin Restaurant, Harbin Market and Blue Room Cafe, California state law prevents clothing-optionalness, and most people respect this rule, although Harbin and visitors could and do readily 'question authority' (as a hippy thing) on property. Sometimes in the dances in the Harbin Conference Center and in the Harbin Temple, people are naked, and dancing, but these, too, are some distance from pool area, where clothing-optionalness is most widespread. This has been a pattern in my observation since 1993 or 1994. Nudity in the 1970s and '80s, and the 1960s too, may have been much more widespread on the Harbin property.

Harbin has always been loose, relaxed and pretty hippy-flexible, and while Ishvara bought Harbin in 1972 and sold it to Heart Consciousness Church in 1975, which continues to manage both Harbin Hot Springs, Sierra Hot Springs, as well as the new Harbin property in Lake County called the Diamond J Ranch, about 10 miles away, counterculture has played an important role in ownership questions as place. ...

( - March 4, 2011)

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