All my little plans and schemes pass like some forgotten dream.
Seems that all I really was doing was waiting for you.
Just like little girls and boys playing with their little toys.
Seems like all we really were doing was waiting for love.
No need to be alone, no need to be alone.
It’s ree-yal love, it’s re-e-e-e-eal, yes it’s ree-yal love, it’s re-e-e-e-eal.
… No need to be afraid, no need to be afraid.
Thought I’d been in love before, but in my heart I wanted more … ( John Lennon, Real Love )

"The unexampled height which Lennon reaches is the height where love is one. There are not many loves, there are not many lovers. In so far as we love, we participate in the one ineffable all-enfolding mystery. Even as we are, we sense the immensity of love, and when we are in higher centres, we can sense that it is omnipresent."

These lyrics, seemingly so naive, yet reveal so much: John Lennon’s plans and schemes have vanished like the merest of dreams. The occupations with which he kept himself so terribly busy were the pleasant bubbles of childhood. By stressing as he does that he has found real love, he is stating that there is an unreal love. He had always known it was possible, he says. It is as if he had been fooling himself. But no more. Beyond shadows to realities, as so many have said in different ways. So that was John Lennon: he knew that there were certain states where love was real. That is what he wrote of in “Real Love”, and it supplied the fire to project it onto the world at large. The tragedy was that he was murdered while he was learning to bring something of this state to all the rest of his life, and to spread “The Word”, as he sang on Rubber Soul.

Kate Bush.In “L’Amour Looks Something Like You”, she is “dying for you just to touch me, and feel all the energy right up-a-me … The thought of you sends me shivering … All the time I’m living in that evening with that feeling of sticky love inside”. And I won’t even bother quoting “Feel It”, but, if you have heard it, you know that she is not referring to a sensory encounter with fabrics and materials.

Can we get washed away in love as in a metaphysical monsoon of autumn leaves ? Is love, as in John Lennon’s “Real Love” destined to remain an uncompleted masterpiece? Twenty-five hundred years ago Greek maidens were dancing wildly on Mount Parnassus to honor the great God Dionysus. Four thousand years ago, Babylonians were taking part in mock battles and stripping their king of his official regalia. Magical, rites, fertility rites; celebrations of ancient people steeped in superstition. Or so, at any rate it once seemed.

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. The Bed. "As a purchaser of their services, Toulouse-Lautrec also had more direct dealings with prostitutes. Indeed, sometimes he would pack up and move into a brothel for days or months on end. He even enjoyed shocking new acquaintances by giving the notorious address of a brothel as his place of residence! Prostitutes and madams accepted Lautrec as a fellow outcast, and permitted him to wander about, sketching and painting freely on his own initiative or on commission to the brothels. He grew close to his prostitute models; he played board and card games with them, brought them birthday presents, and accompanied them to his studio, restaurants, circuses, or theaters during their time off. He adored redheads, especially one..."

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ( W.B. Yeats. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven )

Rene Magritte. The Lovers.

When Sir James Frazer published “The Golden Bough”  in 1890, his Victorian readers confidently concluded that modern people in their marvelous and delightful hops, skips and leaps of progress, had laid aside such childish toys. Today, we are not so certain that ancient festivals were quite so childlike  or that the need for seasonal rituals was merely the province of myth-ridden barbarians. Despite the vast changes wrought by history, the seasons themselves have not changed, and modern people still share with their ancient forebears the same environment of the calendar: the longest day and night and in the Fall solstice when day and night are equal. In our response to the unchanging seasons lies a common bond between us and our ancestors and the common bond among ourselves. Certainly love assumes the character of each season though its essential core remains unchanged; simply the fever of the blood differs, running like a bright thread through an enormous tapestry of ancient rites and enduring myths.

Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage, with chandelier. Painting: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, chil

r indeed any human creature on this earth. ( Carson McCullers, Ballad of the Sad Café )

Henri Rousseau. Carnival Evening. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations:"I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so, the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.""

The psychology of the seasons is still an obscure subject, but common experience indicates its salient principle: at certain junctures of the year there arises a peculiar fever of the blood, a sort of common malaise, a complex yearning for something outside the ordinary round of life. The calendrical malaise appears inextinguishable; it returns each year with the moment that excites it.

Haynes King. Jealousy and Flirtation. "This painting depicts two women with their attention focused on a visiting man. One of the women flirts openly with him and has let her knitting drop onto the floor, symbolising the neglect of her household duties for this more frivolous pastime. Although knitting is now considered to be a female occupation, both sexes used to knit in the days when many country people knitted clothes, especially stockings, to supplement the meagre income they made from farming. ..."

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. ( Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 )

…We are now, inexorably, heading toward the juncture known as the winter solstice, the moment when the shrinking day has shrunk to its smallest and will begin once again to roll back the night. It is at one and the same time the mark of winter’s onset and the distant harbinger of summer light. Pagan Rome gave expression to the complex emotions it arouses in a holiday known as the Saturnalia, a week of general license in which schools were closed, declarations of war forbidden, and distinctions of rank momentarily discarded….

"Why does the wind blow his mind? Because, he says, it is high. But why “because”? It is a poetic way of expressing an impression of the ineffable reality of existence: the very fact that there is a world at all, that the sky actually is, the wind really is. The same wonder comes through in “Oh, my love”. There is no more intricate reason, no more complex explanation."

Oh, my love, for the first time in my life, my eyes are wide open.
Oh, my love(r), for the first time in my life, my eyes can see.
I see the wind, oh, I see the trees.
Everything is clear in my heart.
I see the clouds, oh, I see the sky.
Everything is clear in our world.
Oh, my love, for the first time in my life, my mind is wide open.
Oh, my love, for the first time in my life, my mind can feel.
I feel sorrow, I feel dreams.
Everything is clear in my heart.
I feel life, I feel love.
Everything is clear in our world. ( Oh My Love. John Lennon, Yoko Ono )

…Both in simplicity of lyrics, melodic grace, and content, “Oh, My Love” does bear a resemblance to “Because” from Abbey Road, and, to a lesser degree, to “Julia” from “The White Album” . All three are “Yoko Ono” inspired songs: “Julia” reflects on his relationships with Yoko and his mother, while “Because” was inspired by Yoko’s playing the first movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Lennon started by playing the right hand back backwards, but then amended it, creating a new and striking piece:

"And Lennon had started upon this road for himself. In “Oh, My Love”, we hear the wonder of the world being reborn in him. It was a hard road and a curving one. At points he seemed to have lost everything he had gained. But he persevered, and that, to me, is his greatness. Despite everything he had been through, all the mistakes, all the controversy, all the thick-headed stupidity, he was emerging into reality, and his feeling, his art and his mind were becoming deeper and clearer."

Because the world is round it turns me on.
Because the world is round. Ah …ah!
Because the wind is high, it blows my mind.
Because the wind is high.
Ah … love is old, love is new. Love is all, love is you.
Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry.
Because the sky is blue. Ah … ah!

Picasso. Sleeping Peasants

…Roman paganism died out, but the winter solstice did not; the early Christians located the celebration of Christ’s nativity at the same place in the year. The religious change involved was, of course, enormous, but the underlying passion of the solstice has remained. Indeed, it appears to be a “Saturnalian” one, as Christian moralists have had cause to complain throughout the Christian Era. We see its force today in the annual frenzy of Christmas shopping, a sort of Saturnalian release appropriate to a society of consumers. We see its expression in the annual work Christmas party, which, like the pagan Saturnalia, is an occasion for ignoring distinctions of rank. One way or another the urge of a season finds its outlet whether love conforms to the season or the seasons turn on the solstice of love….

Rembrandt. Lady and Gentleman in Black

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be
When our time has come, we will be as one.
God bless our love, God bless our love.

Grow old along with me, two branches of one tree.
Face the setting sun when the day is done.
God bless our love, God bless our love.

Spending our lives together, Man and wife together,
World without end, world without end.

Grow old along with me, whatever fate decrees,
We will see it through, for our love is true.
God bless our love, God bless our love.

Clearly, it is a song of love producing unity. Note that he does not sentimentally say that “we are one”, but that “when our time has come, we will be as one”. An altogether more realistic thought which does not deny the reality and depth of what they have; rather it is hopeful. Its realism comes from the insight that the goal, oneness, is far higher than easy romanticism would have it. It is, Lennon sings, the given consummation of a process.

Lennon is not just saying that he hopes that he and Yoko will be together forever, although he is indeed saying that. He is also saying that he knows they can only be together for so long, but that there is something timeless in their relationship. That is why he sings “When our time has come, we will be as one.” Once more, as in “Beautiful Boy”, he is realistic. He knows that they must die.

This is John Lennon, the mystic. He knows that they must die, but he does not know that they must be separated. Rather, he has a strong feeling, one could almost say a ‘faith’ that they are so close as to be a unity, and that they will remain so eternally. Then, to sing about spending their lives together, and then immediately to add “world without end”, is to imply that their love is as it was and as it always shall be, and what is more, it invokes not only God’s blessing as he has earlier done, but what one could call God’s world-view. This is both a love song and a prayer, or, one could say, it is a love song of so extraordinary a quality that it transcends the genre.


Remember, never use any energy to dominate anyone. Because of this, Buddha, Mahavir, Jesus, they made it a point, and they went on hammering, that the moment you enter the spiritual search, be filled with love for everyone, even for your enemy – because if you are filled with love you will not be attracted to the inner violence which wants to dominate.

Only love can become an antidote. Otherwise when the energy comes to you and you are overfilled with it, you will start dominating. This happens every day. I have come across many, many people… I start helping them, they will grow a little, and the moment they feel that a certain energy is coming to them they will start dominating others, they will try now to use it. Remember, never use spiritual energy to dominate. You are wasting your efforts. Sooner or later you will be empty again, and you will fall down suddenly. And this is pure wastage, but it is very difficult to control it because you become aware that now you can do certain things.


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