When the mind makes an object out of a state of consciousness it returns to a complex matrix of the senses, belief and effort, into separate and divided processes. It seems to be the destiny of all seekers to desire and crave the divided and quantifiable. Is it fear driving the process?
Is freedom a liberation of consciousness? A liberation of reality, a discarding of convention. Call it deferring reality or suspending reality. An authentic brave new world of artificial reality and virtual sanity that steps outside the artifacts of our conditioning. One which peels back the layer of belief that gives the feeling of hard truth to a story. Without belief our emotional engagement and our layer of need and suffering would be completely absent from direct experience. But belief requires an effort. When all these processes coalesce into one process, that which is left is a luminous awakened self; a self which is not an object, not objective, not a commodity. Not to be possessed and bartered. …
In John Lennon’s Imagine, there is something big,and unprecedented that overshadows the song as a whole. There is a great spirit at work that reaches far beyond our daily experience of being confronted and coaxed by the power of marketing, the objectification of “the gaze” that seems to neutralize the regions of our brain associated with the urge for cravings that imprison us in the risky glory of the three dimensional world.Something that challenges the trope of contented consumption and the illusion of well-being.
John Lennon was pragmatic enough to realize that, eventually, people who seek freedom will need to act. He also possessed the experience to know that music can be a catalyst to action. Also, he understood that the first act of liberation is one of the imagination. Freedom as a liberation of consciousness is a freedom of what? Lennon addressed these issues in a touch over three minutes in Imagine. Imagine is Lennon’s signature song, an anthemic appeal to an idyllic world, a utopian conception of benevolence and peace. However, every force arouses a contrary reaction, and Imagine is also Lennon’s most controversial composition primarily on the basis of the line “Imagine there’s no heaven”, which is interpreted as a denial of a traditional Judeo- Christian god; if our father is not in heaven, could someone put out a search?
Jordan B. Peterson:”God is dead,” proclaimed Nietzsche, shockingly, in 1882. During the 20th century, the West became increasingly receptive to such a message. By 1971, John Lennon could Imagine that “no religion” was a precondition for world harmony. But what did he mean by “no religion,” anyway? No religious institutions? Everyone but the personality-disordered anarchist understands that institutions are necessary.
No religious experience? Lennon constantly sought religious experience, through mysticism and psychedelic drug use.
Lennon commented that the song was anti-religion and anti-capitalist, but that it passed muster because it was a “sugar-coated” pop tune, which is not entirely true but hardly a false assertion.Most people who are endeared to it as an anthem do not really think about what the song says, although they understand what it’s about. Though the words could hardly be any more explicit, there are unspoken lyrics of the music,implied meanings that are even clearer, louder and perhaps more “radical”. Taking a position for or against the song,may make one miss or willingly avoid the larger meaning and the broader contexts. …Read More:http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/Worth+imagining/4558764/story.html
After John Lennon’s first solo album, he recorded Imagine which was a commercial success. It was a change in musical direction to something he felt would be more in tune with the mass market, addicted to Beatlemania and a certain sentimentality. And Lennon craved popular success, and wanted to discard some of the winds of ridicule around him associated with bed-ins, bag-in total communication, gauchiste-chic political postures, and the role of celebrity radical. Yet, even during this period of oscillating between two different subculture movements he produced one of the greatest albums : John Lennon /Plastic Ono Band which is probably the deepest, most profound single piece of music released in the modern era.
Jordan B. Peterson:No beliefs, of ultimate value? But Imagine claims that peace, brotherhood and unity are of ultimate worth, and that a heavenly utopia would arise, if they were properly valued. Lennon’s beautiful song is, therefore, conceptually incoherent. Its lyrics also expose a lack of appropriate humility: How dare a multimillionaire satirize those who cannot imagine “no possessions?”
What about “no hell below us?” Nietzsche knew that the murder of God meant trouble. He predicted a tremendous expenditure of lives, in consequence. “Who will wipe this blood off us?” Nietzsche asked. He who declared the dissolution of the sacred also foresaw the hell forged by Mao, Stalin and Hitler. Nietzsche knew that brutal pretenders would emerge to claim the abandoned throne of God. Read More:http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/Worth+imagining/4558764/story.html
Lennon was always a paradox, a case study in ambiguity and a citizen of the love/hate dynamic that would make D.H. Lawrence wince. But then Lennon was divided as to whether the problems were social and political or spiritual and psychological.Given the anti-religious sentiments of the lyrics, this is a profound irony to the lyrics. But there is a logic and coherence to this, because it means that the song aspires to ideals usually associated exclusively with religion. Imagine’s very first line was simultaneously startling and confrontational, depending on one’s perspective:
Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try/No hell below us, above us only sky./Imagine all the people living for today – ah ah, aye.
With few exceptions, it is not Christianity that people oppose to but the lack of Christianity, and this is more troubling swallow when there is hypocrisy as the lead actor. What Lennon is aiming at in Imagine is not assaulting Christianity by name, but rather religion and concepts such as god and hell: anything that objectifies and holds a fixation to hold back from “living for today”.
Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do,/Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too./Imagine all the people living life in peace./You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one./I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one./ Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can./No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man./ Imagine all the people sharing all the world./ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one./ I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.
Lennon played on the simple idea that limitations are accepted because we are too distracted to imagine an alternative. What Lennon was articulating is that we receive all manner of influences through the media and society. Most of these, were based on unthinking prejudices and attitudes that promoted the unholy triangle of consumerism/militarism/racism. But, one has a choice and the will to exercise it to seek better influences and create such influences by creatively deferring reality and creating a virtual sanity.
…Ronald de Sousa: But the sacred is not always harmless. Since the whole point of the sacred lies in its claim to absolute rightness, it sits uneasily with the ideal of tolerance. Or with the fact of human diversity. Totalitarian political systems are based on variants of the sacred. If what I revere has absolute value, any admission of fallibility is a concession to evil. This puts our pluralistic societies in a curious position: Scientific claims inferred from evidence can be criticized in withering terms; but unsupported fanciful beliefs get tax exemptions and protection from offense. Read More:http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Worth+imagining/4558763/story.html
But why is freedom desired? So that the world may live as one, sharing , in peace. As for the idea that disposing of possessions would dispose the end of greed and hunger is somewhat naive, at least at a superficial level it sounds like Marxist utopia, the flip side being messianic nihilism , or more directly Lennon and “Starting Over”. Ultimately, there is a majesty in Lennon’s aim in Imagine: A conviction that hatred can be transcended through consciousness, and that what separates can be challenged and defeated by a positive impulse. Living for today is a radical idea. The entire economic structure could conceivably collapse. It is a bit like the Alfred Jarry spirit of living each day as if it were your last.If Lennon said we need to be present it means each individual becomes the author of his past, a pointing of the feet towards a virtual game in which reality is suspended…
LENNON: Well, you make your own dream. That’s the Beatles’ story, isn’t it? That’s Yoko’s story . That’s what I’m saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshiped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.Read More:http://www.john-lennon.com/playboyinterviewwithjohnlennonandyokoono.htm
This is the latest offering from a posthumous, multi-million-dollar Lennon industry, partly fuelled by his widow’s sometimes suspect desire to keep the flame burning. It has led to such dubious tributes as a TV commercial for the Citroën DS3, a Mont Blanc fountain pen retailing at $27,000, a limited edition Gibson Imagine guitar ($10,748), alongside the usual array of Lennon-branded mugs, clothing, books, calendars, prints and even an Imagine brand of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
And that’s just the official merchandise. Last month, the lavatory from Lennon’s home in England was auctioned for £9,500. The last album he ever autographed, for his assassin Mark Chapman, went for $525,000 in 2003. In 2009, his bloodstained clothes and glasses were part of an exhibition in New York. …Read More:http://moicani.over-blog.com/article-happy-70-john-lennon-58492832.html
…Yet the worship of Lennon – his transformation into a brand immediately identifiable by a scrawled cartoon of a Jesus rocker in spectacles – only serves to obscure the raw life in his music. Lennon’s brutal slaying robbed him of his raging complexity, turning tragedy into martyrdom. Looking back through blood-tinted National Health spectacles, we see only St John, thin face reposed and angelic. And the quest to know more about this icon takes us into some pretty strange places. In its current issue, Vanity Fairhas had the temerity to publish an “interview” with a 70-year-old Lennon, imagining (with a banality that insults its subject) what might have been had he survived.
But Lennon doesn’t need to be rekindled through speculation. As he said a few weeks before his death: “I’ve done more in my life than most people would do in 10… even if I never did another damn thing.” The progression of Lennon’s songwriting is the story of popular music in our time: the joyous sexuality of the early Beatles; the explosion of colour and complexity as pop became art, fully embracing the pretentiousness of the avant garde; the shedding of such pretensions in pursuit of truth and beauty, in a spirit of sometimes brutal, sometimes tender candour. Read More:http://moicani.over-blog.com/article-happy-70-john-lennon-58492832.html