John Lennon’s message was fairly straightforward: don’t swallow wholesale what you’ve been told. Affirm your independence or it will be taken from you. Assert your individuality. Don’t let yourself be imprisoned by rules and regulations devised by others. All easier said than done. ” Christ, you know it ain’t easy,” he sang in the Ballad of John and Yoko. In short, the relationship between reality and perception is a challenging one since reality is extraneous to all the trifling things that sidetrack the mind like personalities, appearance and status. Lennon’s life was always a movement towards truth, truth, about himself and the larger world. But, as he sang in the song How, ” how can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing.”
Ultimately, Lennon was an optimist, believing that when the final chapter is written, everything will come out alright. Buttressing this was a sacred belief in the creative imagination in which questions on the nature of reality could be framed and acted upon for the greater good which is mainly why so people put so much hope in John Lennon. For Lennon, we don’t simply remember the past, we dream of it, becoming reanimated in a mix of sensations seemingly without logic and controlled or guided by emotional intensity. The idea being if we can master the past, come to terms with it, we can step forward, in spite of our sometimes desperate and discouraging physical dimension, which to Lennon was in part a re-enactment of our insecurities, pathologies, and an anguished and suffering emotional engagement with the self, unless we can somehow assert our presence with this essence, the dream. To be present to the dream.
Lennon knew there were dimensions of reality, that we are unwilling or lack the effort to experience. He once asked “why do we not experience the fullness of reality?” There was a chasm, a gulf between the mundane, even banal life as we live and experience it, and the inner world of our imaginations; this unlimited stream of the conscious and unconscious struggling for its own emancipation and liberation to be projected onto the world outside of our established realms.
…Yoko Ono went over the details of that night, saying they were being driven by limousine to 72nd Street—”I said, ‘Shall we go to a restaurant before we go home?’ He said, ‘No I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep’. I said, ‘He’s probably asleep by now’. And the car stopped, we got out and it was… really terrible.”…It’s been 31 years since John Lennon was shot outside of his home at the Dakota—where his last words were, “I’m shot, I’m shot.” … ABC News that aired December 9th, where Paul McCartney is heard telling a reporter, “It’s a drag, isn’t it?” Read More:http://gothamist.com/2011/12/08/john_lennon_1.php#photo-1
Of course, the tragic aspect is that he was killed while developing this process of bringing something of this state, which could be called spiritual, but outside convention, to bring to bear in a positive way in the world. Something like his composition The Word. Imagine. He was addressing himself to believers, but not the typical sort….
America, America, your heroes are alive.
Your faded men and glory will survive.
The madness of your soul supplies the all
Beneath your spreaded chestnut lies A Streetcar Named Desire….
…Tennessee, O Tennessee, your southern bell will ring.
Music travelled far from New Orleans.
Sling an arrowed mirror in the magic of your dreams
Reflect echoed harmony of the naked human being.
Reflect echoed harmony of the cold and lonely naked human being. ( John Lennon, Tennessee )
Lennon’s life was exceptional because in a quite compressed time frame, he experienced a great deal with great intensity; and he never stopped searching for what he really was, his own identity, his shifting state within pop culture, and his relationship with materialism and sensationalism the most obvious sicknesses of a culture he was so intrinsically part of.
While Lennon continued to use the word God regularly in conversation, he never, after reading The Passover Plot, accepted the notion that
there is a deity somewhere who takes an interest in human affairs. For him the term was shorthand to connote some indefinable force within nature, a force he sometimes called magic, that lay at the heart of the religious/ spiritual sentiment. Reflecting back over his career and life, in one of his last interviews, he said: “People got the image I was anti-Christ or antireligion. I’m not at all. I’m a most religious fellow. . . . I’m certainly not an atheist. There is more that we still could know. I think this magic is just a way of saying science we don’t know yet or we haven’t explored yet. That’s not antireligious at all.”
He elaborated on the same theme on another occasion: “I don’t know that anyone like me, who questions everything down to the colour of his
socks, can believe in an old man in the sky.” Then, after a thoughtful silence: “I believe in something, definitely. I believe there is a force at work
that you can’t physically account for.” When someone posed the question to him very straightforwardly, “Do you believe in God?” he responded by being more specific, offering a very potent and suggestive simile: “Yes. I believe that God is like a powerhouse, like where you keep electricity, like a power station. And that he’s a supreme power, and that he’s neither good nor bad, left , right, black or white. He just is. And we tap that source of power and make of it what we will. Just as electricity can kill people in a chair, or you can light the room with it.” The powerhouse simile made more understandable his comments in another interview in which he voiced his feeling that he and Paul were not the creators of, but merely the channels for, the songs they wrote. Read More:http://www.questbooks.net/PDF/ch4Idealist.pdf
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 … ( Lennon, Real Love )
…Lennon came to hold the view that a personified God was a defense mechanism of the human brain confronted by the stresses of life. In his
song “God,” he concisely expresses this point of view with an aphorism: “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” The song, written when he was turning thirty, could be considered Lennon’s declaration of independence. Aft er beginning with the aphorism, he offers a litany of subjects in which he declares he does not believe, among them Jesus, Buddha, the Bible, and the Bhagavad Gita. He also includes Kennedy, Elvis, and Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) in the list, and culminates with the Beatles. His objective is quite straightforward: to stand alone
intellectually—rejecting all belief systems and all idols, even the idol he had helped to create and to which he owed his power and influence.
After rejection of all the accumulated reasoning and opinion, logic and revelation, surmise and speculation, wisdom and tommyrot of other wellmeaning but fallible people, what remains?
A free-thinking, self-directing individual. Descartes had proposed as an axiom: “I think, therefore I am.” Lennon’s version might have been phrased: “I don’t believe, therefore I am.” Following the string of negatives in “God,” Lennon concludes positively, declaring a reality that is all his own. No longer willing to be enchanted by ancient texts and famous fi gures, he shift s his focus to the here and now. The foundation of his reality will be what he experiences himself and his relationship with the woman he loves. Read More:http://www.questbooks.net/PDF/ch4Idealist.pdf