“You know...give peace a chance, not shoot people for peace. All we need is love. I believe it. it's damned hard but I absolutely believe it. We're not the first to say 'Imagine no countries' or 'Give peace a chance' but we're carrying that torch, like the Olympic torch, passing it from hand to hand, to each other, to each country, to each generation. That's our job...I've never claimed divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answer to life. I can only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can, but only as honestly as I can, no more, no less.
"I used to think that the world was doing it to me and that the world owed me something, and that either the conservatives or the socialists or the fascists or the communists or the Christians or the Jews were doing something to me, and when you're a teenybopper that's what you think. I'm 40 now. I don't think that anymore, 'cause I found out it doesn't fucking work. The thing goes on anyway and all you're doing is jacking off and screaming about what your mommy or daddy or society did...I have found out personally...that I am responsible for it as well as them. I am part of them.”
― Philip Norman, John Lennon: The Life
We are living in stressful and challenging times.
Perhaps it has always been like that. The notion of the apocalypse by some means or another has been a permanent feature in the psyche of society for uncountable years. Those 50s/60s were a time of protest and personal anarchy, the counterculture had more leverage than now. Looking back it seems that those protests were more effective and people had a belief that defined their life. It is like we have been so worn down these days that we have become apathetic and complacent (4 of Cups). Yes we protest but the passion is soon dissolved.
I suppose Lennon saw the power of protest and realised that it was a way, without violence, to rock the establishment (Emperor/Hierophant). His Bed Peace interviews still hold intrigue to this day and people got the idea that change could be effective in bringing about a new order.
You can see in his work a kind of account, a social history of what life was like for the ordinary folk. He showed their burdens, challenges, hopes and dreams and also their position in an elitist, class orientated society. His work both as a protestor and musician, all the while maintaining his ordinariness, inspired so many and mobilised Joe Bloggs to be more discerning and to question what he was expected to blithely accept.
John Lennon brought our attention to the wounded social, western psyche.
He made us ask ourselves about the role we might have played in that wound and what could be done about it. This wasn’t without casualties, he himself became one in the end but that is a whole new blog.
Wait...what is this! A newsflash…I have the radio on in the background and by sheer synchronicity they are talking about Lennon writing a song called ‘A day in the life’ for the Sgt Pepper’s album in January 1967. Amazing!!!
It is so timely! Those lyrics never fade. Life is as it is. We can be conscious of the wound but we have to be part of the ebb and flow of life. We can make our own lives more meaningful by applying that meaning by ourselves.
I drew a card and received Death.
How appropriate. The social wound requires the process of transformation and indeed the wound is the natural predator and societies have thrived on natural predators. It has strengthened tribes and communities since time immemorial to ensure evolution and growth.
If social change infers healing of the wound then we can expect a time of drama and confrontation. There is deep testing which hones our awareness. Chaos is the catalyst for order.
It is said that we get the society we deserve, through the chaos of transformative dynamics we can see a glimpse of ourselves.
The holistic world often speaks of walking the talk.
Well, this is it folks, our talk is what we have bought into. What have we helped to manifest both beautiful and ugly alike. Old views and beliefs come crumbling to the ground, there is no right or wrong just different and changed.
Death is a spiritual renewal, a time of affirming faith and courage. Spiritual does not mean that one should belong to a particular group or orthodoxy; it does mean that regardless of one’s persuasion there is a spiritual element in each of us, it is whether we choose to recognise it or not.
A social death is the deconstruction of the social ego. It is that transpersonal experience, the participation in that event which regenerates and heals. The deeper healing is waking up to the illusion an acknowledging one’s worth, being in our dignity and exploring freedom and what it means to us as the individual.
As Janis Joplin once said in her blues, ‘Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.’
When we have lost our old self, welcomed the new and stepped forward then we can have a glimpse of freedom.