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Thread: John Lennon

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    John Lennon

    John Lennon was my first idol, my first great teacher (after my parents, of course). I grew up on the Beatles. I wanted to learn how to play guitar as a kid because I wanted to be like John Lennon. Looking back on my maturity, however, I think it was more about being the person than the star. For me, the honesty and integrity are more important than any recognition. So much of who I am, by which I mean how I behave, is my version of being him. I am outspoken about what I believe in and don't care much about what people think about that, I am painfully honest to a fault about my life (to a point), and I can be passionately combative about what I believe in. Flawed in many ways, John Lennon was a buddha, and I try to live up to his buddhahood.

    I just watched for the second time Imagine, the documentary about his life. I say the second time because I feel so strongly about him that the first time I watched it was too painful and I got too drunk to really process all of it. Thirty years later I can go back to the night of his death in an instant. Losing someone I loved so dearly still hurts. But that combined with my paragraph above is my point. This time I managed my way through all that remembrance and pain, and then instead of more liquor I walked the dog to try and process it, and then I came here. So this is still a bit raw.

    My standard narrative is that without John there is no me, and I have been living by that narrative for about as long as I can remember. But my buddhism tells me the opposite, that without me there is no John Lennon. The same is true for you. Whether you liked him or hated him, or never even heard of him until now, whatever you think of him, he only exists because your version of him does. That is to say he is just this idea we hold in our head, however dearly, or not.

    Think about that for a second: John Lennon was nothing more than an idea. Egotistical as he may have been, he may have agreed with that assessment. And even if he didn't because he was too egotistical to think of himself that way, everything he fought for was an idea: peace vs. war was the duality he struggled with, among others. Watching the Imagine documentary, I believe he knew he was an idea beyond the reality of himself. He seemed to know that he was bigger than the (fake) reality of john lennon, which in his later days was being a father and husband. But wait, even those concepts are ideas to be dropped.

    Okay, so I'm walking the dog tonight wrestling with my memories and I'm looking up at the stars, orion, thinking these big thoughts, but the dog wants to pee in just that spot where he tugs me to a place I don't want to go.

    Go with it.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: John Lennon

    Al;

    Thank you for sharing those feelings. I took a similar path of action when a niece of mine died a few years back, and the dog almost peed on my foot while I was in my reverie :lol: as you point out, perhaps i should have been more attentive and moved where he wanted me to go.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: John Lennon

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Whether you liked him or hated him, or never even heard of him until now, whatever you think of him, he only exists because your version of him does. That is to say he is just this idea we hold in our head, however dearly, or not.

    Think about that for a second: John Lennon was nothing more than an idea.
    This is interesting and, I believe, true.

    I've gone from someone who admired Lennon (I was 6 when he was killed, BTW, so I missed the height of his career and all that entails) to someone who . . . doesn't admire him now, except as a brilliant musician. My perceptions of this celebrity I never met have changed--naturally--with every single piece of information I've read about him, with every bit of film footage, with every word out of Yoko's mouth, with every documentary, mockumentary, fluff piece, hack piece, well-written book, quote on a t-shirt, and dusty album found in my father's old things (oh, the first time I fired up Revolver!) My perceptions of him are tied to who I was and what I thought as a teenager, through what I've learned and what I think now. John Lennon is all about me. The next time you read an article, any article, on Lennon, notice how that's usually the case for the writer as well.

    Of course this holds for other well-known (known? :lol: ) people, places, whatever as well . . . but Lennon is a great example as such a cultural touchstone for so many.

    I don't mean to slight your pain, Alan. I believe I've shed a few tears over his terrible death too, when I was old enough to understand it. But when any of us cries for John Lennon, who or what is it really that we cry for?

    Thanks for this thread.

    Gassho,

    Jen

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: John Lennon

    One of my favorite things anyone has ever written about Lennon, BTW. I think you'll like it.

    [youtube] [/youtube]

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