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.