Thursday, October 9, 2014

Birthday Totem Meditation: Roll On John / Watching the Wheels / Here and Now

I've always been struck by the fact that, in this song, John didn't say that he didn't believe in God.  What he did say was what he did believe in. He believed in himself. He believed in himself and Yoko. He believed in reality.

"All of us are apprenticed to the same teacher that the religious institutions originally worked with: reality."
(Gary Snyder)

I can't find any documentation for this, but my memory is that on the album where the song first appeared, John's song was titled "god" with a small "g."

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali begin with the word "atha" which could be translated either as referring to "God, the root of all things" (not in the Jewish or Christian or Muslim sense of the word, but in the Native American sense of a mystery at the root of all things) or which could be translated as "here and now."  My perception is that John was saying that he believed in "here and now."

Of interest to me is that, among many other spiritual traditions that John was curious about,  he looked into Hindu thought.  The song "Instant Karma" was a result of that.  "Karma" is a Sanskrit word meaning action, work or deed. Yep. There are consequences to our actions.

The concept of "wheel" or "turning" is contained in the word "chakra," a concept of Hindu thought that John was likely familiar with, although he chose not to align himself with any religious or spiritual tradition, which is also my choice and a choice that many of us make.

Born: October 9, 1940, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Happy Birthday, John!

You would have been 74 years old today. 

Thank you for singing about god/God so eloquently.

You were my favorite Beatle from the instant I first saw you singing on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964 when I was 14 years old. You are dear to so many of our hearts.

"You burn so bright. Roll on John."
(Bob Dylan)

Here and now.

Addendum:  See October 10 at whiskey river!


The Solitary Walker said...

A wonderful, thoughtful and connective tribute, Am.

Zach said...

awesome tribute, am. i totally like the beatles, but mostly listen to john lennon. as far as one's belief in God: i tend to avoid religious/spiritual labels. i guess if i had to narrow it down to something - i'd call myself a buddhist.

p.s. lennon's "imagine" is my 2nd all time favorite song. don mclean's "american pie" is number one. both songs inspire me in ways that today's music cannot...

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute. I like your take on be here now. I've been working on a post about how being connected to the world 24/7 with smartphones and computers has made the world "be there now."

am said...

Thank you Solitary Walker, Zach, and robin andrea. Right here. Right now.