I did not want this day to pass without pausing for a moment to remember John Lennon, one of the ‘fab four’ Beatles, who was killed 25 years ago by one of his fans who turned against him. (I’ve not studied the details however that is my understanding of what happened). The song, “Revolution” had a huge impact on the direction I took in life. Namely towards working for a better world by working on changing myself although I did contribute in external ways too. And continue to do so, hopefully.
The words from the song I remembered were, “if you want to change the world, you need to change yourself instead”. Through my late teens and twenties this was my silent mantra, it kept me going, kept me focused. The other day I checked the lyrics and discovered John didn’t write my mantra, I did! Oh well.
So, I hope you will join with me in a few moments of reflection for a man who helped influence a generation. “A bird does not sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song”. He was a ‘seeker’ of answers, did it within the public eye and could sing right down to the end of his toes and into the gravel beneath. John Lennon was ‘earthy’ and, in his own unique way, a charismatic figure.
Zen Master Dogen warns against getting involved in ‘fame and gain’ and the wisdom of not seeking out association with rich and famous people. Basically because of the potential to incite the desire to want more than one has. To ‘seek’ outside of oneself. Charisma is found in the light and in the shadows and I’m deeply sad that John Lennon and others get caught in the shadows of somebody else’s unhappiness and become a target.
Oh Buddha, going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond.