Sunday, December 26

IMAGINE The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The album Imagine was released on September 9 (9th month; 9th day), 1971 (1 + 9 + 7 + 1 = 18; 1 + 8 = 9) of a 9 year. John Lennon admitted the song was "an anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it's sugar-coated, it's accepted." But not everyone accepted it. When it was released in 1971, Mark Chapman had just gone through a religious conversion and had become a ‘Jesus Freak’. He told his friend Miles McManus that Imagine was a communist song and that Lennon’s message ‘imagine a world with no heaven or religion’ was blasphemy. Mark grew up in the southeastern US Bible belt, Decatur, Georgia, and still held John’s ‘more popular than Jesus’ statement in contempt. He said, “Who the hell are they to compare themselves to Jesus.” Chapman would play the song Imagine on his guitar and sing, "Imagine John Lennon is dead!"

I like the song Imagine, but it is ‘flaming pie in the sky’.

In 1990, William F. Buckley wrote a editorial about the song. He refers to John as ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’.

Count me out, October 16, 1990 by William F. Buckley

The widow of John Lennon asked rather more, in the memory of her late husband, than some of us are willing, let alone anxious, to give, however much we regret the tragic circumstances of his passing. John Lennon was a source of inspiration to many people (including my son), and as has wisely been counseled, it is unwise to insert oneself in other people’s religious quarrels. But Yoko Ono asked not merely that Lennonites celebrate Lennonism, but that all of us do. You see, Yoko wanted the whole world – every radio station, in every country – to sing out, at a given hour, the song, “Imagine.” Nominating it in effect as a kind of international anthem. Now I do not know the melody of “Imagine,” but I have the lyrics in front of me, and what it amounts to is a kind of bible, as written by the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today.

I venture to say that those who imagine in that direction ought to make every effort to restrain themselves. The homilies of John Lennon have a hard time up against those of Christ, who speak the words, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him.” It is quite difficult to understand Lennon’s point in wishing that all that life stand for is the present moment, today. And the notion that there is only sky above us suggests a kind of ethereal; vapidity that is downright depressing. And what are we to say about the word “heavenly” if heaven doesn’t exist? It is hard to say the song gets worse, because there is hardly anything worse than to think that John Lennon is a mere memory, rather than a companion of the angels. But the second verse asks us:

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace.

Well, we certainly want to imagine a world in which everyone lives in peace, but you see, that is only possible in a world in which people are willing to die for causes. There have been peace for heaven knows (assuming heaven existed) how long in the South, except that men were willing to die to free the slaves, and Hitler would have died maybe about the time John Lennon did, at Berchtesgaden, at age 91, happy in a Jewless Europe. There have got to be reasons that even affected John Lennon to prefer one country over against another. I happen to know this to be the case, since a long time ago he asked me to help him with papers permitting him to live in the United States, rather than in Great Britain. More?

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world.

No, thanks, I don’t want to imagine a world in which Yoko doesn’t possess the goods that John left her, with which possessions she in capable of exercising a great deal of charity, though no so profusely as to leave her penniless, and a public charge. The person who invented heaven passed along a commandment ordaining that one must not covet other people’s goods and most thoughtful social philosophers agree that property is an important basis, indeed, probably the most important basis, of human freedom. So it goes, and the chorus of “Imagine” is, well, it is too subversive to appear in a family newspaper.

Imagine was released on 09.09.1971 (1 + 9 + 7 + 1 = 18, 1 + 8 = 9) = 09.09.09 = 999 inverted 666

The Beatles released Rock Band on 09.09.09 = 999 inverted 666

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