Looking beyond the person
There is no denying that John Lennon had a phenomenal impact on the world. Yet to his credit, Lennon never rested on the past. Interestingly, if these words from a recent interview are any indication, he might very well prefer to be remembered more in the role of father and husband than as a culture hero or musician: "When I look at the relative importance of what life is about, I can't quite convince myself that making a record is more important, or even as important, as my child, or any child." And in reference to his first album to appear in five years, he said, "Could family be the inspiration for art instead of drinking or drugs or whatever? I'm interested in finding out."
It can be comforting to realize that Lennon -- like all of us -- was and is much more than merely a mortal. It might appear that his ripening thought and character were tragically cut short and the fresh potential many saw in him lost. But the fact is that nothing, not even death, an into what he truly is -- theyexpression, the shining forth, of the divine and eternal Life that is God. We may see much in the world that would appear to dispute the truth that man's real being is immortal. But we can't reach a comprehension of spiritual being by following a trail of material sense evidence any more than we would expect to progress very far in understanding harmonic intervals by examining a random assortment of noises.
This immortal Life isn't something that presides beyond the threshold of death. On the contrary, it underlies and impels all that is beautiful, worthwhile, and genuine in our immediate lives.The suffering and chaos that characterize so much of human existence only expose the inadequacy of its basic premise -- that life is a property of matter. But we suffer from this premise only to the degree that our thoughts and actions fail to recognize the fact that real Life is not matter at all but is instead synonymous with infinite Love, the source of all that has moral or spiritual value.
Violence and death may appear to arrest an individual's effort to discover infinite Love, but they do not. Mary Baker Eddy n1 drives home this point when she writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm , "Matter cannot change the eternal fact that man exists because God exist."n2 An individual appears to the material senses to come to an end only because his or her grasp of real Life is still incomplete. Christ Jesus' resurrection reveals the ultimate effect of laying aside the belief that Life can be something other than God.
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health,m p. 544.
Jesus expressed to an unparalleled extent the Christliness that each of us is destined to recognize and prove by triumphing over death. Paul indicated the inevitable nature of this progression when he wrote, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. . . . For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." n3
n3 I Corinthians 15:51, 53.
John Lennon's immortality, and that of each of us, rests not on human accomplishments nor on grateful remembrances of loved ones -- whether family or the whole world. It rests instead on the immortal Love evidenced in all that blesses and endures. What more fitting way to commemorate anyone than to cherish and express more fully the Love that ultimately initiates whatever good a person attempts to achieve. This will contribute more to eliminating the mental state that gave rise to John Lennon's death than any nostalgic lingering over his music or bitter resentment at his departure.
Lennon's actions were often radical, and the value of his contribution to mankind will probably be debated for years. But it is perhaps significant that by the end of his life there is every indication that Lennon was looking for universal peace through a growing peace within, through a practical love for others -- beginning at home. Both those who loved his music and those who perhaps loathed it should ask if they can afford to do less. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Psalms 96:1,2