Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Death of a Beatle

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Driving to work today, 6am, listening to LA based talk radio when they play Howard Cosell's original announcement of Lennon's death during a Monday Night Football broadcast. I hadn't heard it before. Cosell's last words from the statement, "He was dead on arrival," are very chilling. I start to feel an incredibly huge amount of grief, seems like it could be an enveloping, overwhelming black cloud of grief if I allowed my emotional attention to go there, which I don't. It doesn't feel like mine. Maybe an energy field, like one of Sheldrake's Morphogenetic Fields of collective sadness?

Grief is something I have very little use for. I haven't ever seen it actually help anything. Perhaps it serves as a temporary coping mechanism when the shock is too great. To me, the best way to honor our beloved friends, family and inspirational leaders who have died is to live life as fully and as creatively as possible. Lennon was an artist and family man dedicated to spreading a message of peace and love. Continuing his work in some way is the highest form of respect I can imagine.

I do remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news. I was 21 and on a break from working as a soundman for a touring rock bar band. I was downstairs cleaning the heads on an expensive cassette deck recently acquired. One of my roomates, Phil French was watching the football game when I heard him loudly say something. Went upstairs to see what was up and he told me the news. At the time I didn't know who John Lennon was apart from being one of the Beatles so I didn't feel sad or upset but it did feel very unreal to me. The next few days I learned who he was from all the media reports on his life that came out. It was a few days before the full impact of his death personally hit me though I was very aware that our society and culture was in deep mourning.

A couple of years ago a psychic friend, very competent in G.'.D.'. magic, told me they were standing outside the Dakota the night before Lennon was shot when they received a strong premonition that someone well known who lived there would die very soon. The nature of the premonition lead me to speculate and wonder if his death might have been serving or connected to a greater purpose of some kind. In Cosmic Trigger I Robert Anton Wilson wonders if John F. Kennedy's assassination might have fulfilled and played out the role of the 'Sacrifice of the Divine King' archetype as described in J.G. Frazer's classic study of folklore, The Golden Bough.

"There was a commotion of primitive terrors loosed upon the national psyche by the Dealy Plaza bullets; Camelot died; the Divine King had been sacrificed; we were caught suddenly in the midst of a Frazer-Freud re-enactment of archetypal anthropological ritual." The national psyche veered dizzily toward Chapel Perilous.

- Cosmic Trigger I p. 32

It did feel very much like Chapel Perilous or the Bardo in the days and weeks after Lennon's passing. It usually does when someone close has died. With his own music and the music of the Beatles, Lennon was close to the hearts of many people.

I haven't a clue as to what ultimate purpose the sacrifice of the Divine King serves except to point out that people like Lennon and Kennedy and the other monumental figures who have been killed for being who they are, need better protection. How ironic that the asshole who shot Lennon, Mark Chapman has a name that indicates a traditional nemesis of the Divine King.

Chapman also fits into conspiracy theories according to a video I saw which said that his brother was having dinner with Jeb Bush on that fateful night.

Yoko Ono seems to have worked through his death in a positive way. Her message today is:

"On this tragic anniversary please join me in remembering John with deep love and respect," Ono said. "In his short lived life of 40 years, he has given so much to the world. The world was lucky to have known him. We still learn so much from him today. John, I love you!"

1 comment:

  1. In 1982 Spider Robinson published a piece on John's death for Analog magazine. It sequed into a review of The Illuminati Papers. Spider linked John and Bob's spirit of cosmic optimism. At that point I had not read any of Bob's books, but I loved Spider's writing.