Yesterday one of our great editors, Jeremy McKeen published an article titled “10 Reasons No One Believes the Song ‘Imagine.”
Well, hold on Bucko. Before you go charging down the long and winding road, let’s discuss this first.
Imagine There’s No Heaven:
Jeremy theorizes that “everyone does” believe in a Heaven. I haven’t done a poll, but I think it is fair to guess than many HOPE there is a Heaven, or at least an “after life.” That isn’t really the point in the song, in my opinion, however. To me, the hope for no belief in Heaven is to remove the practice of questionable ethics, morality and behavior in this life in exchange for a guarantee for a place in a mythical nirvana “in the next one.” Heaven, in this belief system, is the ultimate in delayed gratification, and it has inspired behaviors ranging from homophobic discrimination to planes flying into the World Trade Center. Imagining there’s no Heaven means doing what is ethically and morally right based on the here and now. It would be a very good thing.
Living for Today:
Jeremy observes that “most of us are living a month at a time, or not thinking about living at all.” For me, the ideal of living for today is powerful life enablement. I realized some time ago that my mental energies focused on dwelling about the future were based almost exclusively in fear. The fear was gripping because in the moment I was having thoughts about the future, I was absolutely powerless to affect it. If I dwelt in the past, regrets ruled the day. Again, they were mentally dwelling on things I was powerless to change. Then I discovered where I DID have power – NOW. When things I might have feared occurred in the present, I had no time to be afraid—I was too busy being in action. When I look at things in my current momentt, I have no use for regrets because in the NOW, I realize that everything I have was the product of the sum total of my past. I love my NOW, and happiness, for me is living for it. The worst thing I can do is to miss my NOW by being absorbed in a mysterious future, or a fleeting past.
No Religion, Countries or Possessions:
Jeremy looks at a world that obsesses on all these things. He is right that those values are out there. They drive our economies, they drive our desires and they have been at the heart of every single war in the history of the planet. For me, I don’t want a religion to define what I have to believe, and I certainly do not one that makes me determine that I am somehow superior on any level to a person whose faith is different. I also don’t need the localization mentality. If a plane goes down, I don’t need to know how many Americans were on it so I can care more. I am grieved because they were all humans. Maybe it is because of my age, and my having to disperse my now disabled parents’ household, but material things just do not do it for me anymore. I value the people I love and the talents they share — the car, the furniture, the jewelry—beyond functional uses – not so much.
So, to sum it up Jeremy, my friend, I did find someone who believes in the song “Imagine”, hook, line and sinker.
Yes, you can accuse me of being a dreamer. I just hope I’m not the only one.
Photo: Flickr/badgreeb RECORDS