The following interview is a fictional interview between the the author and John Lennon inspired by A Course in Miracles, and is intended for informational or communicative purposes only. All of the references to the life of John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon, other than the event of Mr. Lennon’s death, are purely fictional and the creation of the author. The concepts and themes contained in this fictional account could apply to the relationship between any two people who love each other.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the world?
A: Well, I said quite a bit in the forty years of my life in the world- more than most people, I would think- but there are a few things I would like to say.
Q: And what would those be?
A: There was quite a bit of sadness in my life, you know, and it’s not shocking to me that my life ended in the sad way that it did. It wasn’t my idea to die a violent death, reflected in my struggle against dying on the floor of my apartment building in New York. But, it’s clear to me now that I did play a part in the event of my death and the timing.
Q: I don’t understand what you are saying. Are you saying you caused your own death?
A: Yea, of course. In reality, everyone will play a leading role in their own death. You see, it’s not something anyone tells you about because it’s not something anyone understands while they are living. I couldn’t understand it myself while I was alive. People are always saying that life on earth is where it’s all at and what it’s all about, but they’re always hoping for some reward after they die. You see, it’s just the opposite. Spiritual life is where it’s all at and what it’s all about. In reality, the time we spend in the world is just a temporary distraction. I don’t know why but it is. That’s why it doesn’t last very long, life on earth; it’s very slight compared to eternity.
Q: Does that mean that there is no point to living in the physical world?
A: No, I didn’t say that, but I see where you’re coming from. When I was there I was a very fearful guy. And, you know, fear was something that followed me throughout my life- fear of losing love, fear of being alone, fear of being forgotten, fear of dying , all of it. At a certain point – probably in your mid-thirties, maybe earlier if you not so dimwitted- you start to realize that everyone else has the same fear, but they just express it in different ways. I think that’s how you feel. There’s not a person on the earth who is not guided by fear of some sort. And once you start to realize this you can start to make some sense out of the whole thing. In the last few years of my life on earth I became aware of this. Earlier I was aware that there was a great need in the world for peace and understanding- and I don’t need to explain my feelings on that topic because I left a pretty good record, or two, behind.
Q: Yes, quite. So why did you have to give it all up, then? If you chose to die, then why did you at that time and in that way?
A: Well, that’s like saying, “why did you choose to fall in love at that time?” As I said, I choose the timing but I didn’t choose the means- that was provided by somebody else. And I didn’t really give up anything because I loved the people around me and I loved the world. There really isn’t anything to give up in the physical world because it’s all just a dream anyway. There are other characters in your dream and they’re all of their own journey- but it’s the intersection of your dream and theirs’ that creates the physical world. And everybody is so frightened. Everybody has these walls around them. It’s all fear. I was aware that peace and love are the only antidotes for this fear, and I reflected this in my art. I’m happy that many people still listen to my music and still get those messages. It’s why I wrote those songs- they were an honest reflection of how I was feeling about my experiences in the world. No matter how much you avoid the subject, the carousel ride has to end, and when the music stops and the ride slows down you have to step off the platform, you know. That’s what I decided to do- plain and simple. It’s what everyone in the world will decide to do.
Q: You make it sound so simple, but you could have continued to make music and could have lived a long life. Did you ever think about that?
A: I try not to, but, in a way I could have. You see, there were many time in my life when I either thought of dying or actually wanted to die. All of this was due to the fear I just spoke about. Each event in my life, when this fear came, gave me an opportunity to continue or to stop. And, uh, we’re all given this choice almost every day. But we never see it clearly enough. Yea, I chose to die. I had accomplished quite a bit and I was afraid of going on because I thought I couldn’t do any better than I had already done. You hear about guys who work their whole lives and then drop dead the day after they retire because they’re afraid that there’s nothing more they can do. You feel like nothing more can be done in this world, or something like that, and you give up your body. I think that’s what you feel. It’s true that I wanted a dramatic death; I didn’t want to die from some dreadful disease where you start drooling into a cup or something like that. An accidental death had a romantic ring to it. But, uh, I wasn’t able to choose exactly how it would happen- the gunman provided this for me.
Q: You must understand how nobody could see this explanation as anything but a tragic irony.
A: Well, I guess it seemed that way. I can see how somebody could say that. I don’t see it that way. My dream ended in a dramatic way, but it was still only a dream. Nobody takes serious a nightmare when they’re in a plane that’s about to crash and then suddenly they wake up right before the plane hits the ground. Dying in the physical world is just like that- once it’s over you realize that it didn’t matter how you died, and there it is. But if you think about it, how else could I have ended the dream? I wasn’t about to have a heart attack or a stroke at age forty. And a slow, degenerative disease would have been a complete drag. And it wouldn’t have presented the irony you spoke about a moment ago. You have to question ironic events because there is always greater meaning there- they’re poetry in a way. You have to question the reality of a world of pain and suffering and death and destruction. That’s what doesn’t make any sense. That’s not reality. It’s difficult to think this way when you think you’re a body experiencing the world with all of its distractions- but that’s the way it is. It’s a bit limiting.
Q: Did you feel bad for your wife and children?
A: No, because I love them so much, just like I love everyone else. You see, everyone has to leave the world, and it’s difficult for those who think they are left behind. But once you realize it’s all just a dream you also realize that they will make the same choice one day. Only then can we realize our solidarity in spirit. You have to break through that regime of separation and limitation. It’s a beautiful opportunity for all of us. And it’s nothing to be afraid of or to deny. It’s silly to be bitter about somebody’s death. I’ve never been apart from my wife and children, and I know they feel that.
Q: Did you understand this sense of reality when you were alive?
A: It was too far out for me to have thought of it in this way. I did realize the power of love and how it could transform thinking, and this I’m very happy about. I did write and speak about love quite a bit during my time on earth. It wasn’t the complete love I experience now, but I was aware that the movement from fear to love was the most important aspect of life. If life is a dream, then the only purpose is to love everybody equally. If you don’t learn this lesson then your body will die and your spirit will still hold this reality. It’s better to accept this lesson in the classroom of the world because it’s a lesson that’s hard learned. Those tend to be the best and most lasting ideas.
Q: How can somebody look at your life on earth and gain some awareness of this higher reality?
A: Well, it wasn’t like that at all when I was there. But, you know, many things were given to me in my life on earth, in some ways much more than others had been given. You can say I didn’t desire these things or didn’t put them to good use. But none of these things put me in any better position to deal with the important things in life. My wife, Yoko and I still love each other very much, but we weren’t always happy with each other when I was there. She and I- probably more I- were insecure and jealous. I don’t know why but that’s the way it was. You see, it all comes from fear. Yoko was a great companion and we shared a great many ideas- she was a big supporter of my art, and I was of hers. But she could be rigid in how she approached life, and, you know, she seemed very domineering in this way. Now I look at it and it seems nothing more than adorable, as she still is, but at the time it made me insecure. I was fearful of losing my identity and my freedom by following somebody else’s way of living life, and there it is. Sometimes I thought of her as a woman with a manly perspective on life, which is silly. But she was very honest and truthful about it. I learned a great deal about honesty from her. She’s a very logical and honest thinker with a great intellectual capacity. I struggled with this from time-to-time. There were times when my desires, sometimes very self-centered desires, would push me into conflict with Yoko even when she was making perfect sense about things. It was fear that did this. And, uh, I was always afraid of losing her. You can see how my ego set me up for this conflict of loving somebody who is very secure in her thinking but creating an insecurity in me about it. It’s a bit twisted. But, now, I can only look at my time with Yoko as a time of tremendous growth in my ability to think and relate to the world.
Q: Do you feel like you learned the lessons of life on earth that you speak about?
A: Yea, I think I did. I made a lot of errors in my life but I learned from them. In the end, there is only one lesson to learn: only love exists. I didn’t really focus on this eternal aspect of love very much but I did understand the power and importance of love. And, much of my art reflected this. Many of my songs that people still listen to today were about the importance of love over all other purposes. But, it wasn’t always like that for me when I was there, I mean, I struggled with it. But so does everyone else. It’s just part of being a human being. It’s difficult to keep your focus on love because your ego is constantly distracting you- like a child beating a spoon against a tabletop, but doing it all day long. You see, there are only fleeting glimpses of the true power of love, and you have to catch these moments when you can and appreciate them. That’s what songwriting was about to me- catching a glimpse of reality and then writing it down. I would always revise my lyrics as I built a song, but I always tried to keep the essential feel of the thought that first inspired me. The exact words don’t matter very much because words are just symbols anyway. Really, they are just symbols of symbols, two steps removed from reality. But only in artistic expression can words and sounds and images be used to express an idea in any meaningful way. It is very difficult to describe why you love. It’s like describing why you breathe. Yea, there are technical reasons- hormones and all of that- but it doesn’t capture the full spectrum of reality. Art and music come much closer to describing reality than science ever will, and there it is.
Q: Can you offer us any advice on how to live our lives?
A: Yea, a little bit, I think. You really can’t solve the problems of the world by doing things. You have to think things instead. What you think is more important than what you do. It’s a good idea to try to help other people out and create a better world than it was when you started. I’m very happy about my attitude of peace and freedom. People have to be free and express themselves. But, the world will always bring up more problems to replace the ones you deal with. That’s just the way it is. The only thing you can really do is to love and forgive. Peace, love and understanding- I think there’s a song in there! But it’s true, you know. Only peace and love have any lasting effect on the world. And the only way to really express this is through forgiveness. I don’t know why, but it is. It’s not about one person saying, “sorry,” and the other saying, “fine.” It’s about not believing in the dream at all. Love is the answer, and forgiveness is the way to get there. You have to go with that.