A rebellious, maladjusted version of common sense often screams into human ears as the insanity of puberty arrives. Basic intelligence is famous for getting lost under the influence of raging hormones during the early stages of biological adulthood. But basic intelligence can also be enhanced by those very same hormones!
Common sense was seriously pissed off in the 1960s, even without the influence of hormones. This was understandable. A lot of information was being presented to us as sensible truths that deserved attention and demanded obedience. Much of that information was so darkly and dangerously nonsensical that it needed to be exposed to the light by any means necessary.
Many folks became traumatized by the decade’s severe transitions. They got one foot stuck in the widespread cultural obedience of the 1950s and the other foot stuck in the volatile progressive revolution of the 1960s. Tight-rope walking across that cultural schism with each foot on a different rope left some of us unbalanced. I can remember acting like a cartoon character that was mean enough to drop a box of rocks from a roof, dumb (and fast!) enough to run under it while it was still falling, and disjointed from reality enough to blame the rest of the world for my headache. It seems that hard drugs, wild hormones, cultural as well as personal schizophrenia, and parenting that made Joan Crawford look like Mr. Rogers did not mix well.
Finding unorthodox information in the psychedelic ’60s was easy and dangerous. Things that could help immensely and things that could hurt severely were both readily available — and often came in the same package. Rock stars, school kids, their teachers, inner-city folks, country bumpkins, geniuses, dunces, and folks of all sizes, shapes, and colors got dropped into the same unfamiliar waters. No one knew how to swim.
Some learned. Some drowned.
The psychedelic experience opened many new doors of perception, but poisonous chemical side effects and constrictive cultural repression denied many young folks the ability to deal with what was on the other side of those doors. Some of us made wrong choices and died young. Others rode the right choices out of control and died young. Still, others survived and flourished.
Altered states helped many young folks separate from the dysfunctional drama of their parents and culture. I was one of those young folks. Altered states introduced me to the sweet, calm confidence that comes from having had a loving family forever. My first tab of LSD taught me that forever is always right here and now. The loving-family feeling revolved around the messages and messengers of our music. Friends became closer than family in sharing that music’s point of view, and in sharing the often risky mental explorations that were so much a part of its message. Our music wasn’t just background accompaniment. It was often the road map for our psychedelic voyages. Friends visited other dimensions together. These cultural brothers and sisters had psychic experiences that could not be translated into words well enough to discuss them with parents or teachers — even if those relationships had been open and honest enough to invite discussion.
They were not.
Some of our messengers and role models died young. Some sold out and became less inspiring quickly. The rare few (Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, etc.) continue on with consistent quality. As great as any were and these rare few continue to be, there are many people who feel that John Lennon was in a class by himself.
Many of his songs were tools designed to help the listener see truth and foster love. His lyrics battled fear, stupidity, and selfishness. John courageously demonstrated what honest internal exploration is, and did so unashamedly while the whole world watched. He supported several internationally beneficial causes and invented unique methods to promote them. His greatest and most persistent efforts involved promoting peace and love over war and hate. John’s strongly worded musical messages were deeply admired and respected. They also made him as unpopular in certain religious, military/industrial, and political circles as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was with the Ku Klux Klan and the Dalai Lama is with the Chinese government.
John Lennon was murdered in New York as our American military industry and its government promoted their bizarre Star Wars program. The concept of “All you need is love” is one that few cultures and even fewer governments have ever been able to understand, much less cultivate.
Media often creates emotion for its own purposes. When Mr. Lennon was killed, there was a shock felt around the world that the media didn’t have to create. He was one of the twentieth century’s great representatives and continues to be an inspiration to the billions of us who will never stop wanting to “give peace a chance.”
Powerful people still selfishly direct the deaths of military personnel and innocent civilians alike. Some do it consciously. Others do it unwittingly. Some may be evil, others mentally ill, and many are just plain ignorant.
A true devotee of almost any religion or spiritual school of thought would say that these troublemakers need compassion, as does everyone. Maybe they are right. Maybe we need to muster a gentler understanding of the worst offenders among us in order to stop the bleeding and make history a little happier. Winners of battles, aggressive conquerors, are the authors of our currently accepted version of “history.” That is why history books are so often war-oriented, and so consistently riddled with brutality and falsehoods. The view of history that institutional education systems present us with is a skewed, manipulated, and barbaric view of humanity’s track record.
There are many humans that would rather see peace and happiness thrive as a global condition. We are certainly vast in number, but perhaps too polite. We may solve these puzzles of violence and war someday. It would be nice if they stayed solved for long enough to allow a more pleasant, truthful, well-rounded history book to be produced.
If murder for material profit and the lust for power is ever replaced on Earth by harmonious improvement for its own sake, you can be sure that Mr. Lennon’s status will be elevated in our history books from rebellious rock star to the spiritual messenger.
Thank you, John.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
“If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.”
“There are no problems, only solutions.”
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
About the Author
Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He is the author of the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account.
Ten Rose and his work are a vibrant part of the present and future as well as an essential remnant of a vanishing breed.
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Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!