Unification News for January, 1997
uViews January 97 All You Need is Love
I ignored that still small voice a couple of months ago and expressed some of my personal reservations and criticisms about some very commendable efforts being made by Christian colleagues in the struggle for God ("What Promises are Necessary Today?" November Unification News). It is unwise and useless to criticize what one sees as shortcomings in others. Despite some favorable feedback I received about the essay, on balance I regret the barriers I threw up and want to let them fall as quickly as possible. We will win together or not at all.
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My thoughts have turned to my youth and its music. My youth, the sixties, the Beatles. Maybe it's a result of viewing the video history of the group which was aired last year. Perhaps it's the omnipresent calendars and photo-essay books on the group; perhaps its the Beatles imitations that keep popping up; perhaps its the songs we hear everywhere. For whatever reason, I'm thinking about the Beatles.
They sang about the basics of love. If we translate the content of some of their early lyrics into simple and straightforward prose, we see that they, in many of their songs, struck a universal chord of love. For example, consider a simplified rendition of the essential message of the song, "And I Love Her":
I give her all my love; I do nothing else; She is universally loved. She gives me all her love; She is faithful. Our love is eternal, It will never die. Or, "Things We Said Today": When we are apart, I will find strength in your abiding love. Our love is eternal and unique; I am blessed. I am grateful when you say love is beyond reason and eternal. That is enough to guarantee our unique love. We will love constantly and forever; In the future, when we are without words, dreaming; We will remember this moment. Or, "She Loves You": She loves you, although you think her love has ceased. She asked me to tell you that she loves you. It is not evil; you should rejoice. She realizes that you did not mean to hurt her; I bear her message of love. It is not evil; you should rejoice. It is your responsibility to be just. Do not be proud, but repent to her, Because she loves you. Or, "Eight Days a Week": Your love is necessary to me, You know this truth. I hope my love is necessary for you. Let us unite with 1,000 percent of our being. I love you constantly with my entire self. Let us unite with 1,000 percent of our being. Even 1000 percent is not enough to express the greatness of my love. Or, "I Feel Fine": My wife constantly tells me she is faithful; I'm perfected by her love.
My wife is good to me and is supremely happy; I'm perfected by her love. We both are so happy; she is telling the world That I provide her with great wealth, I'm perfected by her love. Or, "I Want to Hold Your Hand": I believe you understand that I want to unite with you. Please tell me I can be your husband and unite with you. It gives me internal joy; my love explodes; Your nature leads me to unite with you.
The Last Days
Mal 4:5 "I will send you Elijah the prophet. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with a curse." This final verse of the Old Testament indicates that before the Messiah comes, a prophet will come to draw together families, to draw together parents and children, and that if this does not come about, the land will be cursed.
God has to perform a delicate operation in the at the time of the Messiah. He has to create conditions for the old world to end and the new world to begin. This means that there must arise a generation which is not attached to the old ways, to the ways of the fathers. Then the prophet comes to rebind the generations centered upon the new way, centering not on the false traditions of the past but the true traditions of God.
The risk here is obvious. If the new tradition is not established, then God is left with a generation adrift, and generation with no past and no future. All the old morality has been discarded, and nothing new has appeared to replace it. This sounds like "Generation X," doesn't it? This "generation gap" actually began in the sixties.
Now, here is the role the Beatles played. They played a role similar to that of George Whitefield in the eighteenth century. Whitefield, interestingly, was another youthful Englishman. In his early twenties he became the sensation of the American colonies; he preached up and down the eastern seaboard, drawing thousands and tens of thousands to hear his dramatic gospel orations (he was trained as an actor). In an age before amplification, his resonant voice could be heard by a crowd of ten thousand. His elocution of the word, "Macedonia," induce weeping. The paragon of common sense, Benjamin Franklin, attended Whitefield's sermon, prepared to give a small donation as was his wont. The longer he stayed, the more he decided to give; he stayed 'til the end and emptied his pockets in the offering.
What Whitefield accomplished was to bring spiritual unity to the heretofore multi-cultural American colonists. Through the Awakening, a shared experience, they realized they had more in common with each other than any of them had with Great Britain. They became a nation. This was the spiritual foundation for the next generation's independence movement and successful revolution, the engine of which for the population-at-large was the churches and clergy, the heirs of Whitefield.
Back to the 1960s. Four lads from England in their early twenties sing their way up and down America, and England, and France, and Germany, and soon Japan and the Philippines and Australia. The young people heard it clearly; it was by and large completely unintelligible to the adults of the era (save those who stood to profit from it financially). The import is this: the young generation realized that we had more in common with each other than any of us had with our parents. That is, teenagers in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Tokyo and beyond were having the same deep experience and speaking the same language. We were a world nation. We bonded with each other, over and against the received tradition of our parents. It was the Beatles who sparked this, just as Whitefield did.
This new world generation separated from the old order in the name of the exciting message of love, which I outlined above. We Anglo- Americans felt that the world would follow our direction, and indeed we find today the long hair, jeans, music and lifestyle of those youth to be universally accepted and fashionable. My visit to Moscow in 1990 exemplified this. On the Arbat was a duo of guitar playing kids doing the finest renditions of early Beatles songs I have ever heard. I sold three or four Beatles cassette tapes to a group of youths on the street in about two minutes.
Sadly, the prophet who would turn the hearts of fathers and children together did not appear. And then, by 1965, the watershed already came; the first indication of self-reflection and negativity on the part of the Boys: the song, "I'm a Loser." I'm wealthy, famous, powerful, influential, loved by millions, but I'm a loser. Where in all creation could that have come from? It awoke my dogmatic teenage slumbers to hear the Beatles sing, for all the Top 40 world to hear,
"I'm a Loser" I am declining; I am false. I have loved many women; One of them destroyed me. I am declining; my life is breaking; I am declining; I am false. Perhaps even my grief is self-centered. I am declining; my life is breaking; I am declining; I am false. How did I create this fate? I have been remiss; I was proud and I fell. Heed my warning!
It was around this time that Mr. Lennon opined that the Beatles were more popular than was Jesus. It created a tremendous uproar in America; he clarified that he did not mean that they were morally superior to Jesus, just that they were at the moment more popular. Christian youth had mass burnings of Beatles records, which would seem to lend credence to Lennon's statement about their popularity.
In any case, the Beatles' song content declined in spirit. Love songs were replaced with songs of free sex, transient love affairs, stealing women, depression, betrayal, class-consciousness, isolation, family breakdown, accusation, blame and all those poetic things. Then came intoxication and aestheticized nihilism in Lennon, and nostalgic yearning to go home in McCartney. Intoxicated nihilism: Lucy in the Sky, Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey, Cold Turkey, Tomorrow Never Knows, She Said, She Said, A Day in the Life, I am the Walrus, etc. etc. Longing to go home: Get Back, The Long and Winding Road, Yesterday, She's Leaving Home, Fixing a Hole, Honey Pie, Back in the USSR, Let It Be, etc. etc. Naturally each tried to have the other see it their way, and they fell apart.
Typical of Lennon's songs at the time is "Strawberry Fields Forever":
Let me seduce you. I'm going into a benumbed state of euphoria; I want to stay there forever. Living is easy in ignorance. What we see, we misunderstand; It's difficult to be a person, but what the hell, I don't care.
Let me seduce you. I'm going into a benumbed state of euphoria; I want to stay there forever. No one is connected to me; I have lost my orientation. You can't communicate with me, but what the hell, I'll suspend judgement. Let me seduce you. I'm going into a benumbed state of euphoria; I want to stay there forever. You have concepts about who I am, but they are illusory. You're wrong and I could correct you, but what the hell, we'll survive Let me seduce you. I'm going into a benumbed state of euphoria; I want to stay there forever. (and the music starts playing backwards)
Meanwhile, back in the hometown, we had McCartney's increasing affection for the old days, even in the midst of the 1966-67 revolution of consciousness:
"Penny Lane" On my street is a barber With photographs of all his customers Whom he loves. The people love him. On my street is a fireman; He has a clock and the Queen's portrait in his pocket. He keeps a high standard. On my street is a banker Who has a nice car. The children think he's funny, He never wears a raincoat when it's raining. It's so exciting! My street fills my soul, as I sit beneath the beautiful sky outside the city. In the center of town A pretty nurse is raising funds. She feels as if her life is a drama, and it is. My street fills my soul, as I sit beneath the beautiful sky outside the city. On my street the barber is working. The banker is with him as The fireman comes in out of the rain. It's so exciting! My street fills my soul, as I sit beneath the beautiful sky outside the city.
Finally we had Lennon proclaiming himself something between Christ ("I am he as you are he and you are me and we are all together;" "They're going to crucify me.") and a walrus with a monkey friend. McCartney finally revealed his longing for that "long and winding road to your door," and his faith in Mother Mary.
If Lennon had been German, he probably would have gone as mad as Nietszche, but as it was he, a sensible Englishman, ended up another contented citizen of New York City, until his tragic heroism caught up with him. McCartney found safety in numbers, whether referring to the mildest of drugs, the myriad of fans, or the digits in his bank account. Without the Messiah, where else can one turn?
I close with a rendition of McCartney's song, which I read that he wrote for Lennon's son, Julian. Lennon, hearing it, thought it was about himself, but McCartney said to him that it was about himself. So, I don't know who it was about, but it was called, "Hey, Jude" and I think Jude is clearly a biblically-based name, either for Jesus, Judas or the writer of the epistle, Jude.
Jude, turn this sadness into joy; Love for a woman will give you joy. Jude, fear not. It is your nature to love a woman; You will find joy if you allow yourself to. You are taking on too many burdens, and It is painful to you; stop. You are fine as you are; You have what you need. Jude, don't disappoint me. Realize what you have discovered; Open your heart and things will improve. Let go and let God , Start your life again from now. You need someone to share your life. The fool isolates himself and hurts others, Expecting them to serve him. You can make it, Jude; I know you can make it.
Let's pray that the song is not over; indeed, "Hey, Jude" is a song which does not want to end. Let us hope the hearts of the fathers and children turn once again to each other, through the return of Elijah.
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