Pleasant read in Elephant Journal yesterday about the meaning of this iconic song that may surprise few but helps to remind us of something important in yet another age of crusades.
Like Heaven and Hell, countries exist only in our minds, yet we kill or die for them. Religion too is made up (imagined) by us—yet another institution that serves only to divide humans and prevent them from living life in peace. Neither are possessions real, except as a shared idea of ownership projected onto things, in turn producing yet more suffering as greed begets hunger.
When enough of us finally awaken to the fact that all of these things—religion, country, possessions—are nothing more than ideas in our minds, a world of unity, a brotherhood of man, with all the people sharing all the world, becomes possible. This may look like a dream, yet what is our current social reality but a collective delusion—a “reality” that only exists because enough people believe it? When enough “dreamers” actually see through the dream, a critical mass (what today we would call a “tipping point”) is reached “and the world live be as one.”
A simple Buddhist message to live within the reality we have, hard as it may be for many, this song also confirms the power of the imagination, whether for the highest of all achievements (Lennon’s song) or the most terrible (killing in the name of the deity of your choice). Imagine understanding and accepting the terrible beauty and destruction we create–as us. Simple and direct, less being more, the song is masterfully reiterating an ancient theme.