Saturday, November 18, 2006

Private Lennon...

It's never too late to have a happy childhood, say some. Others would prefer to get on with it. One man who decided he'd had enough of lugging around his childhood demons was John Lennon, who in 1970 came to Venice, California to complete Primal Therapy sessions he'd begun in England with Dr. Arthur Janov. Yes, that's the one with all the screaming.

"I had to do it to really kill off all the religious myths," said Lennon in 1971. "In the therapy you really feel every painful moment of your life - it's excruciating, you are forced to realise that your pain, the kind that makes you wake up afraid with your heart pounding, is really yours and not the result of somebody up in the sky. It's the result of your early experience and your environment. This therapy forced me to get over all the God shit... Most people channel their pain into God or masturbation or some dream of making it... [It's] facing up to reality instead of always looking for some kind of heaven." (Read more here.)

Personally, I'm not sure that confronting your pain negates the religious experience, in fact I think a radical purging of all the warped lenses we carry around might negate our solipsism, and therefore put us more in touch with larger forces. But I can see how a man in his shoes, who had spent much of his life being deified, would need to pulverize all the mythological gods in order to become human again.

Channeling your pain into some dream of making it... Ouch.

(Lennon as Private Digweed still from "How I Won the War")


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