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Was John Haunted By His Inner Emptiness?
15 April 2014
4.18am
C.R.A.
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Whatever his demons or fears, Lennon contended with something that was so very personal and probably started when he was a boy.  I'm no psychologist, but I think we're all capable of imagining the pain he carried from the turmoil of his youth.  What therapy is there that resolves not ever knowing who you are?

I'm glad I have my parents.  Still.

“Send John out first; he’s the one they want.”

~ George Harrison

Memphis, 1966

15 April 2014
1.43pm
Ahhh Girl
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I'm still hanging right in there with him then, cra. I have all these people telling me who I am/how I come across as a person, and I wonder who in the heck they are talking about. When your outward portayal is so vastly different from your inner realities, things can get mixed up and messed up in your heart, mind, and soul.

I sure do like the person they describe. I hope to be her one day. Or maybe I am her and just can't see it yet for myself.

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IveJustSeenAFaceo
15 April 2014
3.33pm
Expert Textpert
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Sometimes I start thinking about my faults and everything I've ever done wrong, and before I know it I think I'm the worst person who ever walked the face of the earth.  Most of the time I'm unaware of all of those things because I push them from my mind.  I don't think any of us are who we think we are OR who others think we are.  I try not to define myself.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

15 April 2014
3.49pm
WETSRoosa
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Expert Textpert said
Sometimes I start thinking about my faults and everything I've ever done wrong, and before I know it I think I'm the worst person who ever walked the face of the earth.  Most of the time I'm unaware of all of those things because I push them from my mind.  I don't think any of us are who we think we are OR who others think we are.  I try not to define myself.

 

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

"There's no such thing as bad student... only bad teacher."
16 April 2014
1.56am
Billy Rhythm
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Ahhh Girl said
I have all these people telling me who I am/how I come across as a person, and I wonder who in the heck they are talking about.

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together

...:-)

16 April 2014
2.10am
Ahhh Girl
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Billy Rhythm said

Ahhh Girl said
I have all these people telling me who I am/how I come across as a person, and I wonder who in the heck they are talking about.

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together

...:-)

We on the forum are all becoming one another - sort of. We are all become a part of one another's thinking at least. Together we can't be collectively empty. When one of us has run out of gas, another is there to keep the engine going.

16 April 2014
3.04pm
LikeASir
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It's probably been noted before but John was probably hurt by the fact that Julia's death was so sudden and unexpected whilst Paul had a chance to say goodbye to Mary. I mean, everything in John's life was sudden; death of Uncle George, Julia, Stuart Sutcliffe, Brian Epstein - all these foundations he'd latched onto as support torn away from him. I imagine him as a barnacle - desperately trying to cling on to anything around him.

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Oudis

 http://afloydianslip.tumblr.com/

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

23 July 2014
8.45am
Oudis
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Lennonista said 

I think we all have inner emptiness, holes than cannot be filled. And I agree that John was most definitely haunted by his. He was ever aware of it, very tuned in-- unlike most of us. His was profound, though... deeper than most. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, but I think there was an emptiness in his heart, and that the one thing he truly wanted/needed was the one thing he also knew he'd never have--the unconditional love of his mum and dad.

Spot-on, Lennonista, at least in my opinion. Poor John. And many of us loved him, and still love him, so much. 

17 September 2014
10.40pm
Ahhh Girl
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Billy Rhythm said

John was a Dreamer, he dreamt away to escape from the reality of his life ("Living is easy with eyes closed, Misunderstanding all you see").  The ability to physically manifest his dreams through his art and music was his therapy, the Primal Scream Therapy was just a temporary extreme measure that helped get him back on track after being somewhat forced to "face his demons" after being finally freed from the chains of being someone that he wasn't for a very long time, and being just John as opposed to being Beatle John for the first time since his youth in 1970 ("I was the Walrus but now I'm John") was quite a traumatic experience for him, as any abrupt change if even for the better can be (such as quitting smoking).  Psychotherapy likely wouldn't have worked out at all for John Lennon, any Psychotherapist could learn far more from John then he could ever from them because Lennon learned his valued life lessons from unimaginable experiences that they could never learn through any Psychology Educational Institution.

 

His "Inner Emptiness" drove him, he channeled it through positive means for both himself and countless others, I'm not sure that "Haunted" is the right word here.  If some of John's best work appears to be dark or reflections of his "Inner Emptiness", it's perhaps that because when things were going well for him he was too busy enjoying himself and couldn't be bothered to stop and write it all down.  I'd reckon that he was quite fulfilled inside on many fronts and made conscious efforts to counter his shortfalls or mistakes made along the way.  When Sean was born, he knew deep down that he had to do a better job at Fatherhood, and knew full well exactly the negative impact of playing the game as a Beatle had had on his strained relationship with Julian, he vowed to do it differently right from the outset and turning a negative experience into a positive is absolutely a sure sign of someone who's come to terms with himself.  He appeared to learn from mistakes made during his first marriage as well and chose to do things differently with Yoko.  Many believe that his Peace Campaigns were inspired from his pension for violence at an earlier age, this appears to me to be a man who not only didn't require professional help, but could help show many others a thing or two about "confronting your demons" as effectively as he did...:-)     

I thought of clipping out some of BR's post in my quoting of it, but, dang, it works so well as a whole.

Perhaps no one could have be a psychotherapist to John, but imagine if you could have given John some help when he "opened up the doors" and asked someone to please, please help him to get his feet back on the ground. How would you have helped him? What would you have said to him? Suggested to him to do?

This thread fascinates me.

18 September 2014
12.05am
Oudis
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Ahhh Girl said 

Perhaps no one could have be a psychotherapist to John, but imagine if you could have given John some help when he "opened up the doors" and asked someone to please, please help him to get his feet back on the ground. How would you have helped him? What would you have said to him? Suggested to him to do?

This thread fascinates me.

Hello everybody. Well, @Ahhh Girl, maybe this is not the response you expected, but here it is.  I’m copying from Wikipedia:

"The musician John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, went through primal therapy in 1970. A copy of the just-released The Primal Scream arrived in the mail at Tittenhurst Park (sources differ about who sent the book). Lennon was impressed, and he requested primal therapy to be started at Tittenhurst. Arthur Janov and his first wife, Vivian Janov, went to Tittenhurst in March 1970 to start the therapy, which continued in April in Los Angeles. Arthur Janov went to Tittenhurst after giving instructions in advance about the isolation period and giving instructions to Lennon to be separated from Ono. Lennon and Ono had three weeks of intensive treatment in England before Janov returned to Los Angeles, where they had four months of therapy."

"According to some sources, Lennon ended primal therapy after four months. Arthur Janov later said, "They cut the therapy off just as it started, really....We were just getting going....We had opened him up, and we didn't have time to put him back together again." Another source states that Lennon and Ono broke off treatment after continuous disputes between Ono and Janov."

"Lennon commented after therapy, "I still think that Janov's therapy is great, you know, but I do not want to make it a big Maharishi thing" and "I just know myself better, that's all. I can handle myself better. That Janov thing, the primal scream and so on, it does affect you, because you recognize yourself in there...It was very good for me. I am still 'primal' and it still works." and "I no longer have any need for drugs, the Maharishi or the Beatles. I am myself and I know why."

 "Shortly after therapy, Lennon produced his album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. (Ono recorded a parallel album, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band from her experiences; both albums were released on the same day on the Apple record label.) Lennon's album featured a number of songs that were directly affected by his experience in therapy, including "Remember", "I Found Out", "Isolation", "God", "Mother", "My Mummy's Dead", and "Working Class Hero"."

Well, the first thing I’d like to point out is that John did have a therapist. The second is that Janov gave instructions to John to be separated from Yoko. The third, that Yoko had problems with Janov. The fourth, that they cut the process off after just four months –and therapeutic processes take much longer. The process was never completed. The fifth, that John claimed he didn’t need The Beatles, or the Maharishi, or drugs any more –yet we do know he kept on doing drugs after his therapy, and he remained 'addicted' to Yoko.

I’ll leave it to you guys to draw your own conclusions.

18 September 2014
6.26pm
StrawberryFieldsForever
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Just yesterday it occurred to me that John and George were both philosophical and yet very different. For example George had always had an inclination towards Eastern mysticism, if that's the right word, as the following excerpt from wiki says:

While pregnant with George, she often listened to the weekly broadcast Radio India. Harrison's biographer Joshua Greene wrote, "Every Sunday she tuned in to mystical sounds evoked by sitars and tablas, hoping that the exotic music would bring peace and calm to the baby in the womb." 

So while George found what he was looking for, John in a way didn't. What do you guys think? John, as most of say and I agree with this 100%, knew and understood himself but I think he needed someone/ something to allow him to change his attitude. IMO he was in search of that someone/ something all throughout his life which also kept him going, prodding him to keep searching...from Maharishi to macrobiotic diet.

Yoko probably helped him to come to terms with the fact that he's looking for something meaningful  and that it was okay to be doing so which gave him more confidence or a breathing space to understand himself and untangle his mind. But I don't think she was successful in filling the void in him. And I digressed didn't I?a-hard-days-night-john-2 

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Mr. Kite
23 September 2014
6.32am
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Oudis said
Well, the first thing I’d like to point out is that John did have a therapist. The second is that Janov gave instructions to John to be separated from Yoko. The third, that Yoko had problems with Janov. The fourth, that they cut the process off after just four months –and therapeutic processes take much longer. The process was never completed. The fifth, that John claimed he didn’t need The Beatles, or the Maharishi, or drugs any more –yet we do know he kept on doing drugs after his therapy, and he remained 'addicted' to Yoko.

I’ll leave it to you guys to draw your own conclusions.

Ha! Yeah, John was not an easy one... and he must have been impossible to live with!

He was definitely his own worst enemy. He carried around this huge ball of pain, and he was probably was so attached to it–it was so much a part of him–that he didn't ever learn to let it go for very long. Sure, he had periods of clarity and relative calm, but the angel of destruction, the green-eyed goddamn straight from your heart always seemed to come back for a visit.

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