Log In

Please consider registering
Guest

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Min search length: 3 characters / Max search length: 84 characters

Register Ranks

Register Lost password?
darksoda
2 Posts
(Offline)
1
30 May 2012 - 5.24pm

Hey people i have some doubt about the famouse phrase of john lennon ´´God is a concept which we use to measure our pain´´ second him said he is argument that people think more in god in their moments of pain. someone agree??? someone have other opinion???

 

just to be clear not a religious fight if is possible i just want opinions of the meaning.

Ben Ramon
612 Posts
(Offline)
2
30 May 2012 - 8.28pm

I've often wondered what John meant by this. I reckon he was saying that people in times of suffering people often refer to what has happened or is happening in the lives of people they admire or want to model themselves on; which is why people may listen to sad or melodramatic music at these times, or subconsciously compare it to a scene from a film; detach themselves from their own reality in order to make more sense of what is happening. Hence his stressing that God is a "concept", not a person, and therefore it is improper to "measure our pain" in this way. The breaking up of the Beatles is the same; people grew up with them and admired them to a deity-like extent, but all they were essentially was a "concept", four people joined together to create something bigger than the sum of its parts, and now those four people have gone their separate ways the concept has disappeared and it is a fool's errand to grieve its disappearance.

Sorry if this came out very garbled and poorly written, I'm extremely tired but thought I'd throw in my two cents.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

darksoda
2 Posts
(Offline)
3
30 May 2012 - 9.09pm

thanks for answer, i always think measure pain is something strange, but any way i agree john retrats god like a concept or some idea not a fisic person.

Avatar
mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
6429 Posts
(Offline)
4
30 May 2012 - 10.49pm

Trying to get into Lennon's mind and what he meant is a fool's game - must be why I'm trying!

Those who believe tend to pray more at a time of pain, and typically they sense God's involvement most at those times. Seeing as how those who've had such pain believe more, it's fair to say what Lennon did say.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

Avatar
Old Siam Sir
25 Posts
(Offline)
5
19 June 2012 - 7.02am

I read a biography on Paul. When his mother died he prayed to God and asked where he was. People do tend to pray more when they are hurt or need something (I think they miss the point, it's like only telling your spouse you love 'em after sex). They also tend to blame God when things go wrong and there's no one else to blame. I think it's funny when even atheists curse the Lord when shit goes south. You can't curse him if you don't believe in him. I think John was trying to say that God was only a concept that we use to measure our pain. Paul prayed again when Linda died asking God where he was. He said he heard an answer "I'm here, in every song you write). The music was God's way of healing the pain Paul felt from the losses. He was able to divert his grief into something positive and divert his thoughts to something creative. Sounds like Paul had a better grasp on that concept.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-All Good Children go to Heaven

Avatar
The Walrus
Working for the national health
1024 Posts
(Offline)
6
19 June 2012 - 5.00pm

I remember reading some person recall explaining to John that religion was most common in the most deprived societies, as if worshiping was a way of coping with life. John came out with "oh, so God is a concept by which we measure our pain".

Assuming that's true (at the very least I imagine that the speaker slightly adapted John's reply to fit exactly with the "God" lyric), then we have our inspiration, unless John was formulating that line for a while looking for the opportunity to express it.

Whilst there may be correlation from comparisons of whole societies, I doubt that pain causes religious belief, just from personal observation. The most religious people I know come from affluent middle class homes and seem to have the most stable home lives. Pain seems to create cynics.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time

Avatar
mithveaen
Sitarday's room
4618 Posts
(Offline)
7
19 June 2012 - 11.06pm

From my Catholic point of view, that line is related to "if you have pain in your life, that's because Jesus loves you". Catholic church teaches you that if you suffer for your religion, if you have pain in your life, it's because God is purifying you.

 

I remember this because my Mom taught me that the way some interpret this concept is bullshit. When she was young, (in the 40s) she had a neighbor whose husband beated her to death, and one day when my Mom got sick of that, she went to the house and told the guy to stop. The woman told my Mom "This is the husband God sent me, so please go away".

 

It seems when the abused woman went for an advice to the priest, and the man told the woman that she had to take all the crap her husband was giving her because a. They were married by Catholic church so they had to be together til death, and b. because that was the man God chose for her, so she had to take the pain. 

 

So, in my opinion, the line is like : the more you "embrace" your pain (even if you can improve your situation), the more you will love God.

 

Now, I'm talking about pain you can avoid if you want. If the woman didn't believe that, she would have stopped her pain with a divorce. But if we're talking about the loss of a relative, or a terrible illness, then believing in God might help you a lot to overcome it.

 

Mhhh now I understand why I am so rebellious when it comes to Catholic church..... I got that from my Mom.... a-hard-days-night-paul-10a-hard-days-night-paul-10

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie……

Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower…

Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go.

Beware of Darkness… 

Avatar
meanmistermustard

19110 Posts
(Offline)
8
19 June 2012 - 11.32pm

Which John wrote in the song Girl, Mith.

 

"Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure?

Did she understand it when they said;

That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure?

Will she still believe it when he's dead?"

 

Personally i think John was talking about how folks call out to God when things go wrong, either in need or in blame, whether they have a real believe in God (whatever their image of God is) or not. This idea or concept can also applied to the pain and suffering in the world, "if God exists why is there pain and suffering?" which is how many people deal with the God question.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

Avatar
kedame
Miles above you
522 Posts
(Offline)
9
20 June 2012 - 12.23am

I sort of see it as John saying God (or religion in any sense) is a crutch for those in pain. You need some reason to believe everything will be alright, and religion offers that. The more in pain you are, the more likely you will be to turn to a "higher power."

I guess.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?"

John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth

Avatar
meanmistermustard

19110 Posts
(Offline)
10
20 June 2012 - 12.57am

Should add that personally i think John was saying the amount of pain, darkness etc depends on whether or not folks go to God or not; God only exists at certain times in a persons life, dependant on circumstance.

When I find myself in times of trouble

Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

And in my hour of darkness

She is standing right in front of me.

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Paul words but still relevant in part i think.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

Avatar
mithveaen
Sitarday's room
4618 Posts
(Offline)
11
20 June 2012 - 1.05am

Interesting interpretation of the words of Girl Meanmrmustard.  I always thought it was about a girl who was taught that the men would have to give her everything because she deserves it so, that's why she could hurt men without remorse.

 

I know a couple of girls like that. But your interpretation is quite interesting. a-hard-days-night-george-4a-hard-days-night-george-4

 

Edit : Kedame, your opinion is also interesting. The other way to see religion and pain.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie……

Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower…

Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go.

Beware of Darkness… 

Avatar
mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
6429 Posts
(Offline)
12
20 June 2012 - 1.32am

kedame said

I sort of see it as John saying God (or religion in any sense) is a crutch for those in pain. You need some reason to believe everything will be alright, and religion offers that. The more in pain you are, the more likely you will be to turn to a "higher power."

I guess.

(Trying quoting from my iPod. Hope it works.)
Kedame, that's what I was trying to say, but of course, you say it more elequantly then I did. Welcome back, by the way!

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

Avatar
meanmistermustard

19110 Posts
(Offline)
13
20 June 2012 - 3.06am

mithveaen said
Interesting interpretation of the words of Girl Meanmrmustard.  I always thought it was about a girl who was taught that the men would have to give her everything because she deserves it so, that's why she could hurt men without remorse.

I know a couple of girls like that. But your interpretation is quite interesting. a-hard-days-night-george-4a-hard-days-night-george-4

Edit : Kedame, your opinion is also interesting. The other way to see religion and pain.

 

I dont use wiki as a creditable source more a handy place for beatle info found in books etc. Anyway it has this about Girl which saves me looking thru books and writing anything.

 

According to McCartney, he contributed the lines "Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure" and "That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure." However, in a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon claimed that he came up with these lines as a comment on Christianity which he was "opposed to at the time". He explained: "I was just talking about Christianity in that - a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven. [...] - be tortured and then it'll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn't believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were."

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

Avatar
kedame
Miles above you
522 Posts
(Offline)
14
20 June 2012 - 5.47am

mr. Sun king coming together said

kedame said

I sort of see it as John saying God (or religion in any sense) is a crutch for those in pain. You need some reason to believe everything will be alright, and religion offers that. The more in pain you are, the more likely you will be to turn to a "higher power."

I guess.

(Trying quoting from my iPod. Hope it works.)
Kedame, that's what I was trying to say, but of course, you say it more elequantly then I did. Welcome back, by the way!

Thanks, SunKing! You know, we often do agree on things! I've been away for awhile, I know. Been caught up in tumblr land, and I've had quite a few personal developments. I'm moving to Mobile in a month for medical school. I'll be using the Beatles fandom as a crutch for the first few weeks I'm alone before school starts so I'm not so lonely!

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?"

John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth

Avatar
Dipsy
Turned left at Greenland
238 Posts
(Offline)
15
18 July 2012 - 9.21pm

kedame said
I sort of see it as John saying God (or religion in any sense) is a crutch for those in pain. You need some reason to believe everything will be alright, and religion offers that. The more in pain you are, the more likely you will be to turn to a "higher power."

I guess.

This is exactly what I think he meant. While some people turn to drugs or alcohol in a time of pain, others turn to God. Of course, at the time this song was written, John hadn't yet figured out the whole religion thing for himself; in fact, I'm not so sure he ever did. I think he may have been expressing his frustration with worshipers in a single line: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain". I think there was an underlying message to people of faith implying that they were no more righteous than the drug addicts or alcoholics they seemed so quick to judge. Because in the end, they were doing the same thing: using God as a sort of escape from reality. In Christianity it's all about the future rather than of the here-and-now (which was summed up beautifully by meanmistermustard's connection to "Girl"), so John's idea was that God was nothing more than the pain we experience now. Just like an alcoholic will go harder on the whiskey in a time of pain, believers will pray and/or go to church more often in a time of need. That being said, I can also see this song as being one of John's "stick-it-to-'em" songs, saying that you're not necessarily a "Christian" if you only turn to God in times of pain or need. The idea that you only WANT God when you NEED Him. So, do people really want God? Or do they want the comfort that the CONCEPT of God brings?

 

*Disclaimer: I was in no way trying to knock religion or God as a being: I was trying to see the song through John's eyes (who, as we know, is a known anti-establishment type of guy haha). So, I really hope this post didn't offend anyone. That was not my intention at all. So, have an apology apple just in case! a-hard-days-night-george-10 apple01*

The following people thank Dipsy for this post:

Silly Girl

"I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know? I'm just one of those people."

Avatar
meanmistermustard

19110 Posts
(Offline)
16
24 November 2015 - 2.31pm

Interesting to hear the outtakes where it gets softer, more emotional, and better, as John works out the song.

"God is a conker." a-hard-days-night-john-6

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

ewe2, Zig

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

Avatar
Joe
Pepperland
4512 Posts
(Offline)
17
25 December 2015 - 6.13pm

Here's a cover of God from earlier this month by Father John Misty. I can't work out some of the changed lyrics. Anyone want to have a go?

I Love You, Honeybear is probably the album I listened to more than any other this year. I'm seeing FJM live in May 2016, can't wait.

https://youtu.be/P7S-DP26kIs

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

Avatar
KaleidoscopeMusic
Greenland
478 Posts
(Offline)
18
25 December 2015 - 7.13pm

@Joe That's a great cover. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't make out a lot either but caught "Obama," "Facebook," something that sounded like "soothies," "Star Wars," and "Christmas." I'm extremely surprised a priest would say "I don't believe in the Bible"....

In response to the above interpretations, I think what John meant by the opening statement has to do with not just pain, but pleasure as well. How we perceive and what we determine about God depends on the subjectivity in our lives. Any thoughts?

Only music can save us.

Avatar
Ron Nasty
5567 Posts
(Offline)
19
25 December 2015 - 7.42pm

Okay, @Joe, here's my best guess, anyone feel free to disagree:

 

God is a concept
By which we measure our pain
Oh, let me say it again
Oh, God is a concept
By which we measure our pain
Yeah, pain, yeah

Yeah, I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-Ching
I don't believe in the Bible
I don't believe in terrorists
I don't believe in Obama
I don't believe in Facebook
I don't believe in Sunnies
I don't believe in Buddha, no! (?)
I don't believe in Star Wars
I don't believe in Carl Bennett/Carl Barat (?)
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in kings, no-o-o-o
Yeah... I don't believe in cour-de-grass (?)

I just believe in me
All of you and me (“Thank You so Much!”)
And that's reality
The Dream is Over
What more can I say?
The Dream is Over
Yesterday
Oh, I was Father John Misty
But, now, oh-h-h I'm reborn
Yeah, an' I was the Walrus
But, now, I am John
Oh-oh
And so, dear friends
Oh!
We're just gonna...
We're just gonna hav'ta carry on
Oh, we'll have to carry on

The dream is over...

That's what I think...

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

Avatar
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12433 Posts
(Online)
20
26 December 2015 - 6.41am

I think the line after "kings" is "Christmas".

Forum Timezone: America/Chicago
All RSS Show Stats

Administrators:
Joe
Ellie

Moderators:
Ahhh Girl
meanmistermustard
Zig
Joe

Top Posters:

Starr Shine?: 12304

Silly Girl: 8633

parlance: 7065

mr. Sun king coming together: 6429

Mr. Kite: 6131

trcanberra: 5856

Ron Nasty: 5566

Necko: 5478

mithveaen: 4618

AppleScruffJunior: 4056

Newest Members:

simonc

Pauls Grandfather

Sean

markus567r

herseydenvar2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 42

Topics: 4014

Posts: 228105

 

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 87

Members: 3638

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: Zig, Ahhh Girl, Starr Shine?, ewe2, Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<, Evangeline, fabbeatlebooks
42 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
Today: None
Upcoming: Amber1965