A couple days ago, I happened upon a Youtube video of a young Australian singer delivering a tear-inspiring rendition of John Lennon's Imagine. He and his brother are maimed Iraqi adoptees an Australian woman rescued from an iraqi ophanage. It was so moving, I linked to it on my Facebook page. If you go to this address, you will find out why I was so moved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY37l4PDsao&feature=youtu.be
I had heard the song before but never really dwelt on the message. I've chosen to take those words and expand on them in my own personal way.
"Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try."
It's easy for me when I take a really deep view of the universe -- all of the expanse of it -- nearly fourteen billion years worth of continuing expansion and creation. I occupy only a fleeting dust mote and blink of time in that immensity of time and space in a run-of-the-mill galaxy among billions of other galaxies. It is the height of haughtiness to imagine this "third rock" from an average star as the center of everything and the chosen apple of a deity's eye in some "heaven" that only exists in human imaginations.
"No hell below us. Above us only sky."
Science tells me what's below my feet. A rather thin solid crust, then the mantle and core of a unique planet that is horribly hot inside and that heat is only glimpsed through the eruption of an occasional volcano. No souls are being tortured there at the behest of a vengeful cosmic ogre. The "sky" has expanded considerably during the last century with the advent of modern telescopes, especially those in space.
"Imagine all the people living for today."
Today is all we really have. The past is only memories that will fade away, except for the few that are recorded, and even those, like the records burned with the great library of Alexandria, can disappear at some point in the future. What is to come may get here or it may not. None of us have the guarantee that we'll survive until tomorrow. The probability may be great, but there's no guarantee. I'm doing my best to put these words into action.
"Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do."
It is rather hard for me to do that. I really don't think countries are ever going to completely disappear. If they do, it would be far in the future. I understand the sentiment, but don't expect the reality in my lifetime or in several lifetimes to come.
"Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too."
That would be wonderful, but before it could become reality, we would have to let go of politics as well as religion and just settle down to using hard reason and science to solve human problems. That won't happen until we advance far enough to eschew individual, cultural and national selfish motives.
"Imagine all the people living life in peace."
A wonderful dream and goal, but it isn't going to happen anytime soon. As long as cock sure people continue to say, "I'm right and anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong and should be suppressed, imprisoned or killed," the world isn't going to enjoy that kind of peace.
"You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one."
Yes, I do dream and hope for progress. I'd like to see our own nation become as one more completely first of all. I'd like to see, "all for one, and one for all" be the true national slogan as it was during those wonderful years of unity during and shortly after World War II. Then, it could spread to encompass more of the world.
"Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing all the world."
That dream is going to take a monumental change in human goals and aspirations. Pure capitalism will never achieve it and neither will pure socialism -- or any other exclusive "ism". It's going to take a change in basic human aspirations and attitudes and a wholesale application of the golden rule and humanistic values.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one."
We must keep the dream alive and strive to make it an eventual reality. It's been a long climb (the Magna Carta, the United States Constitution, civil wars, revolutions, The League of Nations, The United Nations, etc.) I know I won't live to see "the dream" fulfilled. Maybe no one will. Nevertheless, dreamers gave us our American republic and we continue to try to perfect it in spite of all the negative, hatefilled efforts to subvert it.
The dream we "imagine" makes the journey and the struggle worthwhile.