Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
I am often just blown away how these regular, working-class boys got together and changed the course of music forever—just by getting down to business and harnessing their creativity.
Most of their songs came from John and Paul, who seemed born to work together, crafting pop hooks at first, then evolving their ideas into a pop-oriented experimentalism that will no doubt stand the test of time.
But what about the other two? Ringo always seemed like he was along for the ride. He loved to drum, he loved pulling silly antics and horsing around with the media. If I had to venture a guess, I would say Ringo is on a pleasure quest. For a time in his life, it got the better of him and, more so than any other Beatle, he struggled with addiction.
But George is an interesting case. He never seemed to revel in the fame as much as his cohorts and once remarked that it was a good day if he opened up the newspaper and he wasn’t in it. George was quiet, contemplative, which might have been viewed as weakness because he was often marginalized by John and Paul, whose sheer creativity was often overbearing. Generally, George was allowed one, maybe two, songs per album, though recording studio outtakes overflow with Harrison’s ideas.
When The Beatles took their sabbatical in India under the Maharishi Mahesh, it was all in good fun for most of them, but after the novelty had worn off, all but George left India, who would return sporadically throughout the rest of his life. He was, until he died, a devotee of the Hare Krishna faith and was an avid meditator and chanter.
I’ve been searching for a way, for quite some time, to communicate an important and fascinating aspect of THEE—the primal quests. Herein lies some of the most mystical and mysterious parts of being human. I saw a unique opportunity listening to The Beatles the other day, particularly in Harrison—who is a unique human being.
The Primal Quests are deeply personal, individual-oriented entities. It’s certainly none of my business to concern myself with anyone’s quest but my own—and even then, understanding can be difficult.
But I would submit that Harrison was a rarity in that he was truly on a Spiritual Quest. These people’s primary concern is achieving a oneness with the divine, a burning confrontation with God, the universe and all as unity. That’s George in a nutshell. He once said:
“There's high, and there's high, and to get really high - I mean so high that you can walk on the water, that high-that's where I'm going.”
An interesting and unique feature of the Your Better Self framework is that higher-level quests can gratify key features of all the levels below them. So, in a sense, a quest that’s higher up in the hierarchy can look, at times, like quests below them. And Spirituality sits at the top of the Primal Quest hierarchy.
This phenomenon comes through in Harrison’s life and music. At least a couple of quests manifest themselves in his song, “Within You Without You,” (full lyrics) where he sings, not only about the oneness of humanity, but also about the redeeming power of love.
Harrison shows an affinity to the Enlightenment Quest as well, singing:
We were talking/About the space between us all/And the people who hide themselves/Behind a wall of illusion/Never glimpse the truth.
Those seeking Enlightenment, as George suggested, are looking beyond the illusions of truth set up by society or even our own, inner blockages such as subscriptions to ideology or an orientation toward reductionism or simplification. They want the real Truth.
Displaying features of the Salvation Quest, Harrison was the first-ever major rock act to hold a “concert for cause,” (something that is now commonplace) when he organized the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 to help Bangladeshi refugees.
I could go on. Obviously, his music speaks to his Creation Quest and we could easily argue it was all a search for Meaning. But I think you get the idea.
Readers, if this seems foreign to you, I urge you to click the links. There’s something in it for you, beyond musing about a favorite rock star.
We are all on a quest. Understanding it could equate to understanding your “purpose in life.” And who doesn’t want to know their purpose?
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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