When John Lennon released the song Imagine in 1971, the public was not fully ready to embrace it. Sure, the members of the Hippie Movement and its emphasis on peace and love were still aflame, but this song offered a lofty vision that was beyond the reach even of staunch supporters. The simple, graceful melody belied its far-reaching profundity.
Today, that vision, and the future world that he imagined, is just starting to become accessible to us in its fullness.
Lennon had said that he got the initial idea from Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit, which encourages us to “Imagine the sky crying,” or “Imagine you’re a cloud.” Still, Imagine evinces his signature militant challenge to widely-accepted conventions of our collective perception.
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Lennon starts with perhaps the most controversial statement in the whole song: that the very concept of heaven, so intrinsic to the Christian teachings adhered to by many of his followers at the time, was a fabrication that was actually preventing us from living in the moment—the true experience of Christ Consciousness and the creation of ‘Heaven-on-Earth.’ Lennon asks us to reject a life motivated by the fear of future retribution, and the false promise of future salvation.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
In one swipe, Lennon attempts to wipe away all the artificial structures that give rise to opposition: country vs. country, religion vs. religion, race vs. race, etc. To suggest that countries in our world could suddenly cease to exist is a stretch for most—but just imagining it helps us all to give up the need to identify with those labels that polarize us and prevent us from seeing ourselves as one.
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
Here Lennon challenges the Capitalistic notion of private property, but more deeply the perception advocated by the Western world that life is founded on the survival of the fittest, that we actually need to live in competition with one another in order to thrive. He invokes one of the hallmarks of the hippie movement—a willingness to share the Earth’s available resources with all of humanity.
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Finally, Lennon concedes that his listeners might think him unrealistic, a dreamer. But he is undeterred. He seems to have realized, to a large degree at least, that what is thought, intended—imagined—has the potential to manifest into reality. And indeed, the more people that join together and focus on the same vision, the more immediately that vision manifests in the world.
The awakened community has become well-versed in our ability to manifest through intention, both in our personal lives and as a collective. Films like What the Bleep Do We Know? has shown us that Quantum physics is on board to support this principle of natural law, and more and more of us are gaining confidence in manifesting by focusing our imaginations on what we want.
We are at a watershed moment in the evolution of our consciousness, where we are coming to know not only that the world John Lennon described is possible, but that we have the collective power to imagine it into existence.