This is a revised section of a post I once put up on a previous blog of mine. This is something that weighs on my mind a lot, and I’m feeling brave enough to put it out there for everyone to see, even though it’s a part of my life that I’m very self conscious of:
I remember the first time I ever saw video footage of John Lennon. It was during a documentary, and it was the Bigger Than Jesus press conference. I looked at him, and felt an automatic connection to him. I could feel everything he felt in that moment: anger, fear.
And when I heard he was shot to death, I got irrationally angry considering I’d only known about him for a few minutes. I took it as a personal offense. “That’s IT?” I asked, angry and incredulous. “He just DIED?”
Later, once I’d calmed down, I took a different view. I don’t hate Mark David Chapman, I’ve decided. I’ve been seriously mentally ill enough that I don’t feel I can, really. I understand and pity the kind of place he was at, even though I would never shoot someone myself.
Let me preface this by saying I have always been a very psychic sort of person. I’m quiet, but I feel things very intensely. Sometimes I get bad feelings about people, and my gut has never been wrong yet. I dream of first meeting people and going through events before those things actually happen. I’ve had dreams that felt intensely spiritual. I’ve caught glimpses of things like dead people and spirits – then looked around again and they were no longer there. So it’s not so irrational to me that I could feel a connection to a dead person.
I started doing research into John Lennon’s life, and I noticed other things. I could look at photos of him and always tell how he felt both about himself and about the people around him when I looked at the photographs. I remember being hit by an overwhelming wave of love and beauty the first time I saw a photo of his mother Julia as she naturally had been with her hair down, for example. And I can always pick out a photo where John felt he had problems with being overweight, because whenever I see them I feel an overwhelming wave of self-loathing, even though objectively he looks no different in that photograph than in any of the others.
I also have odd feelings and dreams that are almost like memories. One dream-memory involved a loathing of school. Another involved a favorite office in a house in upstate New York with Yoko Ono. I miss the feel of smoking cigarettes, even though I’ve never smoked a cigarette and neither has anyone around me. When I hallucinate, I sometimes feel one of my eyes is missing and there is blood running down the side of my face. We also have odd personality similarities, odd physical similarities, we share similar likes and interests, we share similar political and spiritual beliefs, we share a fascination with Japan, and we both went through periods of severe depression and have/had naturally addictive personalities.
These could all just be things my mind has cooked up for me. They could all be coincidences. But the more I researched his life, the more of these coincidences there became.
First I admired John Lennon – I was your typical fan, saddened that he was no longer of this world. Then I went through a delusional phase where I was convinced I actually WAS the reincarnation of John Lennon. (I’m a Zen Buddhist Christian, like John was at the end of his life, so I believe in both God and reincarnation.) That was during a period of mental illness. I don’t know if I’m convinced of that so much anymore. Doesn’t that sound so arrogant, to think you’re the reincarnation of a dead famous person? Isn’t that the worst kind of arrogance? Isn’t that so stereotypical? Is that me being mentally ill or full of myself or insecure? Or is that just me being true to my feelings? Am I crazy or am I a genius? Am I both? Either way, I’m convinced I have a very strong connection to him.
No one else has to believe this. I’m not forcing this opinion on anyone. I’m not harassing anyone he knew. I wrote a letter once to Yoko Ono, just curious to see if I would get a response, and when I didn’t I moved on with my life. Simple as that. It’s my feelings and it’s my business. I have never consciously tried to impersonate John Lennon, and I have never consciously tried to make my writing and music sound like his, even though we’ve both done writing and music. My spiritual beliefs were decided as independent of him as they possibly could be, through my own research into the teachings of these different religions. My political beliefs were as well.
I don’t want to be a copy. I want to be important and famous and make money in my own right. I am ambitious and that is what I intend to do.
But it does make me feel better, I’ll admit to that, feeling I have so much creative inspiration – from a previous life or a psychic connection or whatever – welling up inside me. I have another thing where sometimes I’ll pretend my favorite celebrities, when they praise something or someone’s work on social media, are really praising and reacting to MY work.
I know it’s not real. It doesn’t control my life; I’m on several medications and have learned countless self management techniques to make sure of that. But it’s a psychological self-defense mechanism. It makes me feel better and more confident in my work.
So wherever John is, whether I’m really connected to him or not, I hope he can forgive me for making him my inspiration.