Taking its name from George Harrison‘s 1973 album, Living In The Material World is Martin Scorsese’s epic and affectionate two-part documentary on the life of the mercurial and inquisitive former Beatle who died in 2001. George Harrison: Living in the Material World was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Limited Deluxe Edition, which includes the DVD, Blu-ray, book of unseen photography and illustrations, and a CD of previously unheard tracks sung by Harrison, on 10 October 2011 in the UK.
George Harrison and God
by Doug Yurchey
Recently…I found myself watching a great documentary on the life of the late Beatle, George Harrison. Within the film, a profound truth was revealed that stirred emotions within me. When such moments occur, I am compelled to write what I feel.
The online documentary, directed by Martin Scorsese, is called George Harrison: Living In The Material World. I was interested in the transformation of George; almost a punk kid from the streets of Liverpool to a man in search of larger questions that eastern ‘mysticism’ provided. That journey from rough, street boy to sage of spiritualism fascinated me.
We know George was the ‘quiet’ Beatle. Scorsese’s documentary explores the two sides to his personality. As a youth, the scrawny kid would get into fights as he often spoke his mind or plainly stated the truth. Then, there was the LSD-taking, peace-and-love hippie who traveled to India in search of the meaning of Life. If you were a Beatle, then you were incredibly rich/famous and had everything in the material world. What was beyond the physical? What was God? George, you could say, was also the curious Beatle and asked the large questions.
Reflected in his later music were eastern influences of sitar sounds, meditation, the Maharishi and philosophy from wise men some call ‘mystics.’ Maybe there were spiritual truths here that the western world (and any seeker) should learn?
The specific ‘profound truth’ that floored me and compelled me to write concerned a big subject…GOD. What was God to the high masters of the East or how should we view God? What George passed onto us was a truth that stands in direct conflict with western religions. I was rocked throughout when I heard it…
The following is a short transcript of what might be the most significant idea in the entire film. George Harrison is speaking:
‘Ravi (Shankar) and his brother gave me a lot of books by some wise men. One of the books which was by Swami Vivekananda said if there is a God, you must SEE him. And…if there is a soul, you must PERCEIVE it. Otherwise, it is better NOT to believe. It’s better to be an outspoken atheist, than a hypocrite… And, after all my life…I been brought up…well, they had tried to raise me a Catholic. They had told you just believe what they’re telling you and not have the direct experience. This for me; going to India and having somebody saying, ‘no, you can’t believe ANYTHING until you have direct perception of it.’ And, I thought WOW, fantastic; at last…somebody who makes some sense…and I wanted to go deeper into that.’
WOW IS RIGHT; this writer was stunned when my perceptions beheld such visions and sounds! The film was stopped and I had to go over it again and again to get every utterance down correctly. The key WORD that was not spoken in this important scene from India within Harrison’s life…was the word…‘FAITH.’
| Western religions are totally built upon pillars of faith. FAITH is looked upon as a good thing. Is it? Not according to the yogi. Could ‘faith’ reflect a complete lack of knowledge? Maybe it’s an excuse for a God that is in reality a no-show? Faith is what we are left with and FAITH is such a big deal…why? Possibly, FAITH in what we perceive as a Supreme Being…is a ‘cop-out’ or ‘excuse.’ MAYBE WE SHOULD NOT HAVE FAITH AT ALL?
Perhaps people should have strong beliefs or convictions in only what they physically sense. Let’s forget faith. Let’s have faith in what is substantial and material.
‘Faith’ means we have to believe (have faith) in something we cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste. There’s nothing in the room, but we have to believe and have faith that there is really something of substance there. Are you kidding me? Maybe this works for those ‘of the Cloth’ who threatened Galileo and snuffed out the precious life of Giordano Bruno. (Religious) ‘Faith’ should not operate in any type of modern society. Have faith in technology.
Believe in what is real; in ONLY what you can sense via the senses. That is an excellent lesson. The Swami said, ‘believe in a soul, if you can perceive it.’
And, you CAN. Kirlian photography takes pictures of our aura. We, living, creatures all have a glow; energy; a color; a barely perceptible LIGHT around us. It can be photographed and measured. When we die, our weight lessens by a very minuscule amount. You can believe and have faith in a human spirit. The soul is real.
Where’s God? Where, exactly, is my sweet Lord? Not the one that you’re supposed to have faith in; not that one. No; where’s the one that we can SEE? I want to HEAR this God! I want to measure ‘m. Stop thinking, ‘we must have Faith, brother.’ We must have direct knowledge and true information, instead.
George Harrison was a wonderful spirit and a smart man. He learned; he changed. He looked up to even smarter people with far greater understanding than his own. The Beatle was in awe. We should humbly bow in awe before every mystery.
When we understand or finally realize a profound truth…we CHANGE. We are no longer who we were. If you readers out there have not drastically ALTERED in your life, you have not learned one important thing.
Why do I get the feeling the bloggers are going to correct George and enlightened Swamis…in favor of good, Ol’ Time Religion?
Can’t wait for the bloggers; brainwashed ones who think they know better to write because they would be the ones who have MISSED THE LESSON HERE. Maybe I’m wrong and people will write who have seen some light in the simple, lovely (eastern) words. Show me!
There are only two choices; two paths: You learn lessons of the spiritual East which include REINCARNATION (as Jesus did in India as a teen called ‘St. Essa’)…OR…you defend western religions…which, of course, include ‘witch-burning’ and ‘Christ-killing’. Guess what the confused bloggers will write? They will still defend the Witch-Burners over reincarnation, right? …surprise me. I really hope I’m wrong. There is learning and then…there are those who only mimic grand mistakes of the past. Seek spiritual knowledge over material wealth.
- George Harrison: Living In The Material World – DVD
- George Harrison: Living In The Material World by Martin Scorsese – article
- George Harrison Living In The Material World – the song