I don’t agree with John Lennon on his lyrics for the song ‘Imagine’. I wish he were here to discuss his lyrics.
In John Lennon’s lyrics he says that countries, religion, and possessions are themselves the source of our troubles. I disagree and I think that Buddhism disagrees.
The 3 Poisons are the initial sequence that gives rise to all other mental afflictions, and drive negative actions. I place the items that John Lennon mentions in Poison #2 that gives rise to the killing and greed in Poison #3.
This gives us the following sequence…
- Ignorance: A complete misunderstanding of how the “self” exists.
- Attachment: My country, my religion, my possessions.
- Hatred & anger: Just don’t mess with my stuff okay, otherwise I will kill to defend my country, my religion, my possessions.
… so in Poison #1 we already have the precursor, our misunderstanding of “me” and other things. The things themselves, country, religion, and possessions aren’t the problem because they come later.
This unhealthy relationship possessions is not in the possessions themselves, they are not the source of our problems. There can be pleasure and enjoyment in possessions for what they are. But there is usually attachment. Like a spoilt child, this is mine, so I don’t want to share it and won’t be able to enjoy it for what it is.
So instead, imagine enjoying things for what they are. Sharing countries, giving possessions, and growing from religions. Having a different relationship with each other, and ourselves. I love you, brother or sister.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
by John Lennon