Many are those who assume or believe "the church" to be the inheritors of the legacy of Jesus. The simply is not true. Just because one calls oneself a church of the living Christ it does not follow to be necessarily true in any sense of the word. If, for instance, one finds oneself burning people alive to appease one's god, one should suspect oneself to not be on a Christ-like path.
No, the true inheritors, the magical and mystical ones who carry the light are the ones history most often shuns aside: the liberal artists. The Da Vinci Code strikes a cord because it speaks of a secret lineage of Jesus and in a sense that is true. After the mourning of the killing of Jesus, rays of light gradually returned. Song-bearers, traveling minstrels, actors and playwrights remained wedded to the light, keeping hope alive.
In the Bible, it is the prophets whom the Royal Courts sought out for (not always accepted) guidance. But emerging from the Dark Ages it was the merry minstrel who brought sunshine into the hollowed hearts of power. Christian Kings may pray at the altar of the church out of fear but listened to the playful minstrel out of joy. I'll let you decide which is the fruit of love.
Society has always had a love/hate relationship with the artist. Loving the feel of the art but fearing its truth. But as time went on we found that more and more we hungered for this light, that feeling of infinity brought by Jesus. Oh, we claimed to know the truth, claimed to know what we were doing, and even killed to "prove" we were right. But all along in our daily feudal lives we were fucking miserable, asking for a way out.
And so the arts became formalized into professions - though even to this day not considered as truly legitimate. Military professions never questioned will one day pass away forever. The arts will then take their place as the most unquestionable and certainly noble of pursuits. There is only the light, nothing lives outside the light, the struggle will be over.
We all secretly ask and hope of ourselves: "Am I a purveyor of light?" It can come through in all manner of ways for anyone but the artist is the highest calling. Deep down inside each of us without exception is the desire to contribute to the light - and if we feel we cannot war ensues until either we die or feel we can again. It's what makes life worth living, to feel alive and excited, to know the universe is on your side.
Our manmade society, of course, has only been brought along dragging and screaming in acceptance of this fundamental axiom. We propagate for a world of mechanics, engineers and mathematicians even as we laud millions upon those who can entertain us to escape from a world of mechanics, engineers and mathematicians. It's no easy task for one to escape from that hell. So it's with the utmost trepidation some must ask themselves, "Do I have talent?"
That was a question a fifteen year old named Alf asked himself in 1927. He auditioned and was accepted into a famous touring children's act in England, escaping the hell of his orphanage. His father had been a minstrel and Alf was considered the most talented of all the musical children. Alf, it seems, was one of the very lucky ones and his story could have been one as a child Disney star who goes on to a rich and famous career. But it takes more than just talent to survive in this thorny world of ours.
Alf was taken back to the orphanage where he was then severely punished. His life in show business was over - his life was over - forever to be a shell of who he really was. Alf did "what was expected" instead of what he wanted, which killed his spirit. (And here we find the meaning of "Thou shall not kill") In this world, doing what one wants is the hardest of all pursuits. Too often we let fear or guilt - or both - guide our decisions.
Most of us are not doing what we want. And in not granting that freedom we resent when others find it. I'm sure the headmasters at the orphanage took a special relish in beating the life out of poor Alf. One can only hope they found a similar fate in the after life (CSPOS!). Our false society constantly brainwashes us with its false ideas of responsibility, mostly earning money. But one day it will be made clear who the real losers are.
Denied his needed life of glamour, Alf immersed himself into the most glamorous world of his time: the cruise ships. With his artistic temperament he never held a job for long but used his talent to entertain the passengers in a witty ad hoc fashion with his impersonations of Louis Armstrong and Al Jolson. He was not paid for this, of course, but it was his only outlet. These days we'd call him a blogger. Yet, he still had secret dreams.
He met another free spirit named Julia. She too played the banjo and together they dreamed, "What if?" Julia was known as the most irresponsible of the four daughters and her entire family hated loser Alf, even conspiring to get him a job on a whaling ship to get him out of their hair for two years (he declined when he found out why). Alf and Julia's feelings were real but their commitment was not. Even so, eleven years after meeting they married in 1938 and had a son born two years later in the darkest days of WWII.
Alf's life continued to disintegrate during the war as a merchant marine, even landing himself in jail in 1943 and going AWOL. When he returned he offered to take care (best he could) of Julia and the child but she declined having already found someone else. He returned to sea, jailed again for six months in 1949 after breaking a dress shop window and dancing with a mannequin until police arrived. When Julia was killed in 1958, Alf wanted to reach out to his son but feared how his reputation had been savaged by Julia's family at that point, fearing his son would despise him as a jailbird. Once again, he failed to do what he wanted.
This essentially parentless son (Julia left most his caretaking to her sisters), however, only did what he wanted. Born of two "irresponsible souls" he shoplifted to his heart's content, flunked his school exams with notorious disinterest and had a much feared reputation as a troublemaker with a smart mouth. Like his parents, he could be witty and charming but he needed to "shape up" if he was to have any sort of future. His motto at the time a horrific "Death before work!"
By the standards of society, three misbegotten lives were those of Alf, Julia and their son. By the standards of life, however, a different story unfolds. By sticking to his guns, by never giving in to fear or to relentless voices of opposition, by never letting his spirit be compromised, the treasures of the universe opened before their son. He never did "responsibly" die nor "responsibly" work, but he did become John Lennon.
How many dreams are lost in the daily grind of this planet? Only the weeping angels know. No one gets a free ride, not even those with the gift/curse of talent. You may wind up a sharp-tongued Alf Lennon washing dishes till the end of your life, or a mad Van Gogh drinking away your misery, or an unbalanced Bobby Fisher losing his mind or maybe John Lennon who sought always a way home. I don't know what talent truly is, but I do know all you need is love.