FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). Solomon found that without God in the picture all these pursuits were a “chasing of the wind.”

John Lennon – Imagine HD

John and Cynthia Lennon

I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

When we were very happy together

When we were very happy together (John Lennon’s two wives and two sons pictured above.

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Beatle John Lennon, lights up a cigarette as he and his wife Cynthia arrive at London Airport Feb. 8, 1965 after their skiing holiday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
AP

The Beatles’ Ringo Starr pays tribute to Cynthia Lennon

John Lennon’s former wife dies following battle with cancer

The Beatles‘ Ringo Starr has taken to twitter to pay tribute to Cynthia Lennon.

The former wife of The Beatles’ John Lennon passed away today (April 1) at her home in Mallorca, Spain following what is described as “a short but brave battle with cancer.” She was 75.

Ringo tweeted, “Peace and love to Julian Lennon God bless Cynthia love Ringo and Barbaraxx”
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I had planned to put in another blog post today about the Beatles but I decided to focus on John today and what was going on in his life in 1967 when Sgt Pepper’s was coming out. I heard on the CBS radio news on 4-1-15 at 11 am that Cynthia Lennon had died at age 75 and an audio clip from the below interview given on the program “60 Minutes” was played and this is what was said between Cynthia and Mike Wallace:

MW: He said that he changed, and you didn’t. And that that is what eventually led to the breakup.

CL: [Nods] I think we both changed. But I did not want to go down the road that John was going.

MW: Which road?

CL: WHICH WAS THE ROAD OF “ENLIGHTENMENT” AS FAR AS DRUGS WAS CONCERNED.  John was in a more trapped situation than I was.

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Later in this interview:

MW: And LSD was his road to self-discovery?

CL: That was the beginning. HE WAS ALWAYS SEARCHING. JOHN ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH, AN IDEAL, A DREAM. And I suppose once he’d got hooked on that situation and the mental state, he thought he’d found something new in life that nobody else had.

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No truer words were ever spoken. John in 1967 when the album  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was about to come out was in the middle of some big changes in his life.  He was searching for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

ECCLESIASTES 1:16-18  LEARNING

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to knowmadness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

ECCLESIASTES 2:1-3, 8, 10, 11 LAUGHTER (v. 2), LIQUOR (v. 3), LUXURIES (v. 8), and LADIES (v. 8, “many concubines”)

v. 1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[i] 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

v. 8  I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[j] the delight of the sons of man. v 10-11 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

ECCLESIASTES 2:4-6, 18-20 LABOR

4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,

YOU CAN SEE JOHN LENNON’S EFFORTS IN THESE SAME AREAS OF HIS LIFE TOO. In the first part of his career he put almost all of his time into his music (his labor), and when he achieved fame and fortune (luxuries) he turned to laughter (the movie Hard Days Night demonstrated this well), and then to drugs (Solomon only had liquor to turn to since LSD had not been invented yet). Next when he was unsatisfied with his first marriage he married another woman and then in 1974 actually left Yoko and lived in LA getting drunk continually and having sex with many woman (ladies).

Finally Cynthia and Yoko noted something else about John’s journey:

CL: HE BECAME LESS INTERESTED IN THE ORIGINAL DREAM OF BECOMING FAMOUS AND BECOMING WEALTHY,  and that didn’t matter to him anymore. He had that, he had it all….

MW: He seemed to be always searching, whether it was drugs — a lot of them — or vegetarianism, or the Maharishi.

YO: I know, HE WAS ALWAYS SEARCHING. WE WERE ALWAYS SEARCHING. Together we went through macrobiotic, we went through vegetarian. And, um…we went…we went into all sorts, actually. Primal therapy.

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John also tried searching into learning about religions and other things that may bring him a meaning in life, but he never found it. (Actually I found Steve Turner’s article “John Lennon’s Born-Again Phase,” very enlightening.  Turner noted that Lennon “enjoyed watching some of America’s best-known evangelists—Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to ‘the problems of life.’ ” Sadly, after a short period of investigating Christianity Lennon turned back into a strong critic of Christianity.) NONE OF THESE 6 “L” WORDS CAN BRING SATISFACTION IN LIFE IF GOD IS NOT IN THE PICTURE.

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

If you are an atheist then you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Cynthia Lennon & Yoko Ono @ 60 Minutes

 

 

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Cynthia Lennon 1939 – 2015

A diligent search to find and approach the copyright holders of the photographs appearing in this video has taken place but in some cases without success. If you hold the copyright for any of the photographs used please email contact@julianlennon.com

http://www.julianlennon.com/cynthialennon

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The Two Mrs. Lennons: Cynthia Lennon was John's first wife; Yoko Ono was his second wife, who he married on March 20, 1969.The Two
Mrs. LennonsWhat Was It Like To Have Been Married To John Lennon?Courtesy of 60 MinutesMike Wallace Talks to Cynthia Lennon and Yoko Ono About the Man They Both at One Time Called “Husband.”
The following interviews are from the 1987 60 Minutes feature ”The Two Mrs. Lennons.” The interviews were conducted by Mike Wallace. (This isn’t the whole transcript, so there is some missing text in certain sections.) ~ladyjeanMike Wallace & Cynthia LennonCynthia Lennon: He’s [John Lennon] made his mistakes on the front pages of newspapers all over the world. He’s no saint, never was.Mike Wallace: What is it that…it’s his music? It’s his persona?CL: It’s everything about the man that…it’s his vulnerability, it’s his cheek. It’s the fact that he bared his soul. Foolishly, stupidly, but he bared his soul — for everybody else to see.MW: He said that he changed, and you didn’t. And that that is what eventually led to the breakup.CL: [Nods] I think we both changed. But I did not want to go down the road that John was going.MW: Which road?CL: Which was the road of ”enlightenment” as far as drugs were concerned. John was in a more trapped situation than I was.MW: Trapped?CL: Trapped in his own mind, and in the Beatles’ situation and the pressure of the music and the pop world. And I think he’d had enough and wanted to escape that. I had nothing to escape. I wasn’t looking for anything else. I wasn’t searching in my mind for new experiences on a mental state.MW: And he was?CL: Yeah.MW: And LSD was his road to self-discovery?CL: That was the beginning. He was always searching, John. Always looking for the truth, an ideal, a dream. And I suppose once he’d got hooked on that situation and the mental state, he thought he’d found something new in life that nobody else had.MW: Was it very destructive of your marriage?CL: Well, yes. I think that any drugs are destructive of anything and everyone. But the reality of life was slipping by John. He wasn’t aware anymore. He became less interested in the original dream of becoming famous and becoming wealthy, and that didn’t matter to him anymore. He had that, he had it all.

MW: Was he writing music at this time?

CL: No, no. It was a period of great, great change in John’s life. He didn’t know which direction he was going to take. The direction was chosen for him, anyway.

MW: By?

CL: Well, by his meeting with Yoko. That was it.

Wallace voice-over: Cynthia says it was after an acid trip that John first met Yoko Ono at a London art gallery and became intrigued with Yoko’s avant-garde art.

CL: That was the first contact. And then we had a few letters from Yoko asking for help, you know, with her cause and her art, and then it just…

MW: And you were not suspicious?

CL: [Sighs] It’s very hard to be suspicious under those circumstances. John was just surrounded at the time by very weird people.

MW: So she was just another nutty person?

CL: Well, at the time, yes. [Smiles]

MW: And then the time came when she threw herself into the back seat of the limousine in between the two of you?

CL: Well, that was an occasion, it was something to do with the Maharishi. We went to a meeting, and Yoko happened to be at the meeting. And she asked for a lift to wherever it was she was living and she got in the car. I said to John, ”Why?” He said, ”I don’t know.” And that was it.

MW: She was “determined.”

CL: Well, only Yoko can say that, not me. It happened, these things happen in life. I knew at the time there was nothing I could do to stop what was happening. He was hell-bent on something. And it happened to end up he was hell-bent on Yoko.

MW: What was her appeal? What was it he found in her that was so compelling? She seemed to cast a kind of spell.

CL: What he was looking for was a woman and a man combined. Someone he could call a pal, someone who was a woman, someone who encompassed everything in his life. He wanted to thin down his life with one person that he could put his trust in and believe in.

MW: When you saw the two of them doing their bed-ins for peace in Amsterdam and Canada, what did you think?

CL: I was sad. I was truly sad. Because I saw a man that I knew in the early days…I had seen a boy change into a man…and had suddenly become a laughingstock. Seeing this man, who wasn’t John anymore, doing the wildest things. But then again, it was in the name of peace, so everybody sort of tried to understand.
Mike Wallace & Yoko Ono

Mike Wallace: What attracted you to John, John to you?

Yoko Ono: Well, it’s very difficult. You can write a book about that. But um, and then again, maybe you can’t. Because it’s the kind of magic that you can’t express in words maybe. But we didn’t know it was going to be like this.

MW: You sent him letters. You sent him flowers. And finally you even put yourself into the limousine in between him and Cynthia.

YO: [Shifts] Well, that’s not how it happened.

Wallace voice-over: Yoko insists that she did not pursue John Lennon. But she does acknowledge their affair began in earnest when Cynthia was off in Italy and Yoko’s husband was in France.

MW: The bed-ins for peace, first in Amsterdam and then in Montreal, what did they accomplish, aside from making you look…

YO: Ridiculous?

MW: Oh. Ridiculous. Yeah.

YO: Well, we were just clowns. And we knew about that. That we were clowns. And through clowning, we thought maybe we could communicate to the people about uh…importance of world peace. Give peace a chance.

[Footage of John and Yoko staging a bed-in is shown.]

YO: We went through some very tough times because, um, the press was not very kind to us. Especially to me. And I think they were…

MW: Why? Why were they so angry at you? Because they were
not kind to you.

YO: Oh, I know! Well, ask them. I mean, I don’t know why they weren’t kind to me.

MW: You were an intruder…

YO: Well, um…

MW: That was the perception, I think.

YO: [Nods] Probably. I mean, I didn’t really think that I was such an intruder.

Wallace voice-over: But the Beatles’ record producer and other members of the band found her presence irritating and she sat in on their studio sessions.

YO: But to me it was nothing for me to be sitting there. In fact, I think that there were moments that, um…uh…I felt that, um, I was repressing my own creative instincts, and…by just sitting there.

MW: Really?

YO: But there was something that, um…I felt that we were doing it because we loved each other.

MW: He seemed to be always searching, whether it was drugs — a lot of them — or vegetarianism, or the Maharishi.

YO: I know, he was always searching. We were always searching. Together we went through macrobiotic, we went through vegetarian. And, um…we went…we went into all sorts, actually. Primal therapy.

MW: In the search for what? And what did you find?

YO: In the search for truth and health and…

MW: Health through LSD? Health through drugs? Vegetarianism I can understand.

YO: Well, health can be mental health as well. I mean, we wanted to find the true wisdom of…uh…life.

MW: John admitted he had a problem with violence. He said, ”I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I’m always on about peace. You see, it’s the most violent of people who go for love and peace.”

YO: He’s very right.

MW: Was he a hitter when you lived with him?

YO: No he wasn’t.

MW: He never hit you?

YO: No.

Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono Pay Tribute to Cynthia Lennon

Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono both paid tribute to Cynthia Lennon today.

Lennon, who was married the Beatles great John Lennon from 1962 to 1968, died today at her home in Spain. She was 75.

“The news of Cynthia’s passing is very sad. She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days together in Liverpool,” McCartney said in a statement to ABC News. “She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all, but I will always have great memories of our times together.”

Ono added, I’m very saddened by Cynthia’s death. She was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian. She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family. Please join me in sending love and support to Julian at this very sad time.”

The British native “passed away today at her home in Mallorca, Spain, following a short but brave battle with cancer,” a representative told ABC News in a statement. “Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers. Please respect their privacy at this difficult time.”

As stated in the announcement, Cynthia and John had one child together — Julian, 51.

Cynthia met the legendary musician while the two were both studying at the Liverpool College of Art in the late 1950’s. Lennon eventually married Yoko Ono in 1969 after the couple’s split.

PHOTO: Julian Lennon and Cynthia Lennon, the son and first wife of John Lennon, attend the unveiling of the John Lennon monument Peace & Harmony at Chavasse Park, Oct. 9, 2010, in Liverpool, England.

David Munn/WireImage/Getty Images
PHOTO: Julian Lennon and Cynthia Lennon, the son and first wife of John Lennon, attend the unveiling of the John Lennon monument ‘Peace & Harmony’ at Chavasse Park, Oct. 9, 2010, in Liverpool, England.

After Lennon was murdered in 1980, Cynthia and Ono both spoke to “60 Minutes” about the singer.

“He’s made his mistakes, on the front pages of newspapers, all over the world,” Cynthia Lennon said. “But he bared his soul for everybody else to see.”

When asked what led to the famed split, Cynthia said, “I think we both changed. It was natural that we both change. But I did not want to go down the road John was going … I had nothing to escape. I wasn’t looking for anything else. I wasn’t searching in my mind for new experiences on a mental state.”

Cynthia Lennon was married three more times after the 1968 split, most recently being widowed in 2013 when her husband Noel Charles died.

She is survived by her son Julian, who posted an “In Loving Memory” video on YouTube that starts with the lyrics, “You gave your life for me. You gave your life for love.” The video is coupled with intimate pictures of the Lennon family from the 1960’s.

John Lennon, Mick Jagger and May Pang attend the 2nd Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring James Cagney at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

March 13, 1974

John Lennon, Mick Jagger and May Pang attend the 2nd Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring James Cagney at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

David Bowie and John Lennon attend the 17th Annual Grammy Awards at Uris Theater, New York, March 1

1975

David Bowie and John Lennon attend the 17th Annual Grammy Awards at Uris Theater, New York, March 1

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The Beatles are featured in this episode below and Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of a cautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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The best album ever?

The Beatles are featured in this episode below by Francis Schaeffer:

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

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Francis Schaeffer noted that the Beatles’s album Seargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band communicated “psychedelic music, with open statements concerning drug-taking, [and] was knowingly presented as a religious answer”.

 Here is the song that is probably the most influenced by drugs:

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles

Uploaded on Jan 18, 2009

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
The Beatles
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Lyrics
Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies,
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.
Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you’re gone.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties,
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstyle,
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes.

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Sgt Pepper It Was 40 Years Ago Today 1 Hour BBC TV Special.avi

Published on Feb 14, 2013

Sgt. Pepper – It Was 40 Years Ago Today 1 Hour BBC TV Special

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Artist featured today is Yoko Ono


YES YOKO ONO
Oct. 25, 2003 (Sat) to Jan. 12, 2004 (Mon)

CEILING PAINTING (YES PAINTING) 1966
Collection of the artist
Photo by Oded Lobl
Courtesy Japan Society, New York
©YOKO ONO

Yoko Ono’s activities as an artist span a truly broad variety of genres: art, music, film, and performance. Her work over the past four decades has taken her around the world, in which process she has come to influence a great number of people, starting with John Lennon.

Back in November 1966, she exhibited her “Ceiling Painting” (or the “YES Painting”) at the Indica Gallery of London. Viewers had to climb up a white ladder in the center of the room, from where a magnifying glass hanging from the ceiling allowed them to view the word “YES” written in tiny letters on a framed piece of paper affixed to the ceiling. In fact, the work brought Ono and John Lennon together for the first time – some say that she used the work to seduce the already-married Lennon. There is a famous episode in which Lennon, having climbed up the ladder and read what was written, said, “I would have been quite disappointed if it had said ‘NO,’ but was saved by the fact it said ‘YES’,” The two married in 1969.

The “YES” in the title of the exhibition symbolizes the way that Yoko Ono emphasizes the positive in her works and activities. The following quote illustrates that attitude: “‘YES’ was my work and John encountered it and he went up the stairs and he looked at this word that said ‘Yes.’ At the time I didn’t really think it would be taken so personally. But I don’t really connect it with John as much as I connect it with my view of life. My view of life is the fact that there were many incredible negative elements in my life, and in the world, and because of that I had to conjure up a positive attitude within me in balance to the most chaotic … and I had to balance that by activating the ‘Yes’ element. ‘Yes’ is an expression that I always carried and that I’m carrying.”

The “YES Yoko Ono” Exhibition was originally organized in 2000 by the Japan Society (New York), with Alexandra Munroe serving as curator, assisted by Jon Hendricks as consulting curator. The exhibition won raves after touring around America, and has since moved to destinations overseas. In 2001, it won first prize for best museum show originating in New York by the International Association of Art Critics, the highest accolade in the museum profession. Munroe will be visiting at ATM at the beginning of the exhibition on October 25 to give a press conference and an opening talk.

Surprisingly, the ATM exhibition is the first full-fledged Yoko Ono retrospective ever to be held in Japan. It will feature 130 of her works – some from as far back as the 1960s, continuing down to the present – including 60 objects, 50 photographs and documents, five films, and 15 installations. Many of her works become “complete” only with participation by viewers, and some of the pieces on exhibit at Mito this time encourage an active connection by those viewing them. One of those will be her installation of 100 coffins, suggesting life and death. The “YES Yoko Ono” exhibition, a true compendium of this artist’s body of work, argues for the importance of coexistence, imagination, and communication, and contains many messages that need to be relayed to the contemporary world, replete with uncertainty as it is.

PLAY IT BY TRUST 1966/1991
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO
HALF A ROOM 1967
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO
AMAZE 1971/2003
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO
BED-IN FOR PEACE 1969
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO
EX-IT 1997/2003
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO
WAR IS OVER! 1969/2003
Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito 2003
Photo by Keizo Kioku
©YOKO ONO


Yoko Ono at the plaza, Art Tower Mito, Oct. 4, 2003

Notes on Yoko Ono, Grapefruit, Original Manuscript, 1964

Grapefruittext2
Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit original manuscript on view for the first time, Stendhal Gallery, 2009

150 pieces comprise the original manuscript of Yoko Ono’s pivotal 1964 work Grapefruit. Assembled into an artist’s book and originally published in Tokyo in a limited edition of 500 (Simon and Schuster would release a mass market edition in 1970), the small, rectilinear cards each contain simple, hand-typed instructions, such as “Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in.” (Cloud Piece, 1963) This format, which became a crucial precursor to conceptualism, emerged from the event scores by artists attending John Cage’s Experimental Music Composition classes at the New School in New York—in particular, George Brecht and La Monte Young.

Event scores, invented by George Brecht, are simple directives to complete mundane tasks. To perform Brecht’s 1961 piece EXIT for instance, one would simply exit a doorway. The idea, which recall Happenings with less theatricality, was to highlight facets of everyday life—and more conceptually, critique traditional artistic representation. Similar to a musical score, event scores could be performed and reinterpreted by anyone. These event scores became a key artistic praxis of Fluxus, with numerous artists offering their own interpretations of the medium, including the likes of Ken Friedman and Allison Knowles.

grapefruitsidebyside

By the end of 1960, Yoko Ono and La Monte Young had begun to host performances featuring emerging avant-garde artists in Yoko Ono’s Chambers St. loft. It was these performances that drew the attention of George Maciunas, who offered Yoko Ono a solo exhibition of her “Instruction Paintings” at his short-lived AG Gallery, located at 925 Madison Avenue, in the summer of 1961. Shortly thereafter, Fluxus was born.

Although Yoko Ono’s instruction pieces—some of which were assembled during a brief stay in a sanatorium in Japan following the dissolution of her first marriage—reflect the same format as the Fluxus event scores pioneered by George Brecht, they occupy a separate poetic and imaginative dimension. Brecht’s scores confound the boundaries between text and physical performance, while Yoko Ono’s provoke a more cerebral, illusory performance.

An introductory card from original manuscript reads, “Some of my pieces were dedicated to the following people. Sometimes they were informed of it but mostly not.” The list that follows contains the names of fellow artists, friends, and Fluxus components, from George Maciunas to Robert Rauschenberg, to Isamu Noguchi, to Peggy Guggenheim, revealing the array of individuals who inspired Yoko and consorted within her closest social circle.

The original Grapefruit manuscript is further bestrewn with handwritten notes, reflecting Ono’s whimsy. It is this imaginative use of language that paved the way for the first wave of conceptual artists, including Lawrence Weiner and Sol LeWitt, to materialize in the 1960s.  Perhaps then, Grapefruit can be regarded not only as a seminal Fluxus work and Yoko Ono’s magnum opus, but also the crown jewel of Conceptualism—and accordingly, on a broader level, a paragon of Postwar contemporary art.

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Grapefruit second edition on display with other Fluxus research materials at Stendhal Gallery, 2009

Grapefruit

October 18, 2006 – April 1, 2007

image

Yoko Ono: Grapefruit, 1964/1971 (back cover); New York: Simon & Schuster; 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.; gift of Jacquelynn Baas.

“My paintings, which are all instruction paintings (and meant for others to do), come after collage and assemblage (1915) and happening (1950) came into the art world. Considering the nature of my painting, any of the above three words or a new word can be used instead of the word painting. But I like the old word painting because it immediately connects with “wall painting” painting, and it is nice and funny.”—Yoko Ono

It was in 1966 at the Indica Gallery in London that Yoko Ono first met her future husband John Lennon, and later that year, she presented him with a copy of her book of instruction pieces, Grapefruit. Years afterward, Lennon cited the powerful effect the book had on him, inspiring him to write his lyrical masterpiece and hymn to peace “Imagine.”

The Berkeley Art Museum is delighted to present an exhibition of Yoko Ono’s instruction paintings selected from that groundbreaking publication. Gracefully expressive, enchanting, and original, the paintings are presented as wall texts that fill the gallery in the same way that paintings on canvas do. However, the conceptual nature of the art offers the beholder a means of taking the paintings home in the form of a do-it-yourself idea.

In the spirit of imagination, and as a kind of homage, we have included among the instruction paintings on view all those in which the word “imagine” appears, including spring 1963’s Cloud Piece (“Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in), which also appears on Lennon’s Imagine album sleeve.

In addition to the instruction paintings, a few ephemeral works from the museum’s collection, such as an edition of Grapefruit and a brochure from the exhibition Yoko at Indica, will be shown, as will a copy of Lennon’s Imagine LP. Sparingly interspersed among the instruction paintings, like puffy clouds in a clear sky, will be a few watercolors—images of sky—by Ono’s fellow Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks.

Born in Japan in 1933, Ono, a pioneer of Conceptual art, has lived her life combining her talents as artist and poet, musician, and tireless advocate for peace and love. Grapefruitwas originally published in Japan in 1964 in an edition of 500 copies. It has since been reprinted in many languages and editions. Yoko Ono has generously donated IMAGINE PEACE buttons to be distributed free to viewers throughout the course of the exhibition. Special thanks for her support of the exhibition, and for permission to reproduce the texts in this fashion.

In January and February, the exhibition is complemented by a PFA series, Yoko Ono: Imagine Film.

Stephanie Cannizzo
Curatorial Associate

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David Bowie, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Yoko Ono and John Lennon at the Grammy Awards, New York, March 1

1975

Control over art

One of the art making aspect that Gutai experimented was giving up control over the art making process. Shozo Shimamoto was one of the early member of Gutai, some claimed that perhaps he should be considered as Guitai’s co-founder as Yoshihara but nontheless, Shimamoto was one of the prominent figure of Gutai and his works reflects the philosophy of Gutai. 

One of Shimamoto’s work was Sakuhin in 1962. This piece was created by filling bottles with paint and hurling the bottles at the canvas. In a way, this method of creating a painting was very similar to Jackson Pollock’s splash painting technique. However, Shimamoto used unconventional material, which is the bottle filled with paint, as the brush. Both Pollock and Shimamoto had little control over the outcome of the painting due to the fact that they used whole body movements to paint instead of only using hand and wrist as would a traditional painter. Shimamoto utilized materials in a such an unconventional way that the artwork itself became less meaningful compare to the creation process or the concept. The painting in this case was not intended to have a subject matter nor composition. In other words, it was more about the performance and the finished work was merely a record of the process.

As a Fluxus artist, Yoko Ono’s performance “Cut Piece” also touched on the idea of control over the artwork. In Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, she set up the performance stage and allowed the users to participate and take control of the act. The entire piece consist of different audience cutting off pieces of Yoko Ono’s clothing as she sat in the same place for the entire duration of the performance. The Cut Piece emphasized on the experience aspect of the artwork for both the artist herself and the audience. The one of the most intriguing part of Yoko Ono’s piece is the repeatable aspect and the variation between the repeated performance. Since the piece only required a group of audience with cutting abilities, the work can be re-enacted without much difficulties. In addition, due to the fact that the audience are the art-marking process in the Cut Piece, the cutting experience and the final result will be different each time. Therefore, the artist had basically no control over the outcome of the piece and this fact begs the question of whether the piece should be consider entirely the artist’s work.

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THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2013

Yoko Ono: Yes!

Like many people, I first heard of Yoko Ono as the woman who broke up the Beatles.  I also vividly recall people snickering about her records, saying she howled instead of singing.  In reality, Yoko Ono was a major figure in the 60s art scene, whose work contributed to conceptualism, happenings, fluxus, and video art.  She was also a musical pioneer, making recordings that forecast subsequent currents in punk, riot grrl feminism, lo-fi, art rock, and noise pop.  A grand retrospective at the Louisiana museum outside of Copenhagen offers an opportunity to appreciate her contributions to art.

John Lennon apparently met Ono in 1966, at a London gallery, where she was installing a show.  He asked if he could hammer a nail into the hammer piece (top): a plane piece of wood, which gallery visitors could modify by hammering provided nails.  She said no.  Lennon also reports adoring Ono’s ceiling piece (above,source): a ladder with a magnifying glass hanging above it, and the word “yes” in tiny letters on the ceiling.  The Lennon legacy has made the pieces so legendary that their artistic significance is almost forgotten.  That is a shame.  The hammer piece was a clever innovation.  Kurt Schwitters had hammered art together decades earlier, but this piece helped to re-write the relationship between artist and view.  The idea of artist as grand master is replaced with the idea of artist as someone who invites viewers to create.  The ceiling piece raises questions about the ontology of art.  Where is the piece?  Is it the ladder?  The word?  The activity of climbing and looking?  Are artworks beautiful things?  Do they have fixed meanings?

Like other pioneers of conceptualism (Weiner and Kosuth, for example), words have been a central part of Ono’s practice.  Among her most celebrated works, are the pieces described in her book Grapefruit.  Each page contains an instruction, like the ones above, to engage in an activity.  Some of these activities are impossible to carry out.  They vary from charming, silly, and absurd, to poetic and profound.  Grapefruit is a monument in conceptual art.  They perfectly exemplify Sol Lewitt’s precept that artworks are ideas, and that it doesn’t matter whether they are (or can be) physically instantiated.  Lewitt’s own works never realized that vision as well as Ono’s.  Like her, he often created works in the form of instructions, but the products created by following these instructions remain fairly traditional, or, in Duchamp’s phrase, retinal.
Ono’s interest in the intersection of art and language is well represented in the Danish retrospective.  We find word pieces, mail art, and instructions of various kinds.  Words were important conceptualists because they moved beyond the the focus on the visual in art.  Ono goes beyond the visual in other ways as well.  There is for example, “touch poem” consisting of a lock of hair (above).  In another piece, visitors are invited to feel the air inside an plexiglass podium.  There is also a charm machine containing plastic containers containing nothing.  Emptiness is a preoccupation in Ono’s work, and also in traditional Japanese aesthetics (consider the negative space of a Zen rock garden).  We are invited to ask, Is air really nothing?  Can something invisible be art?  Are concrete objects more valuable or meaningful than the ether that surrounds us?

It is noteworthy, in this context, that Ono was a philosophy student, indeed the first woman in the philosophy department at her prestigious Japanese university.  She ended up dropping out, but her art can certainly be regarded as philosophy.  It is also political at times as well.

Behind the charm machine, in the photograph, there are a series of uniform images, and below each is an inscription describing a traumatic biographical event, such as a time when Ono was fondled by a doctor.  Ono also lived through the bombing of Tokyo at the end of WWII, and she was active in the peace movement and woman’s movement of the late 1960s.  The exhibition is punctuated by political works, such as a suspended constellation of critic cages made to commemorate massacres (above).

The exhibit focusses more, however, on Ono’s Zen-infused conceptual works.  The image above is a detail of a long shelf containing water jars with the names of famous personages.  The list ranges from Picasso to Hitler.  Here we can see Camus next to Madonna.  The piece is a great equalizer.  For Ono, everyone is really just made of the same transparent ubiquitous stuff.  It is a political statement, but also a philosophical one.

The piece on the right is a clear panel, proportioned like a painting, engraved with the words, “Paining to let the evening light go through.”  It asks, as Duchamp had done, about whether art is a window onto reality.  But it is also a celebration of natural beauty, and not just an intellectual joke.

The exhibit also does a good job highlighting Ono’s work as a performance artist and video artist.  It includes her piece Four (a minimal fluxus name), which shows how buttocks move as people walk.  The image on the screen pays homage, in a witty way, to formal abstractionists, like Malevich.  The photo below captures the film in production.
Even more famous is Ono’s Cut Piece, in which spectators are invited to snip off her clothing.  This concept anticipates Abramavic among others, and is a landmark in the history of performance art.  It is also an important feminist work, drawing attention well before the Guerrilla Girls, to the sexualization of women in Western visual culture.
Another interesting example, which also deals with the female body, is Fly: here a fly, which became Ono’s alter ego, moves along a naked woman’s body.  It brings to mind the custom of including flies in Dutch still like paintings, to represent the impermanence of beauty.
The fly film also related to Ono’s musical work.  Around the same time, she began making musical records.  She had been involved in music for a decade already, and John Cage was an early mentor as she broke into the art scenes.  But, after joining forces with Lennon, Ono began producing commercial pop records.  Her first two were overtly, even aggressively avant garde — more challenging than almost any other mass marketed music of the time.  The second record was called Fly, and an excerpt can be heard below.

The Louisiana show does not aim to present Ono’s musical works, but this is an important omission.  In a way, Ono’s visual art died when she met Lennon.  People blame her for destroying the Beatles, but the Beatles were already done.  Much more more profound was the effect that the Beatles had on Ono.  She was a major figure in the underground art scene before she met Lennon, but she later became redefined (and reviled) as Lennon’s wife, and latter as his widow, rather than as a significant artist in her own right.  Ono has continued to make visual art in the decades since meeting Lennon, much of which is on display in the show.  Some this work is excellent (including the crickets and water pieces mentioned above), but her most important artworks precede her marriage, and her later work is often parasitic on earlier ideas.  Being married to rock’s biggest celebrity may have altered her artistic trajectory, or, worse still, stifled artistic progress.  But she did continue to innovate in other ways, after marrying Lennon, and her greatest achievements were in music.

After Ono’s two avant garde records, she records some material that was more accessible.  Her crowing achievement is the uneven but excellent double album, Approximately Infinite Universe.  The album varies stylistically, with a lot of blues, funk, and rock coming through with Lennon’s (and occasionally Mick Jagger’s) guitars.  But there is also a lot of experimentation here, and overtly feminist lyrics.  Some of the songs have a punk rock sensibility, like the stripped down number above.  Hearing this record, it is impossible not to think of Patti Smith, the X-Ray Spex (note the saxophone), Bikini Kill, and Deerhoof.  Decades of musical innovation are anticipated in these tracks, and hindsight has shown that Ono was well ahead of the curve.  She can be seen, in this light, as one of the major figures in recent music.   The Louisiana exhibition also properly confirms Ono’s place as an important figure in the recent history of art.

_____

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