The Beatles went through their Eastern Religion phase and it happened to be when the album SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album came out. Today we will take a look at the article “The Gurus of Sergeant Pepper,” by Richard Salva and then look at some of the thoughts of Francis Schaeffer on this topic.
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.
IN THE VIDEO BELOW take notice at the 14:00 minute mark Schaeffer talks about the BEATLES and at the 22:30 minute mark Schaeffer mentions the Hindu god Kali.
How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)
The Beatles – Within you without you (speed up)
In June of 1967, the Beatles released what many claim to have been the greatest rock/pop album of all time. “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” took the world by storm with its creative imagery and innovative orchestration. And though the Fab Four later denied the claim, numerous rock historians dubbed Sgt. Pepper as the first in a long line of “concept albums.”
On the front cover, scattered among the matinee idols, writers, comedians, and the Beatles themselves, were four faces that had music fans scratching their heads.
Who were these exotic individuals and what were they doing on a Beatles album?
Those who searched the album casing discovered the word “guru” applied to the four men. Nine months later, when the Liverpool lads began to arrive at the Maharishi ashram in Rishikesh, India, the words “Beatles” and “guru” would be closely joined, but at this time the appearance of four “mahatmas” came as a surprise.
In time, diehard fans would hear the whole story. How George Harrison came to India in September 1966 to take sitar lessons from master musician Ravi Shankar. How Shankar gave Harrison a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda.
And how that book impressed George so much that he borrowed the images of its four principal gurus, including Yogananda himself, for the Sgt. Pepper cover.
The Gurus Revealed
The stories of these great masters of yoga are told in Yogananda’s autobiography in poetic detail. Their lives were intertwined with one another, and together they comprised some of the brightest stars in the celestial firmament of Indian saints – recharging the sacred soil of Mother India with their teachings, their presence, and their uplifting influence.
Situated on the Sgt. Pepper cover in the upper right corner below Bob Dylan is the author of Autobiography of a Yogi. This great saint was given the title of “Paramhansa” (highest swan) by his guru, and called “premavatar” (incarnation of divine love) by his most advanced disciple… (Read Full Bio)
Swami Sri Yukteswar
In the upper left corner of the Sgt. Pepper group photo we see the serene face of Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. This great sage was the guru of Yogananda, and the disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. His penetrating mind and the depths of his spiritual perceptions earned him the title of “gyanavatar” (incarnation of wisdom).
… (Read Full Bio)
If we look closely we can spot this advanced yogi on the Beatles album cover, his half-closed eyes peeking out at us to the left of Lewis Carroll, in the third row from the top … (Read Full Bio)
The guru of Lahiri Mahasaya can be found in the second row to the right of writer William S. Burroughs. Like Lahiri, Babaji’s image is partly hidden on the cover. This is perhaps appropriate, for Babaji’s powerful, sublime influence wafts over an unknowing world without fanfare – secret and sacred, like the reclusive master himself … (Read Full Bio)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Richard Salva is the author of Soul Journey from Lincoln to Lindbergh.
Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR
At the 20:15 mark in the above video Francis Schaeffer discusses how Eastern Religions unsuccessfully attempt to relieve the tension.
Featured photographer today is Bill Wyman
- 28 FEBRUARY 2013
“KEITH was a bit mad that one. He was always slightly off the wall. I caught him doing some very funny things,” said former Rolling Stone bass guitarist Bill Wyman of his famous bandmate, who was one of many subjects he photographed over the last 50 years.
Keith Richards photographed by Bill Wyman
“Mick got fed up of my camera. He’d tell me to knock it off and to give it rest. The others never minded, so I focused on them. He lost out in the end. Charlie [Watts] was the really photogenic one, but I got some nice shots of Brian [Jones] too. There’s a really lovely one of Ronnie [Wood] hugging his little daughter. It’s my job to look back at my life, with all these exhibitions now. Of course, there was a lot going on though back then.”
Mick Jagger photographed by Bill Wyman and reworked by Pam Glew
Wyman’s photography is currently on show at the Rook & Raven gallery in London – juxtaposed with a selection of artists’ interpretations of his work. His love of photography came even before his interest in music, which eventually led to his 57-year-long stint playing with the Stones. His uncle gave him his first camera when he was 11, an item he’d swapped his cigarette ration for during the war. He first started taking pictures of “strange bits and pieces” – mainly local scenery. He still loves wildlife and nature photography.
Keith Richards photographed by Bill Wyman
“I never took pictures of my brothers and sisters – I don’t know why,” he said. “After a while I lost interest in it – buying film was expensive and I couldn’t afford it, but after I’d been in the Stones three years the money started coming in. I was in wonderland – I could photograph how I wanted. If I was high up in a hotel, I’d take pictures of the street, so you could see people’s heads like dots. It was how I filled my time.”
Mick Jagger photographed by Bill Wyman
He became acutely aware of how others framed their shots and is rarely seen in pictures.
“I was with Dylan [Bob] and I thought it might nice to capture it, but I had to ask someone else to take it. I made sure I set it up so that it was exactly how it should be,” he recalled.
Jerry Hall photographed by Bill Wyman and reworked by James Mylne
Although he prefers film, Wyman uses digital now because of his poor eyesight. His attitude towards this more recent medium is much like his feelings about digital vs analogue music.
“It’s very similar,” he said. “With digital music you get that hard, sharp, exact sound. It’s not as warm and it doesn’t have as much humanity to it – it’s exactly the same with digital cameras. I’ve just learnt to take pictures in a different way – I take things off focus to soften it.”
The Rolling Stones photographed by Bill Wyman reworked by Penny & Apple Studios
And his words of advice to aspiring photographers?
“I don’t like taking posed pictures,” he said. “I prefer to keep out the way and get them when they’re not looking. You’re not going to get their character if they’re smiling or posing for you. There’s this picture I took of Charlie Watts were he’s looking straight at the camera pretty bored. Then someone asked him a bit later, ‘What’s it like being in the Rolling Stones?’ And he replied, ‘there’s about five years playing and the other 15 have been about waiting around.’ I think that photo says that.”
Charlie Watts photographed by Bill Wyman
Bill Wyman: Reworked is on display from now until March 31 at the Rook & Raven Gallery, 7 Rathbone Place, London.
Written by Ella Alexander