JESUS & LENNON: FIRST PHILOSOPHERS
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Recalling those high school days
So zestful and slim a boy fumes thoughts
Like they were coming out of my cells
Immersed my mental body was
In the thought streams
Of Christ and Lennon
One to bridge with the Divine
The other to link with humanity
They who thought me sublime imagining
Of love and compassion for all
Creations of the Almighty
Will live forever within me
[Philippines, 29 August 2010]
Jesus Christ and John Lennon were my first philosophers. Jesus I knew only from cathechism as a child, but that was enough to make me his bhaktha or devotee. As the poem says, Jesus was “to bridge the Divine,” as all Christed Ones are to bhakthas and chelas (disciples). In high school did I first had the opportunity to read the Holy Bible when our copy of the scriptures were brought home to us by my Grandpa who visited the Vatican on a European tour. Being among the Chohans of the Great White Brotherhood, his teachings are among those I regard as must-read-and-practice philosophies to become a free person.
John Lennon I came to know first as a child too, as vocalist for Beatles. I learned to play the guitar by summer of my Grade 5, and by Grade 6 I was already playing for the school rondalla or ‘string band’. At home I played Beatles songs as some of my favorites. Then came high school years, 71 through 75, when Lennon went solo. His songs were philosophical, and I simply loved them. As the poem says, he was “the other to link with humanity,” meaning a voice of collective conscience. His song Imagine is the most appreciated, and at times I couldn’t avoid shedding tears singing it, as the imageries of the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and insurgencies in the Philippines screamed the headline news.
Lennon was no spiritual master like Jesus, true. He was like any ordinary folk who was asserting his right to make people happy and ring their conscience with messages of love and liberation. But he deserved my respect, and lives forever in me being a part of my formative years.
A 3rd philosopher of my adolescent years was Dr. Jose Rizal, national hero of the Philippines. In my previous writings, I regard Rizal as a ‘guru of nationhood’ like Gandhi, who mentored my forefathers to loving the motherland and gelling themselves into a nation. I encountered his novels in 3rd year high school, as a required reading, and the rest was history.