The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon

Gary Tillery, Author
Gary Tillery, Author . Quest $15.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-8356-0875-6
Reviewed on: 11/09/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Ebook - 217 pages - 978-0-8356-3037-5
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John Lennon will likely be remembered for two things: helping found the Beatles and writing the song “Imagine.” Those accomplishments, however, only scratch the surface of a complex and fascinating life. Writer and artist Tillery explores Lennon’s spirituality as it develops, beginning with childhood traumas, through his time with the Beatles, and finally, in his role as a social activist. Throughout his short life, Lennon fought many existential battles with himself and whatever he thought of as “God.” To interpret Lennon’s spiritual hunger, Tillery draws upon the work of Victor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and WWII death camp survivor who wrote volumes on the importance of people finding meaning in their lives by focusing outward. The author characterizes Lennon as a loving man who, in the latter part of his life, was able to find some semblance of peace and to encourage others to do the same. Lennon searched for and sang about the truth, discarding religious indoctrination and accepted norms when they proved unhelpful. If this is Lennon’s legacy, one could do a lot worse. (Dec.)

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