Celebrity Friday: John’s Parallel Realities


John says, At some point, you just make the decision to make money. 

(John’s pointing to a recent conversation Sweetie & I have had about “branding” – how it’s at work in the women’s business world, how business coaches and brand experts are having this massive impact on social media, and the tangible, though not always positive, effect it has on our sense of a person’s authenticity as a professional marketer, real estate agent, psychotherapist etc.)

(John indicates agreement with the branding system, which surprises me.)

John says, do you think I *liked* those queer haircuts?  That was Brian’s idea.  He created our brand.  He was a genius.  (Shows me a quick flash of many other “boy bands” which have followed) We were truly the first.  (Show’s me Buddy Holiday and his band) They weren’t *quite* there.  It was Brian – he understood young girls, he said “If you get the girls to fall in love with you, the boys will try to BE you.”

I never believed that boys would go for such queer haircuts as the (monstrosities?) Brian gave to us – I had tried to (create our brand) with leather clothing – cool jackets, I wanted us to get motorcycles.  I didn’t want to give a damn what grandmothers thought of us.  We weren’t playing for the grandmothers, right?  We were playing for us.  I said that.

And Brian said, “Exactly.  So shut the fuck up and stop wasting your time.”

So what did you do?

I shut the fuck up and let him cut my hair.  We went (on a TV show) looking like that, I was pissed off (mortified.)  Boys feel JUST as bad as girls if they get a wanker hair cut!  (makes spastic arm gestures)

But then Brian booked us a show that (shows me a football stadium.)  It was the biggest show we’d every played.  It was unbelievable.  (Shows himself standing on the stage, looking up at the crowd.)  I realized, it was just a fucking haircut.  THIS is what I wanted. 

John was your hair even that long at first?  I thought you had it pretty short, spikey?

Yes, he flattened it all out.  Search for 1963, find the photo.


That FUCKING tie.  I had a fag ‘cause I looked like one.  It’s true. 

(We have a brief back and forth about this choice of words.) Ask anyone who was there.  That’s what I said.

(Yeah, I’ll get right on that, John.  That would be a fun conversation with Paul McCartney’s call screener.)

It fucking *worked*.  You could say it was the music, just the songs and the words – it wasn’t.  It was about creating our first album, (shows me a present, gift-wrapped) a package people could buy.  We could sell-out pubs our whole lives and die poor alcoholics.  We couldn’t just make a fucking mix tape (demo tape) and mail it to the radio station.  (HA!  He’s teasing Kurt Cobain with that one.)  Na.  We made the decision, we went *after* it, and it was all Brian.  He’s the genius.  We never would have been anything without him.

This surprises me, because I thought, well, when something’s meant to happen, it does, you know?

NO.  NO.  There is so much more that happens than is meant to happen.  What is “meant” to happen is what you WANTED with your life.  I should have lived longer, that’s what I wanted.  Everyone (knew / felt) that. 

Hey, is there a parallel reality where you’re still incarnated?

(Shows me himself in an old man beard – he looks like Leonardo da Vinci)  I’ve been an old man enough times.  It’s horrible.  No, I doubt I would have chosen to live to the age of arthritis in any parallel reality.

Don’t you know?  Isn’t there a higher perspective you gain, being on the other side and all?

Yes.  But.  The aspect of me speaking to you is engaged in THIS reality.  I have a heavy identity, an heavy investment in THIS reality as THIS version of John.  It gets very confusing for everyone if I were to integrate completely (shows what looks like an upside-down tree, and as you travel “up” the tree, the various timelines / identities join together.  There is a point where the lines completely join into a trunk, but they branch out a bit again at the top, like a root ball, but it’s not nearly as complex as the branches at the bottom.)

If I were to talk to you, and all the thousands of others I talk to, if I were a completely, fully integrated being, how would you know it was me?  If I weren’t peeking into your bedroom making dirty jokes, would you love me as much?  (wink!)

Wow, I thought that there was this big reveal at some point after you die, like you remember all the things about yourself that you don’t remember when you’re incarnated.

You do, so much as you WANT to.  I rather like being John.  I don’t have to be John, I can be a cartoon character if I liked, but being John is *useful* so I *want* to present as this collection of experiences and ideas.  People (other beings) engage with me this way, that’s my purpose, and it feel wonderful to live your purpose.

You don’t stop living, just because you die, you know.  Sometimes death can be an inconvenience, but it doesn’t have to stop you being you. 

But you can integrate and be John + John’s past lives + all John’s parallel realities if you want?

Past and future, yes.  It would also be like blinking out of existence.

So your personality, and I guess everyone’s personality, is defined by our separateness from the parallel realities.  We’re individuals because there’s separation.  I feel like smacking my forehead here.  It’s a crazy-simple explanation to this complex idea of “what is consciousness?” or “who am I?” 

And that really explains how we can be “part of everything” too.  Because once all those parallel realities integrate, we’re complete, whole beings, and we’re also undifferentiated from each other – even in separation.  We literally all become one at that level, because all our “lines” eventually meet up into a giant tree trunk. 

Isn’t it wonderful?  (smile)

Yes, and it’s also kind of obliterating. 

We should start a religion.  Call it Unified Nihilism.  No one could kill each other over it, because there’s nothing to fight for.  (eye twinkle) 

Cue “Imagine”. 

Yeah, I was really depressed when I wrote that song.  I always felt a little sad when I played it. 

Really?  (He gives me the feeling, and describes it as the feeling you get when you watch your child leave home for college.  You love them, you’re proud of them, you know they’ll be alright, but you’re deeply sad to see them go.)

I felt like that when I played it.  I loved that people loved it.  But it always pulled at my heart to play it.

Awww.  Here’s the video.

You children and your technology. 

Oh, and you really need to buy a new bed! 

Thanks John!  Love you.

9 thoughts on “Celebrity Friday: John’s Parallel Realities

  1. The tree analogy, that totally makes sense to me.
    Having read this now (and I know you briefly described it to me last night) I realized that I sort of got a primer for it yesterday. I’d watched this video:

    So in it, this woman named Teal Swan is describing her experience of multiple realities and… uh… layers of existence? I guess you would say? Which she describes as dimensions, as many people do.

    To sum up my understanding of it: There’s you and your life as you understand it, and then on another level there’s your thoughts where they exist as symbols and abstractions. Then on another level, there’s a few different branches of different paths your life could take. On another higher level all the potentials come back together into the main branch that is “you”. Then those potentials come back into another branch you might call “people”, or the “Collective Unconscious”, or the “Human Oversoul”, etc. The life path of humanity and our collective choices also has several branches of potentiality. (There would likely be another branch for whales, or butterflies, or… whatever. Although she doesn’t say that explicitly, and I’m extrapolating). And then the branch of our Universe, potential universes, all the way up to a point of undifferentiated singularity we might call Source, God, the Tao, etc.
    (Oh, have I heard before that the Tree of Life is an upside-down tree? This sounds familiar).
    The whole point being separation/contrast/conflict in order to expand/learn/grow.

    I agree with most of what she says, anyway. Somewhere she mentions potential futures being limited to 3 or so for any particular person. Maybe it’s true; maybe there are 3 or so *active* ones. Because say you almost die, then, probably in some other reality you actually did die. At that point you must have a few more potential futures open up, right? I almost died a couple of times, being very narrowly missed getting hit by cars and trains, and there were glitches around my survival, some weird things happening — it wasn’t seamless, something was changed to fix it so I wouldn’t get hurt. I know you experienced something like that too. So if there only were 3 I would have run out of options by now.

    And thinking about it now I’m sort of becoming aware of at least one other parallel life I’ve got going on. You know how I meet people now and then, and they’re like, “Oh, I know you!”. Often they can’t place me but they would insist they’ve met me in Vancouver or Victoria. I almost moved there when I was 20, and I’m starting to think “one” of me did. Whatever the “other” me did there seems to have earned me a lot of recognition. But now I finally have moved to the west coast, so maybe that branch is re-forming. I still feel like I could do anything though, not that I’m playing out my “last option” (meaning the only thing I can do if I’m not dying in road accidents).

    Speaking of branches, this reminds me of the first time I noticed that tree branches were all the same. From the vantage point of my window 2 branches of the same tree were lining up one on top of the other and I saw all the buds and branches were forming at exactly the same intervals. Then I got really depressed, suddenly seeing the universe as filled with these limited options, everything unfolding in the only way it can. I feel differently about it now though, maybe I see more intentionality behind it.

    Teal Swan also talks about the intention of people in the 60s and 70s to expand their consciousness, and so how the kids that they have had tend to be born with a more expanded awareness. Which really fits with my personal understanding of evolution. That it’s not totally random but rather works on observation, feedback and intention.

    Anyway that’s probably enough comments for one comment. 😉


  2. Oh Kate, by the way. I wanted to mention that “fag” back in those days, in Liverpool, was slang for a cigarette. LOL. Now, John may have “had a fag” ( as in a man on many different occasions ). But,,,, in this instance, I think he’s referring to the cigarette??


    • He was using it as a double entendre, contrasting the modern meaning with the old meaning, intentionally, self-deprecating but also “freak you out” offensive, like when he said “lonely people” was about “a couple if queers”

      He doesn’t always stick with the usage of words as they meant when he was alive, because it goes through my brain, it’s more like tapping on the internal strings of a piano to get a note. He hits that word, it has one meaning for him, a different meaning for me, he ties them both together to make an off-colour joke and to push my sense of political correctness.

      Erik does that a LOT.


  3. I am somewhat of a Beatles historian, and it’s a well-documented story that Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe’s girlfriend, actually stole the combed-out haircut idea from a fad being tried by German teenagers at the time. She talked Stuart into trying it, and then George, Paul and John all tried it after him. While wearing the suits was all Brian Epstein’s idea so that the group would look more commercial, they already had tried a less-groomed version of the mop-top style before he modified it for the stage.


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