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)
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.