The inner world… the spiritual, the sublime … is tremendously important to me. I’ll post thoughts and epiphanies from time to time here. In that realm, here are a few heroes from my list of loves and inspirations, in no particular order:
The first rebel, the first rock God (haha…), The Prince of Peace turned the world on its head by espousing love and acceptance — “It is done unto you as you believe” — way before Eckhart Tolle! (Or one of my other heroes, Krishnamurti.) He hung with women, outsiders, and underdogs. One of my go-to books, The Gospel According to Jesus by Stephen Mitchell tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth oh, so well. Recommended reading!
The Lord’s muse, the first groupie, the goddess of all goddesses! The Gospel of Mary Magdalene was removed from the bible by uptight men 1700 years ago, but was found in the 1950s, and can now be read! Apparently Jesus kissed Miss M “often on the mouth.” She was always with him.
Uncle Walt, a man light years ahead of his time, wrote and self-published Leaves of Grass in 1855 and proceeded to give himself rave reviews! He was the ultimate free spirit, and wrote about the glory of our human body, sex, touch and the senses, when women still had to be covered from head to toe. “I sing the body electric,” he said, “And your very flesh shall be a great poem.” I try to live by his words: “Re-examine all you have been told … Dismiss what insults your Soul.”
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” Jim Morrison, as we all know, got the name of his group from this Blake stanza. A misunderstood, unapologetic artist and poet, Blake gave me one of my finest mystical moments while I was reading “The Tyger“. His quill appeared in the air before me and hovered there like a butterfly before melting back into the atmosphere. And I wasn’t stoned!
He lived 2000 years ago, but Rumi’s exquisite prose is eternal good news. His god is his lover and the God inside of us all responds.
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”
How about this succinct humdinger?
“You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!”
Kind of like Dorothy’s red shoes, right?
People say that there was more than one of him, but I don’t believe it for a split sec. It’s the same scintillating voice woven though all of his works….”To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” A rose is a rose is a rose, dolls. Gertrude Stein actually said that, but it sounds so Shakespearean doesn’t it?
Who said “Before Elvis there was nothing?” Yes! It was the intelligent Beatle, John Lennon. I was eight years old when Elvis shook me up and took me to a place I still haven’t returned from. (I never will – yay!) He had an innocent fearlessness, a playful sexuality, a sultry insouciance that had yet to be seen in a white boy. He was so hot he couldn’t help himself, jokingly pretending he couldn’t control the sexy curl in his upper lip. Elvis blew back the doors with such force the world was forever changed. Have you listened to “Treat Me Nice” lately? It’s the flip side of “Jailhouse Rock,” the first single I ever bought, and is boldly tattooed across my back, along with his signature.
I discovered James Dean soon after Elvis, and they merged into a hunka hunk sensitive, soulful man, blotting out all the regular boys in Reseda, California. Jimmy was so uncool he changed the perception of what ‘cool’ was. Marlon and Monty were vulnerable to a point, but they always held onto some control. Jimmy lost himself in the moment and yanked us all into his angst and fury. He moaned, he wept, he giggled and marveled, he was curious and furious, and it shimmered all over him like truth on fire.