Book Recommendation: “The Cynical Idealist – A Spiritual Biography” by John Lennon

Before christmas Natalia Rose posted on facebook a comment about a spiritual biography of John Lennon. Inspired by her I read the book during the Christmas break and can only recommend it. It is “The Cynical Idealist – A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon” by Gary Tillery. Maybe you would enjoy it, too.

The book describes John Lennon in his multiple facets. It starts with John Lennon’s childhood and how it shaped his rebellious nature. From a man being against society and using drugs to numb his pain he developed into someone who started to meditate to gain inner peace, more clarity and to become more creative. He became an activist for society and dreamt of a peaceful world. John Lennon also puts more emphasis on his family towards the end of his life.

“Lennon’s point was, the more people attempt self-transformation, the better our society will become. One proven method of self-transformation is through meditation, a discipline Lennon aquired under the Maharishi and continued to respect for the remainder of his life because of its practical benefits. Studies have shown that in the meditating brain, activity is redirected from the right hemisphere of the prefrontal cortex to the left – a shift that appears to reorient the brain from a flight-or-fight response stress mode to one of acceptance and contentment. This shift has been demonstrated in other studies to enhance the immune system as well as significantly reduce blood pressure. Moreover, research suggests that meditation can actually “reset” the brain – raising the threshold at which it becomes aware of and affected by stress.” (pp136)