24 Timeless John Lennon Quotes on Art, Beauty and Truth

There is no question that John Lennon possessed an other-worldly connection to artistic beauty and truth. Musically, he was capable of immensely moving craftsmanship, creating pieces that remain essentially timeless, evocative and human. Anyone who has ever really sat and taken in the song Imagine knows this. And, though the reality of John as a man was undoubtedly complex and contradictory, there is no denying his clout — particularly towards the end of his life — as an emissary of real change and peace. The type of change that is so radical that the world remains, even today, afraid to confront it.

In the spirit of this, here are 24 John Lennon quotes on Art, Beauty and Truth.

  • “My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
  • “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
  • “Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”
  • “Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Carter or Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.”
  • “If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s their problem. Love and peace are eternal.”
  • “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”
  • “Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
  • “The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.”
  • “Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do , Something you are, And something you give away.”
  • “When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”
  • “Well, I don’t want to be king, I want to be real.”
  • “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
  • “You’re all geniuses, and you’re all beautiful. You don’t need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are. Get out there and get peace, think peace, and live peace and breathe peace, and you’ll get it as soon as you like.”
  • “We’re trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. . . anybody interested in peace just stick it in the window. It’s simple but it lets somebody else know that you want peace too, because you feel alone if you’re the only one thinking ‘wouldn’t it be nice if there was peace and nobody was getting killed.’ So advertise yourself that you’re for peace if you believe in it.”
  • “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”
  • “I believe in everything until it’s disproven. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
  • “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”
  • “My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry. Simple.”
  • “Speaking as somebody who’s been in the drug scene, it’s not something you can go on and on doing, you know. It’s like drink, or anything, you’ve got to come to terms with it. You know, like too much food, or too much anything. You’ve got to get out of it. You’re left with yourself all the time, whatever you do–you know, meditation, drugs or anything. But you’ve got to get down to your own god and your own temple in your head.”
  • “Sometimes you wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality, and we always have a choice, but how much is preordained? Is there always a fork in the road, and are there two preordained paths that are equally preordained? There could be hundreds of paths where one could go this way or that way — there’s a chance, and it’s very strange sometimes.”
  • “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.”
  • “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.”
  • “You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”
  • “Everybody loves you when you’re six foot in the ground.”
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Kyle McMillan is the founder and managing editor of Wisdom Pills. He is a freelance writer and maintains a personal website, metanoia, as well.