George Harrison passed from the material world twelve years ago today, on 29 November 2001. In the years since, he’s become my favourite solo Beatle for so, so, so many reasons. He had such a deep soul, a beautiful personal relationship with the Divine, this great, powerful belief in humanity to positively change ourselves and the world, just an overall nice, sincere guy.
The world is a better place because George was in it. He had more talent and humility in his pinky finger than the lot of modern celebrities put together. His solo career is proof positive that sometimes the dark horse wins the race. Compared to his bandmates, his solo output really seems to be the best, in terms of substance, consistency, and artistry.
As a student of world religions, I love how open-minded and nonsectarian he was. He had deep spiritual beliefs, a firm belief in the Divine, and saw the universal truth and wisdom in many different faith paths. For example, in “Life Itself,” from 1981’s Somewhere in England, it starts off sounding like a love song to his wife Olivia, but then becomes clear it’s a love song to the Divine. “They call you Christ, Vishnu, Buddha, Jehovah, Our Lord./You are Govindam, Bismillah, Creator of All.”
George would’ve been 70 years old now, an old man. Instead he was fated to only live 58 years in that lifetime. But he put a lot more of life and spirituality into those 58 years than many people fit into fuller lifetimes. He truly was unafraid of his approaching death, and once said the only difference between the living and dead is that a dead soul simply no longer breathes.
His last words were so beautiful and sincere, in keeping with the kind of person he was: “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.” He loved humanity and the Divine, and wanted us to better the world, love one another, and search for the Divine.
If everyone lived one’s life like George, the world would be a much better place. He believed so much in our potential. Now it’s up to us to transform ourselves and the world with the power of love.