We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late when they pass away.
We were talking – about the love we all could share – when we find it
To try our best to hold it there – with our love
With our love – we could save the world – if they only knew.
Try to realize it’s all within yourself no-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small,
And life flows on within you and without you.
We were talking – about the love that’s gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul – they don’t know – they can’t see – are you one of them?
When you’ve seen beyond yourself – then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there -
And the time will come when you see we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you.
Lyrics; George Harrison, 1967
Watch the video here.
The Bad Jazz That a Cat Blows Wails Long After He Has Cut Out
“Within You Without You” was George’s lone contribution to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. None of the other Beatles play on this track. In his 1980 autobiography, I Me Mine, he writes, “In the end [of life], ‘Life goes on within you and without you.’ I just have a belief that this is only one little bit, the physical world is one little bit of the universe. So in the end it doesn’t really matter.”
Nonetheless, Harrison’s efforts with the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 produced millions of dollars for UNICEF and paved the way for every benefit album and concert that has followed in his footsteps, effectively making him the father of the modern benefit concert. Of the concert he writes, “The bad jazz a cat blows wails long after he has cut out.” Indeed the re-release of the DVD commemorates the 40th anniversary of the concert and continues to raise money for charity to this very day.
Below, in the 1967 International Times interview, Harrison describes the responsibilities that accompany growing enlightenment.
Be Healthy, Don’t Eat Meat, Keep Away From Those Nightclubs and Meditate
“I’m a person who’s trying to live within divine law, to the best, and it’s very hard because it’s self-discipline, because the more you realize, the more you’ve got to get yourself straight, so it’s hard, you know. I’m trying, and there are a lot of people who are trying, even people who are not conscious that they are doing it, but they are really… doing things for the good, or just to be happy or whatever. But then there’s those other people, but you’ve got to have them to have this…
“I’m not a part of anything in particular, because it’s not really 1967 and it’s not half-past eight, though that’s what people have said it is. So it’s just a little bit of time out of the cycle. There’s this Indian fellow who worked out a cycle like the idea of Stone Age, Bronze Age, only he did it on an Indian one. The cycle goes from nothing until now and 20th century and then on and right round the cycle until the people are really grooving and then it just sinks back into ignorance until it gets back into the beginning again. So the 20th century is a fraction of that cycle, and how many of those cycles has it done yet? It’s done as many as you think and all these times its been through exactly the same things, and it’ll be this again. Only be a few million million years and it’ll be exactly the same thing going on, only with other people doing it… I am part of the cycle, rebirth death, rebirth, death, rebirth, death. Some of the readers will know exactly what I mean, the ones who believe in reincarnation. It’s pointless me trying to explain things like rebirth and death because I’ve just accepted that, you know, I can leave it.”
“Nobody can become a drug addict if they’re hip. Because it’s obvious that if you’re hip, then you’ve got to make it. The buzz of all buzzes – which is the thing that is God – you’ve got to be straight to get it. I’m sorry to tell you… you can get it better or more if you’re straight, because you can only get it to a degree. You know, even if you get it, you only get it however long your pill lasts. So the thing is, if you really want to get it permanently, you have got to do it, you know…Be healthy, don’t eat meat, keep away from those nightclubs and meditate.”
-George Harrison 1967 From the International Times Interview before leaving for Rishikesh, India