The Grim Reason Why George Harrison Wrote “The Art Of Dying”
via the HollyHobs / YouTube
Apart from being the “shy” member of The Beatles, we all remember George Harrison as the person who magnified the wonders of spirituality in our lives. He’s the one who introduced the band to the wonders of transcendental meditation while visiting India in 1968, inspiring many songs from their adventure. But 2 years prior to that well-documented travel, he had already channeled the desires of the Hindu-aligned spirituality when wrote the song “The Art of Dying.”
“The Art of Dying” was released after the band’s breakup in 1970, inside Harrison’s seminal album All Things Must Pass. Its backing band consists of Harrison’s friend, Eric Clapton, and his short-lived Derek and the Dominos group. The song tells us the subject of reincarnation, alerting oneself not to enter the loop of life endlessly if you’re being careless.
George explained why he wrote the song in his 1980 memoir, “I Me Mine.” “Everybody is worried about dying, but the cause of death (which most can’t figure out unless they are diseased) is birth, so if you don’t want to die you don’t get born!” Harrison wrote. “So, the ‘Art of Dying’ is when somebody can consciously leave the body at death, as opposed to falling down dying without knowing what’s going on. The Yogi who does that (Maha-samadhi) doesn’t have to reincarnate again.”
He further added: “We have to first of all not create more Karma – that is, more actions and reactions… every thought, word, action or deed that we have is like sending a ripple out across the Universe and it does eventually come back. Whatever you do, it comes right back on you.”
For Harrison, our soul desires to achieve perfection, and he did that pretty much his whole life. Practicing the good and remembering to untie, little by little, the knots that he created in his life, he was able to leave the Earth peacefully – like a true artisan.