1968-02 - Rolling Stone Magazine - George Harrison
Interviewed By Nick Jones
London, United Kingdom
Published February 1968 In Rolling Stone Magazine, Issues 5 & 6
NICK JONES: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is already being criticized, as are the Beatles, in connection with your studies in transcendental meditation.
GEORGE HARRISON: It’s easier to criticize somebody than to see yourself. We had got to the point where we’re looking for somebody like the Maharishi, and then there he was. It’s been about three years of thinking, looking for why we’re here—the purpose of what we’re doing here in this world, getting born and dying. And I’ve found out the reason we come here is to get back to that thing God had, whatever you might call God, you know, that scene. Then the music, Indian music, just seemed to have something very spiritual for me, and it became a steppingstone for me to find out about a whole lot of other things. Finding out all about Hinduism, and those sort of religions made me realize that every religion is just the same scene really.
NICK: How do these realizations fit into your actual everyday existence?
GEORGE: Everybody lives their lives thinking this is reality and then say to people like us, “Oh you’re just escaping from reality.” They seriously term this scene of waking up, going out to work, going home again, going to sleep, dreaming, waking up again and all that—reality! But in actual fact, you’re into illusion—it’s nothing to do with reality because reality is God alone. Everything else is just an illusion.
NICK: How important to you think positive music is in this huge evolutionary cycle?
GEORGE: Yeah, very important. I think there is spiritual music. This is why I’m so hung up on Indian music, and from the day I got into it till the day I die, I still believe it’s the greatest music ever on our level of existence. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about Hinduism from being in India, things I’ve read and from Ravi Shankar who’s really too much. So great. Not only in his music but in him as well. This is the thing: he is the music, and the music is him, the whole culture of the Indian philosophy. Mainly it’s this thing of discipline. Discipline is something that we don’t like, especially young people where they have to go through school and they put you in the army, and that discipline. But in a different way I’ve found out it’s very important, because the only way those musicians are great is because they’ve been disciplined by their guru or teacher, and they’ve surrendered themselves to the person they want to be. It’s only by complete surrender and doing what that bloke tells you that you’re going to get there too. So with their music they do just that. You must practice twelve hours a day for years and years and years. And Shankar has really studied every part of the music until he just improvises the music until it is just him, he is the music.