And the Time Will Come When You See We’re All One: The Beatles and Idealistic Monism

In Michael Baur & Steven Baur (eds.), The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can’t Be Thunk. Chicago, IL, USA: pp. 13-24 (2006)
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In spite of their lack of interest in traditional philosophy and their explicit disavowals about the deeper meaning of their songs, there are also good reasons to approach and interpret the Beatles and their work from a philosophical point of view. In his Playboy interview from September of 1980, John praised Paul for the philosophical significance of the song, “The End,” which appeared on the Abbey Road album: “That’s Paul again. . . . he had a line in it – “The love you take is equal to the love you make’ – which is a very cosmic, philosophical line. Which again proves that if [Paul] wants to, he can think” (Beatlesongs, p. 929). And in a similar vein, Paul revealed in an interview that Beatles songs are meant to be interpreted from different perspectives and on different levels: “You put your own meaning at your own level to our songs, and that’s what’s great about them” (Beatlesongs, p. 143). Of course, there are many things that are “great” about Beatles songs; but one of the great things – certainly for those who want to be thoughtful and reflective about popular culture – is that they can be interpreted philosophically and thus appreciated in light of philosophical ideas and theories. One such theory is what might be called “idealistic monism.”
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