Lot 119
  • 119

Lennon, John

20,000 - 30,000 USD
22,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink and paper
Autograph letter signed ("John Lennon"), 2 pages (8 1/2 x 11 in; 216 x 280 mm). Written on verso of page 1: "Student Leadership Course / Santa Barbara - October 1967 / Lecture # II / (Condensed from Maharishi's Lectures 2, 3, & 4) / Students International Meditation Society / SIMS / UCSB Center," n.p., n.d. [late 1967], to Christine. Some smudging, fading to margins and at horizontal fold lines. In plastic hinged clear case.


Spitz, Bob. The Beatles: The Biography. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005

Catalogue Note

Lennon's early devotion to the "Giggling Guru" before they parted ways. In June of 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, ranked #1 on Rolling Stone's best albums of all time. Another notable event that year, and one that would change the Beatles's musical direction, came in August when the band met the Maharishi for the first time. He was soon after appointed spiritual advisor to the group, which inspired a number of famous contemporaries to become followers of his teachings. Particularly affected by the Maharishi's insights, John Lennon became an ardent devotee. In February 1968, the Beatles visited the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India. John plunged into the teachings and began meditating for as many as eight hours a day.

Apparently written at the end of 1967, this response to a fan's skepticism of the Maharishi shows how deeply committed John was to the guru's teachings: "The point is change the situation which causes starvations, disease, etc - the cause is people - governments, politics - you - me - everything must be changed so that the less fortunate aren't. Theres enough food etc for everyone in the world - so where is it? People destroy it for 'economical reasons.'"

Lennon even hints at the Maharishi's notorious self promotion, though he is not yet judgmental of his guru: "I believe Maharishi wants publicity - why shouldn't he? The only way to get a message over to everyone is to publicise it - that is the 20th century. If Jesus were here now don't you think he'd be on T.V.?" John was still a true believer in the virtues of the Transcendental Meditation Technique: "Try it - it can't harm you - you do not need to be rich to do it - you do not need to go to India to do it -  you just DO IT."

John and the Beatles had a legendary falling out with the Maharishi when their friend Mia Farrow hinted that he had made inappropriate sexual advances. In response, John decamped early from Rishikesh and separated himself entirely from the fraudulent "Giggling Guru." Fearing a public relations nightmare, the Maharishi begged for a reason as to why his biggest supporters were leaving. John responded "If you're so cosmically conscious, as you claim, then you should know why we're leaving" (Spitz 757).