Friday, 15 December 2017

David Bowie, the human space oddity

LESS than a couple of weeks ago the news headlines were filled with reports of the death of

LESS than a couple of weeks ago the news headlines were filled with reports of the death of David Bowie, the rock star and “glam god”.

Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties, I found Bowie to be a pop enigma — brilliantly talented musically, hugely creative artistically and totally off the wall.

Here was someone who pushed both the musical and cultural boundaries. A true genius!

I’m not sure I could call him a man of faith but he seems to have dipped his toes into most religions and ideological systems over the years and there was a very clear spiritual dimension to his songwriting as well as his life.

In a 2003 interview for the American news show 60 Minutes, Bowie spoke about this spiritual side, saying that “searching for music is like searching for God”.



Given his various alter-egos — he was someone with numerous personas throughout his career — that search both for music as well as a spiritual dimension to life certainly seems to encapsulate what David Bowie was about.

Indeed, when asked why he wrote songs, he simply replied that he was a writer who had spent 40 years writing around the themes of loneliness and isolation, a spiritual search and a way into communicating with other people.

It sounds to me as if here was someone who identified the two key areas of life: relationships with other people and spiritual  fulfilment.

Of course, it could be argued that for the former to be appreciated to their fullest the latter is a necessity. The two certainly go hand in hand. Having a right perspective spiritually aids our human relationships.

Not a great surprise, after all, it was Jesus who crystallised so perfectly how it is that the whole rule of life hinges on the following commands: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Whether David Bowie’s spiritual search ever led him to that conclusion I don’t know, but getting the first right is imperative if we are to enjoy the second.



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