Living Lessons Blog

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Michael Jackson: Wonder Boy and King of Pop YouTube, Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror 

YouTube, Michael Jackson, Human Nature, concert rehearsal — fabulous…

There is no way not to add my two cents about the sudden death of the King of Pop. I confess to going unpredictably, inexplicably wild for pop music every now and then. Boy bands? Be still my heart. Back Street Boys? N-Synch? Hormonal howling at the moon and at the heart, body and soul? Please. The Jackson 5 was the first boy band, and Michael Jackson was the Wonder boy. I’m a woman of color and knew way back what the Wonder Boy was up to, making it fun for us let go off a few more cultural barriers. How many of us said “Huh…whoah now” when Thriller showed up on MTV?

Thank you, Deepak Chopra, for contributing to today’s media buzz with an honest, loving tribute to the Wonder Boy and deeper insight into Michael Jackson’s lifestyle choices and behavior people were so quick to denegrate, eager to focus on the negative.

Michael Jackson died of a broken heart no matter what turns out be the official cause of death.

I’m thinking his soul just didn’t want to go through it again — that bliss wave that always gets lost in earth’s density, the comeback that wouldn’t have come back to Michael with enough real love. Even though Michael’s mind was willing to climb one more hill. You know the kind of love we need to actually change our lives and our world. The world Michael wanted to live in, and wanted for his children. For real.

I maintain that as much as Michael, the boy, was abused by those he loved and as much as Michael, the man, was exploited by many who both touched and invaded his life, Michael the creative genius — the ground-breaking cultural dynamo, the dazzling dancer, and loving father — had a purpose in life. He fulfilled this purpose, and like others of his ilke, Life demanded as much in return, if not more, than it gave him to live, sing, dance, share and generate the bliss living fully connected to his radiant, ecstatic, divine core. The bliss that  filled his body every time he performed.  This was Michael’s purpose. His talent was given to him in service of this purpose.

Living from your divine core and living on planet Earth is an extremely difficult task.

Robbed of his childhood in exchange for fame and money.  Robbed of being able to honestly express his sexuality and erotisicm anywhere but on stage. Robbed of the enjoyment of a life-long intimate partner (male or female) and being forced instead to confine his gift of personal, intimate love to the three children conceived through such unconventional methods. All the money, fame, privilege, celebrity, world travel, luxorious homes, and endless sea of adoring faces and fans never gave him the one simple thing he desired most: to know beyond doubt that he was loved (not adored) — by human beings taller than four feet.

Exceptionally gifted people know without doubt there is a creator and that your creator loves you, laying the world before your feet when you willingly open into your life’s purpose.

But a human need to feel loved in return for the love Michael Jackson gave so generously is what lay behind his perfectionism, the relentless drive to reach higher, faster, farther the next time,  the compulson to sculpt his image away from the body image connected with feeling that he was hated by his father, and becoming a slave to creativity when it became a Daimon.

Anyone who knew  him personally describes Michael Jackson as gentle, gracious, generous, deeply spiritual, and profoundly distressed by the state of this world that found him bizarre.

I never believed for one second that Michael Jackson had sexually abused a child. Post adolescence, in real life Michael’s sexuality had been completely subsumed, repressed, transcended — perhaps all three — so his need for human contact, physical (non-sexual) touch was met by the little people in his life he assumed could be trusted. The innocence of this dynamic is almost impossible to understand for people nowhere near as complex, energized, gifted and in touch with the divine as Michael Jackson was.

He was not one of us. Michael Jackson went so far beyond what 99.9% of humanity ever allows us to be. Fatally innocent, his life was weighed down by the projected dark shadow of evil to which this kind of creative, energized genius is always subjected.

Michael Jackson knew he had our admiration, respect, adoration, and our wallets but he wasn’t sure if all those nano-flashes meant what he needed them to mean. Or if those nano-flashes of impersonal love beamed back at him from thousands of anonymous lovers on any given night were connected to the real thing, or enough to stop the runaway circus train that had become his public life. After a forty year career, the collective energy Michael Jackson received from audiences and fans never matched the energy he gave out.

I imagine  he hoped someday, if the show was big enough and maybe if he worked hard enough, one day, the energy would be an even match and he would feel as much love coming in as he poured out, without ever discovering how to live any other way. He thought his talent bought him the right to just be himself. Wrong.

The last 24 hours?  Non-stop celebrations around the world, spontaneous eruptions of Moon Walking, outpourings of grief and accolades, and in all these minutes his music has been playing somewhere in the world or is being bought in affirmation of his formidable gift. The trash talk, the speculation, the judgment, the unjustified fear and loathing weren’t ever, and still aren’t, about you, Michael. The meaness, suspicion, envy, and doubt are all a mirror for us. Sad to say, the loathesome, vile assaults weren’t personal although I’m sure it felt agonizingly personal to you, hiding away in Never Land spending money as fast as you could —  the next best thing to being loved.

It’s just the way we roll here on planet Earth, in exactly the same we’re destroying the environment we can’t live without. Go figure.

Wherever you are, Michael (and I believe I know where you are and I may stop by and say hello), freed from your body I hope you can now feel you are indeed loved. Love is what you were made of, love is what you made with your soul, love is what you left us in every word and every note.

Thanks, Michael. The world was changed by you. We’ll miss your brilliance.

C’mon. Tell us. What is your favorite Michael Jackson album, or tune? Mine favorite album is Off  The Wall because it provided the first glimpse of what was to come from Michael Jackson, the solo artist.

Prince, are you out there? You owe a tremendous amount to Michael Jackson. Haven’t heard a peep out of you yet. What gives?

1 Comment»

  Candace Whitman wrote @

Thank you, Anaïs. Beautiful, sensitive piece. Your insights will be floating through my thoughts in my dealings and contacts with other inhabitants of this earth. That’s what makes this piece so special

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