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The death of Whitney Houston has made me think how fragile life is and the illusion that is celebrity. I think of some of the great entertainers who died due to drug related addictions like Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Andy Gibb, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston – to name a few – and I am deeply touched by the manner of their passing at a young age.

I know that unfortunately millions of people die due to drugs, but the impact of the death of a celebrity is so strong and felt on a worldwide scale because entertainers have an impact on our culture and our individual psyche.  These are the people we see as role models, these are the people we look up to and admire; we aspire to become as successful as they are, we strive to have what they have – the money, the talent, the fame, the glamorous lifestyle, – to have the best of the best that this world offers because at some level we all want the fairytale.

So we ultimately put them on pedestals because of their accomplishments in this material world, we are fascinated by them– but we forget that they are just as human as the rest of us with the same feelings, insecurities, indulgences, vulnerabilities – just like us, and we especially forget that on a spiritual level we are all the same, we are all special, we are all pure potential, we are One.

I am disillusioned by their deaths, I feel that mostly when we hear of a drug related death we tend to judge – he was a hoodlum or she was a street walker – and somehow we react as if they got what they deserved because of the lifestyle they led which was conduciveto such a fate.  However, when it is a celebrity we somehow excuse their behaviour and say it was the pressure of the limelight that led them to this unfortunate disease.  We tend not to judge them harshly and we justify their actions. One can blame fame, money, people in their lives etc. but at the end of the day it was their responsibility, the blame was ultimately their own as it is of any addict.  But we need to forgive.

I am angered by their deaths, I feel  as they got in life everything we associate with happiness in this world and they somehow wasted it, squandered it, and destroyed themselves by their addiction. It feels in a way that they were selfish, ungrateful and disrespectful to their talent because if they really cherished it they would not have become addicts. Their talent was cut short and somehow they robbed us of their gifts that were still due to manifest and meant to be shared with the world. But we need to forgive.

I am saddened by their deaths as these people who gave the world so much joy with their God-given talent were unable to find joy for themselves even with all the love and adoration they received from the world. They did not find their sacred Self deep within that is perfect and does not need the material world for happiness. They did not find their bliss – and neither will we if we do not get out of this grand illusion of the material world and get in touch with our authentic Self as the spiritual beings that we are.

However, at the end of the day, I feel very blessed and am very grateful to have been able to experience the joy they gave me through their talent,  the precious gifts they bestowed to all of us during their lifetime and beyond as their spirit will live forever. They will always be a part of my life.

Thank You and R.I.P.

I am reminded by two songs from one of my favourite bands, Styx,
that I can relate to with “celebrity”
and I herewith share these powerful and poignant lyrics with you:

“Show Me The Way”

(Band: STYX – Songwriter: Dennis DeYoung)

Every night I say a prayer in the hope that there’s a heaven
And every day I’m more confused as the saints turn into sinners
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay
And I feel this empty place inside so afraid that I’ve lost my faith

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away
Show me the way

And as I slowly drift to sleep, for a moment dreams are sacred
I close my eyes and know there’s peace in a world so filled with hatred
That I wake up each morning and turn on the news
to find we’ve so far to go
And I keep on hoping for a sign, so afraid that I just won’t know

Show me the way, Show me the way
Take me tonight to the mountain
And wash my confusion away
And if I feel light, should I believe
Tell me how will I know

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away
Show me the way, show me the way
Give me the strength and the courage
To believe that I’ll get there someday
Show me the way

Every night I say a prayer
In the hope that there’s a heaven…


“Grand Illusion”

(Band: STYX – Songwriter: Dennis DeYoung)

 Have you ever been sittin’ at home watchin’ television
and suddenly something comes on the TV and you say to yourself,
“Hey, how come my life ain’t like that?”
Or maybe you’re sittin’ lookin’ in a magazine,
you see some pictures, some advertising, you says,
“Man, I must really suck because my life sure ain’t like that.”
Did you ever feel that way? Yeah-
Well, you wanna know why your life isn’t like what you see on TV
and in movies, in magazines and such, you wanna know why?
‘Cause that’s all bullshit! That’s right-
Don’t you go believing movies and TV and rock videos and all that crap,
come on, I mean- All that is,
is somebody else’s fantasy, you know what I’m sayin’ to you?
In fact, all it is, is really more like a “Grand Illusion.”

Welcome to the grand illusion
Come on in and see what’s happenin’
Pay the price get your tickets for the show

The stage is set, the band starts playin’
Suddenly your heart is pounding
You’re wishing secretly you were a star

But don’t be fooled by the radio
The TV or the magazine
They’ll show you photographs
Of how your life should be
But they’re just someone else’s fantasies

So if you think your life is complete confusion
‘Cause you never win the game
Just remember that it’s a grand illusion
And deep inside we’re all the same
We’re all the same

So if you think your life is complete confusion
‘Cause your neighbor’s got it made
Just remember that it’s a grand illusion
Deep inside we’re all the same

America spells competition
Join us in our blind ambition
Get yourself a brand new motor car

But someday soon we’ll start to ponder
What on earth is this spell we’re under
We made the grade and still we wonder
Who the hell we are