What does Imagine mean?

Search Login

John Lennon: Imagine Meaning

Song Released: 1971

Imagine Lyrics

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the...


    click a star to vote
    Aug 4th, 2006 8:27am report

    The meaning of this song is very simple. Just think of what our world would be like without governments, religion and posessions. He then lends his idea of what would happen. No war, hate nor poverty only peace. I think human nature would never allow this to happen. Too many powerful people would lose said power. It's a nice thought, though.

    This song was written during the height of the war in viet nam, the first nixon administration and the peace movement. Much of the popular culture of the time was centered around these factors. Notice how prevalent the song is today...The war against terrorism, the second bush administration and the peace movement...Coincidence?


    click a star to vote
    Sep 5th, 2009 9:08am report

    "Imagine there's no Heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today"

    Heaven and hell, like all other opposites in this world, occur only in the human mind. God is oneness, and when your mind is free of attachment to this world, and you experience oneness with everything, you are in true Heaven, and there is no hell. To reach this oneness, you must also live in the moment. Time is an illusion. When we see things in this world change from one appearance to another, and use our memory to notice this change, we believe that time has passed. But when we are one with the Universe, time does not exist. Eternity is not endless time, it is no time. Oneness with everything means the constant state of bliss, nirvana.

    "Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    This is much easier to interpret and come to grips with. again it deals with separation. Humans suffer because they feel alone or separated. Having enemies makes them feel better about themselves, but this comes from fear. Feeling oneness with all God's creatures, with the Universe itself, is the only true happiness, and peace.

    "You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one"

    If everyone joined John in the dream of this song, the world would truly be as one. We may be evolving to this state. Humans became aware of themselves, their individuality, which also brought about their fear and suffering, but once they realize their oneness with the Universe, while they are still aware of their own being, a special spiritual race will evolve.

    "Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world"

    This is such a beautiful phrase and gives you a view of what life could be like if all people truly loved each other as one.

    "You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one"

    John was a dreamer, and was able to put one of the greatest, most mysterious spritiual truths into a wonderful song that will be enjoyed forever


    click a star to vote
    Jul 18th, 2009 7:37pm report

    Why does my heart keep telling me this is not an athiest song? How come every time I hear a good sermon about the huge problem in our world, HYPOCRICY (especially people who call themselves christians but really are just big hypocrites), I want to stand up and sing this song? Why do I hear the ideas in this songs when I hear some readings in the bible (SOME readings, religion has been messed up by tradition and imperfect humans, so when a pastor preaches he doesn't always explain things that Jesus taught - humans are just incredibly stubborn)

    John Lennon wasn't an athiest. He even said so,
    "I'd always suspected that there was a God, even when I thought I was an atheist. Just in case. I Believe it, so I am full of compassion, but you can still dislike things. I just hate things less strenuously than I did. I haven't got as big a chip about it because maybe I've escaped it a bit. I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives..."

    Imagine there's no heaven etc.
    this line I hear all the time, and I say this idea to people all the time. There's a verse I heard a few weeks ago. I think its in Luke, but it says something about not doing things so that YOU can get rewarded, so that YOU can get something out of it (Imagine there's no heaven), and also says not to Not do something because you're afraid of whait society will think or that you'll be punished for it and not to build your mind off of what other people who think they are better than you tell you to believe or think (No hell below us; above us only sky). I was sitting there as I heard this and I'm thinking "that's in 'Imagine', that's what it means!"

    And that's happened with other parts of the song. On Easter he was talking about living for today and that same idea. I had that same excitement "that's in the song!" This old man came as a guest pastor or something to our church once and started talking on the same idea as John Lennon does in this quote,
    "I don't need to go to church. I respect churches because of the sacredness that's been put on them over the years by people who do believe. But I think a lot of bad things have happened in the name of the church and in the name of Christ," - by some of the hypocrites who go to them and end up getting us stereotyped like Islam is by the few radicals who love to blow stuff up - "Therefore, I shy away from church, and as Donovan once said, 'I go to my own church in my own temple once a day.' And I think people who need a church should go. And the others who know the church is in your own head should visit that temple because that's where the source is. We're all God. Christ said, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.' And the Indians say that and the Zen people say that. We're all God. I'm not a god or the God, but we're all God and we're all potentially divine - and potentially evil. We all have everything within us and the Kingdom of Heaven is nigh and within us, and if you look hard enough you'll see it."
    Religion complicates things with tradition. It'll make you think Christ or God meant something when he said this, when he really meant that. You've got to free your mind and Imagine, what does it all truly mean? (No religion too)
    A lot of people say they don't want to go to church because they're all hypocrites there. And that's what I hear in the first part of the song. They're people who celebrate Christmas and Easter and may even go to church every sunday but don't really listen to the sermon. These people have the nerve to pick on a song like this, but don't even look in the mirror at themselves and realize they're the ones who are wrong here.
    Yoko Ono once said something like "If half the room doesn't walk out angry, I haven't done it right." That's what I think about when I hear this song. A lot of people, the first time they hear it (including me), just want to punch him in the face. Imagine there's no heaven? Why would you want to do that? But (in my opinion) it's more deep than that. It's not saying let's Imagine they're no God, Imagine he's no reward, then who would you be? Would you still do something good even though YOU wouldn't get anything out of it? That's what God truly wants us to be like, and obviously what John Lennon wants us to be like, completely unselfish and generous.
    And yeah, the first time I heard this I was kind of upset. But I remember I heard the line "living life in peace" and I thought how Jesus preached about peace. Something about it made me want to listen to over and over (It's the most listened to song on my iPod, about 4 times more than the 2nd most listened to song on my iPod). Then I started hearing these ideas in church and I started to realize what it truly meant. I read some guy saying something about this song has a simple meaning and you can't really go in depth with it. I though, "what song are you hearing?" I could sit and talk about this song for hours. To me it's really deep and it a song meant to be analyzed more than one time. That's why its my favorite song, because it carrying out the wisdom I hear from God in a way that you've never heard before. It makes you second guess things and then you start to get upset because as you think about what it means, you want everyone in the world to see it that way too. You hear songs in church all the time saying "Jesus loves you, he died for you..." yeah, I've been hearing that over and over again my whole life and I'm very very thankful, but they're more than just believing in what he did for us, it's listening to what he was saying. And I hear that in this song.
    Maybe I just look too much into things, but that's what art is, you're supposed to come up with you own meaning, and you shouldn't criticize the artist on what you get out of it.


    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd, 2:52pm report

    the fact that he says "Imagine there's no heaven" tells you he believes the is a heaven. If I said "Imagine there's no Brooklyn bridge" I'm in fact confirming that there is a "Brooklyn bridge" and I'm just imaging that there is none. you can't imagine something isn't there if it isn't there.


    click a star to vote
    Feb 18th, 2:07am report

    This song is clearly about a world in anarchy. Imagine there's no countries no government no government is anarchy.


    click a star to vote
    Oct 8th, 2013 10:06am report

    As the years go by and the days are getting closer towards the end of December memories of john lennon's imagine comes to mind with Christmas in the bittersweet feeling of life and death.

    The parallel course of john lennon and the fictional character in the book lathe of heaven that came out in 1971 and then the release of the movie on January 9 1980 is been haunting me ever since. the protagonist in the movie was a dreamer George orr, played by bruce Davidson who believes so much for humanity on earth that he was asked to imagine ''perfect peace on earth'' for him to dream about, because he had a special gift to dream the future.

    The problem was that the well meaning psychiatrist discovers his powers and wanted to use his futuristic dreams for a greater good, but almost destroyed the world in the reality their were living in. i'am not sure what john went through in primal therapy sessions, reading the book primal scream is a good read for that time and even now on neurosis, but to scream your guts out in therapy sessions can be draining for the soul that can bring on nightmares.

    This is when a ''good oneirologist'' was needed to work with dream meaning with john. throughout the years hearing imagine being played on the radio usually gave me a good feeling,while at the same time felt the hope and faith slowly disappearing, while a new one was taking place. I felt john wanted to bring heaven down to earth for us, meaning well, but where does jesus Christ stand now, to some of us Christians we imagined he was robed. ego, pride is a problem here, while feeling for the young especially in need for hearing that there is a heavenly father up there. john as a dreamer was like Prometheus who stole fire from zeus so mankind to have on earth in the future for mankind. some people called neitzche who wanted so much a better world for the people to live in, like john. but misunderstood by their possessed will to power, it was not easy for them to live up to jesus Christ, even john said many times in singing ''Christ is not easy they are going to crucify me''.

    John was not an atheist and I feel would have come around in search of jesus again if he was not killed. to me John was a sheep in wolf's clothing, like they called neitzche in his philosophy. who know's the way things are developing today maybe john's dream could come true in having peace on earth in revelation. john in march of 1980 I had tears for you when I had a revelation between the movie lathe of heaven and your song of heaven. on that time stood still for me in my fragile mind thinking I was in the year 2001 and this world was coming to an end, thank god it did not end, only time did stand still in new York for all of us on that day. a quote from book that might be wrong, but ''to let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven'' ,so let us not press any any buttons because I still wanna see the rainbows rising after a rainy sun shower on this earth, not the world after april. looking forward to see the daffodils this spring and thinking of you john lennon for dreaming for us. imagine, there's,'' know heaven''


    click a star to vote
    Jun 18th, 2013 6:42am report

    This song is all about a one world communistic government! NO possession, countries, Heaven or Hell.


    click a star to vote
    Mar 29th, 2013 3:01pm report

    This song is obvioulsy about Communism. I'm not saying that John Lennon was a communist, but thats how it sounds to me.



    click a star to vote
    Dec 19th, 2012 12:33pm report

    In John 13:34,35 Jesus stated that people would know you my disciples because you will have love amongst yourselves. It sounds like Lennon really understood this scripture when he speaks of no war! How can anyone any so called Christian show love towards their brother if they are wiling to take up arms against one another in war??? Epheasians 4:5 speaks of one faith one baptism. Again Lennon understood their should be no religion.


    click a star to vote
    Dec 19th, 2012 12:12pm report

    Psalms 37:29 actually tells us that the meek will inherit the "earth" and live forever upon it. It says nothing about heaven. Isaiah 45:18 says God did not create the earth simply for nothing. Isaiah 65:21-25 speaks of this world Lennon was speaking about.


    click a star to vote
    Dec 10th, 2012 12:32am report

    "Imagine" is a song about the marxist utopia Marx and Engels are speaking about in the Communist Manifesto. The marxist utopia has no nations, government, religion, war, posessions, etc., just like what he's singing about.

    The thought of this song being atheist isn't completely right, nor completely wrong. While common belief suggests that communists are against all forms of religion, marxism simply states that organised religion is an abomination, not faith itself. Lennon is a good example of this.


    click a star to vote
    Dec 10th, 2012 12:32am report

    "Imagine" is a song about the marxist utopia Marx and Engels are speaking about in the Communist Manifesto. The marxist utopia has no nations, government, religion, war, posessions, etc., just like what he's singing about.

    The thought of this song being atheist isn't completely right, nor completely wrong. While common belief suggests that communists are against all forms of religion, marxism simply states that organised religion is an abomination, not faith itself. Lennon is a good example of this.


    click a star to vote
    Nov 13th, 2012 11:27pm report

    I'm doing a personal response on this song, all the comments were really helpful.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


    click a star to vote
    Oct 3rd, 2012 10:13pm report

    Your all wrong,he wrote this song for God ,displaying a dream that would never come true.
    May God bless John Lennon


    click a star to vote
    Aug 21st, 2012 8:49pm report

    what john is imagining is the NEW WORLD ORDER and the coming of the anti-christ. EG, forget about Christ, one government to rule the world, no possesions.
    I would suggest that people look into what the new world order's agenda is and then do yourself a favor and read the book of revelation especially the part about the four horsemen and see the similarities.


    click a star to vote
    Jun 1st, 2012 6:16am report

    imagine there's no heaven, then it doesnt matter if I divorced and abandoned my wife and kid for some woman who cant sing?
    let's go get some heroin!
    protect our brothers like pol pot who are satelittes to the beast
    give up american! give up! communism equals no religion or you die!
    the whole world will serve the bear or die!
    all that you own will be distributed to the workers!
    there is no point in working!
    possesions are an illusion!
    where can I find more heroin?
    yoko ono is a great singer, mark david chapman please shoot me!!! shoot me!!!


    click a star to vote
    Mar 17th, 2012 3:39pm report

    See why some guys can't understand what's Lennon trying to say why some people trying to convert this to communism or other bull shits.
    Simply he's only imagine world without war and selfishness.and world with full of love, sharing and unity.
    All the great wars in the world happened because of lands, religions, races,desire to bieng wealthy and resources. That's why lennon is imagine how if there is no countries and religions too. That's why he's imagine people only living for today.
    What about heaven and hell he's talking about. Some people are don't do any thing for the world or for others they are only going church and praying instead. They think they would go to heaven. But if u share all the happiness and love with each others u can create all the heaven on the earth.
    But after all he knows those are mostly impossible to do. But he imagine it. But there are so many people dreaming about world like that. He's not asking to change the world like that he just asking us to imagine the world in that way and imagine how much it would be beautiful, peacefull and harmony


    click a star to vote
    Mar 14th, 2012 3:36pm report

    I don't want to imagine there's no heaven because heaven is my only hope in this life so yes I am offended as a Christian. Although this song is obviously speaking out for peace, there is no true peace without heaven and never will be. I think it is totally disrespectful to our military and our country when we sing this song at prayer gatherings or funeral. HEAVEN IS MY HOME! This is all just temporary. That is how I feel! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
    Kim Meyer

‹ prev 123456

More John Lennon song meanings »


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

22 anonymous
Suffragette City anonymous
Innocence anonymous
Remembering Sunday dropdead777
Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam anonymous
Daydream Believer anonymous
She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) anonymous
Shot Me Down anonymous
You Were Meant For Me anonymous
Glory & Gore anonymous
Lanterns anonymous
Sleepwalking anonymous
This is Gospel anonymous
Pour Some Sugar on Me anonymous
Knife and Pen anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Be My Forever
Christina Perri
West Coast
Lana Del Rey
Once Upon a Dream
Lana Del Rey
Complete Surrender
Slow Club
All I Need
Rifles, The
Cate Le Bon
Cold Night
You Me At Six
Katy B