He has done it all. His life stretches from the beginning of everything in the Village, through the folk scene, the radical sixties, the peace movement, rock and roll, the self-searching seventies, his own personal problems and struggles, the apathetic eighties, Christianity, Judaism, self-trust and confidence — the burden of the list goes on and on.
He has shaken us all with his insight on truth, love, guilt, human vulnerability, suspician, redemption, and the search for peace. It is obvious that he sees how things were, how they are, and how they should be. But what do we really have after all these years?
A long, long time ago he said ...
I heard the sound of thunder, it roared out a warnin’,
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown
the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands
Heard ten thousand whisperin’, and nobody listenin’,
Heard one person starve, I heard many people
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
it’s a hard,
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
To us it spoke of revolution. We sensed it was time but it never really happened. But still we didn’t let the hope die, the hope of a world where tyranny is dealt with forever.
Then Dylan saw that the answer was blowing in the winds of change. Our hearts were stirred by his words and we started to listen to the voice of our conscience as it awakened.
How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind.
And then he urged us to follow the call — to be free, to go where we wanted to and do what we felt...
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.
We followed with reckless abandon, each of us after our own Tambourine Man. But even as the Movement reached its height, Dylan saw that the answer wasn’t there and tried to warn us ...<
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?
We are indebted to Dylan for helping us see that the American Dream was just a cruel hoax. We could never be fully satisfied and at peace within the current social order. We wanted to grab his hand and let him lead us out of the insanity we saw around us. We could totally relate when he sang ...
“There must be some way out of here,”
said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief. Businessmen, they drink my wine,
plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what
any of it is worth.”
We couldn’t just point our accusing finger at a small, mysterious group of greedy capitalists for all the world’s problems. If we were humble enough to face our own selfishness and foolish pride that caused our love to fail, then we could see that the roots of hatred, mistrust, and strife run deep in every human heart. Our hearts ached for forgiveness and healing.
Dylan seemed to really understand things that were hidden to most of us.
All that exists is spirit, before, now, and forever more. The messianic thing has to do with this world, the flesh world, and you got to pass through this to get to that. The messianic thing has to do with the world of mankind, like it is. This world is scheduled to go for 7,000 years. Six thousand years of this, where man has his way, and 1,000 years when God has his way. Just like a week. Six days work, one day rest. The last thousand years is called the Messianic Age. Messiah will rule. He is, was, and will be about God, doing God’s business. Drought, famine, war, murder, theft, earthquake, and all other evil things will be no more. No more disease. That’s all of this world.
What’s gonna happen is this: you know when things change, people usually know, like in a revolution, people know before it happens, who’s coming in and who’s going out. All the Somozas and Batistas will be on their way out, grabbing their stuff and whatever, but you can forget about them. They won’t be going anywhere. It’s the people who live under tyranny and oppression, the plain, simple people, that count, like the multitude of sheep. They’ll see that God is coming. Not some crackpot lawyer or politician with the mark of the beast, but somebody who makes them feel holy. People don’t know how to feel holy. They don’t know what it’s about or what’s right. They don’t know what God wants of them. They’ll want to know what the Messiah wants. They’ll want to know what to do and how to act. Just like you want to know how to please any ruler. They don’t teach that stuff like they do math, medicine, and carpentry, but now there will be tremendous calling for it. There will be a run on godliness, just like now there’s a run on refrigerators, headphones, and fishing gear. It’s going to be a matter of survival. People are going to be running to find out about God, and who are they going to run to? They’re gonna run to the Jews, ‘cause the Jews wrote the book, and you know what? The Jews ain’t gonna know. They’re too busy in the fur business and in the pawnshops and in sending their kids to some atheist school. They’re too busy doing all that stuff to know. People who believe in the coming of the Messiah live their lives right now as if he was here. That’s my idea of it, anyway.
“Don’t Ask Me Nothin’ about Nothin’ ... I Might Just Tell the Truth”
Interview by Scott Cohen, Spin Magazine
Although Bob Dylan seems strangely uninterested in it, the life he has described is happening on the earth right now. It is a nation of people — what all of us have searched for from the beginning. It is the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.
It is true Israel, the spiritual seed of Abraham, the people who dwell in the peace of Messiah’s will and purpose. It is the beginning of the restoration of the tribes of Israel as his holy nation. It is the place where his people love the Sabbath and await the year of Jubilee when Messiah will reign on earth.
Dylan said that when Messiah gets a people who want to know what he wants, then they’ll want to know what to do and how to act. They’ll want to please him in every way. Well, it’s happening — the Creator of everything is calling the true seekers and followers to his nation now! It’s in this people that anyone can come to know what Messiah wants — how he wants us to live. Outside of his people, all he can do is put in people’s hearts the vision and longing to be gathered from where they’ve been scattered. He is calling together twelve tribes from all over the earth to live the way he always wanted man to live.
Dylan also said that when the time is right people are going to know, they’re going to sense it. Yes, they’re going to be hungry, they’re going to be tired of everything else, they will have heard it all. Well that day is here, and people are starting to run, they’re starting to look and to listen. The prophets are starting to speak, the time is now! They’re running to the “real Jews,” the ones who have the life of Messiah, the life of love that never dies. They’re living right now in his presence. They see the kingdom and they’re living it now because his spirit dwells in them.
Bob Dylan may be surprised by this: a foretaste of Messiah’s life is already spreading to the ends of the earth. There are tribes made up of many communities living in unity, loving one another, entering into rest. The impact of this is beginning to be felt all over the earth!
We all see the problems, but who is willing to see the answers?