Observations placeholder

George Harrison - Within you, without you

Identifier

013357

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

"Within You Without You" is a song written by George Harrison, released on the Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The basic tracks for "Within You Without You" featured only Harrison and a group of uncredited Indian musicians based in London. Producer George Martin then arranged a string section, and Harrison and assistant Neil Aspinall overdubbed the tambura. According to Prema Music, dilruba player Amrit Gajjar played on the track. Hunter Davies wrote that Harrison "trained himself to write down his song in Indian script so that the Indian musicians can play them."

With "Within You Without You", Harrison became the second Beatle to record a song credited to The Beatles but featuring no other members of the group (Paul McCartney had previously done so with "Yesterday").

"Within You Without You" is the second of Harrison's songs to be explicitly influenced by Indian classical music (the first being "Love You To", released on Revolver the previous year). Harrison said "I was continually playing Indian [sitar exercises] called Sargam, which are the bases of the different Ragas. That's why around this time I couldn't help writing tunes like this which were based on unusual scales." The song is Harrison's only composition on Sgt. Pepper after "Only a Northern Song" was omitted from the album. Harrison wrote "Within You Without You" on a harmonium at the house of long-time Beatles' associate Klaus Voormann ("We were talking about the space between us all, And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion— never glimpse the truth")

 The words are both extremely profound and symbolic.

A description of the experience

Within You Without You"

We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it's far too late, when they pass away
We were talking about the love we all could share
When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realise it's all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking about the love that's gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know, they can't see, are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you

The source of the experience

Beatles, the

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Contemplation and detachment
LOVE

Commonsteps

Meditation

References