I watched a long documentary on AXS TV last night about Bob Dylan, the singer/songwriter and was riveted by the assertion of one of the people who worked with him that he found Bob Dylan “had the Spirit in him.” The man said that Dylan could not help doing what he did because “the Spirit” was speaking through him. He said that “Spirit” was what made Dylan so attractive to people.
After I thought about this last night, I came to the perception that Bob Dylan had placed himself in the line of ancestors, maybe not his familial ones, but ancestors nonetheless, who spoke through him. For example, it is known that he was deeply influenced by artists like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Muddy Waters, Hank Williams and others of that generation and Dylan picked up a “reverence” for them to such a degree that they morphed through him in a way. It’s sort of like he was channeling them or a part of them. It was as if Dylan had picked up the torch of those past singers and carried them on for a new generation. When Dylan was asked to be put into the box of being the “spokesman” for his generation, he categorically rejected it. Bob Dylan just did what he was called to do. He did not think about it.
I remember Bob Dylan being asked years later about the material he wrote and sang in the 60’s and he said he didn’t really know where that stuff came from as if something had taken hold of him and spoke through him. He certainly changed direction in the 60’s and stopped writing and singing “protest” songs to the chagrin of his fans. To me, this was Bob Dylan finding his own “Spirit,” his own voice as he changed from acoustic to electric guitar and accompaniment. His purist fans rejected this new voice as Dylan was booed many times as he tried to emerge with more of what he was interested in as an artist. A different “Spirit” was moving him and I think it was more of his own.
We can see this same “Spirit” in many great people of all categories from Saints to Actors who have moved us, not only in our generation but in ancient history, that we have stories about, that have been handed down to us.
When we have a single mindedness about any endeavor, we take on a frequency, a vibrational level that is so high that it effects others deeply. We become “attractive.” We who take on these vibrations have a “reverence” about us because we are, indeed, moved by “Spirit.”