Why George Harrison Didn’t Feel He Needed to Give up His Material Items Despite His Spiritual Beliefs

In 1967, George Harrison was deep into his spiritual journey. He spent many of his days dutifully practicing meditation and Yoga. But despite where he was at spiritually, the Beatle continued to be one of the wealthiest musicians of his time. Had he ever considered giving up all his earthly belongings to focus on what’s important? Yes. Here’s why he didn’t.

George Harrison with a Blue Meanie at the press screening of the film 'Yellow Submarine'
George Harrison | RB/Redferns

George Harrison considered getting rid of his material wealth, but decided against it

When Harrison was interviewed by Melody Maker in 1967, he was asked if he’d ever considered getting rid of his material wealth. The Beatle said he had but, ultimately, decided against it.

“Now that I’ve got the material thing in perspective, it’s OK,” he said, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “The whole reason I’ve got material things is because they were given to me as a gift. So it’s not really bad that I’ve got it because I didn’t ask for it. It was just mine. All I did was be me.”

How The Beatles learned life isn’t about material items

Harrison argued that all the gifts he received for being a member of The Beatles showed him he didn’t need material items.

“All we ever had to do was just be ourselves and it all happened,” he said. “It was there, given to us. All this. But then, it was given to us to enable us to see that that wasn’t it. There was more to it.”

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Once Harrison found himself surrounded by material items, he realized there was still something missing.

“The Beatles got all the material wealth that we needed and that was enough to show us that this thing wasn’t material,” he said. “We are all in the physical world, yet what we are striving for isn’t physical. We all get so hung up with material things like cars and televisions and houses, yet what they can give you is only there for a little bit and then it’s gone.”

George Harrison’s end goal as a Beatle wasn’t fame or wealth

Harrison’s main goal in life had nothing to do with wealth or material items.

“We’ve all got the same goal whether we realize it or not,” he said. “We’re all striving for something which is called God. For a reunion, complete. Everybody has realized at some time or other that no matter how happy they are, there’s still always the unhappiness that comes with it.”

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The point of everything, to him, was to try and live as peacefully and harmoniously as possible.

“We are all trying to get to where Jesus Christ got,” he said. “And we’re going to be on this world until we get there. We’re all different people and we are all doing different things in life, but that doesn’t matter because the whole point of life is to harmonize with everything, every aspect in creation. That means down to not killing the flies, eating the meat, killing people or chopping the trees down.”