Podcast 637 – “Become the Bliss”

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Guest speaker: Ram Dass

Ram Dass & Lorenzo circa: 2001

Ram Dass & Lorenzo
circa: 2001

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Ram Dass.]

“I was addicted to the experience of being high. I was not addicted to the chemicals, but just to the state. I had touched something so pure, and so fulfilling, that I had to keep going back. And I tried every method I knew to stay high.”

“What is required on this trip is renunciation of attachment.”

“Psychedelics show a possibility, but beyond that you still have a lot of stuff to do.”

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Posted in Consciousness, Culture, Death, Future, Language, LSD, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Ram Dass, Religion.

5 Comments

  1. Really? Everything is predetermined? People who stand for peace are the ones creating war? Seems to me that the peace people I know are not at all full of anger. Virtually all long term peace activists are in my experience moved by compassion, empathy, sadness over loss and a feeling of responsibility to promote a change. This cartoon version of reality he presents is troubling to me and makes me wonder if other aspects of what he says, for example about levels of reality are equally fallacious. The system of knowledge to which Ram Dass refers has a self referential quality that could be quite similar to the example he gave of the person looking for sex seeing everyone as potential sexual partners. Not that he had not tapped into a valid discipline that has brought him into a loving and generous state. Really am deeply impressed by his life and the many compassionate actions he initiated. My concern is more that the meaning of these experiences may have been somewhat distorted by the body of teachings and expectations from those scriptures and teachers who so powerfully turned his life in this direction. Again the reason I say this is because of his very distorted view of war protestors.
    Am I way off? The thing is I was way into the message, and the whole path of love based yoga is something I gravitate toward in my own way.

    Peace to all and may Ram Dass’s life and example continue to inspire.

  2. I was thinking abut Ram Dass a few days ago. I hadn’t done so for a long time. The next day I learnt he had died. Tonight, having listened to this podcast I finaly got something. A puzzle piece was given to me. One that seems very basic but is actually huge. The mind is a servant our true self. It has created a seperate identity and has forgotten its true role. The non-dual path I have been on via Rupert Spira now has ome to fruition with this note from Dass it seems. Thank you Lorenzo for uploading this. Bright blessings to you.

  3. Thanks for this one Lorenzo. He was my favorite living teacher and touched my life in a big way. My christmas highlight was listening to this yesterday and it certainly helped me get along better with my family. This type of access to his voice and words ensures he’ll touch many people yet and forever live among the ranks of all of our other late heroic legends. Blessings to you and yours my friend!

  4. When I’d read that he had passed away a few days ago I looked to see what you had posted to note his passing. Nothing initially, but shortly after this fine choice showed up. It sounds like this one’s from the “Joshua Tree” era – the “Dying into Life” series. He was such a good speaker – never a hackneyed phrase or patched together material from a previous talk . . . or none that I’ve ever noticed.

    I saw him only once, back in the 80’s at the old California Theatre in downtown San Diego. He was speaking as a fund raiser for the Seva Foundation. I’ve read most all of his books and remember the excellent film he did called “Fierce Grace”. His first book “Be Here Now” played a critical role in my early 20’s, as I’m sure it did in many lives. Also of immense benefit to many was his creation of the Prison Ashram Project, providing books to prisoners and starting yoga programs in prisons. Bo Lozoff and his wife ran that and perhaps still do.

    An interesting tidbit I’ve read is the story of how he and Leary left Harvard. Our own Andrew Weil was an undergraduate there when the psilocybin projects were going on and it was Andy Weil who complained to the administration that Alpert had given psilocybin to one of the other undergraduates. Maybe Weil felt slighted that he didn’t get any . . . it would be good to hear his side of the story. It was his complaint to the department head that was the basis for terminating Alpert’s position at Harvard. I’m sure the university was desperately looking for any excuse by that point in time. Leary never did get “fired”, he resigned of his own volition since his partner Alpert had been fired and since he had no intention at that point in continuing an academic career. I don’t recall where I’ve read or heard this story – I think it is recounted by some elder somewhere here in the Salon. It bears repeating since all most people have in their heads is that “Leary got fired from Harvard for his involvement with psychedelics.”

    For those for whom the Sixties were a defining era, Ram Dass’s death sure echoes Terence’s reminder of the universal (psychedelic and otherwise) Truth, “panta rhea” or “Everything flows”. It’s sure easier to think of the ones who are gone than to try and count the ones who are left – Ferlinghetti and Snyder are still around. Stewart Brand. Wavy Gravy. Keith Richards (amazing eh?), and I’m sure many more, including Andy Weil of course. Who else? A morbid game to play I suppose, as our own departures grow nearer but Ram Dass’ death especially prompts such thoughts as it seemed if any of us are immortal, it might have been him. As others have commented though, for Ram Dass leaving his body meant simply a change of clothes.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: In a somewhat recent documentary, Andrew Weil tells the full story of what happened. I don’t remember the title of that film, but the story is even more involved than what was once the public story.]

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