Question: I am the father of a three year old. It appears that, given the current trends, the planet will become uninhabitable before he can live out a normal life span. There will be a lot of suffering if human life on the planet comes to an end. I understand that it is all supposed to be perfect, but how do you view this situation from a cosmic perspective and what should we be doing at this time?
Ram Dass: I think that more than ever we are beginning to awaken to the fact that we are part of an eco-system and that we are entities in that with some responsibility for the nest we live in and the maintenance of the nest. In the same way that we clean up our house, we also have to clean up our environment. That consciousness seems to be slow in happening because the motivation to keep it from happening — because there are economic costs in that awakening — not in the long run, but in the short run – causes an economic realignment of power.
The Inertia of Power
And the people that have the power have a lot of inertia. I mean the stockholders of a company like General Electric are not ready to do dramatic shifts unless they are forced to do it because it changes the amount of dividends that come. And all of us aren’t quite willing to change our lives that much in the little ways. I mean we don’t have to make those big guys the bad guys, because we’re all part of that web too. But there is an increasing consciousness now about rain forests, about air, about water, and so on. It is hard to access what the outcome will be. You can’t extrapolate from what is now to what will be, because the unknown factor is the creative awareness and what happens when that is mobilized.
I point out how creative awareness at a certain moment created the bomb. Mixed blessing. But it created the bomb. We can also see how creative awareness at a certain moment informed the way we live day to day. For instance when most of us were growing up we got vaccinated, because prior to that there were these incredible small pox epidemics that ravaged the Earth. And we still saw it in third-world countries. And we saw in our life time the eradication of the last case of small pox in the world by vaccination, and that there is now no more small pox in the world. When people ask me “is Armageddon coming?” or “is it going to be the Aquarian Age?”. In other words “is this the end of the Kali Yuga?” or “are we just entering the Sat Yuga?”.
Being Fully Present is the Best Preparation
I say that no one is privy to that knowledge. But when I stand back and think about it, I realize that if we are all going to die, then all my training in how to die leads me to understand that what I must do now is to quiet my mind so I can hear most clearly, open my heart deeply so that quality of compassion and feeling is at its optimum. And be fully in this present moment. That’s the best preparation I can do for the moment of death. And I would train my child to do the same thing.
If it’s going to be the Aquarian Age, and I am going to help the new age come into existence, the best way I can help the new age come into existence is to quiet my mind so I can hear more clearly how to help- and I can open my heart to express my compassion as deeply as I can, and be fully in the present moment so I can hear it all clearly.