This week, I’m going to visit a prison and a mental hospital, and I’m going to hang out, and I’m going to project just being, “Okay, here we are. Now what?” “Here we are, now what? So you’re in prison, now what? You gonna spend all your time in prison thinking ‘I’m in prison?’” Or, “You’re in a mental hospital, are you going to just think ‘I’m crazy, I’m crazy, but I’m gonna be cured soon?” There’s the team that is thinking this, and then there is the other team that says, “I’ll cure you. I’m sane, and I’ll cure you.” The two teams are gonna sit down, all together and say, “Here we are, now what?” So then it becomes, ‘He who cures’ and ‘He who is cured.’

In the Bhagavad Gita it says, “If he who slays, or he who is slain, thinks there is a slayer or one slain, he knows not me.” If a doctor thinks there is a patient or a patient thinks there is a patient, or a doctor thinks there is a doctor, or a patient thinks there is a doctor, he knows not me. If a student thinks there is a student, if a teacher thinks there is a teacher, he knows not me. If a holy man thinks there’s a holy man, if an audience thinks there’s an audience, he knows not me. Because here we are and we are all so obviously behind all of that – all of the manifestations.

There is no drama any manifestation can present that denies the truth of the fact that behind the drama, here we are; no matter how poignant, captivating, dramatic, bittersweet it may be. Our work is to not get snared in anybody else’s or our own drama; be it police, or the person who’s suffering.

Can you accept total suffering, take on the karma of another human being, and yet not be attached to the melodrama of suffering?

If a person is suffering, the only thing you can do for them is to find the place in them which is behind the suffering. It’s all you can do. It’s all that’s available.

Many of us know this, but we forget it. There was a beautiful poem given to me last year that said, “I know that I know, and that I don’t know, but I forgot. I see that I am blind, and I see the blinding light in everything, but forget. I see what I know. I think I know what I see, but sometimes I forget…” And the way it should be at the end of every forget, is an ‘I remember.

We all forget again and again and again, and then we remember, and the game is to get it, so that every time you forget it wakes you up. See, that’s the way it works.


– Ram Dass, 1970



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