How can we consciously stand up to social injustice?

The wisdom of the game is that you can protest against who you are protesting the minute you can genuinely love them as much as you love yourself.

You may not love their acts, but you better love who’s behind it, and you better see it as another manifestation, because otherwise you’re getting caught up in with ‘them’ in the ‘them-ness.’ As a result, you are getting stuck and then you’ll end up feeling unfulfilled because you’re feeling separate, you’re separating yourself.

The whole act is meant to build upon a feeling of unity that comes from breaking through the separateness.

All of it takes you from the plane at which you are busy being caught, totally identified with individual differences and subject-object. You are hooked, addicted to the rational mind, to knowing you know through your senses, and through your thinking mind, and then suddenly something takes you into the universal place where it all is. The Gestalt Phenomena; it’s all there, and you begin to understand because you’re a part of it.

Look at social action, look at what social responsibility is all about; trying to change and make things beautiful. Before you can change and make things beautiful, you’ve got to know what is beautiful, and in order to know what is beautiful, you’ve got to be beautiful. You gotta dig your own divinity, and you gotta transcend dualism.

That doesn’t mean you don’t do your own thing. Like, if your thing is protesting, look at Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. They said, “We need each other.” In a way, we need each other because opposite poles are a statement of one another. Wisdom is when you can see that you are both poles and you understand how it all is. Out of that understanding you may act, but at that point you act without passion, and that’s the secret of the game. As it says in the Gita, “He that slays or he that is slain, if he thinks there is a slayer or a slain, knows not me.” He doesn’t get how it really is.

People say, “Well, what do you do? Are you ducking social responsibility? Are you just going off into a mountain cave to meditate and say screw the rest of your fellow man?”

I say, “No” because preoccupation with social injustice perpetuates social injustice. All I can do is become beauty, become love, become truth, become light, because that’s the way it happens. I will just be it, and then that starts the process going. Otherwise, I have nothing to offer anybody.


-Ram Dass

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.


Ram Dass Online Shop

Buy books, media, digital downloads, apparel, devotional, art & other great items!

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for the Love Serve Remember mailing to receive news, exclusive offers & more.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Donate to LSRF

Help ensure that the teachings of Ram Dass will be available to generations to come.

A Network of Mindfulness & Spirituality Podcasts
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap