In this rare talk, Ram Dass reports on the geography of the journey of awakening.
Ram Dass gives this talk not long after returning from India where he began to learn the geography of the journey. He describes the cycles of the journey and the tools used along the way to access higher states of being.
Geography of the Journey (Opening) – During his time in India, Ram Dass was, in a way, mapping the geography of a very old journey from a fresh perspective. This journey of awakening can be treacherous and difficult to navigate, which is why the wisdom of experienced travelers is so important. Ram Dass talks about what it means to fill that role as a guide on the journey.
Refuge (17:00) – Ram Dass talks about the cyclic nature of the journey. He describes the process of building an ashram designed to push someone through these cycles and into the three refuges; refuge in enlightenment, karma, and sangha.
The act of consecrating life actions is discussed. This consecration is bringing the cosmic plan into consciousness.
“Once you see that the highest mother is the mother who is most conscious mother; the highest student; the highest therapist; the highest lover; the highest anything; you begin to see that the way you serve another human being is freeing them from the particular attachments they are stuck in that turn them off to life.”
State of Being (28:50) – The journey of awakening is the constant evolution of one’s state of being. We work to let go of our attachments with this goal. Our degree and quality of consciousness determine how we interact with the world and our ability to serve others. Part of this is bringing down all divisions of us and them; it is all us.
“The only thing you have to offer to another human being is your own state of being.”
Mantra (32:10) – Prompted by an audience member’s question, Ram Dass explains the purpose of mantra. He breaks down the Om-Mani-Padme-Hum as an example of how mantra works. The repetition of mantra replaces the regular chatter of the mind that causes so much distraction. He explains how mantras, like mandalas, are tools that allow us access to new states of consciousness.
Entering the Room (49:00) – An audience member asks about the relationship between LSD and the Divine. Ram Dass explains the role of psychedelics in allowing man to experience new states of consciousness, which can get us into the room with the divine.
“LSD is like a Christ coming to America in the Kali Yuga. America is a most materialist country and the young people wanted their avatar in the form of material, and so they got LSD.”