Ram Dass – Here and Now – Episode 16 – Little Shmoos

Ram Dass talks about the somebody training we all go through in life, and how he turned his big, frightening neuroses into friendly, little Shmoos.

The Burning Ghats

Raghu Markus introduces the talk from Ram Dass. He tells the story of how his father went to India to meet his guru, Maharajji, and was promptly sent to the burning ghats of Benares for an acid trip. Raghu talks a bit about his own little Shmoos.

“We were on a houseboat, rats all over, brushing your teeth in water with poop coming by, and dead bodies that weren’t completely burnt. I mean, it was a trip. Benares is a trip.” – Raghu Markus

Somebody Training (12:18)

We all think we’re somebody, but the trick is becoming nobody. Ram Dass guides us through the process of somebody training we all go through in life that leads to feeling alienated and separate. He talks about how truly unhappy he was, even though most people thought he was leading a happy life.

“Now I, like most of you, when I was born, went into what could be called ‘Somebody Training.’ That is, my parents were somebody, and they set out to make me somebody as well. It’s called the development of ego structure.” – Ram Dass

Little Shmoos (20:12)

Ram Dass talks about the moment he was able to take off his ‘somebody suit’ for the first time, and the series of awakenings that followed. He explores how his spiritual work helped him come to terms with the process of aging, and how it turned his big, frightening neuroses into friendly, little Shmoos that he could work with. 

“What has changed is that before, [my neuroses] were these huge, big things that were very frightening, and they took me over… And now they’re sort of like little Shmoos. They’re little, friendly beings, and I invite them in for tea.” – Ram Dass

Robert Thurman, Duncan Trussell, and Krishna Das discuss curbing our neuroses in Mindrolling Ep. 260

Little Shmoos

Images via Mourad Saadi and Pxhere

9 thoughts on “Ram Dass – Here and Now – Episode 16 – Little Shmoos”

  1. Please ask Raghu if he has forwarded my letter to Ram Dass yet, about my memories of R.D. at the Hanuman temple where I lived for ten years. I sent it to Raghu (again) about a month ago, but did not hear back (again). Thanks & Namaste Willow

  2. Sombodyness GREAT GREAT , Dropping those sombodinesses gives access to the True self!!
    My Love to Ram Das, and You too Raghu!

  3. This answers so many of my questions about why people take psychodelics. It is not really a new thing as many ‘sadhus’ and in India do take them for enhanced spiritual experiences but the way Raghu and Ramdass explain their use and their effect is so completely without any taboos we are taught to associate with these substances. This is what I love about the Western culture, the spirit of exploration and the ability to drop the inhibitions so they can experiences things with open mind. For people brought up in traditional cultures in the East the fear of upsetting the family and community is so great that people just walk the straight and narrow. That probably means we believe what we are told ( in this case about psychodelics) and miss out on experiences that could broaden our horizons. But of course it come with the risks. I wish it was less politicised and more un biased factual information was available about the psychodelics.

    Really loved listening to this discourse. Thank you!

  4. This week, like a few others spend too much time on the intro. I’d like to hear more Ram Dass. I felt this one cut off way to soon just when Ram Dass was getting to the good stuff.

    Just some feedback for the production team.


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