One day in India on my second stay, Maharaji said to me, “You don’t have to change anybody; you just have to love them”. In relationships, when the other person doesn’t fit into your model of how heaven would be, you don’t have to play God. You just have to love individual differences and appreciate them the way they are. Because love is the most powerful medicine.
The key is that you aren’t even doing it manipulatively: “I love you, now change.” You’re looking at another being, just the way they are, and saying, “Let me appreciate God’s perfection.” You lost the key? Great. You forgot to pick up the laundry? Right. If each of us is separate, and yet each of us is part of the whole, but we got lost a little bit into dualism and we’re finding our way back out, every time we’re in the presence of unconditional love, we remember. And when we remember, we open. And when we open, the light pours through us.
If you became a person who could love unconditionally, everyone you love would flower before your very eyes. Every way you look would be light. That’s one of the fringe benefits of this method. It’s breathtaking. At every level.
Photo by Cherrie LaPorte
9 thoughts on “Love is the Most Powerful Medicine”
Of Ram Dass I have not heard or read since the 1970s. I was a hippie wannabe who stumbled upon Be Here Now on someone’s bookshelf. Impressionable, naive and lusting for consciousness elevating knowledge, I sensed there was far more import on the pages than I was able to assimilate at that stage. Ultimately, through assorted readings and practice, I attained a level of awareness featuring an unprecedented ability to attract the relationships and experiences I wanted without having to chase them. So powerful was this state that it felt sabotage proof. I vowed never to speak of it in the past tense.
Since those halcyon days of 3 decades past, most time is spent on the treadmill of hope and despair and now, at 58 I am at a spiritual/psychological crossroads: intending to resume meditating and clearing the thought clutter in my mind in order to make a major life decision, my wife, (much to my surprise as she is inordinately supportive) suggests that rather than engage in still another flight of fancy, I should address what really ails me through anti-depressant drugs. My intent was to heal myself by getting clear and strong in order to act with confidence and conviction. Her attitude, expressed with the purest motives I should mention, has sent me careening down an emotional rabbit hole, deep, dark and doubt-ridden. The series of your videos which had only yesterday afforded so much hope and optimism, to her, represent yet another diversion, enabling me to avoid addressing the bio-chemical issue she considers my root problem. In my mind, since I have climbed the mountain before, why would I not attempt another ascent? I’ve long preferred organic healing to symptom-centered Western drug culture, although there are certainly some periods that are more focused than others. Ironically, or perhaps tellingly, my current confusion and indecision are symptomatic of the very depression she cites.
While by now, you must be tired of kudos and platitudes, I find your courage and insights exemplary and applaud your ability to convey the sometimes ineffable in an accessible Western vernacular. I wish you well in your physical and mental challenges and can only aspire to emulating your humility and openness.
With sincere conviction,
Hi Andrew. I have compassion for you. Depression is very difficult for a spouse. I know, because I have had bouts with depression and my spouse hoped that medication would help. I did not do it, partly because my friends who did try meds had so much trouble coming off of them. I am on the far side of a deep depression that took me into a crises of faith (the unimaginable for me)! But, now on the other side, I am starting to feel love and God again and I feel God wanted me to experience the space of not having a name, or idea or feeling OF god, a time of no assurance of the divine. It really pared back my restless little mind; I had to slaughter its continual negative chatter. I also had to face the feeling of being abandoned by God. I just had to sit with all that and let the light trickle in between all my own density (God bless my courage). You did not specifically say you have depression, but refer to a treadmill of hope and despair, so I don’t know if you are having that kind of “frozen” depression. You refer to Hope and despair, which had been a
treadmill for me, and there is much to be gained by sitting through the polarities and everything between. You also speak of a spiritual/psych. crossroads. Well, if that is your deeper truth, there it is! You are at a spiritual/psych. crossroads, congratulations! It doesn’t sound like the indication is anti-depressants. A crossroads has so much movement. Anyhow, I believe medication is God too. My Mom went from psychotic to totally lucid on meds, but now I’m helping her titrate off the high dose. I do wish the psychiatric community had more of an interest in titrating the doses. Meds are very powerful, but dosage standards IMO come from Big Pharma in relationship with AMA, not such a holy alliance. The psych. community has there own brand of crazy for sure. Bla bla, there is much to say, but the truth is within you and not within me or your spouse. I would call of God, the Divine Mother, or…
Whether you pursue meds or not,(depending on how debilitating it is) I think you should get Ram Dass’ lectures The Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita and Krishna Das’ Pilgrim of the Heart. I have found them both useful and listen them often. It takes along time to accept ourselves and our life. Best wishes.
This is the perfect place to ask a relevant-to-this question: What was your statement to the effect each of us viewing (relegating to boxes and slots) other people as makable, unmakable/competition, or irrelevant?
I have been perceiving this in people (and resisting it by being aware of it in myself) a lot. Yet I’ve been unable to find it so far, though I will be re-reading (or reading, for the ones new to me) your books.
By the way, I started reading your books *because* someone told me you said people consider everyone makable, unmakable or competition, or irrelevant.
Hi Andrew! This is a very interesting post, i wish you a steady healing. Cutedervish.
“To love another person is to see the face of God” – Les Miserable
Andrew, stick with Ram Dass’s teachings. anti-depressants will never address what really ails you. exploring the nature of your being will. trust yourself.
There have been some remarkable testimonies from people being lifted from depression using natural essential oils. oil-testimonials.com is a site where other oilers post their results using the gifts God gave us to heal. Wishing you much luck in your quest to find happiness and joy.