In this dharma talk from 1993, Ram Dass looks at how each of us can get stuck in our transition between the fear-driven social institutions that we were born into and the love-driven paths of the heart that we are re-discovering for ourselves.
Ram Dass shares a revealing piece of wisdom that looks at how we find ourselves stuck in-between the stories of the past, served to us through culture, religion and politics, and what we are discovering to be true about the nature of things. He examines how religious institutions have established the myth that the only path to God is through their doors.
“You and I recognize the power of the human heart as a social institution.” – Ram Dass
Freedom From Fear (20:05)
Looking back at his time at Harvard, Ram Dass speaks to how the institution of science is slowly replacing religion in our society but instead leaves us disconnected from ourselves, each other and God. Ram Dass shares an honest reflection about the failures of the 1960’s social movement which sought to overturn the empty stories of the establishment. How do the tendrils of fear keep bringing us back into suffering, even when we are acting from a place of best intention?
“It is clear to us now, in terms of myths, we used to think that what we thought was the best way to play the game. That the thinking mind and then science, which is its child, and then technology, which is its child, would take and reorganize everything in such a way that we would be happy, free of suffering, joyful and peaceful – are you?” – Ram Dass
Standing Between Hope and Hopelessness (27:30)
Ram Dass speaks to the possibility of shifting to a love-driven social institution that is possible when approached with a still mind and open heart cultivated from spiritual practice.
“I am talking now to you about what myths you and I have to live with in order to be effective players in the game. What can we get from our inner work all these years now as we hear once again, what we hear in the 1960s, a kind of liquid possibility that the kind of dream that we have deep in our being that there can be social structures which are compassionate? There can be social structures which are just where there is real equity. Dreams that we can hear each other and celebrate ethnic diversity, instead of being threatened by it. Dreams that we can walk on earth and just hear each other.” – Ram Dass