In this dharma talk from 1983, Ram Dass looks at the context of reality from the perspectives of both the social and political domain, and the domain of spiritual awakening.
The Context of Reality
Ram Dass talks about the context of reality in terms of our social and political structures. He explores how that domain is filled with malaise, uneasiness, and fear. Ram Dass wonders what the relationship is between worldly power and spiritual power, like how love relates to nuclear warheads.
“You can feel a certain fear, quite a bit of fear, and that fear leads people to take certain actions. It leads them in part to become more hedonistic… It leads people to get very rigid in trying to hold on to their little piece of the rock, in the sense of getting much more caught in the polarities, say, of good and evil.” – Ram Dass
A New Age Scenario (10:20)
Ram Dass flips the point of view and looks at the context of reality from New Age perspective; all of this is simply birth pains from the awakening of the spirit. He talks about how television and other technological advancements have changed the nature of time and space. He explores the world power domain most American Presidents play in, and shares some of his experiences working with various prison projects.
“I’d receive letters from these beings, and it felt like I was receiving letters from a monk in a monastery. And yet, they’re imprisoned.” – Ram Dass
Social Institutions and Human Hearts (23:50)
Ram Dass talks more about working with prison projects and various foundations. For him, the only social institution to focus on is the individual human heart, because it’s the only institution with a direct link to living truth. Ram Dass ends by talking about how all these different contexts for reality are just creations of the mind; if we get attached to them, it creates suffering.
“When I look at social change, I see that social change is mediated through the individual human heart. When there are enough hearts that resonate together, they become a force which changes the nature of the game.” – Ram Dass