In the conclusion of this Ram Dass Q&A from 1992, he answers questions and offers wisdom about how life is our practice, how to deal with the anxiety of being in the void, and much more.
Life is Our Practice
Ram Dass begins with questions about drinking, drugs, and being undisciplined. He shares stories of being with Alan Watts and Trungpa Rinpoche, reflecting on their use of alcohol. Ram Dass explores how, ultimately, life is our practice, and whether or not marijuana can be used spiritually.
“I mean, you really gotta flip it out one level to see the beauty of the whole thing. I mean, if you listen to my tapes every day in traffic, you will become as neurotic as I am. That’s all I can guarantee.” – Ram Dass
Relatively Real (20:30)
Next up, Ram Dass answers questions about the concept of the Witness, the idea of relative reality, giving up our clingings, healing from trauma, and dealing with the suffering of animals. He talks about how the Witness can lead us to a path of nondualism, how all astral planes are relatively real, and how we can deal with our fears by turning towards them rather than running away from them.
“And that’s what’s called relatively real, it both is and isn’t real. So that the answer is all astral planes, all heavens, hells, all of that stuff, is still all relativity, it’s all relatively real… It’s like truth has no form, the minute you put it into words, it becomes a lie because there are conditions under which it isn’t.” – Ram Dass
The Anxiety of Being in the Void (46:44)
Ram Dass ends with questions on dealing with addiction, sifting through our leftover neuroses from childhood, dealing with the anxiety of being in the void and ceasing to exist as a separate entity, appreciating our sadness, working with our attachment to the Earth amidst the climate crisis, and becoming part of the compassionate force in the universe.
“Finally, like the snake shedding its skin, the fear just isn’t enough to cut you off. And then you come in, and as you come into the totality, you are still a separate entity, and that separate entity, in itself, still has fear. And that’s what’s far out.” – Ram Dass