Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 245 – Taking Off Our Spacesuit

In this essential talk from 1987, Ram Dass uses his life experience to guide us through the process of taking off our spacesuit of identity and embracing the curriculum our lives offer us.

“As I took off the suit I felt at home, I felt present. It felt extremely familiar to me, even though as an adult in society I didn’t remember having been in this space before. I was always constantly checking everybody to see if I was enough ‘somebody’ so that I would be allowed to exist.” – Ram Dass

This episode of Here and Now is from a classic talk given in April 1987.

  • Using his journey as a guide for this talk, Ram Dass explores the spacesuits of ego and identity we wear in our lives. He tells us how ill-fitting this spacesuit felt for him, and the feeling of freedom he found when he was first able to take it off.
  • Ram Dass describes how he began to chase the high of not wearing the spacesuit through the use of mind-altering chemicals and spiritual practices. Eventually, though, those things became a different kind of suit he was wearing. Through the advice of a wise friend, he realized he needed to take the curriculum that everyday life has to offer and not just live with his head in the clouds.
  • Once the object of the game shifted from getting high to getting free, Ram Dass chose to stop pushing away all of the things that brought him down. Instead, he embraced the many forms of suffering in the world, working with prisoners, AIDS patients, and people going through the process of dying. To get free, we need to embrace it all, the good and the bad.

“But when you have seen the perfection of form, including the suffering, then that balances the feeling of the human heart and you see that that perfection includes your human heart’s pain. And then you start to expand to embrace the paradox, and it is a paradox for the mind. The paradox that it’s all perfect, and yet, there is so much suffering and it stinks. And it hurts.” – Ram Dass

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