Raghu Markus: Hi and welcome to Ram Dass Here and Now, and I’m Raghu Markus. It’s the start of a new year, 2013. We made it!
And this is the first podcast of the year.
So, it’s interesting, because I went to a New Year’s party the other night. New Years eve party. I never go to New Year’s Eve parties! It was a pretty small affair and very friendly and I was not expecting to participate in the way that … the host prepared a little offering kind of a deal. They had a fire place out side. It was freezing cold, by the way, here, I’m in North Carolina, in the mountains. But it was about what one could give up for the New Year, kind of like a resolution and so on. What aspirations one might have for the New Year. Now I get a little bit shaky around new age-y kind of stuff – which is part of what I’m going to talk about now, because it’s about judgement. And interestingly enough I came upon a talk Ram Dass gave, and full circle into that particular thing that I, personally would love to give up.
Of course, nothing can be given up until you’re absolutely done with it, which is why we’re here. Which leads me to Ram Dass talking about in this particular talk, talking about history, our story, his story, her story, history, herstory. It’s basically the story line of our predicament. And our lives are the unfolding of that story line. And we use life’s experiences as a way to disprove a basic negative experience of oneself. Interesting thought.
But what we come to of course is an appreciation. Appreciating our unfolding in a way that is devoid of judgement. It’s an appreciation of what is. Boy, words I need to hear.
One great example is when you’re in the woods, you don’t judge one tree from another. One’s fat, one’s slim, one’s beautiful branches … but as soon as one’s in contact with humans, immediately we go into judging mode. And basically we all do that out of our own insecurity. So his little message here is to appreciate your humanity and there’s a lot of talk around – he gives great examples: ‘I’m Ram Dass therefore everyone thinks I’m going to be calm and loving and full of equanimity. Meanwhile some of the time I feel like screaming at people’ and just the juxtaposition of all of that is a humorous part.
But this judgment stuff is really key for most of us, if not all of us.
We come into contact with each other and immediately set up a whole story line that emanates from our story line. Whatever the things are that have affected us in our life – from our parents to our environment, to our school, to our friends, everything, to our karmic predilections regarding our health and so on. All of it feeds that place which sends us into a duality, the duality of judging, of looking at somebody, and before you even say a word you’re assuming all sorts of things which are just projections. So it’s a wonderful talk around that and it was on New Years Eve, that was one thing when this came up as a sort of New Years Eve party favour kind of deal, but very sincere, it was very sincere and I love sacrificial fires. And I threw my judgements into that fire and, um, holding on for dear life, we’ll see what happens!
So as this goes along, I love what Ram Dass is talking about here. When we talk about an appreciation of who we are – an appreciation of the unfolding of our story. And there’s a risk in being human but he was such a champion of being human, and offering us way back then when I first met him, the opportunity to look at ourselves with a sense of humour because he took a big risk being human and talking about his foibles and so on. But ultimately, and this is a real beauty, what we offer each other is our truth and our truth includes all of our stuff. It’s the allowing to be a human being. The way to God or to truth is through acknowledging of the fullness where we find ourselves to be. Which is both our humanity and our divinity. And don’t we just day to day, we just run into that, the polarisation of being human and yet aspiring to be free of attachments and everything else that’s holding us down, that’s creating this sense of separation which creates this immediate judgment of those around us.
The issue here is – we cant be living completely … you know, we aspire to be better human beings, right. But we cant live beyond who we are now, so the balance between accepting ourselves and aspiring to know ourselves more fully in a soul way, having that awareness… there’s a balance. A balance of not being too far ahead of ourselves. I know I’ve gone through that my whole life, of assuming, of wanting to be a little further along than I was and therefore not accepting. That’s an interesting dilemma and a good dilemma for us to work with – so a lot of good thoughts here, in this particular talk around that subject.
What else is here, I made some notes….
This is all great for me to be able to go through this material again, I’ve said this before, you think I’ve heard it all before since I’ve known Ram Dass a long, long time and have listened to a lot of different lectures either there live or whatever.
He talks a little bit about the idea of emptiness and the idea of love. Basically the Buddhist concept of emptiness and the Hindu concept of bhakti – the devotional love of God. And I love this particular thing because he talks about a Zen master he met and he’d just sit with this guy and they’d connect with each other in that space which ultimately goes beyond the ideas we have about what emptiness is – it’s a negative, and what love is to a Buddhist that’s kind of frivolous. So they’ve got through that and he talks about the joy of being together in a tremendous appreciation of real emptiness. And that emptiness was synonymous with what love really is and they got in to the place – dispensing with the nomenclature as we should say.
Lastly this particular thing that caught me – there’s many paths up the mountain and they all look pretty different, as we’ve just described, but at the top they are not different they become one and here’s a little poem about that:
‘Emptiness and presence
truth, beauty and heart
in that fullness and richness
It’s all one’.
That’s what Maharaji used to say to us almost every day. Sabek, in Hindi means, its all one.
Anyhow the talk ends on something terrific. Some of you may know about Ram Dass’ experience with Emmanuel, a disembodied being who came through this Pat Rodergast, a friend of Ram Dass’ who recently passed, and as Ram Dass said, ‘I don’t care who gives me any kind of teachings or any kind of offering. All I know is what affects me and helps me to move forward. I don’t care if they have a body or if they don’t.’ Anyhow, he reads some of this stuff. I actually never heard any of this, but it starts out with: ‘What does the voice of fear whisper to you’ Wow, ominous. But listen to the whole thing – very revealing. So those are the first words from Emmanuel and these are the last words he reads: ‘Fear is the frightened child. Love is the flame of holy remembering’ Isn’t that great? Love that.
So onward and forward. Happy New Year to everybody.
Thanks for your support in 2012 not only for this podcast but for ramdass.org and the LoveServeRemember foundation and please do continue. We can only do what we’re doing – all of these things, podcasts and videos, books, CDs. I mean we have all sorts of good things planned this year. Hope you were able to see Cultivating Loving Awareness with Ram Dass. Krishna Das, Sharon Salzberg, and Mirabai Bush and we filmed the last retreat we just did, Open your Heart retreat, a few weeks ago and all of this requires our support and we hope you continue to donate to the foundation, thank you again, and here we are: Ram Dass Here and Now:
I could see the whole incarnation – if I’m quiet enough I can see his story line. I mean history is His Story. Or Her story. And herstory is just the story line of our predicament and its finding a place inside yourself from which you see the unfolding of law: that dad did this, mother did this, economics did this, education did this, opportunity did this, drugs did this, Maharaji did this, all of this cause and effect, previous incarnations, all of it is just an unfolding of a story line, a drama, the Ram Dass story. There he is. How will it come out? How did it come out? And you’re just sort of watching this story unfold. It has nothing to do with me. Because I’m not that. That’s just a set of phenomena happening and when you look at yourself as a set of phenomena, what is to judge? I mean it’s … is that flower less than that? It’s just different than that, and you begin to appreciate your uniqueness without it being better or worse, it’s just different. And cultivating an appreciation of uniqueness rather than preference is a very good one. And it’s just when you get inside identification with your personality that you get into the judging mode because then you are part of that lawful unfolding. You’re not stepping outside of it at all – the witness or the spacious awareness is outside of it, it’s another contextual framework.
As you’re more quiet inside so that you notice and you can see your own thoughts a little more clearly, you will see your father’s voice and your mother’s voice and all your education, principal’s voices, inside your head constantly saying things to you and you will see, what Freud calls the super ego, and you will see that that judge is inside and you keep giving it power by identifying with it. And you feel yourself at war with yourself, that there’s a part of you that’s doing it and a part of you that’s judging what you’re doing. And as you’re quieter you see the dynamics between the super ego, the Id, the ego and you see it all as just phenomena cos they are phenomena. I mean as a psychologist I can study those phenomena in another person, why not study it in myself? And part of what drugs did for me and then meditation did for me and all the spiritual things, is it helps me stand back and get outside of it to see it for what it is. As just stuff, stuff, phenomena. Phenomena.
Questioner: Ram Dass how can we love ourselves more? Please?
Ram Dass: Instead of the term how can we love ourselves more, I’d like to ask how can we accept ourselves more. That in the way most of us have been socialised, the way in which a child gets, learns, the initial learning, is that the parent is under pressure to socialise the child. To make the child socially functional and in doing that, they emotionally, whether they intend to or not, reward and punish the child for behaviours and the result is that when… that starts very early, before there is a lot of reasoning process between the parent and the child, the child develops certain emotional feelings that certain ways it is in its natural state, are not acceptable and the result is some feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy or something in most human beings as a result of socialisation. Very few people ever come through socialisation unscathed in some way or other. I mean that’s not an unfair statement, I don’t think. So, in a way, you can see ego or personality is built upon.. and that’s where Freud understood it. He saw that the repression of id or impulse life because of the way the society has to deal with a child’s impulses to get it to be socialised usually is left with a feeling that somehow I’m bad, I have these things that are not acceptable.
And so then you build a social structure and what you end up with is a personality that says, that’s constantly looking to the world and other people: ‘Do you approve of me?’, ‘Do you like me?’, ‘Am I acceptable to you?’, and ‘Have I achieved enough?’ And you get an A for effort and you feel good. And if you don’t get the A – it’s not like you feel nothing, you feel bad. And it’s as if the base line is negative not zero.
Do you hear the issue, that I’m talking about?
So you’re constantly using your life experiences to disprove a basic negative feeling about yourself. That’s a very, very common thing is social structure, in human development, in ego development.
So most, many, psychological systems, like Freud’s system for example, works primarily with negative going to zero. That’s the domain that you work with. Right behind that is where the spiritual dimension begins. And that’s a part that looks at the universe and just sees it as it is. See when you’ve got a negative thing, when you try to undo it, you can undo it by emphasising the positive, like if you don’t like yourself you could emphasis I love myself, which is ‘How do we love ourselves more’, is the question. Or we can say, let’s go behind love and hate and find a place where we merely acknowledge ourselves, where we just allow our humanity. And we hear there that is negativity in us and there is inadequacy and we allow ourselves and the word that I have come up with, that I am finding most comfortable to work with, is the word appreciation. That we come to just appreciate what is.
It’s interesting, the way I’ve looked at it is, you go out in to the woods, in to the forest and you look at trees and you appreciate trees. You don’t say that tree is good and that tree is bad because one tree is fat and one is thin and one is tall and one is short and that one is bent and one is straight, unless you’re in the lumber business (laughter) For the most part, you just look at the trees and you appreciate them the way they are. They are what they are. And you can appreciate them. But the moment you get near humans – it’s interesting that you immediately go into a judging mode. You come in to ‘better’ and ‘worse’. And you do that out of your own insecurity. You do that out of your own need constantly to be reassuring yourself. So you’re saying, that person is – got more hair than I do, or that person is…, see that’s the one I pick, I wonder why (laughter) or you go into… you find dimensions constantly judging, and equating, am I as good as, am I equal to, am I as good a mother, am I as beautiful a woman, am I as effective at this, a worker, whatever it is, whatever dimension, and you get caught, constantly living in a judging realm.
And if you start to practice seeing people as trees. In the sense of just appreciating what they are, including yourself. You’re just starting to appreciate yourself. Appreciate your humanity. Like when I get – like I’m supposed to be, I’m Ram Dass and I’ve worked on myself, and I’m supposed to be equanamous, loving, present, clear, compassionate, accepting – often times I get tired, I’m angry, I’m petulant, I’m closed down. Now for a long time I’d get into those states and I would feel really embarrassed because that isn’t who Ram Dass is supposed to be. So I would appear like I was warm, charming, equanamous, compassionate and there was deviousness and deception involved. And then I realized that that is – that’s bad business because that cuts us off from each other. And I had to risk my truth. I had to risk being human with other people. And realize that what we offer each other is our truth. And our truth includes all of our stuff. And the first thing I had to do was accept my own truth. I had to allow myself to be a human being. And I think I was helped by my spook friend Emmanuel, who, my disembodied friend who when I said to him, ‘Emmanuel what am I doing on earth?’ he said ‘You’re on earth, why don’t you try taking the curriculum? Why don’t you try being human?’ (laughter) I had always assumed the way to God was to deny your humanity and embrace your divinity. And then I realized that the way to truth might be through acknowledging the fullness of where I found myself to be which was my humanity and my divinity. And not wallow in it but acknowledge it and allow it. Not reverence it or judge it, just appreciate it, allow it. Allow my humanity. So I have gotten to the point now where I am what I am much more now. And some people like and some people don’t like it and if they like it that’s their problem and if they don’t like it that’s their problem. I don’t take it all on myself. As much. (Laughter)
Well it’s a slow process. It’s a slow process.
Now, what I found was, that as I started to allow myself to be human more, just allowed what I am – things changed must faster in me. Things fell away more quickly. It was as if I was locked into a model which was based on that negativity, that dislike of myself. And once I just allowed that I am human with all the foibles, things started to flow and I could feel change occurring in myself. And then I would start to experience my own beauty. And it frightened me, because it was so dissonant and discrepant from the model that I had cultivated of myself over the years – that I had to do good in order to be beautiful. And the idea that I just am… that what is – when you look at a tree or a rock or a river, it is in its own way beautiful. You look at decay it is beautiful. I know Laura Huxley who is a very dear friend – in her kitchen, she has these jars over the sink and she takes old beet greens and orange peels and things and sticks them in water in these long pharmaceutical jars and then they slowly mould and decay and there are these beautiful decay formations and mould…. And it’s really garbage, it’s garbage as art. And we look at it and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s absolute beauty in that. And I’ve begun to expand my awareness to be able to look at the universe as it is and see what is called the horrible beauty of it. The horrible beauty of it. I mean there’s horror and beauty in all of it. Cos there’s decay in all of it. I mean we’re all decaying. I look at my hand and its decaying and it’s beautiful and horrible at the same moment, and I just live with that. And with that I start to see the beauty in it.
So we’re talking about appreciating what is. Not loving yourself as opposed to not liking yourself but allowing yourself. And as you allow … it changes. That gets behind the polarities, I think that’s what’s important. OK? Question. There’s been such good questions this group, that we’ve all come up with here.
Questioner: I’ve been aware in myself that every time I’ve been able to let go of some fear, its been in the presence of love. And I don’t know whether that is me reorganising my ego structure and whether I have to give up my attachment to feeling safe enough to let go of my fear – is that just a readjustment? So is the thing that I am calling love or feeling as love, love? And what’s the relationship between love and fear?
Ram Dass: I think that the term ‘love’ which has in it two uses of the term – one is the polarity between love and hate and that has in it, ‘being loving’ as opposed to ‘hating’. And the other is a quality or state of being in which the term ‘love’ is used in the same way as ‘presence’ or ‘awareness’ is. That we enter in to love, into the space of love. And I think that love lies behind fear. I think that when you are experiencing fear you are caught in your separateness. When you are experiencing love you are caught in your unity with all things. That love is, the verb love, is a vehicle of permeating the boundaries and when you experience that opening of the boundaries you feel the quality of love. Which means a flow or energy or merging with the universe around you and that one is obviously the antidote for fear, its going to the place behind your own separateness.
And the romantic quality of love which is between separate entities is a door way into the deeper love it itself is… a lot of people experience a quality they call love but they’re doing it with their mind, they’re not really opening their hearts fully, they are loving, meaning I am attracted to … or I am attached to .. but its not the quality of the liquid merging and I think the quality of love you are talking about… when Emmanuel talks about love versus fear for example, we are talking about ‘being’ versus ‘fear’, or ‘unity’ versus ‘separateness’, would be the other way of saying it. So I would say that when the fear dissipates you are feeling at home in the universe. Meaning your identity with your separateness isn’t so overriding your feeling of connection with everything that you’re feeling cut off and vulnerable – which is where the root of the fear is. So as you cultivate that unitive quality then the fear dissipates, so the relation is one between love and fear, but it’s not the love in the sense of ‘I love you’, its the sense that we are together in the space of love.
Questioner: This is another question about love and opening to love. And in your stories the ones that always touch me the most and the ones I tell other people are the ones about you being opened by Maharaji, and my favourite one is about the orange and the foot. And when I hear these stories I open too and I love that feeling. And the question is how does that feeling of opening to love, where does it connect to with an idea of God?
Ram Dass: If you keep seeing, I’m just giving you this now as a way of seeing the sequence, if you see the new baby open, permeable boundaries, all completely wide open and then you see the cultivation of its mind and models of itself and other and development of a sense of separateness. And then you see the way in which we get trapped in that ego or sense of separateness and get trapped with identification with body and with personality, our phenomenal self. And then, the question is – how do you awaken out of the illusion that you are only separate?
The door way out of that is through the heart. Because the heart is … my heart goes out to you, the heart is the doorway into the unitive nature of the universe. And it’s the love, love flows, love doesn’t know boundaries, the mind creates boundaries. The mind creates the boundary of separate me and you. The heart just keeps embracing and opening out. So that things that open your heart, open you out in to the universe and allow you to experience the preciousness, the grace, the sweetness, the thick is-ness of it all, the interconnectedness of it all. It’s even more than interconnected, its all one thing, it just keeps changing its flow and patterns and you’re just part of it. And the opening of the heart is the doorway into that – so that when you love your pussy cat or you love your child or you love your beloved, or you love nature or you love something, that is the doorway, you start with that kind of love. Which is relational, romantic love and then that’s a doorway that moves you into that kind of merging quality where we are together in love, which is in the present, in the oneness of it all, in the existence of it all, which is God, that’s the way in which you experience God. You experience, you are part of the divine manifestation into form and you are one with it.
So you start with this very relational love that is between you and something else and it opens the heart and then you go out through the heart and keep feeling a connection. Because you know how when you’re in love, suddenly other things look beautiful. Other than the beloved and it keeps going out and out and out, and that’s a quality that…
So I would say that most of us stay locked in our separateness and we are very frightened of coming out of it, we feel very vulnerable. In truth you’re not vulnerable at all. Who you think you are is vulnerable. Who you are is not vulnerable. This is the truth of it. That’s what Christ was saying over and over again but nobody seemed to want to hear him. But you are not vulnerable but you experience you are. So it’s very hard for you to open your heart to another being whose love is conditional. Because they’re saying, ‘I will love you as long as you’re a certain way’ and you keep protecting yourself. So you find yourself, very easy to open yourself sometimes to inanimate objects, or to an animal, or to a memory, or to a very young child that’s very innocent, before it develops any kind of definition of itself that starts to manipulate the universe to get what it needs. Well when you’re with a guru the guru realizes that they’re not vulnerable, they don’t need you to do anything. They don’t even need you to not shoot them, in the shooting example before. They just need you to be what you are, so their love is unconditional. When you’re in the presence of unconditional love, that’s the optimum environment for your heart to open. Cos you feel safe, because you realize nobody wants anything from you. And the minute that heart opens you’re letting in the flow and in that flow is where you experience God. Does that deal with the question? …
Questioner: I always felt God was love, love was God – then I got a Zen therapist …. (laughter)
Ram Dass: Did you help him? Laughs…. (laughter)
Questioner: … now I’m kind of floating somewhere over the idea of love’s part of a duality and that it goes and the second part of this is what do you take with you when you go? Is there any sort of information about when you drop your body, what goes with you?
Ram Dass: Those are two different questions, completely different questions. It’s not a second part those are two different questions. And that question I’m sorry goes in another group about illness and dying, so you can’t have that – you can only have the first question about Zen and love.
When I first started to do Vipassana meditation in 1970 I would go and sit – I’d sit for thirty, forty days and attend courses and I’d come out of it so dry, my heart would be so closed, I’d just want a bhakti hit, I’d just want to go to a devotional place and just sing to God and …. what I’ve noticed over the years and I noticed it most recently when I was sitting with my Burmese teacher these three weeks, that by the end of the sitting I was just watching the muscle rising and falling in my abdomen. Lifting, moving, placing. Lifting, moving, placing. At the end of three weeks, I felt closer to Maharaji in love than I had ever felt before. But it wasn’t romantic love, or ‘I love you’, it was a quality that – what the emptiness of Zen, it means the emptiness of the clinging to forms. It doesn’t mean empty in the sense of nothing. It means it has a quality in which it is said, ‘Its neither empty nor full’ is what it says. There’s an experience of intense presence when you get quiet enough. That quality of presence is exactly the same finally, as the quality of love. It’s a quality in which it’s expansive so everything is included and yet nothing is standing out or grabbing – but it’s all present and you feel a merging and you feel an ‘at home-ness’ and a warmth and a ‘being with’ and that is as much the result…. When I’m with a Zen master that is a real mench, you know a real evolved Zen master, I feel the quality of our joy of being together in our appreciation of nothing. Of empty, of the void, if you will. And it’s not a feeling … its not an intellectual appreciation, its appreciation from inside it.
It’s interesting because next week Zalman will be here. Zalman Schacter, who’s a very dear friend and he’s a rabbi and he’s in the tradition of excess emotion. I mean like…mmmmmwaaaa. You know it’s all like all kind of slurpy romanticism, I mean he’s also way beyond that, but he’s also out of that tradition. And I can be with him and I can look in his eyes and we meet in a place that is so clear and so true and so present that that love so transcends the romantic melodramatic love that is part of that vehicle. Just as when I meet the Zen master, we meet in that same place with our eyes and our heart, even though his path is a path of asceticism, and of denial, of not dealing with the emotional stuff at all.
So I keep reminding you that the paths up the mountain look different but at the top of the mountain the stuff comes together. And that that emptiness and presence and truth and beauty and heart all are right there and you can feel the fullness and the richness without the emotional drama. So it’s the term ‘love’ again that’s where the sticking block is, and love is like a red flag to a Zenny, you know, just like emptiness is to a bhakti. ‘What do you mean its all empty?’ You know?
Questioner: About this time last year I think it was, I had what I thought was a really important insight, it probably was, which was that I spent a lot of time thinking that my natural habitat was unhappiness, that was the natural colour of things. So I decided to go for happiness and I spent time kind of recognising happiness and embracing it and so on. But thinking about desire systems, it occurred to me that perhaps the desire for happiness is something that I have to let go of as well. So, some practical advice please.
Ram Dass: I had an interesting time with that because in Buddhism, one of the things is ‘May all beings be happy’ and in the metta meditation we were doing, it’s ‘May we be enabled to carry out our lives in peace and happiness.’ And as long as I kept happiness as the polar opposite of sadness, it was like keeping love as the polar opposite of hate. And then it turns out there’s a semantic issue of – which level are you using the word at? And to the extent that happiness means ‘being in harmony with what is’. Meaning ‘being peacefully in relationship to everything that is’. Finally I realized that my happiness isn’t based on the situation being this way or that way, my happiness is one which embraces my sadness. Finally my love is one which embraces my own hate.
And that quality of happiness from just being in relationship to the universe as it is, not because it’s this way or because it’s that way – is this deeper quality of happiness that is what this Buddhist prayer is asking for.
So I think what you were doing was playing with the polarity of happiness and sadness. Now you understand, finally, that the way you look at your sadness is not as something to push away but something to… yes, there is sadness in life, and my sadness came out of my truth also. See, when you come up for air out of a lot of sadness you want to cling to your happiness. But as long as you are clinging to anything and pushing anything away you’re vulnerable. It’s got you. You’re always frightened. Cos you’re always waiting for the slip and you’ll be cast back into sadness. And finally you have to embrace it into yourself, all of it. So I’d say now that you have learned to be happy, you can turn around and look back at your sadness and start to allow that that’s a part of you too. Until you’ve embraced all of it into yourself.
Just want to read you… This is Emmanuel’s new book.
And I’m just going to read you a few pages. I’ve just wrote a preface for this book and the preface was called Uncle Emmanuel. And it referred to the fact that I think of Emmanuel as a kind of a nice uncle. I don’t refer to him as an enlightened being. I think of Emmanuel … for those of you who have never heard of Emmanuel, Emmanuel is a spirit entity, I think they’re called, who is channelled, I think is the word, through a woman named Pat Rodergast. As I say I don’t find Emmanuel’s wisdom… I don’t feel he’s at all like Maharaji, I think he’s somebody still and there are many planes of reality as well as the physical plane. And there are beings who live on those somebody planes and they have their work to do too. But his stuff is quite beautiful and it’s been very helpful. To me that’s the final criteria, does it help me? If it doesn’t help me, it might be quite fine but its not relevant to me. I’ve learned to say about spiritual teachers not that they are wrong but that I have no business with them. I have no business with Rajneesh. I have no idea who Rajneesh is, who he is is his karma. All I know is that when I go near that I feel … ah ah, I have no business there. Right and that’s what I’ve learned to do, which leaves me free from having to judge everybody all the time. That that person is wanting. It’s just that I don’t have any business with them.
So these are just a few little images from Emmanuel that are kind of sweet.
What does the voice of fear whisper to you?
Fear speaks to you in logic and reason.
It assumes the language of love itself.
Fear tells you I want to make you safe.
Love says you are safe.
Fear says give me symbols, give me frozen images, give me something I can rely on. Loving truth says only give me this moment.
Fear would walk you on a narrow path, promising to take you where you want to go. Love says open your arms and fly with me.
Every moment of your life you are offered the opportunity to choose, love or fear,
to tread the earth or to soar the heavens.
Why would fear want to oppose truth?
Because truth has the power to transform fear.
Fear believes it is fighting for its life.
I want to say something about the subtle inroads fear can make in your lives.
If you no longer allow fear to step blatantly before you and shout of cataclysm,
it will creep behind you and whisper something reasonable in your ear.
Beware of reasonable rational thinking, reasonable supposition.
Doubt is the rabbit’s foot of fear.
Ask your higher wisdom – if it is not true that without worry
you would have arrived exactly where you are now, and more pleasantly.
Worry and fear are not tickets on the express train.
They are extra baggage.
You were going that way anyway.
Q: Emmanuel, how can I remain loving when there is so much danger in the world?
You are afraid that justice and love are not all they ought to be.
You are afraid that if you were to stand open in love you would receive violence, mockery, humiliation and destruction.
There are those of you who would declare that the world is real, an eye for an eye.
Rules give an illusion of safety, structure comforts fear.
Fear says put me in a house with a roof and locks on the door and I will believe I am safe for a moment.
When you are loving, you are under the open sky, and possibilities are infinite. Contrary to Chicken Little’s expectation – the sky doesn’t hurt.
There are no guarantees from the viewpoint of fear, non are strong enough.
From the viewpoint of love, non are necessary.
RD: I don’t really think he answers the question.
Ah well that’s his problem. (Laughter)
I’ll just read you a couple more.
Q: I feel my fear has a life of its own. I can’t control it or transform it. Perhaps fear needs to be played out, does this make any sense?
Only to fear. See, I got to work this out. It lives on the belief that you grant it. There is never a circumstance where fear is not a choice. See, for me maybe the way I’ve been dealing with choice, you see that whether you chose fear or love is a karmic matter but you still have the illusion that you’re making a choice, so make it.
Q: My fear of death is overwhelming, it seems so final, Emmanuel.
Death is the greatest gift that your school room offers you.
You can assume a bravado and say of course I have chosen love and beneath that verbalized choice fear can still be in control.
But when one actually moves to dying, fear can no longer hide.
Your fear at this moment is your greatest teacher.
When you have heaped all your fears into this one undeniable area of human experience, you will have formulated the arena in which you can work.
Address dying, fear where it cannot escape you.
It cannot subtly move away and pretend to be something else.
This may not bring you comfort but bringing you comfort is not my purpose.
My purpose is to bring truth.
When without even knowing the meaning of it, you say with every inhalation:
I chose love here, I choose love,
you will see the light change and the darkness dispel.
Your mind may say I don’t understand what happened.
All I did was sit here for fifteen minutes choosing love.
Well, that’s all that’s required.
The life line, the golden rope is to know that there is such a thing as love
and in that moment you are empowered to choose it, just that.
Even if your heart is breaking and you feel on the edge of collapse,
Say: I choose love.
By this mantra you silence the life long mantra that would choose fear.
RD And this last one:
Q: And if fear seems to follow me what do I do?
Hold fear in one hand hold love in the other.
Holding both, choose love and choose love again.
Fear may call you back, what about me, you answer: yes fear I hear you,
I choose love
You may be part of human conditioning but love will always be my choice for that is the only reality.
Fear will shout but I am truth listen to me
You reply my choice lies outside of illusion not within it.
Then watch the pyrotechnics of fear.
It will tell you that the plane will crash, the food is poisoned, you will be left alone for ever.
If you enter into any of these scenarios you are caught.
Fear is only a teacher on your planet.
Your schoolroom is always held within the hand of perfect love.
All the monsters to be created on your planet have already been unleashed.,
So fear will have no new faces, oh perhaps a virus or two,
Nothing more. Fear is empty without its bags of tricks, nuclear destruction, genocide, cancer, aids, torture and still there is the human heart that seeks to see love.
That is the voice of transformation. That is the voice of truth.
Fear is the frightened child.
Love is the flame of holy remembering.
RD Long out breath aaaaaahhh
RM: This podcast has been brought to you by the LoveServeRemember foundation and ramdass.org. We appreciate all the support for the foundation and for Ram Dass’ work and we hope that you will continue that support. You can go to ramdass.org and click on the ‘donate now’ button and follow the prompts. Thank you.
Help Support These Teachings
If you enjoyed “Risk Being Human” Transcription, please support our efforts to continue making teachings from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all. As Ram Dass says, "When you see the beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love." Learn more >
I would like to make a contribution of:
Please do not use the back button or click submit more than once while your order is processing.
If you would like to donate via mail, please send a check to:
Love Serve Remember Foundation
2355 Westwood Blvd. #130
Los Angeles, CA 90064
LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.