Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
Ram Dass: Awake to the Environment
Posted: Tue 04/17/2012 10:40 AM
I think that, more than ever, we are beginning to awaken to the fact that we are part of an ecosystem and that we are entities in it with some responsibility for the nest we live in and the maintenance of the nest. In the same way that we clean up our house, we also have to clean up our environment. That consciousness seems to be slow in happening because of the motivation to keep it from happening—because there are economic costs in that awakening, not in the long run, but in the short run, which would cause an economic realignment of power. And the people that have the power have a lot of inertia. I mean, the stockholders of a large companies are not ready to do dramatic shifts unless they are forced to do it, because it changes the amount of dividends that come. And all of us aren't quite willing to change our lives that much in the little ways. I mean, we don't have to make those big guys the bad guys, because we're all part of that web too. But there is an increasing consciousness now about rainforests, about air, about water and so on. It is hard to assess what the outcome will be. You can't extrapolate from what is now to what will be, because the unknown factor is the creative awareness and what happens when that is mobilized.
I point out how creative awareness at a certain moment created the bomb. Mixed blessing. But it created the bomb. We can also see how creative awareness at a certain moment informed the way we live day to day. For instance, when most of us were growing up, we got vaccinated because prior to that, there were these incredible smallpox epidemics that ravaged the earth. And we still saw it in Third World countries. And we saw in our lifetime the eradication of the last case of smallpox in the world by vaccination, and that there is now no more smallpox in the world. When people ask me, "Is Armageddon coming?" Or, "Is it going to be the Aquarian Age?" In other words: Is this the end of the Kali Yuga, the age of destruction? Or are we just entering the Sat Yuga, the age of truth and purity? I say that no one is privy to that knowledge. But when I stand back and think about it, I realize that if we are all going to die, then all my training in how to die leads me to understand that what I must do now is to quiet my mind so I can hear most clearly, open my heart deeply so that quality of compassion and feeding is at its optimum. And be fully in this present moment. That's the best preparation I can do for the moment of death. And I would train my child to do the same thing. If it's going to be the Aquarian Age, and I am going to help the new age come into existence, the best way I can help the new age come into existence is to quiet my mind so I can hear more clearly how to help—and I can open my heart to express my compassion as deeply as I can and be fully in the present moment so I can hear it all clearly.
About Ram Dass
Ram Dass, one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, has made his mark on the world by teaching the path of the heart and promoting service in the areas of social consciousness and care for the dying. Ram Dass first went to India in 1967. He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means "servant of God."
On his return from India Ram Dass became a pivotal influence in our culture with the publication of Be Here Now. In fact those words have become a catch phrase in people’s lives for the last 40 years. With the publication in 2011 of Be Love Now Ram Dass completes his trilogy that began with Be Here Now in 1970 and continued with Still Here in 2004.
Ram Dass' spirit has been a guiding light for four generations, carrying along millions on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. He now makes his home in Maui and teaches world wide through his website RamDass.org and he also continues the work of Neem Karoli Baba through his Love Serve Remember Foundation.
Tune in at 11/10c on Sunday, April 22, for Oprah's interview with Ram Dass.