In this early talk, from 1970, Ram Dass talks about the methods of purification necessary for waking up in this lifetime. He illuminates the traps that lie within these methods and explores what is waiting for us in the ever-present moment.
Waking Up In This Lifetime (Opening)
Firstly, Ram Dass reflects on the many methods that point us towards God. And the possibility of waking up in this lifetime. Secondly, He looks at the process of purification necessary for personal liberation once we realize the possibility of enlightenment.
“There is something awesomely irreversible about the journey we are sharing. Evolution just doesn’t seem to go backward. The evolution of consciousness and waking up in this very lifetime is what seems to be what we are about. How many lifetimes has each of us been through to bring us to this point?” – Ram Dass
What We Think We Want (26:00)
Thirdly, Ram Dass looks at the things that our culture tells us is going to liberate us and make our lives meaningful. What is the next step when we realize that these objects of freedom are simply a trap?
“When is it enough? When have you collected enough experiences? Want some more? You have lifetimes, no rush. Maybe a few experiences will do it – but do what?” – Ram Dass
Just Another Trip (47:15)
For instance, even when we think that we see our own attachments. And begin to practice methods of freeing ourselves from them. We are likely to find ourselves back at square one – stuck in the traps of our ego. Ram Dass looks at how our methods of purification bring us to new states of consciousness and at the same time catch us in models of how we think it is.
“As long as you think that what you are looking for is outside yourself, it will never be enough. What do you need to make it all right? Every label you have of what you think you need is all a statement of who you think you are and that all turns out to be wrong.” – Ram Dass
Here and Now (59:15)
Lastly, Where do we find the place that we are looking for, where our true nature lies? Ram Dass closes with a reflection on how the moment – the here and now – offers us the opportunity to connect with the Self that exists beyond ego.