Tag Archive: Ram Dass


Oh Shit!

Yesterday I finished reading a Kindle book by Ram Dass that appears not to be available on Amazon anymore, so I am glad I got it when I did.  It is called ‘Ram Dass, The Essential Collection’.  Towards the end he recounts this story which someone gave him on a Xerox (not sure what that used to be but I’ve heard of it).

If you are unhappy —

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter.  However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south.

In a short time, ice began to form on his wings, and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen.  A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow.  The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings.  Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing.

Just then, a large cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds.  The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.  The moral of this story: 1.) Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.  2.) Everyone who gets you out of the shit, is not necessarily your friend.  3.) If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.

That reminds me, I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull a couple of decades ago and I want to read it again.  I’m not sure, I think it is about majority bullying of people who are different.  If not, I heard in another context that seagulls pick on non-conformist seagulls.

This is a personal thing:  in the kind of Church I went to hippies got a really bad press.  Flower power, hippie dippie, a bit soft and idealistic.  Running away and buying a van with mum and dad’s money while supposedly rejecting and reacting against materialism (OK, that one is still a logical problem for me).  But Ram Dass was a professor of psychology at Harvard University, arguably the top university in the American Ivy League.  He was doing experiments with a man I heard of during my degree, Timothy Leary, with LSD before it was made illegal.  They threw Timothy Leary out, they asked Ram Dass to give up the experiments and stay.  He made it clear he would not give up the experiments and they lost him.

My kind of Church would often say some educated people are not that bright.  Maybe it is too much of a challenge to get involved with them and what they have to say.  It is a stance, insulting and dismissive, taken by people who do not want to think about it or want the people they are involved with to think about it, more often than not.  These people say, and I have seen the videos, we had special meetings in which they were shown, smack your children, fight with the dog and order it to go to the dog basket, show it who is boss.  I heard a big leader in the prosperity movement talk about kicking his dogs, as if it is OK.  They write books which praise a dentist who, when confronted by a little girl who was in the habit of taking all her clothes off as an act of defiance, allowed her to do it then made her walk back to the car naked.  used to think that was OK and the way to go.  Was it a James Dobson book?  I think so.  The videos were.  Ram Dass was and is a spiritual seeker like the rest of us.  He has not lost his mind, he has found another way.  I can’t say much more at the moment in my situation, my feelings are in turmoil and it won’t come out right.  So sorry, I think I have just ruined what was meant to be a purely pithy and humorous post.

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Ram Dass, Arms Are For Hugging

I have seen this photo before but tonight it feels like the rightest and deepest thing ever.  Not trite and idealistic.  It coheres with all his teaching.  There is a lifetime of commitment and experience with this statement, total integrity and truth.  A really beautiful expression of the pacifist position, in my opinion.  I only say that because I am not sure at the moment if Ram Dass sees himself as a pacifist or if he thinks his position is a little more complicated than that.  Wow, I think Ram Dass’s life and teaching are totally encapsulated in this photo.  I haven’t listened to the podcast yet.

https://beherenownetwork.com/ram-dass-here-and-now-ep-137-the-importance-of-inner-social-action/

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