Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert in 1931. He is the author of ‘Be Here Now’ and many other spiritual books. After his encounter with Timothy Leary and experiences with LSD he traveled to India where he encountered his Guru, Neem Karoli Baba.
Ram Dass says, “Knowing you’re God and being God are two different things.”
He explains how we can intellectually understand a concept but that becoming that experience is quite different. Understanding and experience are separate levels of knowing and that merging into God is what is really necessary to fulfill life.
It is the pain of separation from God, from this immense love, that drives you to seek. When you experience the pain of separation you want to rip apart the veil that causes that separation. You tend to identify yourself as your body and thoughts and you get lost in seeking acceptance and success. But this false identity feels dense and thick and this is not what true living should be like.
In the absence of God you suffer and live in separation. He says, “It’s that absence – that distance from that living truth, from that lightness, from that playfulness, clarity, sweetness, from seeing the beauty of the Beloved everywhere I look without saying, “Ah, there’s the beloved!”
Life has a way of distracting you and moving you away from unity with God. But after a while the pain becomes too great and you must turn back toward re-unification. You realize that the pain is coming not from your relationship, your job, finances or status. The pain is coming from your mind’s relationship to those things, from your grasping for peace and fulfillment from those things and not getting it. Then you must return to wholeness and remove the separation with God.
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