Download the classic from Ram Dass on Consciousness, Aging and the New Millenium, free for elereaders through the end of the month.
In this fascinating transcribed excerpt from Consciousness, Aging and the New Millenium, Ram Dass—beloved teacher and author of the seminal work Be Here Now—explains to workshop attendees how absolutely any experience, even driving a car, can be used to expand awareness and awaken spiritually. Excerpt 1 from “Consciousness, Aging and the New Millenium” with Ram Dass:
Now, what I’m talking about is taking something for which you have certain cultural stereotypic responses to. About golf, for example. Now you may… I’m not saying its negative or anything. You just have them. You have some. You know the way the culture views golf. Then I’m showing you the way I’m taking that experience and I’m using it in a certain way in my consciousness to transform my consciousness. In other words, I’m using my life experiences as vehicles through which I can awaken spiritually into other levels of awareness.
Now before we go any further, we’ve all got to go along together, so if you do not understand what I’m talking about, you have a responsibility to yourself and to the rest of us to just raise your hand, and then I will clarify as best I can, okay? So, how many now would like to raise their hand? Okay. There are I think about five hands.
Many of you drive cars, drive automobiles. And you can drive an automobile these days, probably if you have been driving for a while, you can drive an automobile so that you are literally hurdling through space in about 3000 pounds of metal and plastic, you are making incredible decisions about centrifugal and centripetal force, about rates of acceleration and deceleration. It would take a whole board, a blackboard to put on all of the stuff that you are going through, in you. Generally during that time, you are tuning the radio, looking for police, planning where you are going, remembering where you have been. If I stopped you in that moment in the car and said to you “Who are you?,” probably you wouldn’t say, “A driver.” Yet here you are making this incredibly complex set of mechanics. So what I could say is in that situation you are already seeing yourself functioning on two levels. There is what is called the base brain level where you are driving the car now, and then there is the cognitive level where you are thinking about planning, remembering, doing something. Is that… are we all here together now?
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