I wrote to Ram Dass recently – I know it is a somewhat presumptuous thing to do. I wasn’t going to send it for this reason however my friend Sam read it and said it was worth sending and I didn’t think he would read it or respond so it seemed harmless. Asit turned out his friend Raghu Markus who runs his podcasts responded very positively and liked it so I thought I would post it here.
Hi Ram Dass, I met you back in 1991 in Bath in the UK. I had been listening to you and sharing your perspectives and lectures with others for some years before and have continued ever since and I have incorporated your teachings into my life and my work. I love what you are teaching and I am indebted to your wisdom and loving heart. I have learnt so much from you and you have been such a companion on my own journey. At a personal level I have been a student of the I-Ching and Astrology for the last 34 years. I also work as a coach internationally and for a charity working with young people coming out of prison. I draw from many sources and I recognise that we are all pointing at the same thing from different standpoints. I have been lucky enough to have a teacher who had an enlightenment experience back in the 70s and has taught many people over the years. I wanted to write to you because I listened to a podcast recently where you were talking about Trump and how to love him and recognise that he has Karma to work out so that you can see his soul and that were you with him you would be working on that with him. You also talked about how dark the world is at the moment, more so than you saw in the 60s. I have been reflecting on this too.
I think we are at an interesting threshold of consciousness – the move to the Age of Aquarius. Aquarius is concerned with the collective and it is about consciousness. With the internet I think we have given form to our collective mind. Our consciousnesses are now all connected across the world and we are beginning to see that we are all like cells in a giant brain (universal mind). Donald Trump has the Sun conjunct Uranus in Gemini. Gemini is the mind. It is also the cosmic trickster. Uranus rules Aquarius and it is about disruptive change which awakens us. I have begun to appreciate that Donald Trump’s role (and Boris Johnson’s – an almost identical figure and another Gemini) is to act as catalysts for us to see our collective mind. Everyone is frustrated with them because they are not taking it all seriously – they are not playing the game and they are saying it is fake news and dealing with it as if it is. They are like old style court jesters in Shakespeare’s day who take over the throne when the King has become lost in taking himself too seriously and in folly. They talk gibberish but their role is to wake us up. What I realised Trump is waking us up to is our collective “mind chatter”. We are stuck believing that the media is providing us with the truth but it is not. It is providing us, like our own minds, with subjective opinions fuelled by drama. I had never questioned things like the BBC before Trump. I had assumed that they gave me the “truth”. So I reflected that if they did not give me the truth, what was the truth? It came to me that the truth was that I did not know! it reminds me of your story of the stand up microphone being Maharaji in drag coming to catch you out as a “phoney-holy”. I think that is the role of Trump and Boris – can we love them? More importantly, can we laugh? I watch what a fantastic foil they are for our self-righteousness and anger. Everyone is so sure they are the bad guys and we are the good guys. Not only that but they are highlighting our hubris. We are so sure we know what is best that we have forgotten that we are not in control of Life and that it is perfect but it does not conform to our notions of how it should be. I remember all your wonderful stories about Maharaji and your rascally friends undermining your wonderful plans and ideas about how it should be, like a friend coming in with muddy boots and treading all over your white carpet. Trump is certainly a rascally friend. I am not condoning his actions or suggesting irresponsibility or that it is not right to take action against what he is doing but rather that we are not there to change him but rather to be changed by him.
I understand that everywhere I look people feel a despair about the state of the world. It looks in a real mess but is it? When you consider the fact that there has never been less war, less poverty, less violence, more international sense of connectedness why do we not feel that we are living in a golden age? I know that the transits astrologically show that we are going to feel like this. I think it is like the pressure or crisis before a breakthrough in consciousness, like a collective long dark night of the soul. I also recognise that what it is pointing at is that our collective mind chatter is not a reflection of reality and nor are the emotions it produces. I think we are being asked to develop a witness that can stand back from identifying with it all and open our hearts and minds wider.
I also think the same is true of the environment. The current crisis is waking us up to the fact that the earth is our collective body just as Trump is waking us up to our collective mind. Yet, again, all we know for certain is that there is change. Whether we think that is a good thing or a bad thing is an emotional subjective viewpoint. We are stuck thinking we know how it should all be and how it will be. But that is an illusion, we don’t know. We thought in the 80s that we would definitely be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, coming up to the year 2000 we were certain that the whole world would meltdown because of the Y2K bug. Many people believed in Nostrodamus’s predictions and so on. I am not suggesting or advocating that we do not take action but that the crises we face are there to wake us up collectively. I think we are at the point where we are ready and beginning to develop a collective witness that can stand back from it all and take a wider perspective which befits our new collective consciousness – we have always known that we are all connected but previously it has been an intuitive knowledge. Now, through the internet, we are all consciously connected to the collective mind. it turns out it is like all our individual minds.
My enlightened friend has developed, through chance, a model of the brain. She did not set out to find one. Through it I have begun to see the whole political spectrum differently. I recognise that we need every point of view. We need a right and a left, in the same way that we need a right and left hemisphere in our brains. The creative tensions of these oppositions create consciousness. The left’s truth is compassion and care for others. Its shadow is self-righteousness, dependency and the drama triangle. The right’s truth is that only we are responsible for ourselves and our lives and we have to have discipline and recognition of limitations. Its shadow is cold-heartedness, materialism and looking after number one at the expense of others. The green movement is like that part of us that nags us constantly about what we are eating and drinking and the effect on our body, it keeps us healthy and aware of our body and the impact of our actions but it is also obsessively self-critical and blaming – a sort of eternal do-gooding perfectionist. The more I look I see the perfection of every person, like every cell in our body in sustaining our consciousness. Each has to play its role but can we do it with humour and love whilst valuing the role others are playing? Trump is playing a vital role in waking us up, as did Hitler in waking us up to the horror of war and our own shadow. I think like Judas, they deserve huge compassion and respect for being willing as souls to play these difficult roles for all our benefits. At a personal level, I was married to my wife for twenty-six years and then she had an affair with a woman who was living with us and left me and the kids. It was the most devastating thing I could ever have contemplated and I was utterly devastated by it. I loved her deeply and thought we would be together for the rest of our lives. Yet now three years later, we love each other, we have come together as a family and it has changed us all. We are no longer together in the same way, but we have all forgiven each other and opened our hearts back up. It crushed our egos but opened our hearts. My wife and I have talked about it and I can see that her soul’s work was harder – if it was our fate to wake up in this painful way then to be the Judas was the harder choice and work. It coincided with Trump being elected. I was so sure it was wrong and that she was wrong but I see that Life knew better than I did. We are so sure at the moment that we know best and that it is all wrong and will be a disaster because it is not the way we think it should be. Yet, how do we know? From what you write in Be Love Now, it was a similar crisis of faith for you with your stroke yet to all of us that listen to you, it is abundantly clear that who you are now and the depth of wisdom and love you have is intimately bound up with the experience the stroke precipitated.
I am in awe of your contribution to humanity and your love and compassion. I am also in awe of your integrity in living what you teach.