Book Club Channel
Q&A with Ram Dass, Author of Be Love Now and Be Here Now
In Be Love Now you say, "Love is a state of being not a trip from here to there." Can you explain that?
Maharaji is love and that's why you experience him as loving -- he's not loving you, he's just love. He's being love. So he loved me unconditionally -- I can't do that because I can't become love -- as long as I live in duality I can't be the state of love, but once a being has entered into the non-dual state of pure Atman and fully resides there -- then there is no act of loving, rather just a state of being love.
You also talk about pleasure, happiness, and joy. What are their differences?
Pleasure is something that comes through the senses -- where you are doing business with what is outside of you and that is the lowest attribute. The next one, happiness, is still worldly but has a benign attribute that brings with it a flood of positive emotion. Joy is spiritual -- it is a coming to the one because the one is a state of joy.
You were impacted by the death of your Guru. How does his teaching continue to enlighten you day after day?
When Maharaji left his body it was as if he changed a suit of clothes -- his essence remained the same with a body or without -- and I have remained in touch with his essence since I was with him physically 40-odd years ago and from the moment he left that body to this moment. And what I have shared of him over this time span has been remembrance of God, service, and love for everything in this world.
With Be Love Now coming out this fall, what do you hope readers will take away from this book into their daily lives?
I would like them to take away a spiritual view of their lives. I can look at the trees or I can look at the waves on the ocean and I see it all as the one -- as a manifestation of the one. I can look around me and all I see is the one. I would like the reader to stretch their concepts of human beings from meeting these realized beings in the book. And finally I want the reader of the book to acknowledge love, to really know and feel the bhakti path -- the path of love.