A classic exploration of spirituality and consciousness by the former Harvard professor turned drug-fueled, then clean, spiritual seeker, Ram Dass.
What a strange book.
The first part is Ram Dass’ life story.
He has trouble relating exactly how his guru changed his life. He also has trouble expressing his life changing spiritual insights.
This could perhaps be because of all the LSD he experimented with, but no judgement here.
I think Dass could have added another couple hundred pages to the first part and still probably not fully described his experience.
The next section of the book is block text printed on, what seems to be, brown paper bags. Monty Python-esque photos are drawn in, and sometimes behind, the text.
It reads like a stream-of-consciousness, path to enlightenment, how-to lecture.
Some of it is worthwhile, but I can’t sugarcoat it: It’s pretty far out there.
My description doesn’t really do it justice. Perhaps Be Here Now is one of those books that needs to be “experienced” rather than read.
The last section was a “cook book” on how to live an enlightened lifestyle.
If you have a question about how an enlightened person lives, it’s probably included in there.
Dass elucidates how he believes you should eat, sleep, breathe, interact with others, think, meditate, raise a family, form a commune and so on.
I didn’t like it because it felt too brain-washy, cult-ish.
Dass attempts to put the reader’s mind at ease to all of the strictures. He mentions that one needn’t be concerned about family or social responsibilities because, once you reach the ultimate level, you’ll realize that none of those things are real anyway.
Looking back on my review, it seems as if I don’t like Ram Dass, but I do.
I rather enjoyed his Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart and a documentary that I saw about him once called Fierce Grace.
I too have had life experiences that have led me to the belief that human kind is here to “be high” and not just to “get high.”
I don’t buy into the idea that life has to be lived a certain way to get certain results.
And, perhaps because I haven’t personally had the experience yet, I don’t get the whole guru relationship thing. I know it’s my western background speaking, but there you have it.
Recommended for spiritual seekers, but don’t forget to trust your own inner guidance.
Thanks for reading!