Excerpt 2 from "Transformation of a Man" - Ram Dass
Ram Dass gets to the heart of the matter in this transcribed excerpt from "Transformation of a Man" -- recorded live in 1968. He offers different points of view on how attachment occurs -- right from the time of birth. But whatever the point of view, it still takes us away from "being here now." This program is Part of our ongoing partnership with the Love Serve Remember Foundation. Read on...
And I say, “Because I’m not yet free enough to be able to be with the leaves without getting caught in the beauty.” Now this business of being caught is the critical matter that is the first step that people undertake in the road to becoming liberated. It is the technique which Gurdjieff has so exquisitely enunciated in his model of self remembering. And Gurdjieff says it in one way and Rodney Collin, the disciple of Ouspensky, says it in a slightly different way. Gurdjieff says your problem is that you identify… you learn to identify as a child with your body, then you identify with your mother’s concept of who you are so you develop social roles, and you identify with the concepts of the universe all around you so you become a thinking, rational being in a rational system. And then pretty soon when you’re angry, you say, “I am angry” and you identify with the anger and you are anger. And you identify with being in love and you identify with desires, and you identify with your lust, and you identify with everything. You identify with other people’s opinions of you. What Dave Riesman calls “the other-directed man”.
Rodney Collin calls it fascination. He says we’re like bees. We just are so fascinated by everything. We’re just like going from flower to flower. Like if you’re listening to me and just hearing my words and aren’t conscious at this moment that you’re listening to me and hearing my words, you are fascinated. You are trapped. That’s where you are at. That’s what it comes down to. Because all of the time I’m talking to you, I’m going, “Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum.” That mantra is going on inside of me. And from that place, which is completely outside of this game of lecture and our visiting together, I’m watching this whole drama unfold just like I were one of the actors on the stage. No fascination at all. I’m in the same place as if I’m saying, “Om Mani Padme Hum” in my cabin in New Hampshire or in the Ashram in India -- same place. There’s no place to go. There’s no place you ever go. You’re always in the same place. When you begin to realize there’s nowhere to go its quite shaking at first. Driving and driving and there’s nowhere to go. You’re not getting anywhere, because you’re there, you’re here. Now, the fascination or identification, if you understand that concept, that is the attachment to your senses, and that is the game is to get free of that, and the process of self-remembering is the process of developing the witness, or in Ramana Maharshi’s terms, the "I" thought. That is that place from which you observe.