It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Ram Dass on Personal Roles and Money in the Workplace

Ram Dass on Personal Roles and Money in the Workplace

It takes facing a lot of truth within yourself to hear the kind of work you can do when you are in your own development. It’s hard to acknowledge that you really want money or the things money can buy, but by making believe you don’t want them you end up deceiving yourself, and picking up something that is deep. Something that is not true to your being and you end up angry and frustrated because you picked wrong. So there is a process of being very honest with yourself about what you need at any point.

Maharajji said to me many years ago, “Give up money and you’ll know God.” He said, “Give up sex and money and you’ll know God.” Thus far I’ve given up neither of them, but it’s only been 25 years. The transmission is very slow, but it has a lot to do with remembering the many levels of reality simultaneously when you’re working.

Like when you play tennis, you compete on the tennis court, but you came onto the court collaboratively to compete. So you are both collaborators and competitors, and that’s what good sportsmanship is about. When you forget one of those, you lose it. If you forget that you’re competing, you give away the game, and that’s not good sportsmanship. If you forget that you’re collaborators, you get very vicious.

So what I’m suggesting is that one of the things you do in the workplace is keep looking through the veil of role and personality to see who’s behind it.

It’s interesting to look at your office crew from that place, to start to look through the veils. I mean what these are, are fellow souls who have taken birth and happened to end up in your office. They’re not office partners, they’re follow souls. They just happen to be meeting in this place for this peculiar reason. Now you can’t go up to the vice president and say, “I know you’re a soul. You’re not the vice president,” because therein lies some difficulty. But you can be an environment with your being, so that when another person is ready to come up for air, there’s nothing in you that will keep them stuck, because your mind isn’t keeping them stuck in their role. Like, “You’re my secretary” or “you’re my boss.”

A conscious being invests in the role, fulfills the role, but is in no way identified with the role. Role involvement, but no identification.

If I was a therapist who was so needful to be a therapist, then everyone would be my client, everyone would have to be my patient, because, “I need to be a therapist.” And what’s interesting is, the less and less I need my role, I leave my client free to not be clients anymore. I used to punish them when they wanted to stop. “You’re not well enough to leave me yet,” because I wasn’t well enough to have them leave me.

You examine how much you need your roles in business, how much you need the power of having money, how much you need prestige, how much you need these various things, and you use your life experience to keep examining those components of the world, to see which things you need and which you don’t.

So you’re doing a couple of things: You’re developing the witness, you’re developing your center, and you’re looking at people – looking through the veils constantly, to keep meeting them behind the veil of their role.

But you play the role impeccably. You don’t have to give up the role. You can just play the thing right through to the end. Those are just a few of the strategies.


-Ram Dass

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