What is required in our spiritual journey besides the desire to open?

What is required in our spiritual journey besides the desire to open?

I was raised by a Jewish middle class woman, my mother, who was very busy being just that, very concerned with propriety, and the appropriate food and the way to raise her children and I reacted as an appropriately neurotic Jewish son. And then my mother died and I met my guru, Maharaji. He spoke about my mother and he said, “You know, she’s a great saint.” At the moment that he said that, my entire conception of her shifted and I saw the few moments when she and I had met as spiritual entities, and suddenly the whole way we had interacted as mother and son in this particular round fell into the background, a reversal.

Your daily life is full of this and that, it’s full of pulls and pushes, it’s full of clinging of mind. You are literally at the mercy of your senses and your thoughts. And those senses and thoughts just keep recreating your mold or model or view of the reality.


It keeps reassuring you that you’ve got it all pegged, that’s just the way it is. But every one of you had moments when you broke through, as if you stuck your nose through the veil and you saw that wasn’t who you were at all. But then because most of you had no context in which to put it, you pulled back out of fear. You reassured yourself that the world was the way it was and you referred to those experiences as hallucinations, “I went crazy, it was far out,” as something discontinuous with your daily life.


A statistic reported in The New York Times magazine section about mysticism in America said that two-fifths of the population of the United States, eighty million people, have had a transcendent mystical experience. Of the sampling of those, 80% said, “Yes, it was the most profound experience of my life and I never want to have another one.” Because it upset the apple cart, it blew apart their scene.

But what it touched is something that you can’t quite push back under the rug, it keeps pulling on you. And as you get further on with this incredible journey, there are many times when you wish that it had never happened.


But the problem with all of you is that once the door is opened you can’t quite close it again. All of you know too much, you’re trapped. You don’t even know what you’re trapped in, but otherwise what would you be doing reading this? I mean, this would have no relevance to you, this would not be part of your reality. You could see where the action is. You know there’s been some seed planted in you that’s making you do this weird thing. I mean, there’s no status in being here, nobody’s counting.

And that seed ultimately is going to do nothing less than totally turn your life around. You may drag your feet for a day, for a year, for a lifetime, for a few lifetimes, but you’re hooked.


So what is required here besides the desire to open, to know, to find out, to become, besides the recognition of that seed which has been planted, what is also required for this journey is an open heart.

– Ram Dass

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