BE HERE NOW
by Ram Dass
Two main aspects stand out: its uniquely peculiar & interesting format and its nearly unparalleled influence on modern day spiritual seekers.
Ram Dass, born Dr. Richard Alpert, was an influential Harvard professor of psychology in the 1940s.
He was considered successful by all of the typical standards of how the world sees success. But he wasn’t happy. His professor-neighbor down the hall was Dr. Timothy Leary, who one day asked Dr. Alpert to join him in experimenting with psychedelic substances. After his first experiences with psychedelics, everything changed. He witnessed his own ego death and began devoting substantial effort into their research. He and Dr. Leary were eventually fired from Harvard due to their commitment to studying these chemical properties and their effects in an academic setting.
Upon his dramatic removal from his position, Dr. Alpert traveled the world searching for “someone who knew”. On the verge of giving up completely, he finally found Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji (“Great King”), in a secluded ashram at the feet of the Himalayas. In their first meeting, Maharajji shared such intimate details of Dr. Alpert’s life and experiences that Alpert ended up staying at the ashram for eight months, eventually dedicating his life to “spreading the gospel” of Eastern mysticism and Hindu philosophy as Ram Dass, “servant of God”.