I love Ram Dass. No, I never met him. Never saw him in person. I didn’t even dive into his teachings until after he passed away in 2019.
But when I watch his talks, the love in him stirs the love in me. Is there any greater gift one human can bestow on another? He should be glad we never met because if we did I would have engaged him in the bear hug to beat all bear hugs and I’m not sure I could have let go.
A 40 year old talk that blew me away
Just yesterday I listened to one of those fantastic talks. Given in 1982, it was two hours long, all of it beautiful. But a particular four-minute section at the end is what bowled me over.
It was about how to seek truth and what happens when we do. I encourage you to watch it. Here’s the YouTube link for the whole talk. The four-minute section starts at 1:51:50 and runs through 1:56:00.
A song that made me cry
There’s a song (it’s just three words) that he runs the audience through for the final six minutes (starts at 1:56:15) that I also suggest watching. I found it so moving I cried.
The specific quote that resonated so deeply with me is about gaining closer access to the great truths. Most of us spend the bulk of our time in striving. Doing. Seeking. All of which have their place in our lives.
But the deep truths of who we are and what our destiny is come through different means. Which brings me to Ram Dass’s sublime quote. He said:
“The truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing.”
Let that sink in…
The most important word in that sentence is “longing.” What is it to long for the truth?
I say we keep it simple on this. Longing is thinking about the truth.
“What is the purpose of my life?”
“Is there a God? And if so, how could that God allow so much suffering?”
“Why does anything exist? Why is there something rather than nothing?”
Truth be told, I’ve been just as guilty of this as anybody. I think about and long for the truth. Always have. My high school yearbook quote was something along the lines of,
“There are a lot of mysteries in life, but I’m having a good time anyway.”
The fact that you are reading this article indicates a high likelihood that you also long for the truth.
But I think Ram Dass is right — truth is elusive to those who pursue it with their thinking minds asking questions like the ones posed above.
Long for quiet
The only longing that does lead to finding truth is the longing to quiet down inside. It’s a longing that manifests as practicing meditation, mindfulness and other pursuits that enhance quietude.
The quiet we achieve through that type of longing diminishes the static of our inner car radio, thereby allowing the Universe’s divine truths to make their way through to us.
Let’s keep this one short and sweet. Why? Because the idea here is short and sweet. And true. And powerful. And it is this:
Go about your life, stay as quiet as you can inside, and the truth will find you.