Dying is absolutely safe

Ram Dass

Ram Dass

Dying is Absolutely Safe

Do you remember Ram Dass? He was born Richard Alpert and was known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary. He’s now a spiritual teacher and tells us at hiswebsite that dying is absolutely safe:

There is a tombstone in Ashby, Massachusetts that reads, “Remember friend, as you pass by, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare yourself to follow me.”

Something has happened to me as a result of meandering through many realms of consciousness over the past fifty years that has changed my attitude toward death. A lot of the fear about death has gone from me. I am someone who actually delights in being with people as they are dying. It is such incredible grace for me. In the morning, if I know I am going to be with such a person, I get absolutely thrilled because I know I am going to have an opportunity to be in the presence of Truth.

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We are like the spider…


The Visit, 2009. © Germán Herrera


For some time I had the following quote on the landing page of my website:

“We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe.”
Aitareya Upanishad

I felt it was a perfect metaphor to understand the power and influence our conditioning have over our experience of reality, the quote is so succinct. *

A few days ago, I met a friend from India who pointed me to the fact that, possibly, this was a loose translation of the following quote, from a different Upanishad:

1-1:7. Mundaka Upanishad.  “As the spider creates the cobweb out of its saliva, it lives and plays in it and at the end the same spider swallows up the cobweb, similarly the God, the Lord creates the whole universe as the act of His thought. He manifests in it and again He withdraws the whole universe in Himself.”

Even when it is just as fascinating, the fact that includes the word God,  circumscribes its reach to those that feel comfortable with that notion; it was time to change the welcome page anyways but I felt it was important to acknowledge this observation or my friend Rajesh, obviously my research when it comes to the sources of my quotes, can be improved.

*Apparently, David Lynch includes this quote in his movie Inland Empire, which may have contributed to the misunderstanding.

Henry Miller quote

” Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. “
Henry Miller