In a rare interview at his home on the Hawaiian island of Maui, cultural icon Ram Dass sits down with Oprah to discuss his role as a global spiritual teacher. Born in 1931 to a wealthy family outside of Boston, Richard Alpert was the star of his family. By age 27, he was an assistant professor at Harvard University, with a corner office. When another professor, Dr. Timothy Leary, moved into the office next door in 1959, Dr. Richard Alpert began the journey to become the man we know today as Ram Dass. Learn more about the psychedelic drug experiment that got them both fired, and the Indian guru who changed Ram's life forever.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now at twenty seven. Richard Albert was an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University and had old trappings of big success: a corner office Gulf outings Exe Dr Vacations in ninety fifty nine, a young professor, named Timothy Leary, moved into the office next door, he was brilliant. Karras and believed mind Spending psychedelic drugs could be used in psychological treatment, a theory that also intrigued Richard Albert the professors tested
theory on students and were famously fired from Harvard for research in nineteen sixty three! That's when Rick realized. He needed to fight oh an entirely different path to enlightenment and it led. to India. It was there he met Maharajah E, who became guru or spiritual guide and taught him power of unconditional love. Richard Wright, to Boston, renamed, rom dos, which means servant of God with a new sense of purpose. To teach a generation a lesson he learned in the east to live in the moment, and he both his classic best selling book, be here now in nineteen. Ninety seven at sixty five Rhonda suffered a massive stroke. Doctors gave him a tin, sent chance of survival. but wrong. Das is still here and his message as strong as ever
So on a magnificent Maui day with the best. big ocean? As our backdrop, I mean wrong dos for the first time in his own back, so it's an honour to be here. Honored to have you here so I wanted to do this interview because it is my goal with my new network to use it as a platform for opening people up to the best of themselves. I want to elevate consciousness wherever I can, and the very idea of having you to sit with me is really a gift, not just for me, but I think for anybody who has the opportunity, as you are one of the great leaders of the tribe of the.
personal growth and spirituality movement. As from where you sit right now, looking at where we ve come from as western nation in terms of our acceptance of opening. Compared to where we were when you first started, what do you see? The fifties were all so different than the sixties. Everything was so in the boxes, the sixties just ecstatic and feeling that you had a voice of your own. Let's talk about the details and the kind of
boxed life. Your words of you, you were lit, lit, leading at the time you were now renowned. You were doing what everybody wants. Their son do you'd gone Harvard and you'd gone to Wesleyan than you had the degrees and you have the corner office it. Harvard living? This is the life? Were you not? Did you not think that was it at the time I had the antiques Mercedes everything that had that my shallow, and I really you why the Harvard professor in our I sat and looked at the teller faculty Members- and I didn't these such a spark. They knew up here, but they didn't know here and.
it never got to this? Had never got it stayed up here this meaning, coming from your soul from your heart, smooth the path of the heart, the path, I got involved with cited, Alex and then opened me up to one hadn't been opened to you. That involves not just involve. Would psychedelic you got involves. Academics with the king of second Alex Emily, Larry moved into an office right next to yours. If at Harvard the professor who moved in next door, Timothy Leary with later be described by the media as the most dangerous man in America called and evangelist and IRAN the gate who advocated for psychedelic with that famous
praise turned on to then dropped out for decades? He was the public face of the errors drug culture, Richard Outward and Timothy Larry's path diverged after outward spiritual transformation to ram Dass, they maintained a friendship and a deep connection. Will you ever you know all the stories I've read about it, you know had you Other you know we were that generation was just was. Was the drug Culture generation had Been warned against drugs, had you been told not to use drugs? Had there been this stigma against drug? My father said my god, you could be a doctor, What are you doing with this crowd? my family, didn't? Quite? Stan what I was doing, what. psychology was it wasn't.
like it is now yes and was considered crazy at the towers, re crazy, so They were one sign and timid. it was on the very different, and I look, in academia, as I was proud of Harvard, but the mushrooms showed me harboured was a box psychedelic questions here I have read that psycho. Alex- gave you the first with of guide that you didn't have even had a whiff of God. Right away. Yes, was that the first, with first with the first with absolutely the first with I mean. I had by Miss furs and all that
None of your raise jewish. Yes, none of that gave me a with with kids, whoever regret taking the drugs with all of the fear and the fact Illegal in all of the people who lost their lives in their way to drugs, did you ever regret doing it, Regretted making and drugs positive for four people. Were you disappointed to be thrown out of Harvard now your dad was yes, but I would I knew there was drugs in my system because when I went into the present, Herman ISA,
I'm sorry we'll have to let you go and all- and I looked at him and he just looks like a small man and he was frightened. because he rang by mysticism. We were missed. Linux. And they were intellectuals in Nice- sixty seven, a few years after leaving harboured Richard Travel to India Mark, the beginning of a life changing spiritual journey goodbye, I Harvard hello, India. I just came from their God. Only knows what it was like in the sixties, because my experience just a month ago was you look out one side of the window and there are ox in camels, pulling people in the street and then their peoples zooming through motorcycles, would do so.
You re sitting to the site is like nothing. I've ever seen a wonderful wonderful. I felt like I was in the middle of a video game which way I look or where to turn in your senses. well in people and burning things on the side of the road and their cooking in this, Well now this now you're taken over by this by the smells You arrived in the sixtys, but why have you gone? Why you gone. Can you tell me why you wanted to go? I was going to find out. Who had a map for my plains of consciousness, so I said I am going to these. Richard knew he had come to India as he said to find something when you. California, known as bog one does in Nepal. He had a feeling. He was getting closer, they draw.
In a borrowed land rover towards the foothills of the Himalayas, with Mozart, playing of the eight track and stopped at a roadside temple. And there is a scene them man with a blanket he's on. It able and about twenty people around him. And he's sitting as feed real is used for Ben and they look like white gowns. Now It looks like codfish thing, you know, so I stood bag. Because I didn't want to get involved in that call tissue. Yes, yes, but he pointed at me speaking, hang ended Hindu and he said. you were out under the stars last night, and you were thinking about your mother, your mother would dine, as I said
Yes, how did you know that? But he said spleen, which is just Then the name of the organ had killed. My mother, that's when you went well who is this guy? Who is who is this How did you know? I was I didn't Anybody that was miracle and away he was reading my mind. He was reading a mine, and I said if that, if he knows there or he'll know who we, He's gonna know Vinos that then he knows me. He knows all my secrets and I looked up at him and he was looking at me with unconditional love, unconditional, He was loving me totally. It never happened
people, love you because, because a good boy, you're a good friend, and he was loving me all make cuz he stuff all the I know but wanted Anybody'D and now right, that's what everybody there's really new media You're really knew me well loved this. He knew me and he loved me, and I found myself saying home again. And how do you explain that when you sit in front or sad In front of the maharajah, you not only felt love. But became love and loved people too because he is. He married my soul and
Made me identify with my soul and not my ego. was who I thought I was an I was really- and he said I I urge you to love everybody, so you came back to spread the love, the message of love. Yes, you ve got to tell the story of coming back to New York getting off the plane Europe other has come to meet you and there you are getting off the plane wrapped in what beads long, hair and. Indian close the white light garb stuff beard My father made me and he says, get in the car, quick beast.
So. Somebody sees you and I was just off the graph and my father father his greyness, his grey. Cadillac his grey. His cigar, your father had been a pretty to national, yet successful the person you all had three hundred acres idea, Threeam he's didn't like he openly accepted. You and your transformation and you know, allowed all these hippies to come to his house and dance on the lawn, but he that was for the camera. A really So you came back and all of these people are coming to your father's house. You came back, did you feel filled by the message that you had received
when you were in India and therefore then wanted to x- I said what I felt was there. Margie, but with a jewel and where's didn't understand, p, like Margie made an eye, wanted to share the jewel. Grew. The way you write about him takes on a quality that is not here. Usually when we think of gurus, we think of human is a girl with the same as a teacher. No, so the goose Above the teacher, Oh yes, Like an I didn t being in a fish a body here on earth. Yes, they are Higher b b, the
not necessarily the higher the highest, he sees your future. Your past people call you ago who do you think you are one? No, I said find a real one. This isn't a real one. Let's. Talk about what you say on page one, fifty eight about faith. I loved this, you said faith is not a belief. Just struck and because so many people do believe that their leave is appear. Belief is up here and faith is man here, Faith is what is left when your beliefs have all been blown to hell and then the stroke you that stroked, when you call her. Stroke, I looked around the hospital and There was around me there. all saying too bad, you ve got a stroke, others too too bad. You show, and I
negative and thoughts, and there was. Very negative feelings in me, because I realized I was. I was Missing my faith, the stroke has taken, I I've faith and morality and everybody says You depressed about your strong, no drunk, the care about my fave sell? It wasn't the stroke, but the loss of your face did you go to your. Why me period, why me no don't feel sorry for me because that's
wasting your time to feel sorry. Did you ever in this period of being stroked feel sorry for yourself. I know you never felt sorry. Just as the new new stage of life did you do you think you came to understand. What's being so, virtual mint in a different way, with the stroke. How so suffering is grace? Not the broken self spiritual life is in the moment in the moment is where you can see- God not in the past, not in the future. Past and future are thoughts just thoughts.
This godless right there right there in the stillness there, a moment. Is God live beautiful. So that's what I wanted to ask you to. People who are. You know, the majority of the people in our country are christian people there is God in all This is good in the maharajah do you see the maharajah is a manifestation of God yourself? All of us? Let's go. Since what whereas guide gone all around there. Reggie, God in him.
We all have, God in us, identifies with God in him. In a way that we don't, we don't got it so there is a since in the west is a God, outside of you in the east? God is inside of me yes Are there moments now, where you wish that you were not in this wheelchair than you can get up and dancer. do whatever you would be doing where you not in the chair, others still moments and are used to dance
but see them. I use do, is find form for the past imply I used to work if I can walk, but that is in the past, and a waste of time and a waste of energy. That's right going this is what I wished I could have been wished. I could have dire. Even though the stroke surprise you. because I know you were in the midst of writing a book on aging at the time to try to help people through it. Tell people accept it and interest the way our culture perceives aging is a boy now I'm eighty and is just amazing that the NATO now
The joy that comes in in aging, So how do we pray ass, being love. Now Mine should say. I am loving unawares and then- you ve, got in this direction as a moment you get tat. Doth means you ve been taken out of their right. That's right! Space right that once and get yourself back to that space? That's right! You don't have to worry about what to do doing comes. Naturally, that's right, cuz you're wing and operating from the love space has right, and this. Beating and this is due in gas. Are you happy? I'm joyous not happy at even better now.
in its just in the moment and joy, do you have any regrets? Do look back at your life with any regret I wish I could Nor I wish you I wish I'd I'd, be more love in that Roger. He gave me I'm wishing. I can't do it. You just did, you just did. Thank you. Do there was great thank you for that
I'm over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pod cast, you can follow superficial on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. If you haven't yet go to apple podcast, unsubscribe rate and reviews. This pledge gas join me next week for another supersede conversation. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-09.