By chance this week I stumbled upon a video that I adore. It’s a conversation over coffee with two of my favorite minds; Terence Mckenna and Ram Dass.
Their conversation was filled with things to giggle at, things to take on, and things to pass along. It was one of the best interviews and definitely one of the most candid free-flowing discussions I have seen in a while. (Or maybe ever? None that compare come to mind.) They also talked about the future (this video is from 1992) and it’s interesting to hear them talk about a time that is happening right now.
I also loved that they touched upon revolution and its various forms, including the importance of a non-confrontational revolution. (I wrote something on that very topic this week. I will share it as a blog post next week.) Overall I loved every minute of the interview as I smiled and sat on the edge of my seat. I truly felt like two people were discussing everything I find important and wish to explore.
I decided to note the exchanges between Terence Mckenna and Ram Dass that I found either funny or valuable. I also listed random quotes that I enjoyed. But don’t let these notes mislead you. There is still so much more to take from their discussion. I can’t recommend enough for you to watch all four videos. They all have much to offer and the delivery of the information is quote entertaining. They both have quite a sense of humor, as does their waiter.
Notable exchanges I enjoyed between Terence Mckenna and Ram Dass:
(You might not find them funny, understand them, or even enjoy them out of context. So feel free the skip past them and go straight to the videos. You can always read them after. They’ll make more sense that way.)
RD: [Says to TM] Go beyond the isms to tell me what we are really finding.
TM: We’re finding a world made out of mind instead of stuff.
RD: [Says to TM about TM] Just clinging, just clinging.
TM: Just aspiring to cling! Actually I live the life of an ascetic, it’s my aspirations that are pulling me down.
TM: Can you make a revolution without inner righteousness?
RD: That’s the far-out question of ; Where would the action come from? There is this line in Buddhism that says, “Out of emptiness arises compassion”. And what I’ve experienced is; that there is a way in which I can sit down in front of a truck, or feed a person, or go make love, or go surf. And there is an appropriateness in every one of those acts. But for me to hear that, I really gotta shut up. My work is to keep shutting up. And if it’s a revolution, so be it.
TM: Blake said a wonderful thing, if I can get it right. He said, “If the truth can be told, so as to be understood, it will be believed .” [The actual quote is: ”Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed.” – William Blake ]
RD: When can you say it simply enough? Is it only said in silence simply enough? Or are there words?
RD: My life is my message.
TM: I think I’m at a little lower level. Because I am very aware that I have to struggle to say my life is my message. I almost rather say, “My message is my message, please don’t look at my life because I’m a fallible human being and I’m constantly fucking up”.
RD: But do you see how that weakens your message? You see how that quality means that the message doesn’t come from the root? There is a way in which it waffles. […] Why waffle? What is worth holding onto that is worth waffling about?
RD: I was afraid of you up until now. Now I am delighted to be with you.
TM: No, no. Don’t be afraid of me. The people that are afraid of me either don’t know me, or know me better than you ever will.
The four videos:
Additional quotes I enjoyed from the interview…
Terence Mckenna Quotes:
”We once knew everything we need to know. So, what we are trying to find out is lost knowledge, not new knowledge.”
”There is a transcendental dimension beyond language. It’s just hard as hell to talk about it.”
”What they [psychedelics] seem to do generically is, they seem to dissolve boundaries. And the ego is in the business of creating, maintaining, and defending boundaries.”
”The core process which is running us over the edge is our inability to emotionally connect with the consequences of what we are doing. If in a single moment we could feel what we are doing we would stop.”
”I think it was Friedrich Nietzsche that said, ‘There was only one Christian and they crucified him’.”
[The actual quote is: ”There never was more than one Christian, and he died on the Cross.” – Friedrich Nietzsche ]
Ram Dass Quotes:
”All this business of a Christ figure. I see how seductive it is. But we’ve gotten very cynical. We’ve projected into such a person a purpose. Instead of just that life forming out of the needs of the moment.”
”Death is absolutely safe. It’s like taking off a tight shoe.”
”All this destruction is just the process of transformation.”
”Ahhhhhw! It’s the ecstasy of total horror & total beauty at the same moment.”