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A letter of comfort

moira52
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2008

I saw a documentary about Ram Dass, "Fierce Grace", several months ago, documenting his life, especially coming to terms with aging & his own mortality after a stroke. One part of the movie really made an impression on me: a little girl had been killed & her parents were inconsolable. He sent them a letter of condolence which just blew me away. I think there is a universal message there in his eloquence, and although our circumstances may be quite different, it is, at very least, something to ponder. I've taken some comfort in it, and post it here:

http://www.kotapress.com/section_art...el_ramDass.htm

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soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I couldn't get to it, for whatever reason, but I appreciate the alternative thinking. It DID provoke me to seek more info about Ram Dass, and to learn that he was a contemporary of Leary at Harvard (I'm not sure how I feel about that, to be honest, although there was a time when I considered Leary to be a pioneer of expanded consciousness, riding triumphantly in the wake of Wm James and the Huxleys, along with the more current Burroughs, Castenada, Kesey, et al).

Hope to figure it out and get to it.

Take care,

Joe

moira52
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2008

(Editor's note: This is posted here in the Kota Loss Journal with permission from RamDassTapes.org. You can find it also at ramdasstapes.org/articles_final.htm)

Dear Steve and Anita,

Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

I can't assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience.

In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.

Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts– if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is
invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me.

In love,

Ram Dass

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soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Wow. That is a rather poignant sympathy card, not to make light of it (I am not, and I thank you for posting it). I am duly impressed and glad to have read it. It reminds me of something I might write, except that it includes faith, something I am sorely in need of but lacking at present. Perhaps this will be an instigator in that direction. Perhaps not.

(It certainly peels layers from the pre-conditioned notion that the egg that is faith must be wrapped up inside the shell that is orthodox religion, something I once considered greatly but had long since abandoned along with all thoughts of theism.)

Thanks, again.

Take care,

Joe

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Moira thank you for posting this letter, it is both beautifully written and obviously came from deep within ones soul. I hope never to know the pain of the loss of a child, I am sure the parents of young Rachel found comfort in the words penned by Ram Dass, there is greast wisdom there.

RE

moira52
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2008

ABOUT RAM DASS- from WWW.ramdassnow.com

"Ram Dass first went to India in 1967. He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an already eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr.Timothy Leary. He had continued his psychedelic research until that fateful Eastern trip in 1967, when he traveled to India. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Everything changed then—his intense dharmic life started, and he became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with the words “Be Here Now” ever since. Ram Dass’s spirit has been a guiding light for three generations, carrying along millions on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own."

He had tenure at Harvard & was well respected & admired, but caught that vibe in India and came back a changed man, to say the least. His family & colleagues didn't consider this a brilliant career move; I remember an article where his own brother referred to him as "Rammed A$$". But as time goes on, many things that were considered revolutionary in the 60's have become accepted, even mainstream . To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, badly, the 60's were the final hurrah for mankind, meaning, I think, that there was a collective mind that was wide open, and for a while we were free from the chains of convention & status quo to discover our own truths, or something like that.

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