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Excerpted from Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass. Copyright © 1978 by Ram Dass. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"We spend so much effort to get out of something that didn't exist until we created it. Something that is gone in a moment."

Ram Dass, Journey of Awakening, Part 2

We try so hard to overcome the separateness. More intimacy. More rubbing of bodies. More exchanging of ideas. But always it's as if you are yelling out of your room and I am yelling out of mine. Even trying to get out of the room invests the room with a reality. Who am I? The room that the mind built.

We spend so much effort to get out of something that didn't exist until we created it. Something that is gone in a moment. We've all had moments when there was no room. But we freaked. Or explained it away, ignored it, or let it pass by.

A moment. The moment of orgasm. The moment by the ocean when there is just the wave. The moment of being in love. The moment of crisis when we forget ourselves and do just what is needed.

We each come out again and again. We turn and look and realize we're out--and panic. We run back in the room, close the door, panting heavily. Now I know where I am. Iím back home. Safe. No matter how squalid the room is, no matter how unmade the bed, no matter how many bugs are crawling around the kitchen. Safe.

These moments appear again and again in our lives. For many people it first comes as a glimpse into other states of consciousness brought about by emotional trauma, drugs, sex, nature, or a love affair. This glimpse reveals to the person that there is something more. That he or she isnít exactly who he or she thought.

You may link these moments with the conditions out of which they arose. Perhaps it's the moment of sexual orgasm when you transcend self-consciousness. Perhaps it's a moment of trauma, of extreme danger when you "forget yourself." Perhaps it's when you are out in the woods away from people and you let down your defenses, loosen the boundaries of your self-consciousness. Perhaps when you are lazing by a stream. Perhaps when you are sitting quietly with friends you trust and love.

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