He didn’t see #Psychedelics as an enlightening vehicle, but he did see it as an awakening vehicle, he saw them beginning a process that awakens us to the possibility. That’s the way he was using the word “Awaken”. As it breaks us out, in the same way that trauma can do it, near-death experiences, and perhaps years of intensive meditation.
He was a light user of #Marijuana, he saw it as an elevator to shift his planes of consciousness. That’s kind of the technical way he would say that he is using it, he liked to watch the way his mind works, in all the planes, and not in them at the same moment - on marijuana. From his point of view, #Buddhism is the closest to the psychedelic experience, at least in terms of #LSD, he said:
LSD catapults you beyond your conceptual structures. It extricates you. It overrides your habits of identification with thought and puts you into a nonconceptual mode very fast.
In recent years, “The Spiritual Teacher” said he was ready and reconciled to his coming death, he passed peacefully at home in Maui on December 22, 2019, a post on his “Official Instagram” page says he passed “surrounded by loved ones”, and that memorial services will soon be announced.
Very sad to hear of his passing, but also happy that he’s not in pain, and to know that on some level, he’s still here. “Don’t be silly, where could I go?” This is a strange moment because I planned to writre about his documentary “Becoming Nobody”, few days ago, so the timing is quite surreal.
He wore a robe and eschewed footwear. After his guru had proven impervious to LSD’s effects, Dass largely left behind drug experimentation as part of the path to enlightenment. The academic wrote many books, including the seminal book “Be Here Now”, which popularized the concept of mindfulness to western hippies.
The text sold over two million copies and its fluid concept of ego rejection played a formative role in the life of people like tech mogul “Steve Jobs”. In 1977 he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which impaired his speech, but, he said, increased his focus on his own spiritual path.
In 1978, he founded the international health non-profit “Seva Foundation”, which focused on providing cataract surgery and other services to people who were struggling with their vision. The organization’s website says that it has helped over five million people get their sight back over the years.
Dass met “Timothy Leary” while the two taught at “Harvard University”. They founded the “Harvard Psilocybin Project” and shared psychedelic drugs with volunteer graduate students to explore their mind-altering effects.
Few months ago, he was the subject of this year’s “Becoming Nobody” documentary, which presents the man’s life and work in a story told by filmmaker and follower “Jamie Catto”.
He was interviewed by the “New York Times” upon the release of “Becoming Nobody” in which he spoke of President Donald Trump’s “Heavy Karma”, and reflected on his own mortality. “Soul doesn’t have fear of dying”, he said.
“Ego has very pronounced fear of dying. The ego, this incarnation, is life and dying. The soul is infinite”. He was ready to die, he never feared death, The new age guru, is dead at 88. Rest in peace.