Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 254 – The Up-Level

In a talk from 1978, Ram Dass explores stepping onto the spiritual path, different planes of consciousness, the process of awakening, and the spiritual up-level game we can get caught in.

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This episode of Here and Now comes from a 1978 recording of a talk Ram Dass gave at a meeting of the Christian Community of San Francisco.

  • Ram Dass begins by speaking about the ups and downs of stepping onto the spiritual path, and how the nature of his personal journey had to do with the relationship of thought forms to the universe. There are more ways to know the universe beyond the rational, analytic mind, including intuition.
  • Using meditation as an example, Ram Dass explores how we can lessen our identification with our thinking mind and start identifying more with our awareness. He talks about the different planes of consciousness on which we exist, from the physical and psychological planes to the plane where we’re all one.
  • Ram Dass describes the process of awakening as a process of extricating ourselves from attachment to any of these planes. He talks about the confusion people encounter as they jump from plane to plane and the spiritual up-level game that people can get caught in. Ultimately, what we have to realize is that there’s no place to stand. We’ve got to allow it all, all of the time.

“‘Peter, it’s your turn to do the dishes.’ Peter answers, ‘We’re all one.’ Now, it is true we are all one, and it’s also true that it’s your turn to do the dishes. That’s what would be called a confusion of levels, you see. That’s what was known as the up-level in the original jargon of the consciousness movement. That was the up-level. You up-level everybody. Whatever they said, you just jumped one level up. Then you get the penultimate where somebody is saying, ‘It’s all nothing, it’s all empty, there is nothing, there’s nowhere.’ Then you’d say, ‘Yes, but do the dishes.’ And that would be your new up-level, that would be the twist.” – Ram Dass