My Year of Short Stories: Nov 30th

An Interview without Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das, The Believer Magazine, Oct/Nov 2017.

This interview with these two gurus is an interesting look at the flood of eastern thinking, actionable philosophy that has become a fad in the US. From yoga studios to self help books, and even the I Ching, eastern mysticism has come to reside in our popular culture. Ram Dass, who suffered a stoke some years ago has an interesting perspective, as he was very close to death, but couldn’t accept what was happening to him at the time. He sees it as a spiritual failure as he has spent so much of his life helping people through death, and then once it is upon him he acted with only the most basic of human tendency– to survive. Because of the stroke he has lost some of his speech, and repeats himself often. However, he can still string together a sentence well enough. Dameshwar Das seems to be part of the interview so as to interpret much of what Dass is saying in more understandable terms. While it’s an interesting look at Buddhism, I still shy away from the idea that one person “knows” or can help other people “know” anything about a grander experience of life. Perhaps they can show people techniques that have worked, but uncovering a spiritual truth is, I believe, for more individual.

A halfway interesting interview, but nothing new in terms of subject matter. (C-)