The gig is spiritual. That’s the thing. It always was. I can sit here contemplating my next sentence, accidentally rest my joined hands on too much belly fat, freak out, and that would be legitimate enough. But it’s easy to use that same concern to bash myself, and then I’ll want more peanut butter or something fried, and afterwards a nap. So not just about the diet, is it? More like love and trust, and where does that come from? (With a whole bunch more, I’d weigh thirty pounds less and be bouncing all over the room.) The gig is spiritual, I tell you. You’d better love yourself a lot when you wake up at 4:00 a.m. because you’re terrified and don’t know what to do. Oh right, most folks sleep through. Well, good for them!
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) popped up in my Twitter feed the other day. This is kind of fascinating for me, because I bought his Be Here Now book in 1971 when it was new and had no idea of who he was, not even that he’d been a colleague of Timothy Leary’s at one point and launched a brand new life as a result of their LSD experiments, and because the American ashram associated with his guru (Neem Karoli Baba) is located right here in Taos, where Ram Dass has visited many times. Connections between northern New Mexico now and my own life over forty years ago keep showing up just when I least suspect it, although no, that isn’t any conscious reason why we came—the relationships have been floating out of the mist over the last fifteen years in ways so strange, they’d never be predicted.
Be that as it may, here’s something he wrote in August, 2012 and posted on his Facebook page. I mention it here because I want to see it, not because I’m advocating anything in particular, and because it might come in handy for a few of you left hyperventilating on the road to panic. The gig is spiritual, dammit, and the mantra really helps:
If you follow your heart there is nothing to fear. As long as your actions are based on your pure seeking for God, you are safe. And any time you are unsure or frightened about your situation, there’s a beautiful and very powerful mantra:
“The power of God is within me. The grace of God surrounds me,” which you can repeat to yourself. It will protect you. Experience the power of it, it’s like a solid steel shaft that goes from above through the top of your head down to the base of your being. Grace will surround you like a force field. Through an open heart one hears the universe.