For a young person, struggling

E. D.
2 min readJun 19, 2022

The notion that brings us to our knees at some point in our lives — what is the point of anything — is the question we mostly leave behind because we get busy. Busy doing nonsense. We cover up the question with frantic activity and try not to come back to it. At least most of us. Denial is the animating force of most of human existence. But there are traditions that take up that question — what is the point of anything — and carry it to its logical conclusion. Which is very much NOT despair though it may travel through despair on its way there.

As Ram Dass says, there is nothing you have to do and nowhere you have to go. As Alan Watts says, the meaning of life is just to be alive. But we’ve been so bamboozled by a veil of thoughts and plans that these statements are hard to understand. Reality cannot be captured by concepts. Concepts are useful tools for specific purposes, and often delightful playthings, but to the degree they force awareness into narrow tunnels, concepts are destructive. To really know what we are and who we are, we must be able to, at times, rid ourselves of all concepts.

Ram Dass is remembered by many as a new-agey guru from the 1960s. Complete mischaracterization. He was a Harvard trained psychiatrist and professor who eventually abandoned his whole mainstream life and went to study Vedanta in India. And then came back to the US. A very dear man, a brilliant man, with an enormously wide perspective and giant heart. Here’s ten hours of Ram Dass. Good for starting and stopping and coming back to whenever it seems useful. The point is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist or anything at all. The point is to UNdo the conceptual restraints that bind you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7MUnj2pt2k&t=522s

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