“Be Here Now” and the Nature of Political Change

Although there are many who were involved in the debate over the Vietnam War, in many respects Richard Alpert’s book played a central and underestimated role. Perhaps that was the whole point of Alpert’s approach, especially when he assumed the name Ram Dass and became a yogi of sorts. I have gone through a few sections of the book I found on the internet recently and found them of great relevance today.

"Be Here Now"   This classic book by Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) was released in 1971 at the height of political chaos in the United States towards the close of the Vietnam War.

“Be Here Now”
This classic book by Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) was released in 1971 at the height of political chaos in the United States towards the close of the Vietnam War.

This illustration about the seeming conflict between the police and the hippies is of great interest.

Deceptively simple, this description of the duality that underlies all political discourse made a deep impression when I first saw it many years ago.

Deceptively simple, this description of the duality that underlies all political discourse made a deep impression when I first saw it many years ago.

Using Buddhist ideas about duality, Alpert suggests how the two forces we see in front of us feed off of each other. I would not suggest that “Be Here Now” offers a solution, but it does offer much in the way of insight.

 

 

A few more selections:

 

 

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