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Be Here Now Paperback – October 12, 1971

464 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's easy to dismiss Be Here Now as the relic of a whacked-out '60s acid tripper. Paging through the center section of the book, with its inch-high print and psychedelic drawings, you come across lines like:

Magic Theatre
For madmen only
price of admission
your
mind
Then you turn to the first page of the book, and you are suddenly sucked into the story of a Harvard psychiatrist who has reached the pinnacle of success, discovers the mind-expanding powers of acid, and ends up trooping through India with a 23-year-old holy man from Laguna Beach, California. In the story, you see all the trappings of your own life and begin to wonder if India might hold the answers after all. Before booking your ticket, turn to the last section of the Be Here Now, "Cookbook for a Sacred Life." Ram Dass saves you the trouble by proffering a sober introduction to the basics of Hindu religion. Although he still can't resist CAPITAL LETTERS, he has done his homework, presenting a whole range of concepts and practices having to do with yoga postures, meditation, renunciation, dying, and sexual energy. So, for the most part, Be Here Now stands the test of time, and if you can entertain the center section in a retro kind of a spirit, it might be just what you're looking for: "The opposite of craving is saying, baby, this is the way it is, yeah, OK, here and now, this is it. I ACCEPT THE HERE & NOW FULLY." --Brian Bruya

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Lama Foundation (October 12, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517543052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517543054
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (464 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ram Dass, one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, has made his mark on the world giving teachings and promoting loving service, harmonious business practices, and conscious care for the dying. His spirit has been a guiding light for four generations, carrying millions along on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. He makes his home in Maui.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

565 of 580 people found the following review helpful By "shankarji" on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I know it's a cliché, but this book changed my life. I read it in 1973 when I was an angst-ridden twenty-something searching for a spiritual direction. I bought the book because I recognised Dr Richard Alpert from his association with Dr Timothy Leary and was curious to hear his post acid-haze spin on spirituality. What I found in the pages of this book planted the seed of a philosophy which has grown in my own consciousness, becoming the foundation for a spiritual life. The first part of the book deals with Dr Alperts spiritual awakening through the grace of his guru and his subsequent metamorphosis into the disciple called Baba Ram Dass. It is an inspiring tale for those not afflicted by cynical preconceptions and it inspired in me the desire to seek out my own guru. The central portion of the book was perfect for the times, when people who had opened the gates of their perception with the aid of psychotropic substances, were looking for more natural means to help keep them open. Using the words and teachings of many different spiritual masters, from Jesus to Ramakrishna, the book uses psychedelic, cartoon-like images to get the message across. And the message is Be Here Now. When I first meditated on the meaning of this exhortation, ten thousand bells began to ring in my mind. Of course! The past is gone, an illusion which exerts all kinds of negative influences on the human psyche. The future is even more illusory, in that it is so transient. It could be years long, or it could be seconds - who knows? Life can only be truly experienced in the present - in the here and now - and if we are to find peace and spiritual freedom, we must first do away with our attachment to the past and the future.Read more ›
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176 of 187 people found the following review helpful By "22sassy" on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book about 8 years ago for the first time and as I was reading it I felt as if my mind was being [pulled] in the pages. I have bought it 3 separate times but always feel compelled to give it away to someone who I feel could benefit from the wisdom inside.
This book comes in 3 parts...the first part is an account of the author's pre "Ram Dass" life as a PhD and scholar....then to make a long story short, he did some psychedelic drugs, and discovered that he actually liked what was inside his mind and wanted to try to find a way to live in "the now" without the drug experience attached. His journey took him to finding a guru..interesting stuff but then to my favorite part of the book:
the middle....this is a brown paper rambling section full of rich artwork, roughly drawn cartoons, biblical and buddhist references, and what I found to be great truths....all about what it means to "be here now."
While some of it is overly simplistic, and some of it is gratuitous reference to organized religion, most of it is just an alternative way of thinking about yourself, your problems, lifestyle, and family issues. What I took away from this book was a renewed sense of self awareness and it even made me realize that different is not bad, its just different. I guess I was at the point in time in my life where I needed that insight into my own behaviors and thought processing capabilities. In any event, it OPENED MY EYES!!! It made me look at everything differently, and almost instantaneously changed my perception of the world and others in it.
The third part, which is called something like "cookbook for a sacred life" really gets into the practice of buddhism and meditation, which was not the route I chose to go with my life...but in any case, a great and interesting read for anyone interestied in gaining valuable insight into the mystery of their life and life in general.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Road runner on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was given to me by a coworker who couldn't make heads or tails of it and told me to keep it. I opened it to the first 'brown paper sack' page and started reading and tears came to my eyes and I realized that I was holding something very sacred. I only comprehended about 10% of what was said but I knew in my heart that here were answers to questions I had not even thought about.... yet... Unifying the messages from many traditions, he addresses our lives and minds with knowledge and wisdom like I had never heard before... I had grown up in the Bible belt and thought I knew everything I needed to know about God, good, evil, Jesus, and then I read this and realized that I really knew nothing at all... now 36 years later I am a Buddhapalian (practicing buddhist and Episcopalian) with many years of study in both traditions and as I read it for the umpteenth time I still smile at some new gem that comes out of the page at me and nod my head.... No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, pick this book up and read it... and over time I am sure you will agree that it is an immense sacred gift to us all...
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80 of 101 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
AS A 16 YEAR OLD IN CANADA AND GROWING UP IN A VERY RELIGIOUS HOME, THIS WAS THE BOOK THAT HAS OPENED MY EYES. " THERE IS THE ANSWER.... AND IT WAS INSIDE ME ALL ALONG!!". I'M READING IT FOR THE 5TH THIME, BECAUSE ONCE, TWICE, FIFTY TIMES IS NEVER ENOUGH!! THIS BOOK JUST OPENS, OPENS, OPENS AGAIN YOUR SOUL, MIND AND BODY..... VERY CAPTIVATING, VERY TRUSTING..... VERY LOVELY. WORDS CAN'T EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR THIS BOOK.... AND FOR A TEENAGER (we get confused, we get upset, we need advice, and we need to know!) THIS BOOK IS THE ONE TO READ....THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.
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