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The Only Dance There Is (Doubleday Anchor Original) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Doubleday Anchor Original
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (March 5, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385084130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385084130
  • ASIN: 0385084137
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is based on talks by Ram Dass at the Menninger Foundation in 1970 and at the Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland in 1972. The text grew out of the interaction between Ram Dass and the spiritual seekers in attendance at these talks. The result of this unique exchange is a useful guide for understanding the nature of consciousness--useful both to other spiritual seekers and to formally trained psychologists. It is also a celebration of the Dance of Life--which, in the words of Ram Dass, is the "only dance there is."

From the Inside Flap

This book is based on talks by Ram Dass at the Menninger Foundation in 1970 and at the Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland in 1972. The text grew out of the interaction between Ram Dass and the spiritual seekers in attendance at these talks. The result of this unique exchange is a useful guide for understanding the nature of consciousness--useful both to other spiritual seekers and to formally trained psychologists. It is also a celebration of the Dance of Life--which, in the words of Ram Dass, is the "only dance there is."

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

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book changed my life and when teachers were hard to come by it was there to guide and help me on my journey.
G Kealy
I'm not going to tell you to go out of your way and buy this book, because if you have read this far you will no doubt be able to make that decision for yourself.
Michael Cunningham
This is the Only Dance there is...God dancing with Itself in everything, as everything... I believe in a dancing God.
John P. Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 115 people found the following review helpful By John P. Morgan VINE VOICE on October 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
"I can only believe in a God that dances..."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

I love Ram Dass. For those of you who are in the "dark" about him, he is formerly known as Richard Alpert...no relation to Herb. He and fellow psychoanalyst, Timothy Leary (anyone ever hear of him) promoted LSD as the way to change EVERYTHING in your life. From curing alcoholism to feeling as though there is a deeper side to everything that we see, LSD was the "wonder drug" that made it all possible. Instead of going fullbore into the trip that made Leary so famous, Alpert went to India seeking Spirituality and came back as Ram Dass. You see, when the consciousness changes, the name changes, as well. Our name must reflect our inner nature. In some circles I am known as Mi Che Lob...which simply means, I like Michelob beer...

This book is a written account of Dass' visits to various institutions. He was trying to get "prisoners" to see that there is way out of the game they were currently in. Whether we're in a brick and iron facility or in a prison of our own making makes little difference to Ram Dass, we can be free from those prisons when we begin to identify ourselves not with a body, but with the Spirit of all Creation...with God...y'see, Christianity does not own God. They would like to think that they do, but God does not promote only one type of religion, God does not only allow "certain" people to experience bliss and peace, God does not vote Republican. God is the Impersonal made personal; a Love that knows no bounds that is within and around each being. Everything is God and God is everything.

This is the book that got me to start chanting OM MANI PADME AUM every morning and every evening and got me strange looks from my dad.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Loren E. Clive on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hesitated to accept this book from a friend since I thought it would be too way out, but once I started reading it, I relished the insightful observations and openness of Dass. He is a genius and obviously very in touch with himself. The day I started reading this, I was in a terrible mood, but afterwards I was unbelievably optimistic. I went out immediately and bought it for my brother and have been recommending it to all of my friends. Everyone should have a copy!! I've been looking all over Berkeley for another copy for myself to no avail since my friend wanted hers back. Now, thanks to Amazon, I can get my own. Seriously, though, this book emphasizes the importance of living in the moment, taking risks in life, the value of altered states of consciousness, and accepting and embracing your innate humanity. Dass engrosses the reader with amazing stories and relates abstract religious concepts well to real life.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By SpiritSite.com Staff on March 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
An excellent, underrated spiritual book. Ram Dass is brilliant, spontaneous, and loving -- his messages are clear as a bell.
For reference, the book is a sort of "transcript" of talks given at the menninger Foundation in 1970 and at Spring Grove hospital in 1972.
Here is a classic quote from the book: "I used to hang out with the Mellon Family. The Mellon family is very rich. Each of the parents has 700 million dollars. That's rich in my book. The kids were poor. They each had only 20 million. I hung out with one of these kids who had 20 million dollars and he felt like a bum... That's far out from my point of view."
Ram Dass skillfully uses stories like this to illustrate the spiritual truths that craving objects leads to suffering, that peace of mind lies within, and so on.
Excellent book. Thanks Ram!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amit Pande on April 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ram Dass has the remarkable ability to deal with profound topics - the planes of existence, chakras, the nature of Being in his unique, effervescent, frank, and lucid style.
The backdrop of Ram Dass - an acid researching, Harvard psychologist, who went to India for answers to his questions on existence, mysticism, and spirituality, is needless to say, unconventional. I frankly didn't know what to expect from the book. And I was not only surprised beyond my expectations, but also intrigued to a point where I rediscovered many of my latent questions about life.
If you are coming from a path where you've read some of these:
Lobsang Rampa, Aldous Huxley, Blake, Sri Aurobindo, Gurdjeff, or others who try to explain eastern philosophy/mysticism/what lies beyond/Karma/astral travel/the meaning of life, in a manner that we can understand, this is definitely a great book for you.
Good look, I hope the book gives you some "answers" on your quest
!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Petersen on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although I generally feel positive about this book, the unqualifiedly positive nature of the other reviews has motivated me to point out some of its short-comings. But I also hope that my criticisms will help defuse the knee-jerk rejection that many empirically-oriented readers might feel toward this book, since I do believe that the book is worthy of being read.

First of all, it is apparent that Ram Dass has forgone the use of critical thinking. For Dass, it seems that any and all ideas have some veracity. Being a former professor at Harvard University, he admits to the validity of genetics and the socialization process in having some impact on the development of character. But at the same time, he seems to favor a 'self' found only at higher, metaphysical planes of existence (inaccessible to some of us). Dass rejects nothing: everything goes.

With critical thinking thrown overboard, many readers will be tempted to skip this book as being too soft, too fuzzy, and too accepting. That would be misguided. Dass has an attitude of unconditional acceptance that has had two distinct advantages. First, it has allowed him access to people, places, and ideas that critically-minded researchers might never have. All people (even gurus in India) are hesitant to share beliefs with others who might find those beliefs repugnant or even ridiculous. It is no secret that the most productive way in getting another person to open up is with an attitude of sincere and unconditional acceptance. Dass has just such an attitude, which allowed him to go far in India.

Second, his attitude also allows us as readers to survey a wide gamut of ideas.
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