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Be Here Now Paperback – October 12, 1978
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From the Publisher
Magic TheatreThen 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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The core of the original book is closer to a comic book, or a series of posters, than a traditional book. If you want to experience the book in its original form, there is probably no substitute for a printed copy. But the Kindle version does take a very reasonable approach to dealing with the challenge of reproducing the original artwork: it includes graphics of each page and then, in a separate section, a transcription of the words on those pages. Although placing two graphics on each "page" of the Kindle book makes this a bit awkward to navigate, for some readers this version may be easier to read than the original: the printed book used dark backgrounds in some sections that make the text difficult to decipher, whereas the graphics and transcription in the Kindle version stick to white backgrounds. So, if reading red type against a brown background is not your idea of a good time, try the Kindle version.
The Kindle version does also include two guided meditation videos that may interest some readers. Unfortunately, these do not work in the Kindle Android app; I assume you need to have actual Kindle hardware to use them. In any case, I can't comment on these.
Bottom line: reading the Kindle version is a distinctly different experience of the book, but it's a reasonable choice for many, and possibly of interest even to those of us who already own the book in print.
It's an eclectic book. Part auto-bio, part art book, part spiritual practice advice/tips. On the practical portion it covers meditation, pranayama, asanas, diet, mantra, as well as other 'religious' practices. The emphasis is on discovering our connection to the universe, to the creator and source of everything, God if you will.
The book isn't preachy, although a sense of urgency does permeate the book, because after all your only have "NOW" and the only way to take advantage of the NOW is to be HERE, be present and fully engaged. Yesterday's gone and tomorrow (next minute even) is not promised.
In modern globally conscious society this is a great way to introduce children to spirituality and religion. Ram Dass found a very clever balance of thinking that is really inclusive of most spiritual traditions throughout the world, and that's what I think is the most valuable thing about this book. Sometimes it's Christian, then Buddhist, Sufi, and in the end it's very philosophical. Fools will just look at the pretty pictures, and there a lots of them - super awesome illustrations. But there is real depth here.
Now that I've grown up a whole lot of this book is just silly, but I appreciate how thought provoking it was to me as a kid. At a time when I was too smart for my own good but had nothing really worth thinking about, it was awesome to finally be hit with ideas that would leave me completely confused for hours or days. I owe a lot to this book.
So about a year ago I said screw it, I'd like to send a message of thanks to Mr. Alpert / Ram Dass. I contacted his people, wrote a heartfelt message just saying dude thank you for your awesome book can you please let him know what a great book he created. And I got some PR turd who said if you'd like to speak with the holy Ram Dass you can send a check for like $10,000 for entrance to his spiritual retreat in Hawaii. So yeah, the guy sold out and became an ass, but it happens. Anyway I bought another copy and it's a great coffee table book.
Top international reviews
From the perspective of someone that had no idea about this world and was a complete skeptical. Very easy to relate.
I a.m. Inspired to be here now and want to share this message
In the second part, he talks about the spiritual knowledge that he got during his time as a disciple in Baba's ashram. I think this is the most gripping yet most difficuilt part of the book. It is quite difficuilt to understand but at the same time it is quite to the point, the only problem being I think that this part was written while he was high with LSD and that is why you see all the text written is haphazard and also at times it is not that subtle.
In the last part, he talks about the process to follow to get to know the truth.
All in all it is a great book!!