Petulant, tired, and angry are not often words we ascribe to renowned spiritual teachers, yet in this lecture on self-acceptance from Ram Dass, these are all qualities the former Harvard psychologist and man responsible for combining Eastern philosophy with western psychedelic thought claims to be. These traits, however, exist within Ram Dass not because he is a fraud or hasn’t done enough self-work, but because he allows himself to risk being human.
In this 55-minute lecture hosted on the Here and Now Podcast, Ram Dass explains to us how self-acceptance allows you to get behind the polarity of self-love and self-hate, stating that the question should not be how can we love ourselves more? but rather, how can we accept ourselves more?
“Now, what I found was that as I started to allow myself to be more human, just allowed what I am, things changed much faster in me. I mean, things fell away more quickly. It was as if I was locked into a model which was based on that negativity, that dislike of myself; and once I just allowed myself to be human, with all the foibles, things started to flow, and I could feel change occurring in myself.” That change, he goes on to explain, was the realization of his own beauty, showing us that it is by giving up self-judgement that we are able to see the truth of ourselves. This, as Ram Dass found, is more profound than self-love alone.