Love everyone, feed everyone, and remember God.
Neem Karoli Baba
I recently gave Ram Dass’s Be Here Now to Laura, an exceptional Maryville University graduate and psychology major. Previously, I had mentioned to her that part early in the book about Richard Alpert’s growing disenchantment as an upwardly mobile psychology prof and his eventual breakdown/breakthrough with Neem Karoli Baba (“Maharajji”), who became his guru. I thought she might appreciate both the design of the book and some of the teachings, which she’d probably not come across in upper-level psych courses.
Like Ram Dass a devotee of Maharajji, Parvati Markus has recently compiled ardent testimonies in Love Everyone: The Transcendent Wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba Told through the Stories of the Westerners Whose Lives He Transformed. The influential psychologist Daniel Goleman was one of those Westerners, and his experience in India was crucial to developing a more holistic and powerful psychology: “In the West I had been in the heart of American psychology, and here was a sea of love, totally off the map of Western psychology. It was so clear that we had missed something really important about human abilities, human potential, about the heart. Here was a being who was endless love and presence. It wasn’t some temporary state; it was who he was. That’s what really got me.”
Markus’s book covers the years 1968 to 1973. Many people went to India at a young age (late teens, early twenties), and eventually returned to the U.S. to integrate what they had experienced in ashrams and following the guru around India. People went into the professions, raised families, got stuck, got unstuck, achieved fame (e.g., Krishna Das). All of them had been marked for life by Maharajji, as the following remarks indicate… Read the rest of this entry »