|born on||6 April 1931 at 10:40 (= 10:40 AM )|
|Place||Boston MA, USA, 42n22, 71w04|
|Timezone||EST h5w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||15°52' 07°23 Asc. 18°14'|
American educator and author, fired as a Harvard professor for early experiments with LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs, who became a follower of the path of Eastern philosophy. His books included "Be Here Now," 1971, "How Can I Help," 1985, and "Journey of Awakening," 1990.
Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert into a wealthy family. His father, George Alpert, was a Boston attorney who helped found Brandeis University, then took control of the New Haven Railroad in 1956. Though encouraged by his father to seek a medical career, Ram Dass collected degrees from Tufts, Wesleyan and Stanford, then became a psychology professor at Harvard. Immersed in sports cars, antiques and even an air plane, Ram Dass pursued the "middle-class bachelor" life until the early '60s, when hallucinogens changed his world view.
With his friend, Timothy Leary, he allowed undergraduates to participate in drug experiments, for which both he and Leary were fired from Harvard in 1963. The pair moved to Mexico to open up a "psychedelic training center," and were expelled from Mexico also, eventually settling into a 63-room mansion in Millbrook, N Y, owned by heirs to the Mellon fortune.
Ram Dass soon tired of Leary's confrontational style with authority, and the pair split though remaining friends. Ram Dass traveled to India where he met a guru who changed his life and eventually, his name. Ram Dass means "servant of God" in Hindi. Dass began to see hallucinogens as shallow and artificial. He became a Guru himself, a leader to those on the spiritual quest. He reportedly struggled with relationship issues, including sex, alternating between celibacy and bisexuality.
When his dad fell ill, Ram Dass became his personal caretaker. During the '80s he urged people to engage in selfless service as he himself was working with the homeless, setting up a hospice for dying people and helping to start the Seva Foundation to treat the blind in third-world countries. In the late '80s, he became an activist for the Seva Foundation, a Michigan-based charitable group he co-founded. Seva has helped fund reforestation projects in Latin America and health education for Native Americans in South Dakota. Its principal goal is to fight blindness in India and Nepal and it has funded cataract operations as well as training for local doctors. Ram Dass raised $500,000 during a 60-city lecture tour.
He resides in the San Francisco Bay area. On 2/19/1997 he had a stoke, leaving his left side partly paralyzed. His book, "Still Here" was published that year. It was ironic that a master at speaking, a brilliant teacher and hilarious raconteur who could hold thousands rapt now could not speak, that he had been silenced by illness. A week later, Ram Dass began his recovery, and he embarked on a long course of rehabilitation. He said the stroke had taught him to appreciate silence. He suffers continual pain, particularly in his right arm, and also has high blood pressure, gout and apnea, which requires him to sleep hooked up to a respiratory machine so that he won't stop breathing. After the stroke, his friends said "He became much sweeter and softer."
- business associate/partner relationship with Leary, Timothy (born 22 October 1920)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1971 (Book released)
- Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 1963 (Fired from Harvard)
LMR quotes his autobiography "The Only Dance There Is"
- Vocation : Education : Teacher (Harvard Professor)
- Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ eastern
- Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social (Freedom to use drugs)
- Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs (Psychodelic investigation)
- Notable : Book Collection : American Book
- Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual
- Passions : Sexuality : Celibacy/ Minimal (Periods)
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (Left side paralyzed)
- Personal : Misc. : Changed name (Took a spiritual name)
- Family : Parenting : Primary care of elderly (Cared for ailing father)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Philanthropist (Raised money for Seva Foundation)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Inheritance
- Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Wealthy family)
- Lifestyle : Social Life : Party animal (Rich middle-class bachelor life)
- Vocation : Religion : Spiritual Leader/ Guru (Guru)