I purchased this book because of the title. I had read “Be Here Now” (see the review here) and, though it was a bit bizarre, I recommended it. I also said in that recommendation, I should probably read some more of his current work. So this title fit the bill.
It took me about 9 months to read the book. I read many in between starting and finishing it, and generally felt it just didn’t grab me the way the others did (two Zen books, a Buddhist book, a text on dreaming, a Yalom novel, a book on mindfulness, another book on training your mind, and a book on relationships). Perhaps the subject matter (aging and death) hit a bit too close to home, and I’m not as comfortable with the topics as I think I am. Or perhaps some of the more “spiritual” (as in realities beyond this one) turned me off. Or maybe I just found it too Pollyannaish.
Though it took me a while, and despite the reasons given for such above, there are many very good points and ideas in the book. The book is about accepting aging and death, and meeting it gracefully (something I’m doing less with aging than I expected, but hope to do very well with death). There are usable and viable suggestions for this, and Ram Dass uses the wisdom gained from meditation, psychedelics, and personal experiences with loved one’s death, other’s and his own illness, and his aging, to assist the reader in confronting his own pending issues. Despite the turn-offs I experienced with the book, I still believe it a beneficial read.