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Be Here Now

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  21,800 ratings  ·  750 reviews
Describes one man's transformation upon his acceptance of the principles of Yoga & gives a modern restatement of the importance of the spiritual side of human nature. Illustrated.
The book is divided into four sections:
Journey: The Transformation: Dr Richard Alpert, PhD into Baba Ram Dass
From Bindu to Ojas: The Core Book
Cookbook for a Sacred Life: A Manual for Conscious
Kindle Edition, 116 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by HarperOne (first published 1971)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  21,800 ratings  ·  750 reviews

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Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I feel like I'm supposed to say, "The book will find YOU"
So there was this this guy I went to high school with, Michael, and he fancied himself a gangster. He wore his flannels buttoned all the way up, put sad-faced airbrushed clown stickers all over his books, and, though not Mexican, developed a Mexican accent. Then he dropped out of school, grew dreads adorned with seashells, and joined some cult out in the mountains by Neverland Ranch. He now considered himself a guru and also, in a past life, a bird . He was very committed to not wearing shoes or ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me a lot. It was one of many that my husband brought home from work and left around the house so someone would find it at just the right time. I'd flipped through it and thought it was just a collection of philosophical sayings in the form of trippy graphics (which it is, mostly.) I noticed a copy at Ashanti's house, which impressed me, but not enough to actually start reading it.

One night I was tripping for the last time with my best friend who was about to move to another stat
Alena Guggemos
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book at 20 years old when I was just barely beginning to realize that my beliefs might be different from those of my parents. So, alas, my review of this book is purely personal in nature. However, I believe this is how Ram Dass would expect his book to be reviewed.

Reading "Be Here Now" could only be likened to having the top of my heart ripped out of my chest and shown to me. I felt as though it contained all the beliefs, fears, and questions that I had kept secret for so long
Heidi The Reader
A classic exploration of spirituality and consciousness by the former Harvard professor turned drug-fueled, then clean, spiritual seeker, Ram Dass.

What a strange book.

The first part is Ram Dass' life story.

He has trouble relating exactly how his guru changed his life. He also has trouble expressing his life changing spiritual insights.

This could perhaps be because of all the LSD he experimented with, but no judgement here.

I think Dass could have added another couple hundred pages to the first pa
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ram Dass takes the wisdom of the East, and wraps it in a package a Westerner can open. This book had a profound effect on me at a time when I was at a spiritual crossroads... well, maybe the beginning of my spiritual road is more accurate.

I was an atheist until about 21. Then I had my gnosis, or series of events that brought me into a direct experience with something larger than me. Call it what you want, the divine plan, the ground of being, the true self, insanity, a hallucination... all of t
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-top-5
I love this book. You can dismiss it if you want as ex-hippie/druggie New Age blather, but the fact is, this book has some serious wisdom. So get over the stigma and read this book for what it has to say, not the movement you think it represents.

The central message of this book resonates powerfully with me. How many of us spend inordinate amounts of time in the past or the future? How much of our day is spent wishing we were somewhere else, doing something else? How many of us live with the ass
Jun 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cool people
Recommended to Maureen by: Maher Baba
There is something about a square book (the shape, not the content, man), printed on paper that is almost as thick as construction paper, with the wackiest insides EVER. And, yes, while we are treated to an overview of Ram Dass' life, and given a primer for becoming practicing Hindus, it is the part in the middle with the mind-melding/melting pen and ink drawings accompanied by words on a page like, "You're standing on a bridge watching yourself go by," that make this book such a trip. Literally ...more
Richard Sutton
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Roadmap to Where You Are.

in 1970, I was trying to figure out who I was. I'd left college, manned the barricades for a while, then built a cabin on a commune. Filled with anxiety about my place in the scary world of the day, I just didn't know what I should do, until a very kind yogi mentioned I should read this book. I read it. I spent weeks thinking about it, and it changed my life. Be Here Now is the erstwhile story of Drs. Timothy Leary and Richard Alperrt's struggle to take meaning from th
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It wouldn't be fair to open this book holding on to any preconceived notions about some "hippie counterculture", you might miss the message. You must be able to accept that a book can be square in shape and that the story can be delivered as art and not only straight lines of text. And to push you just a bit further, you must be comfortable reading most of the book "sideways", not like a "regular" book.. Some of those very things are what I love about Be Here Now, to read it you must truly Be He ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: peers
Shelves: biography
With drugs, particularly pharmaceuticals, being so regularly abused in our culture, it is a salutary exercise to reconsider the sixties, when some psychoactive drugs, used considerately and independently of profit-driven corporations, turned millions towards the serious study of psychology, philosophy and religion. Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary were two prominent examples of this existential turn.

Of the two erstwhile Harvard academics, Alpert's is the happier story, Alpert the wiser man. This
One might say, written by a hippie for a hippie. But hippie or not one will not find the true value of this book without being on a certain stage of a certain journey. The distinction that makes them the same is perhaps that the hippie will mindlessly accept and the anti-hippie will mindlessly dismiss. While those who have partaken of that little drop of poison known as acid, likely know an experience more profound than any combination of books can provide them, and will see the value in heeding ...more
I'm not comfortable rating this. From somewhere behind that all-too-familiar burnt-out hippie lingo shines moments of verisimilitude, and as much as I'd like to curl a rational upper lip and scoff, a deeply irrational part of me would be disappointed if I did so. I'll say this: it is at times compelling, and at others tedious. But as far as how many "stars" I can give it? That would be missing the point altogether.
D.S. West
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a doozy of a book! I found it totally by accident. I had no idea it was by Alpert, or rather Baba Ram Dass, colleague of one Timothy Leary whose book Change Your Brain I'd just read months earlier.

This is a one-of-a-kind "trip." No, strip back those quotations marks, they dull the effect. This book IS a textual trip. I've never seen another like it. Ram Dass writes a tasty and linear account of his transition from successful doctor Richard Alpert to spiritual explorer Ram Dass. The middle s
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is was perhaps the beginning of my interest in the eastern/mystical thought where I began to take meditation and Buddhist thought as less an academic study and more of an integration to my action and my belief. This book, like some others I shall review, possess not only the opinions, thought and methodology of one man, but takes the tradition of many religions and 'revealed truths' and quotes them here. I think it is perhaps necessary to the western mind to see that the perceived cont ...more
Kurt Bruder
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in 1972 (at age 11) to read in secret, then return to the bookstore some days later, for fear of discovery by my fundamentalist Christian father. I was seduced by the woodblock print on grocery-bag colored paper middle section. It left an indelible impression on me--one that would germinate 30 years later in my face-to-face encounter with Bhagavan Das, a much younger version of whom I first encountered in its pages.
No other book has done more to support the healthy cross-polle
Brian Erland
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodbye Dr. Richard Alpert, Harvard Psychology professor. Hello Baba Ram Dass, Hindu spiritual seeker and devotee of the great monkey-God Hanuman!

'Be Here Now' was a phenomenon born out of the sixties counter culture movement and became "the book" that turned the spiritual consciousness of the Christian West eastwards, thus altering the metaphysical landscape forever. Not only were the ideas within this 416 page softcover book made of recycled materials a shock to the religious nervous system o
Charity Finnestad
When you are ready to expand your mind, pick this up...
The truth is that while the introductory biographical stuff is interesting, and the extensive and somewhat dull guidance at the end is probably useful to people who are less inclined to eye-rolling at some of the content, the real meat of the thing, what people still come to this book for, the fancy-design-groovy-as-hell heart of the book, which I assume is the original pamphlet, is actually worth checking out.

Man, it's fun to flip through. And stare at. And it contains some real wisdom that no
Dylan Grant
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Be Here Now" is a crazy, crazy ride. I didn't know what I was in for when I read it. Essentially, it is one of the best-written guides to the world of genuine spiritual questing I have ever read. Even one who fancies himself to have been walking the path to enlightenment for a long time will get something from this book because everyone needs a helpful reminder and everyone needs to affirm what they believe in.

If I wanted to get someone who I saw possessed the potential to embark on the quest
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: esoterics, mind
Harvard University professor turns yogi after taking multiple doses of LSD and mushrooms. This book, supposedly, determined Steve Jobs go to Asia. The first part of the book tells us about his journey. The second part is full of hand-written aphorisms and sketches. The final part presents a step-by-step guide to enlightenment.

The book raises multiple questions: 1) the issue of drugs and psychedelics, 2) professors are not always skeptical and purely rational 3) one can radically change his life
Joseph Dunn
This is THE book that turned on an entire generation to eastern philosophy. Ram Das, originally named Richard Alphert, taught with Timothy Leary at Harvard in the 1950's. Together they experimented with psychedelics such as LSD and conducted clinical studies with students. As the LSD controversy swelled, both Alphert and Leary were fired from their positions. At this point, Alphert left for India in search of someone who could teach him to attain these about these higher states of awareness with ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am not finished yet but I wanted to go ahead and write this review because I already know that this here is a great book. The answers are all in there man and there are pictures too. It is really a work of art, this book. Be here now contains so much wisdom sweetened and condensed so as to help it reach right down into your soul. Will having had experience with psychedelics help you to understand this book? Perhaps, but I swear there is so much Truth in it that you wouldn't even need to be ab
Margaret Lozano
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
While I have plenty of quibbles with the book and its author, this is definitely among the more entertaining spiritual biographies out there. Basically, it feels like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," in the Himalayas with a guru (which is not surprising, since both were published the same year).

I found this book entertaining, somewhat enlightening, and often downright delusional. Ram Dass spins a great yarn, and his stories are a great insight into the period in which this was written. It's pre
This is powerful stuff. Be careful with this one. Also, drugs are bad please keep that in mind at all times. Gave it a three star, but in all honesty I hated and loved this book equally, though at different times. At first, I loved it. As it impacted my life, I slowly developed a feel for it that turned into a plain outright "I deeply wish I had never read this" That said, for me this book was profound and ground breaking, and certainly left its mark on me. (Big like the crater formed from an as ...more
Krish Perumal
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a non-religious spiritually inclined person, this has a lot to offer in terms of the possibilities of expanding one's consciousness, and can inspire the beginning of a spiritually awakened life. For a person who has caught a glimpse of being one with the universe using psychedelics, this will bring that experience into perspective, and show you that similar but less temporary states are possible with meditative practices. For a dogmatically religious person or a staunchly non-spiritual perso ...more
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciate the concept of living in the now. I truely believe that if we can find happiness now, our life will not be filled with regret. I did feel like the book was very disjointed, and that the message would have probablly have been better portrayed if the author had not done quite so much LSD on the path to spiritual enlightenment, but nonethelass, the message is a good one. The illustrations are beautiful in a very trippy way. Overall, I am glad to have read the book.
This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine. I found it to be a very insightful, knowledgeable, and powerful read on yoga and spirituality. Ram Dass was able to mix aspects Christianity with aspects of Eastern religions and it works great. I may not agree with everything but this book was a wonderful book with some beautiful illustrations.
Alanna Gabin
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i read over and over and am always reminded of how wonderful it is to be here NOW.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long ago I worked a part time job helping with the construction and stocking of what can only be called a “new age” bookstore in Victoria, BC. When the job was finished and the store ready to open the owners, a very nice couple, offered, as a bonus, my choice of books. I can’t remember how many books were offered, it certainly was limited,. Anyway the Ram Dass manifesto was one of the books I selected. Ram Dass was originally Dr Richard Alpert, PhD, a Harvard researcher who got tangled up with T ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book, especially considering its similarity with the majority of books I read. I was completely blown away by how mind-bending and honest the book appears to me. "Be Here Now" includes a brief autobiographical introduction from Ram Dass (formerly known as Richard Alpert), a zen koan-like middle passage full of different ways to see reality, a concluding section detailing various methods that one can undertake in his or her spiritual journey, a gl ...more
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Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, has made his mark on the world giving teachings and promoting loving service, harmonious business practices, and conscious care for the dying. His spirit has been a guiding light for four generations, carrying millions along on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. He mak ...more
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