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Meds & Consciousness

Listening in on a great conversation between Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush

The Conspirators Whispered in the Moonlight

The Conspirators Whispered in the Moonlight - Mary Alayne Thomas

“I know you have thought a lot about balancing pain, medication, and consciousness,” I say to Ram Dass. “In fact, you’ve had so much pain that you are an expert. What should we say?” “I want to be as conscious as possible as I transition from the body to the soul,” Ram Dass says, “but I don’t want to suffer too much. I think it’s good to withstand the pain and suffering until you can’t—and I say that, having experienced a lot of pain. Strong drugs, like morphine, dull consciousness. Morphine is compassionate, but then you may go into your last ceremony asleep. On the other hand, if you’re in huge pain, your consciousness is in the pain, so you’re not free to be in loving awareness. Usually, it’s not a matter of either/or, but of degrees of medicine.” “Good way to think about it,” I say. Ram Dass adds, “It’s just a cautionary guideline to create the best balance you can around consciousness and pain. I have also used nonmedical ways to deal with the pain. Pain captures your awareness, but if you move into pure awareness in the midst of it, even for a moment, your relationship with your …

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