Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

First Hit:  A fantastic film about the friendship and paths of these two amazing spiritual adventurers.

I believe that being a baby boomer helped me to see this film with fascination, wonder, and joyous recognition.

I can imagine that being born in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, these men and their exploits might be new news. However, as a baby boomer who did/used acid (LSD), mescaline, and other psychedelics, I smirked with a knowing smile remembering the great trips and the ones that scared the holy Jesus out of me. Like these two, this experimentation with drugs, along with my burgeoning meditation practice starting in 1967, created a crack within my consciousness wide enough for me to consider the larger picture of the whole and consider living in the now.

Just as with Ram and Timothy, many of our generation's spiritual practice was enhanced by the fissures created in perception by using drugs. Here, Timothy is nearing death and the now’s are pointing straight into the arms of death or non-breathing. Ram is sitting with Timothy and they just have a conversation.

The thrust of the film is their conversation of life's recollections, where they are now, and  how they might address the door of death.The film traces their friendship, kinship and paths to find a way to live from what they learn and not by the rules set up by our structured society.

We learn from each of them, how much they meant to each other’s own growth and how they face or see death. Leary is near death during the film and we have glimpses of him in his last moments. We also have Ram Dass learning how to live after suffering a major stroke.

The documentarian was very skilled at giving light to each’s path along with their communal path, our common path.

Robert Redford's narration was perfectly paced and toned. David Leach wrote the script for narrator Robert Redford. Gay Dillingham pieced together an amazing, funny, and insightful story from current and archive film.

Overall:  I left the film inspired to continue to do more spiritual work.