Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary


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Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary is an intimate portrait celebrating two very complex, controversial characters in an epic friendship that shaped a generation.

In the early 1960's, Harvard Psychology Professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began  probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Dr. Leary became the LSD guru – challenging convention, questioning authority and spawning a global counter culture movement, landing in prison after Nixon called him "the most dangerous man in America." Dr. Alpert journeyed to India becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for an entire generation who authored the psychedelic classic "Be Here Now", and still continues his teaching of service through compassion.

In 1995 after years of estrangement Leary found out that he was dying of cancer. The first person he called was Ram Dass.  In the 60s they had collaborated on a book entitled, ‘The Psychedelic Experience‘ which was based on The Tibetan Book of The Dead and explored the similarities of the psychedelic experience and the dying process.  Each holding a remarkably different point of view about death they share their thoughts/perspectives and rekindle the love they have always felt for one another.

In this provocative film the viewer is a fly on the wall, observing an intimate conversation between Leary and Ram Dass just a few months before Leary’s death.  It is a genuine exploration and an emotional respectful goodbye between two life long companions. With footage spanning 80 years the film invites us to ponder questions about life, drugs, consciousness and the biggest mystery in the human landscape: death.