Psychedelic explorer Ram Dass and Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand met each other on the dating app Hinge. A few pleasantries later, they decided to go ahead and meet in person for an afternoon stroll.
It was a gorgeous fall afternoon when they met, sunny but cool. The air was electric and filled with possibility.
He saw light around her frame even as she approached him. She felt glimmers of emotions she had hitherto suppressed into oblivion.
There was undeniable mutual fascination. They talked for hours. There was even an unbridled make-out session in the backseat of her car, an act these two might ordinarily have reserved for a later stage of courtship.
Nothing short of fireworks, basically.
But things did not proceed smoothly for our lovebirds after that first date. In fact, they seemed to be designed for the specific purpose of pushing all of each other’s buttons. Oh, there were fireworks indeed.
Ayn Rand was inconsistent in her affection, and, as far as Ram Dass was concerned, a slave to achievement with no time for the things that truly mattered. Her insistence on the virtue of selfishness and her grand plans for self-actualization were wearing him out. He sought respite in living in the moment, leading him to craft his soon-to-be-famous dictum “Be here now.”
He was aware that he had had a pattern of giving too much in relationship. And here was yet another specimen asking so much of him without reciprocating in equal measure. But deep inside he knew that there was something different this time and he had to follow this one through to its conclusion, whatever that may be. In spite of all the challenges, being with her was often magical. She seemed to be cut from the same cloth as him; he could feel it in his bones.
For her part, Ayn Rand found Ram Dass exceedingly annoying. The way he acted on the guidance of his emotions, his loosey goosey way of going with the flow, his insistence on deep connection above all else. It all flew in the face of her vision of the ideal man. For she had always imagined herself with a grab-life-by-the-horns kind of guy.
Her love, when it was offered however, was pure and fierce. A brilliant kind of love that is professed by many but hardly practiced by any. Although being with Ram Dass was difficult for her, she had to acknowledge that there was something special about him. She had seen him in her dreams and had encountered pieces of him in the many different men she had dated so far. But she was no stranger to love’s travails and needed just a little more time to open up that beautiful heart of hers.
One winter evening, the pair stepped out for a post-dinner stroll in their woodsy neighborhood when suddenly the lights went out and all went dark. It was almost as if the whole world had been plunged into darkness.
Ayn Rand began to fret a little. She was about to lament Ram Dass’ silly idea of leaving their smartphones back home when she recalled she had a lighter in her back pocket.
Within moments they had between them a tiny flame. He lifted her hand, bringing the flame closer to their faces. And in that flickering light, gazing into each others’ eyes, was when they saw each other clearly for the first time.
Ram Dass saw that Ayn Rand had been inside of him all along — she was those parts of himself that he had the hardest time accepting. Now, awestruck by her beauty, he fell into a state of loving awareness. Why, she was nothing short of a work of art! And if she was having a hard time opening up her heart, why it was he who was having a hard time doing the same. He could no longer tell where he ended and where she began. They were one.
Ayn Rand saw that Ram Dass had been inside of her all along — he was those parts of her that were the most difficult to reconcile with the ideologies she considered most holy. In his secure presence, she recognized that unconditional love has to be practiced towards the very things that we want to push away the most. She gasped at the insight that in learning to love him she might just learn to love the whole world.
They both saw that each was a teacher to the other, sent from beyond. That just to witness each other was such a privilege. That to love unconditionally and without resistance was what each had come here to master.
From that point onwards, they loved themselves, each other, and the world. And saw that all of these loves were one and the same.
The author knows only a little about the true lives of our lovely protagonists and the philosophies they espoused. Overcome with inspiration, she gave herself the creative license to pair them up. She sincerely hopes they are not rolling in their graves at this moment.
And to her readers, she STRONGLY recommends that they NOT take the above as encouragement to participate in unhealthy trauma-based relationship patterns or to indulge in wishful thinking.