Ram Dass and the Ventral Vagal Branch


A discussion about the possibility that what Dr Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) was exploring and sharing about was the difference between experiencing an active Sympathetic Nervous System (ego state) and experiencing an active Ventral Vagal Branch of Parasympathetic Nervous System (serene and humble state).


When I watched the movie “Being Nobody” (Cato 2019), I heard Ram Dass sharing a lot about the difference between what he called the ego state and sometimes called the loving state,

Polyvagal Theory

Porges developed Polyvagal Theory (??) and is also described by Dana (2022).



What Ram Dass was really talking about was moving between the SNS and the PSNS. Each time he motioned the word “I” he was referring to himself when in an active SNS (ego) state of his ANS. Sometimes he talked about connectiveness with other people, being in a loving state and also at one point moving between states.
As this all happened between say 1960 and say 1990. Polyvagal Theory started being developed in 1995 (Wikipedia 2022) and so was not available for him to incorporate in his interpretations.


Cato 2019 Being Nobody Home Page
Deb Dana (2022) Anchored. Sounds True
Porges (??))

Wikipedia (2022), Polyvagal Theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvagal_theory

The current version of this page may be found at http://www.donquixote.website/blog/ram-dass-and-the-ventral-vagal-branch/