by Kenneth Turan: Timothy Leary and Ram Dass were, at least as far as public images went, the contrasting faces of the 1960s counterculture…
Leary was the LSD advocate, the exuberant popularizer of a “turn on, tune in, drop out” philosophy. He was called “the most dangerous man in America” by Richard Nixon and said of himself, “I think I’ve lived one of the most interesting lives of anyone in the twentieth century.”
Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert, was a scientist-turned-guru who saw himself as a bridge between East and West and wrote a massively popular spiritual treatise called “Be Here Now” that went through 43 printings.
But more important than their apparent differences were their similarities, that they were both fascinating talkers who never stopped getting a kick out of what the other person had to say. In the documentary “Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary,” the talk often involves death, which doesn’t make it any less involving.