Today I’d like to begin with a Chinese proverb. And the way this proverb goes is like this: “It is better to light the candle than curse the darkness.”
And the reason why I said this is because it’s not obvious to us that we have become masters of cursing the darkness. We have become really good at cursing darkness.
And in fact, I had this experience. A few weeks back I was in Europe, and one day we were just bashing the world, just having a conversation and bashing the world. We’re talking about the politics and how dirty that is.... And we’re talking about how “these super-companies, they’re just taking over the world, and are just destroying everything.”
And it went on—and I mean, it was just bashing after bashing. And I have to tell you that it did feel good. Now, it’s not something that, you know, I recommend, but it really did feel good. It was like, “Yes!” I don’t know—there was something just absurd about it.
And after all that bashing was finished, I went to bed, and I put my head on the pillow—and it was just that time before sleep came to me—and I was thinking, “It’s so easy to bash the world—because this world is not in order!
But what about my world—is it in order? What are the super-companies in me that are taking over? What are these elements that are creeping in every day and destroying the experience of being alive?”
Because if I was to ask anyone “What is the experience of being alive?”, they would be shocked with the question. I mean, yeah, it’s like, you know, nobody asks you that.
“Where is your ticket? Where are you going? What do you want for dinner; what do you want for lunch? What’s your shoe size? Are you married? Are you single? Are you feeling well? Oh, by the way, what is your experience of being alive?”
I don’t know—some people will probably go, “Gee, I…I never thought of that.”
I mean, what is my experience of being alive? I’ve had good days—and tell me if this sounds about right—I’ve had good days and I have had bad days. I’ve had challenges; I have had easy runs. I have good memories.... Does that sound right? About, about, approximately...?
Some things I would change; some things I wouldn’t change.
But, do you know that every day that you have been on this earth—that you have been alive on this earth—this earth has been in motion, traveling through space, hurtling through space? There has been a morning—and it is merely an illusion, as the earth rotates—a sunrise, a sunset, the time in between....
And, everything, everything in motion. Everything that.... You know, and I…I really have an issue with the word, “it.” Because in reality, there is no it. Everything is alive! Life has been happening all around you.
All this time there has been a motion; there has been a sequence of events taking shape— people coming onto this planet Earth, things coming onto this planet Earth, things leaving this planet Earth. I mean, it is actually a drama that you cannot even imagine that has been taking place.
And you have been alive! And you’ve looked at your problems—your problems—“I have a problem.” And in retrospect, what has your problem really been?
You’ve had a plan. And when things didn’t go according to your plan, you had a problem! When things went according to your plan—“Wow, I love it.”
And you’ve been alive all those days! How many days do you actually get to live? It’s a shocking reality. Even if you live for a hundred years, that’s only thirty-six thousand, five hundred days.
I wish I were missing a zero. I am not. That’s all there is.
Now, when I put it like that, then that doesn’t sound like a whole lot. But that’s it! And this is it—this is the time you get. You get those thirty-six thousand, five hundred days to get it right.
– Prem Rawat