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An Island of Riches

All our life long, we’re enamored by our dreams.
6/18/2016 12:00:00 AM

One day you start off on this cruise, and whilst you’re on this incredible cruise, the boat sinks—pooh!—explodes. You find yourself on the beach of an island. You wake up; you look around, and basically you’re intact—a little bruised, but intact. And there is this island—beautiful beach, lush green trees.

You look around, explore—and there’s fruit; there’s fresh water; there’s a nice cave. And it’s like, “Okay! I am okay; I’ll survive here. I’ve got water; I’ve got food; I’ve got a cave, and I’m relatively safe here...” And it’s not a big island—small island, so, you know, you do your survey rather quickly and it’s okay—for the short term, it’s okay.

So, you drink some water, and take a bath, and get cleaned up, and, you know, find some nice fruit and..... And you know, it’s okay. Now, days go by—and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth day. As you’re exploring, you come across this part of this island and it’s nothing but gold. And how deep the cave goes, nobody knows, but it’s just gold. Then you find there’s another part, and it’s just rubies, diamonds, emeralds.
What are you going to do? The problem is you can’t spend it on anything. You can’t buy anything with it; you’re stranded on this island. And there are no shops. There are no banks—and you have all the gold and more than you could ever imagine, and all the diamonds and emeralds and rubies and sapphires and everything—but there you are.

And, up to this point, you really were hoping to get rescued. You see the problem? You see the problem!? If you get rescued, you might lose all that! So now you have it….

Do you light the fire and let everybody see that you’re on this island: “Come and get me”? Because it’s not a big island, and if somebody discovers all that, you’re not going to end up with it. So now, what do you do? What do you do?

You can say, “Well, I could hide it.” But it’s out in the open! Everybody can see! It wouldn’t take long. And those people coming there would come in droves and take it all away! And you could say, “Well, I claim this bit in the name of myself.” But they won’t respect that. What do you do?

But do you realize this is the same quandary you are in on this earth, in your big city? All that wealth that you have garnered and gathered, you don’t get to take it with you. You can’t take it off the island called “earth.” (This one isn’t surrounded by ocean; it’s surrounded by space.) But you don’t get to take it. So now what do you do? What do you do?

All our life long, we’re enamored by our dreams. All our life long we’re enamored by what people have told us. But we are never enamored by the call of our heart, which says, “Be fulfilled. Experience peace. Experience joy. Experience that feeling that is within you.”

Not in your head; in you—that is always there, in good times and in bad! It is always there, regardless of your circumstances.

Experience what it is to be alive! Because that’s your reality. That’s what makes you, you. This is who you are; this thing called “life” glues it all together. And as soon as that is gone, everything falls apart, and nothing is any more.


– Prem Rawat

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