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Disciple of Experience

Imagination is a beautiful gift! It is what allowed you to go beyond words and understand what I’m saying.
Sep 13, 2017
Prem’s four international birthday celebrations for the year was kicked off in September at Ivory’s Rock Conference Center in Brisbane, Australia (Amaroo). Over 4000 guests from all over the world attended this 5-day convention. Here’s Prem’s 2nd address on Day 3.

Imagination is the same thing. By the way, don’t misconstrue me—and say, “Is…he’s saying imagination is bad.” No-no-no-no-no, no-no-no. Imagination is not bad. Imagination is neither bad nor good; it’s just how you use it! It’s how you use it.

Imagination is a beautiful gift! It is what allowed you…it is what allowed Michelangelo to look at that marble and imagine that magnificent statue in it. Imagination. Imagination is what allowed Leonardo da Vinci to pick up his brush on an empty canvas and paint the most magnificent.

And yet the same person who is a student, you would think, of imagination, says, “Disciple of experience.” See what I’m saying? Same person! We would say, “Oh, man, you know, this guy’s got imagination! He would say, ‘Disciple of imagination!’ Suits him, right?” No! Because one of the things he studied....

He looked out his window and he said, “Why do those mountains look that bluish-green tinge?” Because everybody else was painting mountains in great detail. Right? So they had the rocks and the trees and the green, and everything. But when he looked at it, he said, “But that’s not what I see. Why is it that that mountain, at that distance, has that blue-green tinge to it, and this one up close doesn’t?”

And he realized, “Oh, my God, it’s haze.” And because of the haze, he can actually put that mountain at a distance, and give his painting the three-dimensional aspects that he wants.

He looked at water swirling in the eddies, and he studied them and he realized that the hair did the same thing. It twirled. And when he started painting, he wasn’t painting flat hair, but he was giving it dimension; he was giving it movement.

That a human being is not opaque; it’s translucent. Then started painting and using thinner and thinner coats on top of the paint, so that the person truly looked, as the light came in and went back out, it really looked translucent.

In “The Last Supper,” he put that three-dimensional feel to it. Do you realize how liberating that would have been for an artist—for people, for the first time, to see this magnificent painting, and going, “Oh, my God, we’re there. That’s—whoa.”   

Look, we’re too used to photographs. And there, the job was not only to try to capture a scene, but to actually, from that scene, extract elements that made it come alive. And all this—not because he had seen Jesus; not because he was there going, “Okay.” Click. “Smile!” Click, click. You know? “Pictures....” And then going, “Oh, yes, look-a, he’s sitting here-a, and I…I painted the bread; I put a little wine.... And everything is ‘ciao bello’—okay.”

No! Imagination—he lives in a world of imagination, but he doesn’t live in a world of imagination, because one of his quotes is, “Disciple of experience, Leonardo da Vinci.” And my friends, that’s all I’m asking you—be the disciple of experience! Not just be lost in your imagination.

Take reins of that imagination; understand that that’s imagination, and then you will understand what a change is. Because right now, change is totally dominated by your imagination, not in reality. You don’t understand any part that is real about a change. That’s why we so…we are so afraid of going away. Not because we know what it is like, but because of? Eee-mah-gee-nay-shun.

- Prem Rawat

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