What is life? Many, many definitions. But if you want to look at life, look at it this way: that it’s a bunch of layers. Only one sheet is real; the rest of it is just overlays. Translucent overlays on top of that real sheet. And sometimes the overlays become so many that you lose sight of that real sheet.
What I do is I ask people to lift those layers one by one and see that they’re only the layers. Every layer is changeable and every layer represents a change. The only thing that doesn’t change is the basic fundamental layer on which everything is developed on.
It’s like having a wall. Sometimes interior designers will do it. They’ll have a wall and they have a sofa, and they have different colors. But the base, the main sofa, stays there where they’ve got it. You can see it in different colors, but the basics do not change.
Life too is very much like those layers. We’ve got our relationships and we’ve got our friends and we’ve got our ideas. And we’ve got our jobs and we’ve got this happening and we’ve got that happening. And this is this, this is this, this is this, and pretty soon you’re caught in all of those layers and we forget what the main sheet is, what it is about.
Look, some pianos come with 88 keys. Lowest note, highest note. All songs played on that piano will be contained within those notes. If the artist goes beyond the lowest 88, nothing! Doesn’t matter how good he is. All those notes that can be played, that’s it. That’s it! There’s no more and no less. That’s it. Everything has to be contained within that. It is the sequence. So, if somebody was to tell you, “Mash all the keys at the same time and you will play every single song.”
Take a piece of bamboo, flattened bamboo or whatever, you know, notch it out so it can play all the 88 keys at once. Take it on top of the piano and go ‘whoonkkht!’ And there, you have just played every single song that can be played on the piano. Technically it’s true. But it isn’t. Why isn’t it true? Because it will not sound beautiful; it will have no emotion. A song is not just about playing the key, but the silence in between. That’s what defines a song. The silence is just as important. If you just kept going ding-ding-ding-ding-ding, you’ve got a fire-bell, not a song.
But in this life, if you take all these notes and mash them together and say “Yeah, everything is fine, I’m playing a song,” you are sadly mistaken. There is no song. It’s just a big clunk-clunk-clunk-clunk-clunk sound. And if life doesn’t seem quite right, you are not mistaken. It’s not being played right. It is about the sequence; it is about the silence; it is about harmony; it is about the emotion. This is what constitutes a song.
It begins with you, your understanding, your life, your existence, your clarity, your song, your fingers on those keys that have been given to you. You playing a song, not a hired artist. No, no, no. You playing the song. That’s what it is about; it is your emotion that has to come out; it is your song. And it is your enjoyment of that song that means everything.
- Prem Rawat