Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 36
Hello, everyone; I hope you’re all well. Another Sunday today—and I’m going to be reading some questions and trying to answer them.
I hope that, you know, as things progress, (definitely in the United States, it’s a little bit different) but I hope everything, at the end of the day, works out.
One other thing that I’d like to just talk a little bit about, one of the questions yesterday, I believe—and it was, you know, “Do you want to see a change in this world?” And then I was thinking about that.
And somebody had asked me that same question before; I believe it was in South Africa. And my answer was, “Yeah, I want to change me.” And so I would like to reiterate that. Yeah, I have a list, you know, but really, the only thing I can really change is me—as is, for you, you. You can change yourself.
And that’s what’s going to make the difference. Because it’s very easy to get caught up in that question, you know, “What would you like to see different?” It’s like, “Well, yeah, I’d like to see this; I’d like to see this; I’d like to see this.” And then, you know, that whole conversation.
Because, and see, look, I’ve been involved in answering people’s questions and these kinds of questions when I was nine years old. And so that’s a really long time.
And, been through it—and then a lot of people will put those questions forward, you know, “Well, but do you really think world peace is possible; do you want world peace to happen; do you think these things will work,” so on and so forth.
And all throughout that period, one thing that I have seen is that we don’t take the responsibility for ourselves; we don’t take it upon ourselves that “I have to change.” It’s somehow, in the whole equation, in the whole chain of things, people are missing—one person, each person who’s asking that question is missing.
So, how is the chain ever going to be—if that person, you know...? It’s like a Three Stooges joke, you know; it’s like, “Say, oh, how many of us are here? Well, there are only two of us and one is missing.” And there’s all three of them there, but and one goes, “One, two”—and never counts himself.
It’s as comical as that. You know, we’re counting everybody else; we’re really hoping that everybody else is going to change—but not us: “We don’t need to change.”
And, you know, one person—I was watching a little bit of the news and he was saying that, you know, “We have to stop this; we have to stop this lockdown because our economy is going to be destroyed.”
Well, the thing is, (well, I don’t know if I should get into this, but), because I think it’s a very, very strong question. And the point isn’t economy; the point is, “You need food; you have some needs. And those needs can be met. The world will have to pool together.”
And definitely, what the American lifestyle is and the country I was born in are completely different. What a person in America would spend for food on one day, just one day—and I’m not talking about big hotels or big restaurants or big this or that—just very simple, you know, all you can eat for five dollars. Well, somebody in India can eat for a whole week for that.
There are a lot of imbalances in this world. And, you know, again, the main issue really is, not economy, but life. Life is more important than the economy.
We have existed on the face of this earth without, quote-unquote, “modern economy” for hundreds of thousands of years. But we knew, at that point, what was important; we needed to live; we needed to sustain ourselves. Have those things completely changed? I don’t think so. Those elements are still there.
Especially in the United States—and I think it’s true for any country, the resilience of people is there to re-create, rebuild that country to something that is absolutely amazing. I have seen that. I mean, look at Japan. Japan, after World War II, was basically destroyed. But they had the resilience to rebuild that country to what it is today.
We have the resilience. We, we, if we came together—not fractioned—but if we came together, we can make anything happen that we want. I believe that; I have seen that.
But taking these very small focuses—of where you’re not looking at the entire picture; you’re just looking at one little picture—those are the things that have really made disharmonies in societies over thousands of years.
Oh, and you can look at the history, you know—it’s there; it’s telling you. If you don’t know how to read the history, maybe somebody can read it to you, but that’s, it’s all historic—anyways, that’s a lot of, you know, babbling. But let me get to these questions.
Somebody asks—Jose—he says he’s seventy-four years old. And what is the purpose of his life; “Do I have a goal to meet? Many times the thought comes to me if my life has had any meaning. Can you help me and give me some advice?”
Your life always has had meaning. Whether you concurred with it, whether you read it, whether you saw it, whether you felt it or not, that’s an entirely different question—but your life has always had a meaning.
You write here that you have “the gift of writing.” Write! If you have a gift of writing, write! Write about what? Whatever you feel like. Absolutely, whatever you feel like.
Next question, you’re seventy-four years old—are you too old to write? Absolutely not. Write whatever you want to write. Another person expressing themselves can be a beautiful thing.
And so, “What is the purpose of your life,” you asking that question—and then you asked the second part of that question which is very interesting, “Do I have a goal to meet?” Not from my side. The world will tell you you have a goal, “Have you achieved this; have you achieved this; have you achieved this?”
You know, there is this Egyptian, whole thing of, when you die, what happens? And so you go through this whole journey—and in this journey, you have to, you know, be able to get through many, many, many obstacles. And finally, having gone through all those obstacles, you arrive at this gate where there is a guard—and that guard asks you a question before they can let you in.
And it’s like, “Have you found peace? And if you’ve found peace, did you help others find peace?” And if you say “yes” to both those questions, then you can come in; otherwise, you can’t come in.
So, do you have a goal to meet? Not from my end. But do you have a goal? And is that goal your goal, or is that goal a goal that the world has put inside your head, that “That’s your goal”? Somebody making up a list?
Maybe your goal in life is as simple as finding the peace in yourself. Maybe the goal in your life is as simple as enjoying the true meaning of being alive. And I think it’s worth thinking about.
“I still have doubts,” this is another question, Nadir—“I still have doubts about the meaning of knowing myself, about how that includes some aspects of my personality or to get in contact with that peace and love inside of me.”
No, knowing yourself is not about knowing your personality; it’s not knowing all those things. It really is about knowing the self, the true self that you really, really are.
Too many times, you know, there is—it’s like the cage. There’s a cage and inside the cage is the bird. Without the bird, that cage has no meaning. That cage will go into storage; that cage has no purpose. But with that bird inside, that will definitely give that cage everything that cage is supposed to be.
This, on the outside, is the cage. That life inside of you is the bird. When that bird flies away, this cage has no longer any meaning and it’s put in storage, (which is like, you know, buried or, you know, burnt or whatever it may be).
So, your value is that bird. The question is, do you know anything about that bird? Have you felt that bird? Have you experienced that bird? Have you understood that bird? Or has it—your whole lifelong attempt, has it only been about the cage?
Because if it is only about the cage, then you missed the point. The point isn’t the cage; the point is the bird in the cage. That’s what you should be attracted to. If you’re attracted to the cage—and not the bird inside the cage, you don’t get it; you don’t get the relationship of the cage and the bird.
The cage is there so the bird can be in that cage—I know it’s a terrible example, in that sense. But I think it gets to that point of that relationship of—you know, and the other way I put it is, you get a little diamond ring—and it comes in a little box.
Well, so far that diamond ring is in that box, that box is just as important as the diamond ring. Because if you lose the box, you will be just as stunned like, “Oh my God; where is that box; where is that box?”—so far that ring is in that box.
Once that ring has been taken out of that box, that box is only worth whatever it is worth, one dollar or two dollars, five dollars or whatever it is. The value is of the ring. And that value of the ring also then passes onto that box, so far that ring is in that box. Once that ring is taken away, that box means nothing.
Same thing. So, it’s not about your personalities; it’s not about your idiosyncrasies; it’s not about the way you look at things—but it is about that bird, knowing that bird, understanding that bird, feeling that bird.
That’s what I talk about: “How do you know that there is a bird?” Well, so far this breath comes into you, there is a bird in you. And if the breath doesn’t come into you, it’s, there’s nothing there.
So, to me, it’s really a question of being aware of what really is happening. We only see what is happening out there: “This is what’s happening”—because this is what we see.
So it’s like, you see a huge photograph—and it’s, you know, a hundred people. Well, you know, but there is another person there. And that person is the photographer who’s shooting that picture—but he’s not in that picture. But he’s shooting that picture.
And it’s the same thing. That there is something else going on. The life, your existence on the face of this earth isn’t about all this; it isn’t about a rocket going to the moon. It isn’t about a space station. It isn’t about all the accomplishments that we technologically have been able to achieve.
There’s something else going on. There’s something else going on that perhaps we did not create—but it’s here. And do we accept it? Do we understand it?
I enjoy the ocean. I like the ocean; I like looking at the ocean. Did I create the ocean? No, I didn’t create the ocean. I like the beach. Do I like the beach—yes, I like the beach; I like to be on the beach. Did I create the beach? No, I did not create the beach.
I like mango quite a bit. A sweet mango is wonderful. Did I create that mango—no, I did not create that mango. Did I create the mango tree—I did not create the mango tree.
I know that they are there. I like them; I enjoy them and I want to be in touch with them, even though I had nothing.... It’s not like, “Oh, I can’t go to the beach; I didn’t create that beach.” No, I’ll enjoy that beach, absolutely.
Same thing—there’s something to be understood about you, about your existence, about your life. Not what happens in your life. What happens in your life is up to you; you can change things around; you can move things around.
You know, if somebody finds themselves, they’re doing something they don’t like, they can stop doing that. Something has changed. Maybe you like chilies and one day you decide you don’t want to eat chilies anymore. Fine, you have changed that.
So there are things that happen in your life because you’re alive—and then there is the issue of life itself—and I’m talking about the issue of existence itself, not what happens in the existence.
So, I hope—I mean, I don’t know, but I hope that helps, (umm-hmm). Sometimes it does.
Here is a good one; this is from Cecile. It says, “Please can you tell us what it means to be in love with someone?” And this gets very interesting—“I am in love and I suffer from that—because the other person is not in love as much as me. He loves me, but is not ready in any way.” (For what?)
“I’m trying to love without expectations”—absolutely not. You are not—you say you are—but you’re not. “But every time I send a message and there is no reply, I get in that suffering again.” There you go; you are expecting an answer. You’re expecting that person to respond to you.
So, you know, please forgive me, but—I think that’s hilarious to get.... Because, right, if you would have read your own question, you would have seen that you are expecting something from this person. You’re comparing this person, “I love this person more than he loves me. I am expecting him—I send him a message and I’m expecting an answer and he doesn’t send me an answer and I start suffering.”
Let me tell you, how do you get a bird to come and sit on your hand? A lot of people would think the way to do that is to go grab a bird and get it to sit on your hand, you know, nail its claws, its feet to your hand. That’s not the way to get a bird to sit on your hand.
Be still—be very, very still. Don’t for a minute think it’ll work. Just so, be still. Don’t assume it’s going to work; be still. Put some food there. And be very still.
And maybe when the bird feels not threatened by you—that’s the key, “not threatened by you,” because so far the bird feels threatened by you, it will maintain its distance. But when the bird feels not threatened by you, that bird will come and sit on your hands. When the bird comes and sits on your hands, don’t flinch. Because if you do, the bird will fly away. Be still; be very, very still.
That’s how you love. Be still. Not get wrapped up in your imagination, not get wrapped up in your expectations.
Love because you enjoy loving, not to make yourself suffer. That’s not love; that’s induced suffering. You don’t want induced suffering; you want love. That’s how you love.
You love because you want to love. Whether the other person responds that same way or not, it has nothing to do with it. You love—and not to hurt them, not to hurt yourself.
Love is a wonderful thing. Love is, again, one of those things that you have to experience; you have to feel—and not because of your expectations, not because of the grand printer that keeps printing pictures, seeing, “Oh, yes, I can imagine myself with this person. And we’re holding hands and we’re doing this and we’re doing that.”
Hey, it has—love has nothing to do with that. Love is. And you have to understand that love just is. It isn’t something you create; it isn’t something you shape; it isn’t something you blend; it isn’t something you beat. Love is.
Find that love—and then that other person will be attracted to you—because they don’t feel threatened by you. They feel loved by you, because you’re loving them—not loving them into a particular position, not loving them into a particular slot in a particular way.
So, I hope that helps. Thank you.
Well, that was a short time but anyways, that’s how long we have. We have more questions, obviously—so we’ll continue with those. Until then, be safe; be well. Most importantly, be—and enjoy yourself. Thank you.