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Finding Peace Within
Prem speaks to prisoners at Tires Prison, Lisbon, Portugal
I would like to tell you a story, because you are interested in peace. Peace isn’t something that you create—war is something you create. Peace is already inside of you. The process of reaching the peace is to undo all the obstacles that you have placed between you and the peace.
So, to understand that. (All the noises and all the things that go on up here, “Boom-boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom-boom” all day long....) To understand that you are alive—you are here. And it’s a big challenge.
We grow up. We make a mistake—and we say, “Oh! I’m a failure.” But when you were a baby you made a mistake, but you never said, “I am a failure.” This is the difference.
And who taught us that we are a failure? People said, “Oh, you are a failure”—we said, “Oh, I am a failure.” We learnt that. We learnt it from the world—we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt—and today I am here to tell you “unlearn, unlearn, unlearn” because when you were a baby you were much smarter.
You were in touch with your needs. When you felt hungry, you let your mother know. You did not look at the clock and say, “Is it lunchtime? Is it dinnertime? Is it this time; is it that time?” And we are all caught in it. We don’t realize—we don’t realize in this life, the power of who you are.
And as a human being, in you, you have compassion; you have passion. You have kindness. You have understanding. You have serenity. You have wisdom. And most importantly, you have peace inside of you. This is what a human being is.
Not what we project outside—killing each other, telling lies, doing this, doing that—that’s not a human being! In fact, a human being is someone who is full of kindness, full of compassion, full of understanding, full of life. This is who a human being is.
And if you want to become the most powerful, all you have to do is become a human being. Because there you will find answers to your problems. They’re there! So far this breath comes into you, you have everything. You have everything.
I was just in three of the prisons in South Africa—I went to Malmesbury Prison; I went to Zonderwater and I went to Pretoria Prison. And I tell the inmates, “You are here. You are told, ‘You cannot go there; you cannot go there; you cannot go there; you cannot go there.’ What is the difference between the outside...?”
You walk outside, and what does it say? “Stop.” “Now you can go. No, stop. Now you turn left; no you cannot turn right; no you cannot go there; no you cannot have this; no you cannot do this; no you cannot do that.”
And then the bars. The biggest bars are not the metal bars. To cut the metal bars, all you need is a file—is a saw. But the bars you have here that imprison you, what do you—how do you cut those? There are people out there that are technically “free”—but they don’t feel free. They don’t feel free.
I have a friend from England—and England, of course, voted on a referendum to get out of the Euro, the EU. So I joke with him, (because he’s British), “Why? Why?”
You think that’s going to solve the problem? By changing the color of your car, it’s going to solve the problem? If you run out of gas: “Change the color of the car. Change the tires.” You think that’s going to solve the problem?
What is the problem? The problem is that people are not in touch with themselves, who they are—what their potential is, what they can bring, how they can be as a country, how can they be as a global citizen, how they can be on the face of this earth—so what is this opportunity called “life”?
And I see the whole world has been incarcerated behind the bars of divisions and ignorance. That they have peace inside of them, but they don’t know how to get to it. They know how to make a bomb—they know how to make a bomb; they know how to make a gun, but they don’t know how to get to peace inside. This is problematic. This is problematic.
This breath is a blessing to each one of you. Your life began with this breath. When you were born, people looked at: “Breathing—or not breathing?” They didn’t care about “boy, girl, this, that.” “Breathing—not breathing?”
And because you were breathing, you could go home. What allowed you to go home, if you were born in a hospital, was this breath. What allowed you to stay home, when, if you were born at home was this breath. Do you understand the value of this breath? Do you? Because you need to. You really, really need to.
This is a gift being given to you every single day—even here! Even here. This is your opportunity....
One simple thing, if you could do—try—and that would be, “Think first, then do.” If you could think first, and do, you wouldn’t be here. Not thinking—even for one second, not thinking and doing first, (not thinking), now you have a long time to think.
Choices that you made put you in here; choices that you make will get you out of here; choices that you make will keep you out of here. And choices you have to make.
You don’t have to try to be good—because good you are. Goodness is in you. Nobody can take that away from you. Kindness, passion, compassion, clarity—serenity, nobody can take that away from you. You have that in you.
I’m going to tell you one last story—it’s very short—and I’m going to tell you this story because it has made a big difference in my life. So I want to share this story with you.
There was a village, and there was a chief of the village. One day a little boy came to the chief, and said, “Chief, I have a question.” The chief said, “What?” He said, “Chief, why is it that some people are good sometimes—and those same people who are good sometimes are bad the other times?”
And the chief said, “Because every one of us has two wolves in us, a good wolf and a bad wolf.” So the boy thinks—and the boy says, “Chief, which one wins? The good wolf—or the bad wolf?” And the chief said, “Whichever one you feed.”
You have a good wolf; you have a bad wolf. Which wolf do you feed? Have you thought about that? When you feed the good wolf, you will feel good. When you feed the bad wolf, you will feel bad. Feed the good wolf. I have to remember it every day, “Feed the good wolf.”
There are people who would.... And I can say, “Oh, yeah, though, you know, it’s that person’s fault; it’s that person’s fault. That person is making me angry; that person is making me angry.” But I have to ask myself, “But which wolf did you just feed?”
So, remember that. And when you have realized that you have just fed the bad wolf, feed the good wolf.
And a lot of people are into, “Let’s kill the bad wolf.” Even if you kill the bad wolf, that’s not going to help the good wolf—because the good wolf needs to be fed. That’s the only thing that’s going to help the good wolf: “Feed the good wolf.”