The Gift of Life
In this life, you try to make a picture. And we have no understanding of what life is—none. Zero. Because whatever little piece of information that we do have about life, it doesn’t come from us—it comes from other people. Because we’re in the middle of it, right? We don’t know what it’s like. We don’t know what really happens.
All we know is that we have a desire, a want to be happy—because when we’re happy it feels good! So now, we find ourselves in this life. We know “it’s nice to be happy. It’s nice when things are good.” But our version of happiness? We don’t even know what that is—because it’s usually just this—so far things go our way, “Everything is good.” If things are going our way....
What is “your way?” You’re doing eighty miles an hour in a fifty-mile-an-hour zone. The police officer pulls you over. And he says, “You know you were speeding?” And you say, “Oh, I didn’t know I was speeding.” You’re absolutely, blatantly lying.
But then the police officer says, “Oh, I’m so sorry; I didn’t realize you didn’t realize how fast you were going—pardon me. Please be on your way. A thousand, thousand pardons to have delayed you on your way to something obviously very important.” (“My way.”)
So what is “my way”—your way, our way? Unnatural. Unnatural. And you’re running a little late? The sun rises a little late. If you’re running a little late and it’s getting too dark, (especially like in winter, it gets dark too early), the sun slows down. “Wow!”
And this little, funny little act keeps on going all the way till you hit the other wall. And what do I mean by “the other wall”—it’s where I have this, my two walls, right? The one that I came through—and the one that I’m going to disappear through.
Anywhere else it would be called “procrastination.” Because what’s inevitable is going to happen anyways, and you’re just trying to delay it. It’s like, “Heeah, haah, my God....” So, when that wall comes, “H’eah, one more day, two more days? Three more days, four more days, five more days?”
I’m sure Death sits there laughing his head off. Because you don’t realize, you are the one with the limited time, not Death. Death has all the time in the world. Time doesn’t matter to Death at all. “Whenever! I’m ready. I’ve got your number the day you were born!” The only one who doesn’t have your number the day you were born is, you know who? You.
And this is what I talk about. It is—this message of mine is entwined with peace. Yes, it is not faith-based—no. It is not, you know, you have to have a certain “set of beliefs” and then everything falls in place. This is all about experiencing it for yourself. Understanding it for yourself. Living this life every day with understanding, for yourself.
Not some formula. Not somebody’s interpretation. Not a quote from a book. But you, you as a human being. That’s what it’s all about, folks.
You see this earth? You see those mountains out there? You see those rivers? You see that sun? You see those stars? You see the Milky Way? You see the snow, see the deserts? You know what that’s all about? It’s about you. You. You get to exist; you get to witness; you get to admire. You get to fall in love. You get to be in awe. It’s about you.
But you don’t think it’s about you. (It’s about everything else—not you.) But it’s about you. And you’ll be gone! And for you—for you—all that you were in awe of will also be gone. And then there’ll be somebody else. And it’s, it’ll be about them—and about them, and about them, and about them, and about them, and about them. But right now, it’s about you.
The divinity? This is your chance, your only chance to understand what divinity is. This is the only chance you’ve got to experience what is fundamentally called “joy.” That’s it. It’s about you!
This is the only time you will be able to experience clarity. And it’ll touch you. And serenity, and it’ll touch you. And joy, and it’ll touch you. And when they do, you know what will emerge?—is the sweetest, most profound gratitude—which is not about manners. It’s not that stuff that your mother told you to say for every piece of candy you received.
It’s about you! Because you can connect with it. You can connect with this universe. You can sit. You can look at your hand—and you can admire that skin. Because the material that it is made from is no different than what this entire universe is made with. How powerful is that? How incredible is that? How joyful is that?
So, when I talk about peace, “peace” is talking about what you should be truly attracted to. So, let me tell you what you should be attracted to. You should be attracted to this breath. As it comes into you, it brings you the gift of life. The gift of life. Life—without which you have nothing! You are nothing.
Your most incredible brain that can solve problems—only works because you’re alive. It doesn’t work on its own. (Wish it did—but it doesn’t.) It only works because you’re alive. And the bringer of that gift of life is this breath.
Your ability to love someone is only possible because you’re alive. Your ability to have relationships, (have somebody be your uncle, be your brother, be your sister, be your father, your mother, your son, your, whatever), is only possible because you are alive.
So, you need to be alive to be able to enjoy yourself—and what brings you the gift of life? The breath. All the things that you want to do and you want to do well, you fundamentally have to be alive to be able to do those things—and guess what brings you the gift of that life? It is your breath. And what do you know about it? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
We’re about the coming and going of this breath, and we have no understanding of it and this is a catastrophe! And I want to avert it. I want to avert it for everyone on the face of this earth who will listen to me—I want to avert it because this is a catastrophe.
You know everybody else but you don’t know you. This is a catastrophe. You need to know who you are. You need to know your being. You need to understand your existence. Do you know it? Before it’s too late, before it’s gone! Believe me, this goes by all too fast.
And the lamp—nothing sadder than to see a lamp that was unlit—thrown away, cast away. This lamp needs to be lit! So you can be and feel and understand who you are.
Sometimes we suffer. Some of us have gotten really good at accepting the suffering, have we not? Our excuses: “Oh, God wants me to suffer. He wants me to learn something. I haven’t learnt anything in my whole life. But, you know....”
There is a song in Hindi. And it goes (the other day I was listening to it), and it’s like, “The pain and sorrow are our friends. So, why bother; why are you worried about sorrow and pain—because they are our friends.” And I’m like, “Really?” No. No!
Life that you have, your existence? That’s what it’s all about. A lot of people are like, “But isn’t that a very egoistical way of looking at it?” No. It is the humblest way of looking at it.
Because you look at reality—reality is humble, and it is profound at the same time. As you look at the sun, you realize its beauty; you realize its power. You’re humbled in front of it—and yet you are so glad it’s there. It’s not like “one or the other.”
Things will change in your life—of course they will. Why? Because that’s their nature. You try to hang on; it won’t let you. But do you know, with all those changes, you can still be happy? This is what I mean by “knowing yourself.” When you know yourself, you can say, “Oh, and by the way, all this can change—and I can still feel contentment.”
So, do you know what you need? Do you know what the difference is between a want and a need? Uh-uh. You don’t. Knowing yourself, that’s what it’s all about—figuring out what is just merely a want, and what is a need. Knowing yourself: “Know thyself.”
That no matter what happens in your life, you need, (not want), need to know the value of this breath, the value of being alive, the value of this time that you have.
Because we’re celebrating life; we’re celebrating existence as it is, as it has played out for so many thousands of years on the face of this earth—and a message that has always honed in, regardless of all the things that were going around, “That you are alive, and you are very fortunate.”
See, I talk about breath. There was an inmate in South Africa. And he kept hearing me talk about breath and breath and breath, so one day he went back in his cell.... (And this is what he told this fellow who was bringing him Peace Education videos and so on.)
And he said he’d just lay down—and he started to focus on his breath, feel his breath. And he said, “All of a sudden, the same bed that I had lain on many days, tormented—I begin to fill with peace. And the more I felt my breath, the more I filled with peace.” And he goes, “After a little while, I felt peace like I have never experienced in my life.”
It’s really worth knowing yourself, believe me—because it’s a wonderful thing.
Seeds of Peace
Lambeth College, London, UK
It’s an honor to be here this evening. And, you know, you have heard a lot, and what we are here to talk about is not particularly a pleasant subject that’s at the root of it, all this violence that’s going on. So let me just spend a few minutes here telling you about a human being.
A human being is someone who carries in their heart an ocean of kindness. A human being is someone who has in them a tremendous amount of strength. A human being is someone who carries within them an amazing amount of wisdom.
Now, I know some of you are sitting here; it’s like, “What are you talking about? What, what aliens are you talking about?” No, no, I’m not talking about aliens; I’m talking about human beings. This is who we are.
The question is, “If we have this tremendous amount of wisdom in us, if we have this tremendous amount of kindness in us, if we have this tremendous amount of joy in us, why are we not expressing it; why are we not sharing it; why are we here today talking about these heinous crimes that are taking place?”
Lying and cheating? Where does a child learn lying from? Did they go to a school? No, from their own parents. The child is sitting there; the mother was speeding; a police officer pulls her over: “You were speeding.” “No, I wasn’t.” (And this is after the child has already warned the mother, “Mom, are you speeding?”) And what’s the solution—“Shhhh! Shhhh!” What has happened?
We are willing—we are willing to throw away fifty percent of good food—but not share anything. What happened? What happened? And there are people going, “You know, the world’s going hungry.” And here we are in the First World countries just throwing the food away—and going “Oh yeah, that’s a real problem.” That’s not the problem. We are the problem.
Now when we say, “We are the problem,” consider this to be really good news. “We are the problem, by the way”—that’s good news! You know why that’s good news? Because if it’s us, we can change it. But if this is coming from Mars, we’ve got a problem. If this is coming from Venus, we’ve got a problem.
But this is actually coming from right here, on this earth, created by us—and if we want to change, we can change it. That’s why it’s good news. And what is it going to take? It’s going to take collective effort—nobody excluded. Nobody excluded.
I’m not here to point fingers. Because I still hold this to be true, that there is an ocean of kindness in each one of us. I still hold this to be true, that there is an ocean of wisdom in each one of us. And all it is waiting for is to be brought out.
When I see in this world, this despair.... What is despair? It is the opposite of hope. When there is no hope, there’s desperation—desperation. And this desperation, we all see it. But what is on the other side of the coin? If one side is desperation, the other side of the coin is hope. If one side is anger, then the other side is forgiveness.
And we, we just have to understand—that in the darkness, the light is never far away. (I can prove that.) How long does it take, after you turn off the light, for darkness to take over? In a pitch dark room, you turn off the light. How long does it take—it’s instant. It was just waiting! The light goes out; darkness comes in. Light comes; darkness flees. It’s how simple it is.
We live in the most dynamic, in the most amazing place there is—and yet we don’t acknowledge that. But we’re too busy concocting how we can hurt each other, concocting all these wars.
The same mind, believe me, that can create these wars is quite capable of pursuing peace. The same person who can carry a knife and plunge it into another human being, is quite capable of not only stopping it, but giving kindness and attention, and preventing it. What do we want? What do we want? That’s the question; “What do we want?”
Do we want these wars? And I know there are people right now, going, “Well, what can I do about it? I, ah-yeah, I don’t know.... And I don’t; I don’t; I don’t; I don’t....”
The time to “I don’t, I,” and “I, I”—stop it. The time to “I’m, I,” and “why, why” is finished! The time has come, and rightfully so, to acknowledge the possibility of a human being, what it means.
We live in this world—and I was reading a book—and in this book it said, “Oh, yeah! The economy of Greece is not doing so well. The Syrians are at war; Jordan is filling up with refugees. Iran is getting ready for the big war. And Egypt has high instability.”
And then the book went on to say, “Oh, this isn’t from 2012, 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 or 18—this is news from 1177 BC.” And I’m like, “Whaat? This has happened before?” And the answer is, “Yup! This has happened before.” And will it happen again? Yes, it’ll happen again. And will it happen again? Yes, it’ll happen again—unless we, we, we intervene.
Peace isn’t the problem. Why is peace possible—how dare I, do I say peace is possible? How dare do I say that? Should I not acknowledge the condition of the world and say, “This is a pathetic world—and we are warmongers”? No! Yes, we are warmongers—but by the same token, we carry in us an ocean of peace.
Peace doesn’t have to be created, my friends. Peace doesn’t have to be brought from Mars; peace doesn’t have to be generated. Peace is already within inside of us. It has to be discovered. We have discovered how to make wars—now it is time to discover how to make peace. And this is what has to happen.
Don’t do it for patting your back—because you won’t be able to. Do it because your heart will applaud for you. Not for your mind—but your heart will applaud for you, again and again and again and again. Make a difference—because you can. Make a difference in your little environment.
A mother says, “What can I do?” A mother says, “What can I do?” Love your child. You’ve made a difference. Love your child! Give that child the attention. Talk to that child; engage that child. When you don’t engage that child, then you are basically saying your child is dumb and stupid. Engage that child; talk to them. Talk to them.
We live in a society that is incredibly vulnerable. Why? Just go.... (And I don’t want to sit here and really point a finger at the problem.) But “entertainment” today is when you can pick up a virtual gun and shoot as many people as you can—it’s called “game.”
And I am always like, “Whaat? Whaat!? That’s not what it should be about!” Make a game—in which you get to express your kindness! Make a game in which you get to express your joy; make a game that’s not boring....
Because everybody thinks the subject of peace is boring, and the subject of kindness is boring, subject of wisdom is boring. And when people have already surrendered to that fact, I’ll tell you what will happen in this world. What will happen is what is happening right now. People will be slaughtered; people will be massacred; people will be displaced.... Civilizations will be in peril....
I was just—last year I was in Colombia. And some of these kids were kidnapped and taken to the jungle, in the forest. They were handed guns—they didn’t play with toys; they played with guns! And all their lives, all they did was kill, kill, kill, kill, kill. And when finally, repatriation came up, they didn’t know how—till they went through the Peace Education Program.
Be a part of your own life. Be a part of your own life. Be a part of your own world. Be a part of your own family. Be a part of who you really are. Most importantly, know thyself. Know who you are. That’s all.
What Makes Us Human
Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
What I have to say is, you are so fortunate to be alive—incredibly fortunate, unparalleled. That within you is this incredible ocean of peace, of joy. That within you are the beautiful, cool shades, the cool waters. And when it gets confusing, you have to know that wherever you go, you always carry in you this incredible peace, this incredible joy. It’s always there, always.
And that’s what makes you so fortunate—not the accomplishments outside. Because they will come and go; they will become useless at one point.
I talk about the two walls—one wall where you came through and you were born—and the other wall that you are moving towards. And you will go through that wall and you will disappear. Now, I’m sure nobody likes to hear that. Because it’s a very strange relationship with life that we have. On one hand, we really can’t do without it.
I mean, it’s one of those things. It’s like, you need it; you absolutely need this thing called “life.” And secretly, you actually love it. And it’s one of those love affairs that is not obvious.
But at the same time that you love this life, that—you want things to be a certain way. And that’s your fight. You want things to be according to your imagination, according to your dreams, according to your ideas. You want this thing to be this way; you want this thing to be this way; you want this person to be this way, you want that person to be that way.
And all your life, you actually love that very thing—but you ignore it. So, you love life—but you ignore it—why? Because, because you are alive you have the capacity to be able to try, (or you think you could), try to change everybody—and everything.
And if you could change everybody and if you could change everything—it’s a ridiculous idea, but this is your road map—your road map is, “I’m not going to change myself. (I don’t want to change.) But I want to change everybody else—and I want to change everything else.” And that’s your road map.
And the amazing thing is, you have no idea how common that road map is. Everybody has the same exact road map. Everybody figures, “If people weren’t the way they are....” If everybody just listened to you, all the time—because you’re always right. Even when you are dead wrong, you’re right.
And so that’s your effort: “Let’s change the world.” Of course, you realize the comedy in this. Everybody is trying to change everybody. And nobody wants to change. So you’re trying to change the person that is next to you, and that person is trying to change you—and that person, the other person on the other side is also trying to change you....
And change, change, change, and nobody wants to change—because we don’t understand what a change is. “The universe is about changes; life is about understanding.” (Aristotle.)
Look. The gift that I have come to give you this evening—and I have a gift for you, I’m in the process of giving it to you––it is not an object. But it is the most beautiful gift because it is a gift to be able to think differently. That’s the gift that I give people.
Because in your thinking, peace is not in you; somebody’s going to bring it. “Dennnh! Wrong.” It’s in you.
The world doesn’t need to change; people don’t need to change; you need to change. And how will you change? By unchanging. “Heh?!” Yes, you are no longer who you really are. You are no longer who you really are, and all you have to do is become who you really are, and the change is finished. That’s the change!
That’s what Socrates said; “Know thyself!” Because if you actually knew who you were, you wouldn’t be chasing all this other stuff. You would be going into that beautiful pond of serenity, of clarity, and diving in and going, “Wow....” Because you have it in you. You have it in you.
And to be able to understand that, to be able to think differently, this can change this life from struggle to enjoyment.
I can only give you what I understand. What I don’t understand, I will not give you. I’m not here to fire up your imagination, start telling you how incredible heaven is. No, I want to tell you that if there is a heaven, it’s here. And I want to tell you, “Before you hit that wall, find it. Find it; enjoy it”—because you don’t know what’s on the other side of the wall. (It’s the honest truth.)
I could tell you things. Oh, people will listen to me; I’ll have a much bigger audience than this. But that’s not what I’m going to tell you. I’m going to tell you—that if there is a hell, it’s not created by Satan; it’s created by us. And we’re the ones who are creating a hell. Not discovering the heaven that is here.
You are here. You are alive. And I think it’s a good time—to find out in your life how much of that, most incredible treasures that you have in you—that you dug up, that you brought out. Did you dive in and dig at the mines of clarity? To dig like you have never dug before? To enjoy the riches, the wealth of clarity?
Did you find your Divine in you? Did you find compassion? Did you find your peace? Did you find your joy? Did you find your love? Did you find your wisdom? Because that’s what makes you human. Not fighting—monkeys fight too. Fish can fight—I saw them today, fighting. Snakes fight.
Fighting doesn’t make you human. Your errors don’t make you human. What makes you human, (not sapiens)—what makes you human are these incredible gifts that have been given to you, that you encompass in your life—clarity. Wisdom. Joy. Peace. “Wow! Wow! Wow!”
What else could you ask for? What else could you ask for? Whatever clarity exists, (wherever it comes from, wherever, whatever, whatever, whatever), in this being called “human,” it can dance—it’s a stage; it can dance.
Wherever peace comes from, (where, wherever, wherever, wherever, wherever in this universe, world, bla-bla-bla, whatever), in this stage called a “human,” it can dance; it can, it can just scream; it can just, “Yes!”
What’s so special about being alive is that you are the stage on which the peace can dance. And there you are—and what is dancing on your stage? Hello? Confusion? Disappointment? When you start to become disappointed with yourself—listen to me. When you start to become disappointed with yourself, nobody can help you after that. And you do.
Because this thing called “imagination” came along and painted a picture—and it painted a wild picture. And you bought that picture; you didn’t edit that picture; you didn’t clean that picture up; you bought it, hook, line and sinker. And you went, “That’s what I want.”
And that first hour you realized you didn’t quite make it there, the disappointment starts to set in, and it’s a very weird disappointment. Because you know you are disappointed with yourself—but you don’t know how to express it to yourself.
When you’re disappointed with somebody else, you know how to express it to them. But when you’re disappointed with yourself, you don’t know how to express it to yourself. And that’s the day you start fighting yourself. And the day—that is the day you need to listen to what I am saying: “Know thyself. Don’t fight yourself; know yourself.”
You are not the instrument to fulfill your wishes; you are not Aladdin’s lamp; (your name isn’t even “Aladdin”). It’s not your job—to go around fantasizing how your life should be and then trying to make that a reality; that’s not what life is about. It’s about this heaven—this heaven—and this heaven that is in you.
Peace is good news. You know, and you come from fear and nothing gets done. Take away the fear and something wonderful happens. And you need to do that to your life, in your life. Celebrate peace; celebrate this existence because (like I started with this), you are so fortunate.
Wild Wise Women Radio Show
Cape Town, South Africa
Ummm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm, umm-hmm! Monday it is, and we are in a beautiful country called South Africa, even in the best city, Cape Town. And today we decided to bring you an extraordinary treat. (Extra treats?) Peace Ambassador, chef, (hopefully for me one day), inya-nah, [sp] just the good side of the dish....
Pilot! What else do you say about someone like this? A father-figure? [Fluffy: Yes.]
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Spreading peace? [Fluffy: Peace Ambassador and inspirational speaker....] He travels more than a rock star? [Fluffy: Yes.] [Robyn: Going to countries?] Country to countries? I fly but....
Host, Wild Wise Women Show
Flies himself more than most rock stars.
Dude! I feel like we should just howl for him, just, bon-vom-sin-nyah, nah, [sp] just be like, “Hello and welcome to Africa, Prem Rawat, see? Hello-hello-hello-hello!” [Robyn: Howl?] [Fluffy: Yes.]
One-two, one-two, one-two....
All three interviewers:
“Owou, owou, ouwwwwwwww!”
Okay, that’s enough howling.
Damn! Okay, okay-okay-okay, ee-kay-eee-kay-eee-kay. Got it, got it, got it.
Prem, welcome to Wild Wise Women Show, man. How ya doin’?
I am good, and thank you for having me on the show. I look forward to watching all this wild stuff happen....
Ah! Prem, you said you would participate with us, so I’m being wild. Oh, man. So, first time.... [Robyn: On our show.] This is the first time on our show. [Robyn: That you have.] Like, you’re sitting with three crazy ladies. [Fluffy: Umm-hmm.] And....
Wild and wise ladies. [Lumka: Wild and wise ladies.] Let’s not throw the word “crazy” around too much, please.
And are you excited?
Yeah! I’m here; I hope I can say something today that’ll make a difference in someone’s life. [Lumka: Yeah?] And that’s always my hope when I go out and talk about my message of peace.
And yeah, for people who have never seen Prem before, it’s like, cct, it’s poetry to your ears, but it’s all about self, and self-understanding—[Fluffy: Umm] and things like that. So, for all of you that don’t know, where did this journey begin, of spreading the message of peace?
Oh, India, that’s where I was born. [Lumka: And yeah.] That’s where I started. I started speaking when I was four years old. And....
You know what; now, this is—just, just puts pressure on every other person who has a kid. Because everyone is just going to be like “You’re just eating sweets?”
No, well, I mean, that’s something I wanted to do. And I got up—you know, there was a big gathering. And my father was going to come and speak. But people were just scattered, you know, just scattered all over the place, and I felt, “This is not good. You know, it’s, he’s going to come and everybody’s all the place.”
So I got up and I sat where he sits on his chair and I started speaking. And when I did, everybody started to go, “Whoa, who’s talking right now? You know, sounds like a little kid!” And they all wanted to come and see, and they all gathered....
And then I sent the message to my father that “Okay, everybody’s here; you want to come out and talk to them?” So, that’s when it started for me, just speaking about peace.
So it’s, from the age of four, you had the gift of the gab?
Ahh, I don’t know, “a gift of the gab.” I think it’s just something my heart wanted to do. It just came naturally to me—I just wanted to talk about the possibility that what they’re looking for is inside of them. That whatever they think their human status is, they’re much better off than that—but they don’t know it; they don’t understand it.
This isn’t, like, coming from my head—I hope; I really hope. I pray that I never walk on any stage behind a microphone and start talking from my head. [Lumka: Yeah.]
It really needs to come from my heart. You know, it really, really needs to come from my heart. Because that’s my.... If the message doesn’t come from my heart, it’s coming from my head—I’m going to be confused and I’m going to confuse a lot of people.
You know, the subject of peace, the subject of being human, the subject of being alive—is something that you really have to feel inside; [Lumka: Yeah.] you have to feel it in your heart. And it’s not about the head.
Tell us a little bit about why you’re in SA. You designed a program called the “Peace Education Program”—and you’re here to promote that, and the book and your message. Do you want to tell us a bit more about that?
I’ve been coming to South Africa since the seventies. And it’s been on and off—because in the seventies when I first came, you know, they didn’t want me to do mixed meetings and so on and so forth. And I said, “Look, that’s just, I’m not going to do that. You know, anybody is welcome to come.”
And so, everybody would come—and that was against the law at that time. And I got blacklisted, so I couldn’t come for quite a while to South Africa. But then the situation changed and I started coming back.
And I’m here to talk to people about the same message, same message. And a few years back, we started this Peace Education Program. And the Peace Education Program really started in a very simple way—it was just a way to be able to reach people who really needed help.
So, in fact, its beginnings were in incarceration institutions, you know, (prisons, or whatever you want to call them), and reaching those people. Because there they were. And really not much hope. You know, every day, you see the bars—and there’s the sunset but there are the bars.
You’re in there—some of them are there for five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years—and it’s a tough life. You know, it really, really is a tough life.
So, the idea wasn’t to entertain them. That wasn’t the idea; it wasn’t like, “Society has said you should be incarcerated, and we’re coming along and making sure that everything is fine for you.”
No, the idea was this: “That if there isn’t a fundamental change in these people, they’re going to come back.” Because when you look at the rate of return, it’s just amazing. “And so, what can we do to have a profound impact in their lives, so they really just get out of this rut? How can a profound impact be made?”
So, the Peace Education Program started—and the University of San Antonio Texas took notice that people who were going through this program had the least rate of return—of all the programs that were in this one institution, the people going through the Peace Education Program had the lowest rate of return.
So, that—obviously, that, for him, it was like, “bing-bing-bing-bing, bing-bing,” all the alarm bells went off—“What’s going on here? What is so interesting about this program?”
Well, in fact, I went and I saw the inmates and I talked to them. And there was a really, a profound change in people’s life. And so, since then it has just been spreading.
But now it’s not just limited to prisons—yeah, it’s, veterans are going through it; hospice are going through it; hospitals are going through it; police are going through it; the army—I mean, just about every facet of society is being touched by the Peace Education Program.
And people really—the most important thing, most important—people just really enjoy it. Just, really, really enjoy it. And, it is, in fact, in some of these other programs where—but, you know, alcoholics and drug addicts, and they’re going through these programs and just really finding a change in themselves.
Because we, as human beings, need to be empowered. If we’re not empowered.... And we feel that we have—there’s nothing we can do. I mean, you go out there and you talk to people. You talk to people about the problems of this world, and the first thing they will tell you is, “What can I do?”
Because nobody feels empowered. And this is a problem in our society. People should feel empowered—“That, yes, whatever you do does make a difference. Whatever you do will make a difference.”
And so, that’s what Peace Education Program is. It’s really empowering people, empowering individuals, on a very individual level in where they participate; they talk about peace—what peace means to them; how they feel about peace; where peace is inside of them.
Because of the human being not being in peace, there’s no understanding of human dignity; there’s no understanding of human beings. People are dying hungry in this world—why!? Is there a shortage of food? [Lumka: No.]
Absolutely not. There’s no shortage of food; the amount of food that is thrown away is simply staggering—staggering, how much food is actually thrown away. But why is it that these people who are dying of hunger cannot get that food?
What happened to clean water? I mean, what happened to clean water? Everywhere you go: “Bottled water, bottled water, bottled water.” Well, you know, I was born in a generation in India where you didn’t have bottled water. You had water from your tap or a well—and it was sweet and it was wonderful and it was clear; it was....
And all of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh, no, the water has gotten contaminated.” Who contaminated it? You know, who contaminated this water—so that we can start buying bottled water?
And I’m just, I just want people to wake up a little bit—instead of saying, “Well, that’s normal now. You know, this is how, just, things, the way things are....”
There are certain things that we need as human beings. One of them—that we need right away—is air. We won’t last very long without air. Maybe about three minutes? There’s a rule of threes with these things.
And so, that needs to be clean—because it is incredibly essential and important for our body to have that air. The second thing is the warmth. Three hours—and you could go into hypothermia. So, the shelter that we need, needs to be good—that’ll keep us out of those elements; [Fluffy: And yeah.] that’s very, very important.
Then, we’ve got three days without food—you know, or three days without water. And then, you know, maybe three weeks or so without food—people have survived.
So, and taking a look at these things, it is so important that our food, our water, our air and our environment is there for us—because these things are important for us. We—and this is not a luxury! We need these to survive; we need these to live.
And people are not paying attention to those things—and we’re looking for prosperity, “prosperity.” What is the definition of prosperity? What is the definition of peace? Well, peace is something that needs to be felt. And prosperity, is it truly objective—or is it subjective: “I feel prosperous. I have water; I have food; I have a place to stay? I feel prosperous.”
Because there are people who have everything and they don’t feel prosperous. So, is it objective, or is it subjective? And the same thing with peace, “Is it objective, or is it subjective?”
I mean, okay, so you live on top of a mountain and you’re wearing a certain, you know, color of clothes—and your name is a certain way, and your hair is a certain way. And so, “Oh, you must be in peace.” [Lumka: Uh-uh.] Come on, that’s it?
That’s not peace. You know, peace is when you feel it. And peace is not objective, but it is subjective. And you have to feel it; you have to feel peace in your life, not just one day but every single day. [Robyn: Yeah.] Every single day.
Okay, this—it must be like, this must be one of your worst interviews.
But how do you expect people to actually have a conversation with you, when you like, do mike bombs, like mike drops everywhere? Those are like—you keep having these profound and powerful speeches. And like, we end up having the same facial expression, like, “What do you say next?” And you go, “Who am I?” Yeah, like....
But, but the thing is, these things are just simple. [Lumka: Yeah.] They’re not, you know, out of some slab that fell off of the skies. These are, see—well, this is just the need of a human being—and which—but that’s all we’re talking about, [Lumka: Yeah.] you know?
I mean it’s, this is nothing fancy—it’s, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. We are here; there’s one planet Earth. Well, this is the planet Earth that we inhabit; we are here.
I mean, things are pretty straightforward, so far I’m concerned. Because they have been looking for life on other planets—and they haven’t really found it yet, you know?
And yeah! At all.
You know, they keep going, “Oh, there might have been life here; there might have been life here.” And I’m just like, “Okay. I know why they need to do that. They need to do that because one day this planet Earth is going to go away. And so, then there is a quest for human beings to live in other planets, other surfaces, other places.”
But are the foundations of that future good or bad—fundamentally, good or bad? If we cannot have peace and prosperity and human dignity on this planet right now—looking for other ones, we’re going to take the same disease and supplant it in other places.
At least, as a simple experiment—and you know, and this is what I say: “Peace will be mankind’s finest achievement”—finest! And we need to have it here! We need to have it here, so that we can say to ourselves, “Yes, we can all live in peace,” not blowing each other up.
As you know, like, in SA at the moment, there’s a lot of distrust between [Lumka: Yeah.] people, a lot of anger, a lot of frustration. How do we begin to move past that?
This is something that—people are really going to have to ask themselves one simple question. And the question is, “When you say ‘move past it,’ that means ‘move on.’ Not just past it, but move on—move forward towards something positive, to something good.” [Robyn: Yes.] Do you want to do that? [Robyn: Yes.] Do you truly want to do that?
I do. And I’m hoping that everyone else does as well.
And most people don’t; they’re not ready to, though.
Look, to come up with an idea that “I need to move forward. I need to go; I cannot stay in this situation; I cannot stay in this position. Because, so far I stay in this position, I’m still being victimized—by all that that has taken place in the past.”
South Africa has one thing that is incredible—really incredible. And that asset, I see, is the people of South Africa. Because what they have endured is absolutely amazing. I mean, it is a testament to endurance of a human being.
And if they put their mind to it, they can—they can do anything they want—with that kind of endurance, with that kind of power that they have.... But I don’t think that anybody is looking at empowering each other. You know, it’s just, distrust, distrust, distrust.
You know, there is a lot of bad in this world—but there is a lot of good in this world. There is a lot of hatred in this world, and there is a lot of kindness in this world. And what we have to do is to perpetuate the kindness; what we have to do is perpetuate the good in people.
You have this life. The day you were born, you have no control over it; the day you’re going to die, you have no control over it. But every single day in the middle, it’s yours. Make it happen, people, make it happen.
So, I’m here talking about peace and all this stuff—so, am I in peace all the time—no! No! Is everything perfect for me every single day—no! But you know what? Every day, I try. I try.
And what’s going to happen? Well, habit is something that makes something happen easily. That’s what bad habits do; that’s what good habits do. And if I can just form a habit to be conscious, not to waste my time, not to squander away my time—that my life, my life—this is my time. I can’t give it to anybody. [Lumka: Yeah.] I can’t.
And so, it’s yours—and you get to keep it—you get to do whatever with it. You can do whatever you want. You know, and I say; I say to people, I say, “Look, you want to die; you want to go to heaven. I understand that. But what is wrong with making heaven right here—for us? Making heaven right here?”
Long Beach, USA
The message about peace is such a beautiful message. Because the message isn’t, “Oh, you have to do this to get peace. Oh, we have to do this to get peace,” but the message is, “Peace is inside of you.” How incredibly simple is that message?
Every single day, to awaken to the possibility of being fulfilled, not by things from the outside, but by the very elements that are embedded in every single human being—and therefore it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, what your circumstances are—you can be fulfilled.
And fulfilled! We live in a world that’s very different, believe me. The other day, (actually it was not just the other day; it was a few months back), I was reading—I came across this idea: “What is the definition of happiness?” So I started researching it—and I come to a United Nations page.
Very interesting. “Happiness” is defined. (I would have thought happiness is subjective—just, you know, from experience.) You can be happy when everything is going wrong—everything, everything is going wrong, everything is going wrong—and you can be happy. And everything is going right—and you’re ticked off.
But no. They defined it as “You have shelter; you have food; you have access to water. You have healthcare—and then you’re happy.”
And I said, “Wait a minute. This sounds like ‘prosperity.’ This should not be called ‘happiness’—this should be called, ‘How to be prosperous.’ To be prosperous, you need a future; you need a shelter; you need healthcare; you need food; you need what....”
So, they’ve got—and I know they’re intelligent people. So, who am I to tell them, “Hey, you misspelled ‘happiness.’ That should be prosperity, not happiness.” Happiness doesn’t require anything. Just you. Just your being. Just you in touch with you.
But our fundamental belief is we are incomplete. Not our fault. This is what is drilled into our heads. This is not information we came up with; this is the information we have been given by people, which we simply have accepted without ever questioning it.
And this is what we need to question: “Why am I incomplete?” I have thirst. I need water—I’m seventy percent water; I need water. I happen to be living in a planet where there is water.
Can you imagine being a human being—goes through the process of evolution—and ends up wanting, requiring, needing something, and it’s missing? You think the evolution would have allowed you—if you needed water and there was no water, you think you would have evolved? Absolutely not! Absolutely not.
You need oxygen—and there is oxygen. You think you would have been allowed to evolve? No. Absolutely not. But you are here—and all that you need is here with you too. But you need to look at it; you need to feel it.
This is what blows people’s minds. When I say—and I’m not talking about some fanciful peace. I’m talking about real peace, some peace that you can feel in your life. “Huuh? Ah-what?! There is a peace that you can actually feel in your life?”
So, you’ve heard the word “harmony” before, right? Now, here is the practical proof of what harmony actually means to us—we find it not objectionable. The same way as the harmony, there are feelings inside of us—feelings—that we do not find objectionable.
Then there are feelings inside of us that we do find objectionable. And anger—because it’s sugar-coated.... (And that’s why we go for it). Just, we know we don’t like anger. We know that—but because of the sugar-coating, we don’t realize “This is a bitter pill I’m about to swallow”—till you have swallowed it.
The same way in our lives, we see something—there’s no difference. (Eyes see the way they see—the same.) We see something beautiful and we like it; we see something ugly, we don’t like it.
Where am I going with this? There is a feeling inside of you that your heart finds not objectionable—finds it very nice, very harmonious. And this feeling is called “peace.” This feeling is called “clarity.” This feeling is the light. The light.
When you hear the word “light,” it does not refer to that. It refers.... (Not that light; that’s a filament burning; there are no filaments inside of you.) The light that removes the darkness—what is the darkness? The darkness is all that that you find objectionable. It is in that context that your light is. (I know you have never heard that one before.)
Because whenever you hear about light, you see Jacob’s ladder. You know what a Jacob’s ladder is, right? Those beams of light coming from a cloud—and it’s like, “Ta-dah, light!”
No. For that light—that kind of light to be inside of you, it would require fusion of some kind—burning, electricity—fire, fusion. And do you really want fusion?!
But it acts just like a light—because it removes the ambiguity; it removes the darkness. The darkness? Not the “not-seeable darkness” but the darkness that does not allow you to be in that place where you want to be. The chasm.
So bring, in your life that light where you can be in the harmony with your own being! That’s the gist of it.
You were born. You are alive, and one day you have to die. Nobody wants to talk about that—neither me. It’s pointless. It’s an appointment already made; it’s a sealed deal. But today is a sealed deal too.
I was in the millions and millions of years in the making, for me to be alive today. It’s not just any accident. Millions and millions of years in the making for you to be alive today—for you, you! I mean, I mean, you! I mean you! As that person....
So the question is, why is anybody suffering on the face of this earth? Food is not the issue; water is not the issue. Why? Because it ultimately comes down to us not understanding ourselves.
When Socrates says, “Know thyself”—man, that is a loaded statement; there is more to that statement than you can ever imagine. Because the consequence of not knowing yourself is being at the verge of utter destruction—and definitely, definitely misery. Nobody feels safe anymore. What price to pay? What price to pay?
I mean, here we are. Recognize what life truly means. Life is this well that is inside of you. Open up to the possibility of being fulfilled. Because when you find out who you are, you will realize—you will truly realize that it’s way beyond any expectation you ever had of yourself.
Now is the time to embrace what you have been given in this magnificent moment that you have—and it is a moment. It is a moment. You think this earth is going to be around? No. It’ll be gone; one day all traces of human beings will disappear.
This is nothing new; this is not a catastrophe to the universe. This is normal—and this is what happens. Entire suns, entire galaxies, entire stars are just, pbbt-pbbbbt, gone.
Two black holes collided billions of years ago when earth was not even around—and they sent a wave, a gravitational wave throughout the universe. Last September 2015, that wave manifested itself on planet Earth. It started—the whole thing started when the earth wasn’t even there.
This is huge. You are on just a little speck—truly a little speck on a fairly calm neighborhood of the galaxy of this universe. And one little rock can decimate (flying around) what happens here. This is how fragile you are. And on this planet, there’s life—life.
Time has truly come to awaken and to take cognizance of what is going on here—and to bring peace. It has always been said, you know, “There’s going to be somebody who’s going to be a messiah or prophet who’s going to bring peace.” Who said that? Who? Who?! Who? Who? See, you don’t even know the guy’s name.
Because nobody actually said it. It’s like a telephone. You know, when somebody says one thing to you in your one ear, and you say something else, and you say something else, and you say—nobody knows.
No. There’s a messiah in each one of you; there’s a prophet in each one of you. Establish peace now. The time has come. Not some fantasy, not some great idea—but for the reality, for the practicality of it—because we can’t go on like this. It’s not going to work. It’s not going to work. It’s non-sustainable; it’s not reversible.
And so, peace begins, of course, with each one of you. Don’t give up hope. Move forward—move forward; find your strength. You have it.
You know, this is what happens when you lean on something and that thing is removed—you’re bound to fall. Don’t lean. Stand on your own feet. And then, whatever happens, happens. People will come and go. Everything moves; everything changes. But there is also an unchangeable “something” that is residing inside of you.
We are here to try to understand something—because life is not a static thing. And what’s happening in your life matters to you. And it’s your life, your existence.
And of all the things that happen and will happen in your life, (all the dramas and all the traumas), there will always be one possibility that will remain—and that possibility is that you can be in peace, that you can have that joy, that you can feel this incredible gift called “life.”
Because here I am. I’m alive—and the way I explain it, that there are two walls. And there’s a wall. I went through that wall—I don’t know where I was, but I went through that wall—and now I am between the two walls. And between the two walls, I’m marching.
There’s nothing I can do about it; there’s no pause button; there is no stop button. There isn’t even a rheostat that says, “Slow down.”
It’s just marching at a rate—and it’s marching, and it’s marching, and I know where it’s going. I know exactly where it’s going. And it’s not going left or right or up or down; it’s going from wall A, (or I should call it “wall B”)—to “wall D!”
To me, it’s very straightforward—there is a power that runs through this entire universe—that was there before, is, and will be. It’s absolute; it permeates everything. And that power has allowed this thing called “nature,” (heard of that? It’s called “nature”), to exist. And all things that we see, touch, hear, smell—feel—are compliments of nature.
So, some people call that power “God.” Some people call that power, not God. What difference does it make? What, I mean, what difference does it make?
I’m just talking about an audit of life. Since you are going from this wall to that wall—we’ve already established that, right? And it’s afoot, right? And you’re all alive, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to know—and take an audit of what you’ve got? “Where are you at?” So, what do you got? What have you got?
You have your pain and you have your suffering, right? You have some bad memories too, don’t you? Oh, by the way, here’s another one. Sometimes it feels like you’re a pressure cooker, right? (You know what a pressure cooker is, right?) “Powkhkhkhkh...!” And sometimes it feels like this pressure cooker isn’t just a pressure cooker—it’s going to blow. Like, “Pouchkhkhouw!”
And you always think it’s the big things in life, the big hurdles that must be really making this pressure cooker go. But it’s not. It’s the little things. Just pay attention to those little things. Start looking around, “So, what, what in the world are these things? What is this load that I am carrying? What is, what is this pressure that I create for myself?”
And this is what we were talking about: the audit. So, where are you? Now, let’s see what you have. You have in you an ocean of joy—immense, immense, endless, endless joy.
You have in you, endless tranquility. You have in you, endless peace. You have in you, lake after lake after lake of serenity. You have in you the most profound wisdom. Indeed, you have in you the most exquisite lit burning lamp—that holds in it the power to remove any darkness.
You have in you the might and the strength (not through your muscles, but through your wisdom) that is capable of single-handedly winning the greatest war that you will ever fight. Single-handedly, you have the capacity—this is how much strength you have—you have the capacity to win, unquestionably, win the war over ignorance.
So.... Now, we’re back to audit time—I want to ask you a question. And my question to you is this: “How much of all that beautiful stuff I just talked about is reflected in your life in every single day in every single moment?” Or if somebody preemptively takes up your parking space, do you go bonkers?
A person with such a might—that holds in them the promise to be able to conquer ignorance—loses their cool because somebody stole their parking space? Because your dog ran away? Because your husband said, “I don’t like you anymore”? Your wife said, “Goodbye. I found something better”?
(No, I mean, just, just, just asking.... That’s the point of the audit, right? You’ve got to ask some questions here. Just asking.)
So, time for audit again. For the human being that has this ocean, this ocean of peace, how much of that ocean is reflected in your existence? For this human being who, in them, has these, lake after lake of serenity, how much of that serenity is actually accounted for in your life?
This strength that you have to win the war.... Everybody, every human being on the face of this earth is born with that exceptional strength—no imagination here; just pure, simple—that special strength needed to overcome ignorance in your life, (not somebody else’s life, in your life), how much of that is accounted for in your existence?
And all I’m saying is, “Can you include these things you already have?” That’s all you have to do—you have to just include them in your life, every day. “Serenity? Cct, come on over. Peace? This-a-way. Here we go! Joy? Ah, yup, come on. Let’s go.” That’s all. Just have to include it. Like, “Whoa.”
You know, a lot of people say—they come to an event like this, and they go, “What—you didn’t give us anything.” And I want to tell you something. What I give you when you come to my event is priceless. I give you a new way of thinking—a new way of thinking that can change the rest of your life. That’s what I give you.
The good news is that that power, that beauty, that joy, that peace, all of these things are the witnesses to that power being in you. And so far it is, you are between the walls.... And when you go through that wall, that won’t be the case.
And so whilst you are in between these walls, you have a mission to accomplish. Each one of you on the face of this earth, you have a mission to accomplish—and the mission you need to accomplish is to flood your life with joy, is to flood your life with the peace.
It’s time, isn’t it?—to take that audit and say, “Well, enough is enough! Good God, it has—all this junk I’ve been carrying all my life, it hasn’t helped me. So, now is a good time....” Because anytime is a good time, (so far you haven’t hit that wall). Even if you are one-one-millionth of an inch, centimeter, millimeter away from that wall, it’s still a good time; you haven’t hit it.
And then, once you’ve hit it—I mean, but forget about this “old and young” stuff—really do; it’s okay. Your heart is timeless. Be a part of that timeless heart. That space in which there is that serenity, that space in which there is that peace, in that space where there is that joy, the boundless space that exists inside of you, that is timeless. More you use it, it will not go down.
So, take an audit—and whatever you see in your audit.... You have to perform the audit; I’m not going to make the audit; you have to make the audit of your life, and whatever you’re missing, dig in and get it—before you hit that wall.
Because that’s the day you will begin to live. That is the day you will actually, really begin to live. Not in this molasses, not in this goo of ideas and imagination—I mean, and don’t, don’t get me wrong; I’m not, I’m not saying imagination is bad. We all need imagination; that’s really good!
In this life, in this existence, one, you have everything you need. Two, it’s within you. Three, it’s yours. Four, all you have to do—is without any fear of failure, let the river of peace run through you. That’s all. That’s all. Don’t fight with it; let it run; be who you are—and enjoy.
In one way, we’re all strangers going on this ocean, this voyage, this voyage that has something to do with time, something to do with those six elements of oxygen and carbon and nitrogen and all of that stuff. Here we are, something to do with millions of years of evolution, something to do with all of that.
But at the end of the day, here you are. And you have to look at what’s possible now. Not the journey of imagination, but the journey of experience, to have made it possible to have peace in your life—the greatest achievement. The greatest, the greatest achievement a human being can achieve.
You will get the ultimate recognition for it. The award is peace. The award is joy, your joy, your peace, your life fulfilled.