Prem Answers Questions
Cape Town, South Africa
Graeme Richards, Host
You talk about being attractive, and us generating this energy that is attractive to other people—but it has to start within oneself.
And this next question, I think, (as we were discussing which to take out of the multitude that came through), I think hit everyone backstage, and I think it’s going to hit all of you. And I hope that the person who wrote it really does light up now and take note of the response.
But the question read as such: “How can you love yourself when you’ve started to believe that you’re ugly and a failure?”
Well, fortunately, it is not a fact; it’s only your belief. Beliefs can change. So, you know, really, you can believe anything you want—but what is the reality? What is the reality? The reality is that darkness is never far from light.
Last time you flipped on a switch and turned on a light in a dark room, how long did it take for that darkness to disappear? You turned on the light bulb, and it’s just like, djjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj, like, you know, a drain—or like a toilet flushing, schhhhhhhhh? No! Boom?—boomf.
Darkness is never far away from light; light is never far away from darkness. Joy is never far away from sadness and sadness is never far away from joy. They ride together.
When you go into a bathroom and you lock the door for privacy, do you think it’s private? No. Your anger, your fear, your doubt have come with you. Even though you book only one seat for yourself on a bus or an airplane, your anger, your fear, your doubt, they’re always there—always, always!
But so is kindness. So is understanding; so is gratitude; these things are also there because they are the other side of the coin.
You need to know this—that if you have only experienced your ugliness, then you haven’t flipped the coin. You need to flip the coin—because the other side of that coin is incredible beauty.
And what is the beauty? What is the beauty? Somebody who is symmetrically shaped? A star? What is the beauty? Because you know the reality of it is, how many movie stars that are drop-dead gorgeous, spend hours sometimes looking at themselves in the mirror, going, “Oh my God, am I? Am I?”
You are the beholder. If you feel, in you—and see, I keep going back to this—and this is a great question, because this gives me more ammunition for my book. That’s why you need to know yourself!
Socrates said “Know thyself”; you need to know yourself. Why do you need to know yourself—because that is when you will be able to experience the true beauty that you are. That’s why you need to know yourself.
There are a billion reasons, I think, 7.5 billion reasons on the face of this earth of why you should know yourself. Because if each one did, I think we would have a very different situation in this world—if the beauty that you conceive in your mind is beauty that is different than you truly are. And you have that beauty.
Whatever other people tell you, you are worse than them. Because you constantly sit there and tell yourself, “I’m not beautiful; I’m not beautiful; I’m not....”
This beauty will be gone one day. The same thing that people come and kiss, they’ll be like, “Huh-hah, no way.” So, it’s not here; this is not the “beauty” part. The beauty part is here, in your heart, in yourself.
I think a big part of that journey to self and that getting to that point of seeing the beauty within you, a part of that has to be about forgiving yourself.
And one of the questions that was posed is, “If forgiveness is difficult for you to begin with, (forgiving someone else is hard enough), turning it inward to the person that you know better than anyone else, the person that you probably judge more than anyone else—how do you forgive yourself?”
Well, that’s a wonderful question—because that is so important, to be able to forgive yourself. And let’s just not even bring “you and somebody else” into the picture; let’s just talk about forgiveness, what forgiveness is.
And a lot of people think, “Forgiveness is granting license to mediocrity, granting license to somebody’s mistake.” That is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is to sever the relationship with that action that is dragging you down.
So, now, whatever—and, you know, somebody did something to you that was terrible. And that happened a long time ago, but that person still has a clutch on you. They still have a clutch on you. Because every day that you wake up, perhaps, and in a solitary moment, you curse that person; you think of that person; that person is still connected to you.
And forgiveness is saying, “No more. You will not have control over me. I want my life back. I want my life back and I do not authorize you any more to haunt me.” That’s what forgiveness is.
That’s what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is very powerful. It’s really saying, “No! I’ve got my life. Thank you very much.” Regaining—it’s regaining. Because if you don’t, then the clutches will still be there.
And it—and what it does to you; what this clutching does to you, these claws that are buried inside of you, it causes anger; it causes fear; it causes you to shut down; it causes you to stop moving forward; it stops appreciation....
And you cannot allow yourself to be a victim; you would—some of the things, you will never be able to say, “Oh, yeah, I’m fine with that.” But it’s up to you, whether you allow the talons of that person and that activity still to be gripping you. Because if you don’t, then use the sword of forgiveness and free yourself. You move on.
You know, and I understand. I mean, sometimes these stories are easier said than actually translated into your life. But at least, if you begin to chisel away....
I mean, maybe the rope is so thick that you won’t be able to cut it in one day. But at least, you start severing it, start understanding the dynamics that you have the power to sever that rope, that this is what forgiveness means—that ultimately one day you will weaken that rope; that it will, it’ll be severed. But you need to begin. You need to start understanding that.
Because whatever you practice the most, that’s what you get good at. You know, and practice, practice being yourself. But, then there is a problem with that, that if you don’t know yourself, how do you practice being yourself?
So, now it’s back to that “point one”.... [MC: Giggle. You go back to giggles; you’ve got giggles.] And, yeah, know yourself.
I’m so glad that you’ve honed in on—you mentioned a couple of words there, but the word “victim” came up so many times in so many questions: “And how we move beyond feeling like a victim,” which is very much a South African context, and as you’ve explained, I think, an energy that’s shared across the globe....
Somebody has to keep trying—and be it the citizens of this country, that in the face of what is absolutely, absolutely, impossibly cruel and horrible—but the good has to keep trying. That’s the victory.
And there are two kinds of victory. In one victory, you win but somebody has to lose. But when the victory is of yourself, then you win and nobody has to lose. Nobody has to lose.
And so, yes, in the face of all this horrible stuff, there is hope. And if we humans can dip so low as to do things like that, then we humans can also climb so high as to make the difference to not let it happen.
So, it’s up to us. At the end of the day, it’s going to always come down—we play a part in it. We play a part in it. And we wait....
How many—I mean, I shouldn’t ask this question, because I know what the answer is going to be. But I sincerely, sincerely—because my platform is humanity, I sincerely ask you to ask yourself one question. “How many of you are waiting for the others to change?”
And that is the biggest disease worldwide—everybody is waiting for others to change. No, you have to change. With the others change or not, you change. And then they will see “the change is good.”
The time has come to take ownership, find peace in your life, know yourself. That’s the time. You want these things to stop; they can stop. They’re not.... This is not God at work. You know, this is not, “Oh, yeah, it was his karma....” Stupid explanations! (This is the fifty-year-old talking.)
How many of you disagree with that—“That it’s somebody else up there who controls the destiny; you are just a puppet”?
Because this is what we are taught; we didn’t know this—we’re taught this. Because it gives an explanation to all the unfortunate things: “Oh, yeah, God works in mysterious ways.” And we go, “God works in mysterious ways.” And I say, “That’s it? That’s your explanation? ‘He’s mysterious’?” I mean, why is God mysterious?
There is only one way you can take away darkness. You cannot get an empty bucket to take away darkness. An empty bucket, to fill it with darkness and throw it out the window won’t work—sorry. There is only one way to take away the darkness—and that is, bring on the light.
Do I see hope? I see hope. And I saw hope when I went to that school. And they were little kids—so cute—little kids. And I saw hope in them. And you need to find some too. And you need to find the end of uncertainty, end of that fear, so you can find the end of anger.
You’ve helped me to unlock hope tonight; you have—I can feel off this audience, helped them to unlock hope tonight. And so I hope you’ve received some of that love from us as well. What an absolute pleasure and a privilege.
Thank you so, so much.
One Day Would Be Enough
Here we are on this magnificent planet Earth, on which millions and millions of years of evolution have taken shape; millions and millions and millions of creatures have played a role in allowing us to be who we are: the great nature’s experiment.
And those creatures are gone! They no longer exist; they’ve gone extinct. But what they were able to adapt to, gave us that little edge, of all those creatures coming together that we could be who we are.
You’re alive; this is your time—you exist. You can feel; you can see. What do you think, you think is the possibility for you? The grind? All that we deal with? Or is there something more?
Is there such a thing as “content human being”? Is there such a thing as a human being full of gratitude? Is there such a thing as a human full of clarity? Is there such a thing as a human being full of joy? Is there such a thing as a human being full of understanding? Is there such a thing as a human being full of light? Is there such a thing as a human being full of answers?
Is there such a thing? Because if there was, then to experience this, one day would be enough. To experience that, one day would be enough.
Does this possibility, does this sweetness of being a human being, of being content exist every single day or not? Period. No arguments, no this, no that. I’m not saying we achieve it; we achieve this—and that’s not the point. That’s not the point—don’t get trapped by that. That’s silly logic.
Why is it silly logic? Because if it is not clear to you where it is that you want to go—and then, trying to work out a clear route to a place that you don’t know where it is, that you want to go to—do you want to go to the restaurant; do you want to go to the zoo; do you want to go there—but you don’t know.
And now you’re saying, “But I need a routing.” A routing to where? The restaurant, the zoo? See, that comes later. First, we’ve got to work out—you have to work out....
I’m here to just inspire you to think; get the cogs rolling, the other ones that we don’t use too often—because there are ones that we don’t use. Because the other ones that we do use, they are almost worn smooth because they are just used and used and used and used and used and used....
And the noise, the noise. (You know what I’m talking about, “the noise”?) From the morning till the evening, and any waking second of the night, the noise, the noise, the noise: “You’d better do that; you’d better do that; you should have done that, and oh my God, and what’s going to happen now?!”
The noise. When you’re driving, the noise. When you go to the shopping center, the noise.... The noise. The noise, the noise, the noise, the noise, the noise, the noise.
Is that the human being, full of noise, full of pain, sorrow? Cynical: “Eeagh. Naah. Peace, naaah. Joy, naaah, not in my life. Happiness? And oh, come on, get off it.”
These are serious issues. Serious issues—because if we don’t understand the possibility of our life, who is going to? Who is? You cannot understand the possibility of someone else’s life—no matter how hard you try.
And so, under this circumstance in which there is so much greed; there’s so much pain—and the pain isn’t created by anyone else but people around us and us—to understand the idea of “one day would be enough” for anything is hard to imagine. “What would be where one day would be enough,” when a lifetime isn’t enough?
But you haven’t given your life a chance to show you the possibility it has. You have given the world a chance. You’ve given this world many, many chances: “You’re fired.” “Eww!”
“You’re hired,” “Aaah, ah-ah-ah!” “You’re fired,” “Euuh-yeuh.” You’re hired again, “Aaaah, ah-ah-ah.” You’re fired again, “And, euwww.”
But have you given your life a chance to show you what it has? What does the world of joy look like? What does the world of understanding look like; what does the world of answers look like? What does the world of clarity look like?
Where you can rest and fade away your tiredness, to become excited about, indeed, every breath that comes into you: “Wow, what a gift.” To embrace reality that is not born of ideas or discussions, but a reality that you feel, that is tactile. Not just empty promises. Don’t you see the difference between empty promises—and what your life wants to show you is not empty promises.
What your life wants to show you, what your existence wants to show you, give you, offer you is tactile; it’s real. Not a bunch of empty promises. Clarity does not make empty promises; oh, never. Joy does not make empty promises; never. The ocean of answers never makes empty promises, ever. The flower of gratitude never makes empty promises, ever. It’s real. It’s real!
The world does. The world does. And we’re so good at closing our eyes to reality and saying, “All right, that’s, that’s, yeah-what, that’s just how it is. I’m miserable—and I don’t know why I am miserable—and I accept my misery. And let me see if I can make more who are around me just as miserable as me, so I will have good company.”
See, misery begets misery. Sadness begets sadness. Clarity begets clarity. It gives birth to more clarity. As sadness gives birth to more sadness, clarity gives birth to more clarity—that’s why one day is enough. Because in that one day you could start a farm of clarity. In that one day you could start an ocean of understanding; one day, one day where it has clicked: “Ah, that’s my life.”
Life is the most amazing gift that you have. My friends, this is the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you. Don’t you know? It’s the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you.
You’ve been transformed from just being dirt—to dirt that can smile, can see, can appreciate. This did not happen so you could be miserable; that’s pointless. That’s pointless! Pointless, illogical....
So, you know, to me, it’s all these beliefs that we have—and we hang onto them. They produce nothing. They don’t even cluck; they don’t even lay an egg—but we keep them. And we keep them; we keep them and keep them.
And when do we take that challenge of knowing? Because first in that list of that challenge of knowing would be to “know thyself.” And when you do know yourself, one day would be enough to then unfold what needs to unfold to know yourself.
It is the most amazing thing to point to a person and to say, “Do you know yourself; do you know who you are; do you know your strength?” I know you know your weaknesses; I know you do. But do you know your strength? Do you know your strength?
Do you know—I know you know what you don’t have. I know you know what you don’t have, but do you know what you do have?
Have you found your gift? Every human being on the face of this earth has a gift. And when you find that gift and pursue that gift to no end, then you have just created your destiny. But you will never know what that gift is till you know yourself. And the day you know yourself, then one day would be enough. And that’s what I mean by, “One day would be enough.”
Where is the integrity of the human being? Where is the integrity of the human being? Where is the integrity of that being that has been in the making for millions and millions of years—and unknowingly or knowingly, (mostly unknowingly), so many creatures sacrificed themselves so you could be just like you are.
This world today does not reflect that. The tragedies that we see happening where there is no respect of human life—this is what happens.
You’re a human being—be a human being. That’s who you are. You are a human being. Be a human being. That’s all you have to be. And you don’t need to live a thousand years to be a human being, because one day would be enough.
Feeling of Belonging
We are here—and an incredible subject matter to talk about. Because when it comes to belonging, this is amazingly important for us as human beings.
When we are in this world, even when we are children, we have a need to belong to the family that we are in, that we are with. Because without feeling that we belong, all the little skirmishes that might happen with the rest of the family members will never make sense.
But then when we grow up and we have a bigger circle, perhaps a circle of our friends, we still need that feeling of belonging—because if we don’t, we feel alienated. Then if we get a job, we need to feel like we belong, we belong in that environment, we belong with the circle of our colleagues.
So, what exactly is this belonging? Why do we have a need to belong? And as a human being, what should we really belong to—that will help us be who we are? What would that environment look like?
Yesterday, I had just arrived from the mainland—and I immediately looked at my phone; I got this call—“There are ten questions, you know, this reporter wants to ask you—and do you want to answer them?”
And I looked at the questions—and the questions dealt with the symptoms: “Why is it this is this way? Why is it this is this way? What’s going to happen with this; what might happen with this?” And I answered them, but then I started thinking about them—and it’s like, “Why is it that we look at what has happened but not ‘Why did it happen?’”
We look at a war and we say, “Oh, that’s terrible; that is terrible; that’s terrible”—but we don’t look at, “Why did that happen; why is it that we failed, repeatedly, to learn from history? Why is it that we failed repeatedly to understand that these things that we do....?”
Because you look at it, 16.5 million people displaced—I read one of the headlines. And it’s certainly very sad, and of grave concern.
And I know the pineapples weren’t responsible for that. (They may be responsible for some other things, but they weren’t responsible for that.) Tomatoes were not responsible for that. In fact, I can say with great certainty, neither were the dolphins, whales, and even the rather mean crocodile was not responsible for the displacement of 16.5 million people.
“Hmm. It wasn’t the grapes, wasn’t the pineapple, wasn’t the whales, wasn’t the dolphin—I wonder who it was? A vampire?” I mean, it, this reminds me of the joke....
Two nuns were walking along a very dark road one night and a vampire jumped out—and proceeded to show his fangs and you know, his red eyes and.... And one of the nuns turned to the nun next to her and said, “Sister Margaret, Sister Margaret, show him your cross; show him your cross.” And Sister Margaret said, “Get out of here!”
So, one intent and something else comes out, and it’s like, everybody is bewildered—everybody—I mean, it’s like the world is bewildered. It’s like, “Huuh, how did that happen?”
Well, make a list: who do you think is responsible? Pineapples? Grapes? Sparrows? Hawks, eagles? Little green men? I mean, who? And, you might be really surprised at the answer: “Us! We’re responsible. We did it.”
And a lot of people sitting here are going, “No, I, I had nothing to do with it.” And a lot of people take that attitude—and I understand why. Because there is a great need in us to feel vindicated—regardless of the circumstances, we want to feel vindicated. When the police officer pulls us over and says, “You were speeding,” our first reaction is to say, “No....”
I got pulled over once, a long time ago—and the officer said, “You were speeding.” And I said, “I know.” Because I was. And he was shocked; he just looked at me like.... And the good part of it is, I didn’t get a ticket.
But we want to be vindicated. We don’t want to take the responsibility, all that’s happening in this world, “But how can—and how is it mine? What can I do?”
So, let’s stop. Now let me ask you this question: “Who are you?”
In a dark room, a very dark room, I say, “God, it’s really dark here. I can’t see a thing; it’s really, really dark,” and a bulb answers, “Nothing to do with me.”
What am I insinuating here? Are you a bulb? And that perhaps you do have the power to repel the darkness—and you don’t realize it? That all you need to do is shine a little bit...? And you might say, “Well, but what’s that going to do?” All right—I’ve got an analogy for you.
If you have a lamp—you know, remember the old lamps with the wick and oil—if you have one of those lamps.... Or a candle, (much easier to imagine), a candle, one of those long candles—and one candle is extinguished and one candle is lit.
And, okay? So there’s one candle; it’s extinguished; one candle is lit. Now, you take the lit candle and put it next to the extinguished candle, right where the two wicks meet. What will happen? Will the extinguished wick also extinguish the lit candle?
No? Are you sure? [Individual: Yes, that’s right.] Or it’ll be the other way around, where even the extinguished candle would get lit with virtually no change to the lit candle.
Note both things: when the lit candle lights the extinguished candle, nothing diminished. It wasn’t like it went to fifty percent brightness because I gave fifty percent to the extinguished candle. No, but that one lit up too!
How can that be? Why is this rule there? I mean, in our opinion, doesn’t “negative” take over? Haven’t we believed for a really long time that the negativity of this world would influence us and make us more negative? (That’s why those people go sit on top of the mountains, about as far away from anybody as you can possibly imagine, because they don’t want to have anything to do with you.)
But is it the other way around? That you, if you are lit, there is no limit to how many candles you can light. The only limit is the day you are not lit anymore—then all your power of being able to light another candle is terminated. Finished. Now you can’t. But till you are lit, regardless of how many candles you light....
Oh, yeah, there’s the other word called “sacrifice,” isn’t there? But the analogy that I just gave of the candles, there’s no sacrifice involved. “Oh my God, no sacrifice? This candle just simply lights that one? Now that has the same power as this?” And they can light two, and four, and sixteen. And if you keep doing this on a calculator, it’ll basically just run out of digits very quickly.
And people wonder how peace is possible. Do the calculation. It’s very, it’s mathematically possible. But it’s dependent on one thing—that you are lit, not unlit. And the only way you can be lit is if you understand who you are.
And that you belong. You belong! On the face of this earth, you belong, not because of what you do. You belong, not because of what you think. You belong, not because of your ideology, not because of your philosophy.... But you’re here. You exist.
That one moment when the universe began, (not just our universe, all of them—and it’d be just where it began), did not the possibility of life exist in that moment—has to. Maybe oxygen did not exist but the possibility of being able to have oxygen existed. Maybe hydrogen didn’t exist but the possibility of having hydrogen existed.
And so, from even that moment, your cards were set—okay? Do you feel like you belong? You being here alive on the face of this earth is made possible by the same possibility that put the moon where it is—not any different, put the sun where it is, put all the stars in our universe, known and unknown.... That’s the same force; that’s the same possibility that has put you here: “cct.”
The same one that has put all the ants on this earth, that has put all the termites on this earth, (by the way, which, there are tons of termites for every living human being), but has put termites on this earth, the blades of grass, the sand on the beaches, the water in the ocean, the stars that you see that are and are not there...
Has made—the same, exactly the same force has made it possible for you to be alive right now. Do you belong?
So far this breath is coming into you, so far you are alive, that should be your marker that everything is going your way. I’ll be honest too, then—I should be. Is it like that for me all the time—absolutely no way. Do things tick me off? Absolutely.
And that’s when I have to remember, “I have to make the effort”—and I’ve been doing this for fifty years, telling people about the possibility. But even I have to remember (and make the effort to remember) that even when things don’t look like they’re going my way, the fact is they are.
That when everything is dark and it seems meaningless, and you feel abandoned, have the candles switched their role? No, the lit candle will still light the unlit candle.
Understand your nature; understand that you belong. You belong on this earth. Understand that you belong—when you take this breath, you belong. When you light yourself up, you belong. When you’re happy, you belong. When your heart is full of joy, you belong. When you are full of clarity, you belong.
And if these things even remotely intrigue you, then you need to look no further than your own self to find the source.
Where we need to belong, to understand—that this is the precious time. It will not be repeated—but you’re alive, and you have the possibility of seeing. Right now, you have the possibility—that same power that allows the lit candle to light the unlit candle, this transfer is afoot. This is what life means. This is what belonging means. You recognize; you grab it—and you take advantage of it.
Glow in that light—and you will be surprised how many other candles you end up lighting during your time on this earth.
Journey to the Self
What is “journey to the self”? Who is the self? What is the self? And why a journey to the self? I mean, aren’t you with you all the time? So, what do you mean, “journey to the self”?
And in here lies a lot of little issues that we deal with every single day. Because whoever we may be, we don’t like confusion. We just don’t—and it’s fairly universal, right across the board.
And we don’t like anger—well, we don’t actually know when we’re getting angry, because it’s a surprise—but then what happens afterwards, we don’t like it. We don’t like to be sad. We don’t like to be in fear. Pain is really—we’re just not very well suited to take on pain. (Joy, we don’t have a problem with.)
So, what is the self, and why the journey? Because “journey” here, (verb), implies travel.
And here is the issue. Because when you look around you in this world, the situation of this world.... And I may say that I may have a fairly unique perspective on this—because, one, I have been doing this for fifty years—some of you weren’t even born then; some of you weren’t even a twinkle in your mom and dad’s eye.
And when I started—actually, when I started speaking about peace to large gatherings, I was four, as you might have heard in that documentary—and then I started taking this message out when I was nine. So, I’ve seen the world; I travel the world quite a bit. And I see something—and what I see is that people have moved away from themselves.
You hear Socrates saying “Know thyself”—very common. But do you know that Socrates also said, “You won’t be happy”—this is paraphrasing—“you won’t be happy if you don’t get what you want.” (Because we’re not.)
So, here you are—you’re alive—and here is the situation, and this is an analogy. One day you receive this lottery ticket. And you have won. And the ticket allows you, entitles you to go to this shopping mall.
And there are beautiful shops in this shopping mall; there is a grocery store in this shopping mall; there is clothing in the shopping mall; there is everything you could possibly imagine in this shopping mall.
And you are excited: “Wow, I get to go there?” And not only do you get to go there; you can have anything you desire. If Bentley is your thing, they have them. If Rolls Royce is your thing, they have them; if Mercedes is your thing, they have them—and you get to have it!
And you flip the ticket over; there’s a caveat. And the caveat is, “You can have anything you want—but when you leave the shopping center, you cannot take anything with you.”
“Wow, aaagh!” Would you be disappointed? I see some people shaking their heads. I mean, my God, beautiful things, incredible things.... And you can have them—all yours! But you, when you leave the shopping center, (which you must; there’s a time); you must leave the shopping center and when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
What am I talking about? Ta-dah, here you are—in this most amazing, incredible shopping center. There are the oceans, the mountains. And you can have anything. And one day, you have to leave the shopping center—but when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
Now, the issue is strategy, simply that. “What are you going to do? What is your strategy going to be?” Are you going to stay home—and get angry at this ticket? “How stupid; how weird. I get to go; I can have everything I want but I don’t get to take it out with me? I mean, that’s really stupid!” Or are you going to say, “This is the divine joke, (hah-hah-hah)”?
What is your strategy? What do you do? And it is precisely the strategy that you must have; you must have a plan—and you must not only have a plan but you must execute it perfectly—perfectly.
And in this plan, it is not about lamenting, and it not about “I wish it was this way; I wish it was that way.” No, it is afoot: here is your ticket; there is the shopping center.... This is the time you get in—and this is the time you get out—and there are no “ands, ands, buts” about it. That is it.
So, I’m not here to preach to you. I’m not here to tell you I am better than you. I’m not here to tell you, “I have a plan; copy my plan.” I’m not here to sell you a plan.
But I am here to share with you, fifty-plus years of experience—and that’s it. Because I have seen plenty of people who go, “This is stupid. This is weird. This is strange. Why me?! This is a torture.” And I am here to say, “But, look—one, you have no limit for enjoyment....”
Right, just simple stuff, right? Simple stuff? You have no limit. Because nobody has temples or churches or any of the holy places where you go to say, “Dear Lord, please remove some of this happiness; I can’t stand it.” It’s always about sadness: “Please remove the sadness,” but happiness, that was like, “Bring it on!”
Some of us, we are here: “Is it afoot? Do I want to be a part of it? Don’t I want to be a part of it? What is it all about; where do I go; where did I come from?” But that’s not what it’s about, folks. You got a ticket—and the ticket says “that’s the shopping center,” and you are in the shopping center now, by the way—by the way, you’re in the shopping center.
And it’s an opportunity of a lifetime—and you have no strategy, no plan. And so I say, “Keep it simple. You’re in. This is what’s been given; this is the opportunity you’ve been given. Have a blast.”
Why not? Why not? You feel hungry? Go to the supermarket—and eat! Feel thirsty? Go to the supermarket, drink. Feel like sleeping? Go to the bed section, find a comfortable bed and rest well. Feel like exercising? Go to where all the cardio equipment is, find a treadmill and go at it. Because you get to do it all.
No, never lose the self—so you don’t have to go look at those signs that say “You are here.” Always be in touch with who you are. Why? Because when you know yourself, you are your best friend. And when you are not with yourself, you are your worst enemy; you don’t need enemies.
You will never have a friend like you—and you won’t have an enemy like you, enemy that is completely capable of destroying you—you. And friend who’s completely capable of being there for you in thick or thin, in the most wonderful moments and in the most darkest moments.
This is the opportunity—and may I say, an opportunity of a lifetime, because this is the possibility that exists. And who holds the ticket? The self. It was the self who was given the ticket to come. Not your ideas. Your ideas weren’t given a ticket to go enjoy; you were given the ticket.
You look at the condition of the world, where the world is destroying itself, war after war after war after war after war after war? Mini-war, mega-war, big war, little war.... Somebody asked me that: “Well, how come there are so many wars? We seem not to be close to peace at all.” It’s true.
My strategy is very simple—and my strategy isn’t to have world peace. (I said it. “Ehaaagh,” pin-drop silence.) Because that’s not possible. But this is what’s possible: “You be, first, in peace with yourself.”
It’s just you. Nobody else is involved. You be in peace with yourself—and how can you be in peace with yourself? One, (and that’s why we are here tonight), “journey to the self”—you must know yourself. And once you know yourself, you then must gain victory over the self.
Not victory over your neighbor, not victory over that person and that person and that person and that person, but victory over the self. And when you are victorious over yourself, then you can be in peace with yourself. And when you are in peace with yourself, then you make peace with the world.
And when enough, enough people make peace with the world, (because they have made peace with themselves), then, vaguely, the idea of world peace starts to come into view.
When every war happens and the innocent die—the same way, when you are at war with yourself, the innocent moments of your life are being slaughtered. Because they’re innocent. They can be anything.
Never have I seen more innocence than in a moment of existence. It’s totally, as it comes to you, it’s innocent—just brings you possibility, anything you want. Like a baby, like a baby.... You can mold it; you can fold it; you can destroy it; you can create a monster out of it if you wish.
Or you can have it as the most tender-est, gentle time, the time with you, listening to that feeling which fills this heart and causes the gratitude to emerge.
The journey to the self, then, is truly a journey to you. It’s called, “Come home. Come home.” Come home—and you will see the world change, for you. Because, remember, you have to make peace with the world; the world isn’t going to make peace with you. You have to make peace with the world.
And when you understand that, you understand, “nothing is wrong; nothing is wrong. You journeyed away from home—and you need to come back home.” Because there, your thirst will be quenched, hunger satisfied, tiredness removed—and a sense of familiarity in life, not alienation, but a sense of familiarity will be restored where you can rest.
The answers you look for in this world, they’re not there—they’re not there. The answers are in you. Come home to your self. Journey to the self.
Hello, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well—and prospering somehow, even in these quite difficult circumstances of coronavirus, and a lot of this craziness going on here and there....
But I just want to take this time and tell you what I have been doing. First, I was quite tired, so I needed to take a little time off—which I did—and that felt really good. And the second is, as you may be able to see, I have changed the whole setup—so that took a few days to change everything around.
And most importantly, I’ve been working on, you know, like I had said, PEP. And it’s going through some transformations and we’ll see where it all ends up, but I’m excited about it and I’m looking forward to it.
So, you know, while I’m at it, I may as well say a few things that might help you. And one thing that did come to mind is, it’s very interesting. You could, you know, not have had water for two days, three days, but just a little bit of water can quench your thirst. You could be hungry for quite a few days, and a little bit of food could satisfy your hunger.
The good in you, it’s not an issue of quantity; it is whether you are in touch with that goodness that is inside of you or not. If you are, that’s what it takes.
So, yes, you know, it’s easy enough to look at all the confusing things that are going on in this world—and people are very confused. Some people don’t see life as priority; they see economics as priority—and, you know, that’s, of course, up to them, how they want to look at it. And they’re probably thinking that even if we were to live, and we had nothing to eat, what would it be like?
So, certainly, one thing that is true—that this is a time of uncertainty. And in this uncertainty, the best thing you can do is just become fluid. So, go with it; go with the flow.
It’s like, if you are swimming in the ocean and you get caught in the rip current, don’t fight it. Just let it take you out—and then you can come around. And it’s the same thing. In this time of uncertainty, there are a lot of ideas going on; there’s a lot of fake news going around; there is a lot of “This will do it; this will do it; this will do it.”
And most importantly, this incredible desire, I think, of so many people—that everything will go back to being where it was. Because for some reason, “everything was fine.” Well, if everything was fine, how did we end up in this pickle?
So, really, this is an opportunity to go beyond just “everything is fine,” and get to a point which is truly looking at a perspective that will benefit the whole humanity.
Right now, one thing that I see that is really, really important—is that we need to break down these virtual walls that we have created, and we need to look at the whole world as one unit, as one entity.
We need to look at all the human beings that are on the face of this earth, truly, as our family—and to recognize that every single human being has something to contribute positively to this world.
Now, there are some people who definitely are not like that. To them, it’s like, you know, “More, more, more. Give me more; give me more.” But there is a lot of good.
And this is what I was talking about—it is not the quantity.... A lot of people think, “Well, you know, it’s like, scales and you have to have enough of it.” No. You don’t have to have more clarity than the total sum of confusion that you have—you don’t.
All you have to have is enough clarity so that you can see clearly regardless of the amount of confusion that you have. It has nothing to do with quantity. It has to do with simply it being there.
Because, it’s not like if you have a huge room, you know, that’s maybe—and the room is 500 feet by 500 foot room, that you need a huge flashlight to light it up. No, you don’t. You can still have a very small flashlight—and that flashlight can definitely illuminate a small room, and it can also help illuminate a large room.
And the same way, in our lives, it’s not that—a lot of people get into it, it’s like, “Oh, yes, I have to have this thing, you know, and it has to be this way and it has to be that way.” Maybe in the outside world, this is true—but on the inside world, it’s a matter of just having that focus, having that clarity, having that understanding, having that thirst in your life to go forward.
You know, and we are not always in touch with the thirst that we have. We need to be in touch with that thirst that we have—that at the base of it, the basics of it, it really has a lot to do with what my, or our, fundamental needs are. Because if we don’t take care of those fundamental needs, that the whole equation isn’t going to work.
You know, it’s, so, okay, an analogy: you packed a wonderful picnic—you wanted to go for a picnic and, you know, that sounds like a great idea, so you pack a wonderful picnic. You go out—and you find the most wonderful spot—and I mean, it’s just incredible.
And you have quite a spread and wonderful sandwiches, snacks, this, that—and of course, you have wonderful drinks. But you forgot the bottle opener. And now, all those drinks that you brought that are just wonderful, you have no access to them.
So, one thing, which is a bottle opener, has so much to do with giving you access to that liquid that you would so thoroughly enjoy, even though you would never eat or drink the bottle opener—ever—but it gives you access to that.
Your heart, your understanding is like that. Understanding, understanding, understanding, understanding—moving forward, moving forward, moving forward, moving forward.
You know, it’s like a stepladder. “Okay, I’ve taken that step; I’ve taken the next step; I’ve taken that step; I’ve taken that step”—and next thing you know, you’re gaining height and you are getting closer and closer to that, whatever it is that you want to reach. That’s what it takes. That’s what it takes.
In our lives, life is simple; we are simple. We have become very, very good at thinking. There are two parts to us. One part is the thinker, very good at thinking. We have honed that skill for many, many, many, many, many a generation, books we have written, and we have inspired other people to think.
Then there is another part. And it’s just as important, if not more important—because we are human beings. What is that other part of us? And that part of us is the part that feels. We need to feel—this is a human trait.
We can think—but that’s it. Unless we take those thoughts and convert it into action, it doesn’t make any sense. You know, you could be thinking whatever you’re thinking—but it’s not going to do anything.
If there’s a glass of water sitting in front of you and you’re thirsty—and you’re going, (in your thoughts), “It would be really great if I could have that glass of water; it would be really wonderful if I could have that glass of water,” but you haven’t taken your hand and reached for that glass and have that drink, your thirst isn’t going to be quenched.
Not with thought, you can’t do it—and people try to do it, where it’s like, “Oh, think this,” and “Think positive” and “Think this” and “Think that.” Well, you know, whatever it’s worth, thinking positive isn’t bad—but sooner or later, you have to come across the positive in your life to really feel the positive.
And the beautiful thing is that that positive that you need to feel is actually inside of you. It’s all there—the peace that you need to feel is inside of you. The appreciation that you need to feel is inside of you. The understanding that you need to feel is inside of you—and we’re talking about “feel” now, see, not “think.”
And here is the crux of what I talk about. A lot of people will come and they will get you to think—well, me too. But at the end of that thinking, I want you to think, think, and think—and maybe I’ll inspire you to think a certain way. And that way is that “Goodness, I also need to feel.” And that you would possibly take some actions that will lead you to that feeling.
This is what it is all about, that you need to feel the peace, not just talk about the peace, not have a list that says, “I have accomplished this; I have accomplished this; I have accomplished this, so I must be in peace.” No. You have to feel the peace.
You have to feel love. You cannot just say, “Okay, I’ve done this; I have done this; I have done this; I have done this.”
You know, there are a lot of people and they wonder why they’re not successful in relationships. Well, the reason why they’re not successful in relationships is because they think their relationship, instead of feeling the love in that relationship. If you don’t have that love, it’s going to stop—everything is going to stop. You can’t think it, you know? It doesn’t work that way.
Right now, there are people, you know, who are in lockdown—and, you know, for some people, the situation is quite difficult—because they are with people that really don’t get along together very well. Well, this is not about thinking; it’s about feeling. And you have to let go for that understanding to develop to say, “Okay, I really love this person.”
And look at the good! Look at the good that is in your relationship—not the bad that’s in your relationship, but the good that is in your relationship, the good that is in you. And it’s not the amount of quantity.
Then, people want the quantity; they want “equal measure of this, equal measure of that....” This is all fine in your thinking, but in reality, that’s never going to be that way. It’s never going to be that way.
You’d think that there are these people who have billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars—I mean, there are people in this world who can’t even imagine having that much money.
And you think that these people are happy, now that they have this much money? No, they work every day; they want more; they want more; they want more; they want more; they want more. This is the nature of that: “I want more. I want more.” And this is in the thinking.
In the feeling, it is quite the reverse. In the feeling: “I feel. I feel love. I feel—I feel happy. I feel content." And it’s not a question of “more.” It’s, “I’m fine.” It doesn’t even go there, you know; it doesn’t even go to “more or less.” It never does. You feel content, you feel content. And it isn’t like, “More....”
You are in love, you are in love—and it’s like, “I can’t”—it’s, you don’t talk about “more, I want to be more in love.” No, you are in love, you are in love.
And this is the way it has to be—because it is that way—and it is beautiful that it is that way. These are the traits of what you can feel in your life.
So, you know, thinking is good—but so is feeling. And you cannot just have one in your life, one thing—it’s, that would be like, you know, having your one eye closed all the time; that would be like not using one ear all the time; that’s like not using half of your mouth all the time.
You know, that’s not like breathing with both nostrils all the time. It’s like only walking with one leg, and not with the other leg, you know—if you had both legs working, of course.
So it’s, you know, yes, you have two legs but it’s not like one is spare; you need those two legs. You have two arms; you need those two arms. You have two eyes and you need the two eyes to give you the perception, the depth perception. You have two ears; you need those to give you the sense of the hearing, the direction that you need.
And this, in your life, translates into a very beautiful thing—and that thing really happens to be that you need to feel—not only think, but you need to feel. To feel the joy in your life, that one thing that it isn’t a question of “more”; it is “I feel it. I feel it.”
You know, when—and I see this many times going through airports. And you see people standing and they’re waiting for their loved ones to come from the airplane to, you know, walk down the aisle-way. And they’re waiting for them there.
And when they see that face of that loved one that they have been waiting for—and you know, sometimes these stories are, of course, dramatically touching. Because they’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, you know, maybe for years to see this person, and finally, they see that person.
And when they see that person, it isn’t like, “Oh, wait, wait, I’m going to wait—because I want more of this person.” No, that immediately their smile opens up; their eyes are laughing; their body is saying it and sometimes, you know, they can’t help themselves and tears are rolling down the eyes....
“More, less,” the scales on the ruler have gone—the scales are just gone! It’s just reality; it’s just “I got it. I got it. I got it.”
And that’s the way it is, you know—and it’s the same thing when you’re first, you learn how to ride a bicycle. You try and you fall and you try and you fall and you—you keep going. I mean, you, you know, you’ve got to keep up with it; you’ve got to keep on going.
And then all of a sudden, you got it. And when you got it, you got it. It’s not like “I got more of it; I got less of it.” No, you, of course you’re going to fall, still—but you got it. You got it.
So, that feeling—and particularly, feeling for the joy, feeling for what is in you—is this wonderful, wonderful thing.
So, I hope you think about that a little bit, and do convert it into reality of feeling—feel, feel the joy; feel the peace. Feel the thirst; feel the need—and feel good! And feel the goodness that is in you. And let those things be the things that drive you forward. Because that’s a wonderful thing, like, if you can drive yourself forward with that, that’s just powerful, very, very powerful.
So, I hope that helps. And I will periodically keep checking back and letting you know where things are at. So, yes, working on the Peace Education Program.
Most likely, though, it’s not going to be called “Peace Education Program.” It’s going to be called something else. And there is a reason why I have to have it that way, but I’ve got my, you know, logic to my madness, (or whatever you want to call it), but that’s what it’s going to be, most likely.
And it’s going to be modified, quite a bit modified. The essence is not in the training, believe me. The essence is in you. The training is there as a tool to help you accomplish some of those things that would be wonderful in your life.
But the main thing is in you; it’s not in the training. I mean, like you have just, you have always heard this expression, “You know, you can drag a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.”
So, not that you are a horse or anything. But, you know, the best training, if you don’t have a want in you to have a new threshold in your life, to better the possibility of who you are—already who you are, to discover that, that joy that resides in your heart, the understanding of that—then, you know, if you don’t want to, no training is going to help you.
But if you want to, then the training is there. And it’s a very simple training; it’s a very beautiful training. And that’s what it’s all about.
And, I mean, I’m just—in a way, I’m shocked of how simple it is. Because it’s just a matter of paying attention. It’s just a matter of paying attention. It’s not, you know, over the moon or some mysterious thing; no, it’s not. It’s just paying attention.
That when somebody says, you know, “What you’re looking for is inside of you,” instead of going, “Umm, that’s interesting,” and that’s the end of it—but paying attention to it.
And again I just want to reiterate that, one of the things you’re going to have to do is—so, the training will happen one day, and it’s not very long—and then you will be given a couple of days to think about it and get the feedback.
And then I will go over those feedbacks and, (not every one of them, but some of them), and have a discussion—it’ll be a one-way kind of discussion but, have a discussion—and then we will proceed.
I’ve never done it like this, virtually, so I am as much in that experimental mode, but I’m excited about it—as you might be. So, let’s have fun! Let’s—I mean, that’s the whole point of it; it’s not the seriousness of it; it’s just to have fun, and to enjoy ourselves.
Along with this little message that I have for you today, I just want to wish all of the mothers in this world a Happy Mother’s Day! This is what is coming too, and wonderful to take this opportunity and to wish everyone who is a mother, Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you.
The Road To PEACE
Colombia has been in an undeclared civil war for over five decades with victims on both sides.
In recent years, the urgency for finding a path to peace has become evident.
Is Peace Possible?
Individual 1: [female, translated onscreen]
I’d say, yes, so long as people are more tolerant regarding certain things and situations.
Individual 2: [male, translated onscreen]
Yes, of course. We just have to do our part and maintain responsibility for our actions in everything we do and I think everyone can have their own peace. Definitely.
Individual 3: [male, translated onscreen]
Yes, it’s possible.
Individual 4: [female]
I don’t, no. Because there are lots of problems in society and every time it’s worse, every time ambitions are worse and that’s something I see as difficult. Do I think it can be controlled? Perhaps. But to achieve it one hundred percent? No.
Individual 3: [male]
I think it’s possible if we all coordinate as a community, independently. That will make all the difference.
The Colombian government is currently involved in one of the largest peace efforts in history. As part of the 2016 treaty, they will give amnesty to fighters who leave the conflict and complete a reincorporation program.
What an opportunity this is, at least, for me, to be able to come to Colombia. And to be able to talk about this beautiful chance, as Colombia tries to rebuild itself to a point where there can be peace.
In 2017, Prem Rawat visited Medellin, Colombia to meet one-on-one with program participants and to give the keynote address at a Peace Forum.
Victim/Student, Institución Educativa Pedro Nel Ospina
Yenifer Quintero: [translated]
I wanted to talk to you. I had a chance to do the Peace Education Program. And that helped me a lot, to see you and to hear you. I want to learn a lot of beautiful things. Because I was a direct victim of violence.
And so, over there where I’m from, you see that a lot more. And this has helped me so much in my own personal effort to overcome what I had been subject to. And it’s such a great opportunity to be able to meet you.
Martha Elena Pineda
PEP Contact for Colombia
Martha Elena Pineda:
Prem Rawat came to Medellín. There he met with the Secretary of Education of the government of Antioquia and signed this agreement to bring PEP to 500 schools of the small towns that surround the big city of Medellín.
The visit from Prem Rawat really helped us spread the PEP program, because when other governors and other Secretaries of Education found out what we did in Antioquia, they wanted to do the same.
Now there are two, one of them is Huila, and the other is Atlántico.
Secretariat of Education – Atlántico, Colombia
This is a very important program. It would have an effect from now on and onwards on the future of our children and adolescents in Colombia.
Student – Atlántico, Colombia
Sebastián Rodriguez: In order for us to have peace in the world we all need to start with ourselves. I would like to thank Mr. Prem Rawat and all the other people that are behind this program. You all have changed our lives with this program; it has helped us become better people every day.
ARIANDI MIRANDA MONQUER
Student – Atlántico, Colombia
Ariandi Miranda Monquer: This program has shown me that I’m an important human being, and that I’m a valuable person. I want to say to all of you out there that you are all valuable people, that you should look for your inner peace, beauty, and the light from within, so it can reflect outward.
Teacher – Atlántico, Colombia
Silvia Gonzalez: Students who have had the opportunity to attend the Peace Education Program have a positive attitude change. Now we share more, we dialogue more. The school climate has changed remarkably in the institution.
Student – Atlántico, Colombia
Valentina Mendoza: It’s very inspiring and it’s really useful as it helps us find inner peace, and helping others to do so, too.
Class in unison: Thank you, Prem Rawat, we are connected with peace!
On Finding Fulfillment
Prem Rawat: Today, you have come here to listen about peace. People come to me, “Yes, we want peace. How do we find peace?” So I say to them, “You don’t need to find peace.”
“You don’t need to find peace?”
You came here for peace, right—to hear about peace? Because you’re interested in peace? Would you like to have peace? [Audience: Yes.] Would you like to—would you like me to tell you an easy formula to have peace every day? [Individuals: Please! Yes. I’d like that.] Would you like that? [Audience: Yes. We’d like to have this, please.]
A formula that doesn’t require any exercise, no dieting, no going places, easy to remember—yes? Quick? Yes? [Audience: Yes!] Don’t worry, I can do that. I can do that. It’s very simple. The peace you are looking for is in you.
My friends, the thirsty one is walking the desert and dying of thirst, the one who has in him and her, an ocean of the sweetest, most beautiful water within. The question is, “Will this traveler die of thirst?” And the answer is, “It’s up to him. It’s up to her.” Why?
Somebody said, “That there is a drop in the ocean—there is a drop in the ocean, everyone knows.” Right? “But, ‘There is an ocean in the drop,’ very few understand.”
You are the drop. You are the drop in which there is an ocean. And this ocean is of the sweetest water—not salty water—sweetest water. And when this person is going to die of thirst, what should I tell him or her? What should I say? What should I say? What should I say? What should I say?!
What should I say? “Goodbye; hope your death is not too painful”? Or should I ask him or her, “What are you doing? Why are you not drinking the water that is within you, and satisfying and quenching your thirst?”
You have a thousand questions; I have a few. You have a thousand questions, but I have a few—and my few questions can answer your thousand questions.
Because my question to you is very simple: “When an ocean of joy exists within you, why are you sad? When an ocean of clarity exists within you, why are you confused? When the lamp is lit inside of you, why do you live in darkness? Why? When there is an ocean of hope in you, why do you live in despair? When there is unlimited wealth inside of you, why do you feel poor? Why? Why?”
That’s my question to you. That’s my question to you. Answer me—and you will answer your own questions. Because this existence is a blessing. It’s a blessing! It’s a blessing—the ultimate blessing. It’s the ultimate gift. And it’s been given to you!
So let me ask you, (again, one of my questions), “Are you something?—or nothing?” You answer my question—and you will answer your thousand questions. Because, the answer, you know. You know that so far life comes in you....
And what is this thing called life? What is this thing that keeps you alive—have you ever thought of it? The same thing that has created the universe, and universes. You cannot even begin to fathom.... You cannot even begin to fathom what that Divine is—but that Divine is what keeps everything going, including you.
So, how much is this worth? As much as what’s within it. What is within it? The infinite is within it. This is the drop that has, what in it? The ocean.
The laws of physics are broken. “Something big can hold something small; something small cannot hold something bigger than it.” But here it does. In the confines of this is the ocean of hope—because of that beauty that resides in your heart.
So, people say, “What is a heart? Where is it? Where is it?” So, the place where courage in you resides is called “the heart”—the courage. The place where clarity in you resides is called the heart. And the place where hope in you resides is called the heart—and the place where the Divine in you resides is called the heart. That’s your heart. Where is it? In you.
So, when I say you are blessed, I mean it. If you haven’t found the Divine in you, what is the point in pointing up? If you cannot see the Divine that resides in your heart, how will you see the Divine that resides in the universe—how?
If you cannot understand what your heart knows, how are you going to be able to understand? By trying to search, by trying to go places, by trying to find what is within you, what is inside, how will you find it out there if you haven’t found it in here?
So, let’s see. We were talking about peace, right? And I said, “There’s a simple answer to finding peace,” did I not? See? “In you. In you. In you. In you. In you.”
So far you are here, your heaven is here; your hell is here. What is heaven? Heaven is that place where you are fulfilled. What is hell? When you are not in heaven. Simple. What does heaven feel like? It feels heavenly. And when you are not feeling fulfilled, quenched, in that hope, in that joy? You’re in hell.
Simple as that. So, it’s in you; it’s in you; it’s in you; it’s in you.
Onscreen text: © TimelessToday. All Rights Reserved.
Video content courtesy of The Prem Rawat Foundation
Creative Commons Attribution: International Crisis Group, Notimex TV