Finding Peace Within
Prem speaks to prisoners at Tires Prison, Lisbon, Portugal
I would like to tell you a story, because you are interested in peace. Peace isn’t something that you create—war is something you create. Peace is already inside of you. The process of reaching the peace is to undo all the obstacles that you have placed between you and the peace.
So, to understand that. (All the noises and all the things that go on up here, “Boom-boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom-boom” all day long....) To understand that you are alive—you are here. And it’s a big challenge.
We grow up. We make a mistake—and we say, “Oh! I’m a failure.” But when you were a baby you made a mistake, but you never said, “I am a failure.” This is the difference.
And who taught us that we are a failure? People said, “Oh, you are a failure”—we said, “Oh, I am a failure.” We learnt that. We learnt it from the world—we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt, we learnt—and today I am here to tell you “unlearn, unlearn, unlearn” because when you were a baby you were much smarter.
You were in touch with your needs. When you felt hungry, you let your mother know. You did not look at the clock and say, “Is it lunchtime? Is it dinnertime? Is it this time; is it that time?” And we are all caught in it. We don’t realize—we don’t realize in this life, the power of who you are.
And as a human being, in you, you have compassion; you have passion. You have kindness. You have understanding. You have serenity. You have wisdom. And most importantly, you have peace inside of you. This is what a human being is.
Not what we project outside—killing each other, telling lies, doing this, doing that—that’s not a human being! In fact, a human being is someone who is full of kindness, full of compassion, full of understanding, full of life. This is who a human being is.
And if you want to become the most powerful, all you have to do is become a human being. Because there you will find answers to your problems. They’re there! So far this breath comes into you, you have everything. You have everything.
I was just in three of the prisons in South Africa—I went to Malmesbury Prison; I went to Zonderwater and I went to Pretoria Prison. And I tell the inmates, “You are here. You are told, ‘You cannot go there; you cannot go there; you cannot go there; you cannot go there.’ What is the difference between the outside...?”
You walk outside, and what does it say? “Stop.” “Now you can go. No, stop. Now you turn left; no you cannot turn right; no you cannot go there; no you cannot have this; no you cannot do this; no you cannot do that.”
And then the bars. The biggest bars are not the metal bars. To cut the metal bars, all you need is a file—is a saw. But the bars you have here that imprison you, what do you—how do you cut those? There are people out there that are technically “free”—but they don’t feel free. They don’t feel free.
I have a friend from England—and England, of course, voted on a referendum to get out of the Euro, the EU. So I joke with him, (because he’s British), “Why? Why?”
You think that’s going to solve the problem? By changing the color of your car, it’s going to solve the problem? If you run out of gas: “Change the color of the car. Change the tires.” You think that’s going to solve the problem?
What is the problem? The problem is that people are not in touch with themselves, who they are—what their potential is, what they can bring, how they can be as a country, how can they be as a global citizen, how they can be on the face of this earth—so what is this opportunity called “life”?
And I see the whole world has been incarcerated behind the bars of divisions and ignorance. That they have peace inside of them, but they don’t know how to get to it. They know how to make a bomb—they know how to make a bomb; they know how to make a gun, but they don’t know how to get to peace inside. This is problematic. This is problematic.
This breath is a blessing to each one of you. Your life began with this breath. When you were born, people looked at: “Breathing—or not breathing?” They didn’t care about “boy, girl, this, that.” “Breathing—not breathing?”
And because you were breathing, you could go home. What allowed you to go home, if you were born in a hospital, was this breath. What allowed you to stay home, when, if you were born at home was this breath. Do you understand the value of this breath? Do you? Because you need to. You really, really need to.
This is a gift being given to you every single day—even here! Even here. This is your opportunity....
One simple thing, if you could do—try—and that would be, “Think first, then do.” If you could think first, and do, you wouldn’t be here. Not thinking—even for one second, not thinking and doing first, (not thinking), now you have a long time to think.
Choices that you made put you in here; choices that you make will get you out of here; choices that you make will keep you out of here. And choices you have to make.
You don’t have to try to be good—because good you are. Goodness is in you. Nobody can take that away from you. Kindness, passion, compassion, clarity—serenity, nobody can take that away from you. You have that in you.
I’m going to tell you one last story—it’s very short—and I’m going to tell you this story because it has made a big difference in my life. So I want to share this story with you.
There was a village, and there was a chief of the village. One day a little boy came to the chief, and said, “Chief, I have a question.” The chief said, “What?” He said, “Chief, why is it that some people are good sometimes—and those same people who are good sometimes are bad the other times?”
And the chief said, “Because every one of us has two wolves in us, a good wolf and a bad wolf.” So the boy thinks—and the boy says, “Chief, which one wins? The good wolf—or the bad wolf?” And the chief said, “Whichever one you feed.”
You have a good wolf; you have a bad wolf. Which wolf do you feed? Have you thought about that? When you feed the good wolf, you will feel good. When you feed the bad wolf, you will feel bad. Feed the good wolf. I have to remember it every day, “Feed the good wolf.”
There are people who would.... And I can say, “Oh, yeah, though, you know, it’s that person’s fault; it’s that person’s fault. That person is making me angry; that person is making me angry.” But I have to ask myself, “But which wolf did you just feed?”
So, remember that. And when you have realized that you have just fed the bad wolf, feed the good wolf.
And a lot of people are into, “Let’s kill the bad wolf.” Even if you kill the bad wolf, that’s not going to help the good wolf—because the good wolf needs to be fed. That’s the only thing that’s going to help the good wolf: “Feed the good wolf.”
The Difference between Knowing and Believing
Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
Those people who say, “Well, I don’t need to hear about peace; everything is going fine in my life,” my message to you is “Figure out a way that all that, that is good in your life, that you’re enjoying in your life, is preserved—is protected so that you can have that for the rest of your life.”
And for those people who are struggling—and have been struggling, and trying to find a meaning, an excuse, some sanity in an insane situation, (“Why is this happening to me?”), to them, I would like to say that “You are filled with more hope, with more joy than you can ever imagine.”
And for me, the irony really is that being human and having that possibility of being fulfilled is so close. This is the platform; this is the stage where that happens—no other, none other. And this is the possibility for every human being—to be in that place where their heart sings and they listen. Not given to all the ideas....
And so—actually, let me finish my statement here. Because then, this is, you know, going on in my head and it was like, “Fear—talk—but yeah, you talked about fear....”
And I realized this morning, (it was around six forty-five AM), I realized that “more fear you have, more believing you do. Less fear you have, more knowing you do.” Maybe if you can begin to distinguish between knowing and believing, you can then start to get a clue of how much fear you actually have.
Because, because of the fear, you don’t want to know—so you believe. And believing is much easier—because there is no knowing involved. You can just let your imagination run wild. And, you know, two people....
See, that is the reason.... Because, truly if there is one God—right?—why would there be different religions? I mean, why? What would be the reason; what would be the necessity?
But the reality is, there is only one. But not in the realm of belief—in the realm of belief there are different ones. And in the realm of belief, these gods do different things. They say this; they say that; they say, “No, you can—yes, you can do that. No, you can’t do that. No, you just....”
And it’s all about rules. It’s all about rules. And if you go through these rules, then you will just—when you, especially when you die—you will go to this really great place. It’s called “heaven.” And that’s it.
I have two puppies, two little Pomeranians. And so, when I come—when they figure that I am in my office, they come and scratch at the door: “Let me in; let me in.” So I let ‘em in. They come in—and they look at me like, “Okay, what do you have for us?” So I have a big jar of treats, so I give it to them and they get very happy.
So, one of my tricks is, (because I’ve got to work; I’m not going to pay too much attention to them....) So, I take them outside; say, “Look what I’ve got for you,” and they get really excited. I mean, one starts to do a dance. And the other one is just like, “Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
So I take them outside; I give them the treats.... And they’re blissed out—and they eat the treats and I can get back in my office. And everything is fine.
About forty minutes later, they’re scratching at my door again—and I open the door and they come into my office like, “We haven’t been here. Where is our treat?” It’s like, “Well, wait a minute; you just got it!”
So, it—that makes me laugh every time, because they come to me and look at me like, “You haven’t given us any treat today.” And it’s like, “Well, I just gave it to you.” But they don’t remember; they don’t remember.
So if they don’t remember, what’s the point?—of the good and the bad? And off people go—in the business of believing. In the business of believing—that is a business. That is a business. And the business is you sell your beliefs to other people. You make them buy it.
What’s the alternative? Knowing. What’s knowing all about? Wow. You don’t sit there and talk about God—you feel God. You don’t lecture on God. You don’t lecture on God; you help people turn inside and feel the Divine that resides within them. You don’t write books about believing; you write books about helping people to get to understand knowing.
I went to do an interview—and before the interview, of course, we have a meet and greet. So, the person who was going to interview came out, sat down and talked a little bit—and then we went into the interview room, sat down, and the interview began.
It became very obvious that this person had never heard answers like that before. Because everything about this person started to change. And at one point, I talked about God; I used the word “God.” “Do you know God?”
I said, “Wrong question.” “What’s the right question?” “Have you felt God?”
“Know God” is not a happening thing if you’re using your brain. Because that, where it comes to imagination, you can’t imagine. Unimaginable—so don’t even go there; don’t even try.
So, she says, “Have you felt God?” I said, “Yes.” “Is there a God?” I said, “Yes.” “How do you know?” So I said to her; I said, “Every time you breathe, you’re being blessed by the Divine. That’s how you know the Divine.”
Never heard that before. Eyes filled up with tears. And in a fraction of a second, this person got a little view into what life is all about, feeling, living, accepting this blessing. Feeling fortunate. Not believing you’re fortunate; feeling fortunate. Feeling alive. Disconnecting from the results of the wishes, and observing and delighting in the reality.
And when you begin to accept it, you then really become so alive that you understand what life is. That’s what life is.
To understand this for a fraction of a time is not enough. This knowing must happen every day. This knowing must happen, and this celebration.... So, “party,” right? This party—when the human being embraces that blessing and the gift of life becomes obvious, this is the party, and it’s called “gratitude.”
Gratitude—is when you go beyond words because the words are not sufficient—when the heart is full, when there is a joy because there is an understanding, because you know, (not believe); you know; you see; it’s obvious.... And your life has changed.
In that moment, again—again, the riches of existence, of clarity, of wisdom, of understanding become yours. And this is a wealth that nobody can take from you.
Do you know what the wealth of wisdom is? Even if somebody tried to steal it from you—and you let them have it, do you think you would have any less? Wow. Kindness—if somebody stole kindness from you, you think you would have any less?
You can give of kindness from you to every single person on the face of this earth, 7.6 billion people—and you would be missing nothing. You will still have all the kindness you had before. And you could multiply that by a billion times—and you would still have it. And nothing would be missing.
This is how much kindness every one of you has—but do you use it? Oh, you are very good at using your judgment.... You are very good at using your judgment with everyone! But kindness...? So, what is the point of having this incredible wealth called “kindness,” and live like a pauper for the rest of your life? What’s the point?
People say to me, “I wish I had clarity like you.” And I’m like, “But you do.” You think there’s something special about me? I’m made out of the same things you are. I’m made out of the same things you are. I follow the same rules on this existence, of this earth, that you do. And if I can, in my life, say to myself that feeling this blessing should be a priority, why can’t you?
Individual 1: [male]
I feel grateful in life if I have a job where I can work with my heart....
Individual 2: [female]
It’s being thankful, thankful for things you have, and you just feel.
Individual 3: [male]
You can’t explain it, man, it just, you know, it’s a warm fuzzy feeling—like just being appreciative of what everyone has done for me, around me....
Individual 4: [male]
There’s definitely not enough gratitude in the world. And I feel like people who don’t feel gratitude are typically like, more sad and like, depressed and like, kind of grumpy and gloomy all the time....
Individual 5: [female]
Gratitude, actually, to me, is having a heart of appreciation—you’re not thankful because you’ve got everything. But you are thankful for that which you already have.
True gratitude is felt when the heart is full. Gratitude has the power to transform you—because it fulfills you. It is not created by you, but emerges from you. And it is felt by the heart and expressed by the heart.
Continuing onscreen text:
I’m so glad that I’m here—and have this opportunity to talk about something that’s very profound—very misinterpreted but nonetheless, very profound. And of course, I’m talking about gratitude. Now, why is it misinterpreted—because people say to themselves, “Oh, I should feel more thankful in my life.” But you don’t. That’s the fact. Should you; yes.
That’s like, you know, making a New Year’s resolution. But you don’t go through with it—because what will you do the next year? You need to keep that one going, so you can say, “Oh, yeah, yeah, this year I’ll do it; this year I’ll do it.” And this is how we work.
But true gratitude is not manufactured; it’s real. It comes from within you—when the things are right. (Not when they are wrong. When things are right.) So, what are the things that have to be right for the truest gratitude to flow from a human being? One of the things that has to happen is there has to be appreciation—but appreciation of what?
Interestingly enough, a few days ago, (it was at nighttime and I was up). And in my bathroom, I have a notepad. So, I wrote something on the notepad—and what I wrote was, “S-L-Y”—which of course, in English is “sly.” (Which is not such a nice word.) “S-L-Y.”
So, there it is—what does that mean? (“S-L-Y.”) And what had come to my mind that night was, “Someone loves you.” Just that, “Someone loves you.” So, instead of writing “Someone loves you,” (it was dark), I just wrote “S-L-Y.”
Now of course, who is this “someone”? (Immediately, “someone.”) Well, the “S” could go for “something.” It doesn’t have to be “someone,” it could also be “something loves you.”
It’s like, pointless—to even, even try to figure out who that “someone” is, because you don’t have the capacity to figure.... You can have an imagination, but your imagination will fall short of the reality of who that “someone” is.
So, knowing that is a futile attempt, I don’t even go there. “Hah, but ‘loves you!’” That’s good. And how do I know this? I know this because this gift of breath comes to me. I have been given an opportunity to be alive.
And it is merely looking at the gifts that I have been given.... And it’s taken a long time in my life, a long time in my life to realize the gifts that I have been given outweigh all the problems I have in my life.
So, I’m working my way towards getting to that point where you can appreciate, and once you can appreciate something, (right?), you can then have gratitude.
But when we come across our problem, we are so intrigued by that problem, and so willing to find a resolution to that problem that we blind ourselves to still, what is going on around us—that this breath still comes into me. That I still have an ocean of answers in me.
That I have an ocean of clarity in me. That I have an ocean of kindness in me. That I have an ocean of joy in me. That I have simplicity in my life. That I have light in me—these things, regardless of what is happening.
You see, in Australia it was the first time I talked about these two walls—and they’re like the big-time walls, right? The one wall you come out of—and then there is another wall you go through—and you’re gone. So, you come out of one wall and you’re here—and then there is the other wall. And then you hit that wall and you’re gone.
Where you go, nobody knows. You’d like to know. Because you’re so curious about everything—you like to know—like, if it’s going to make any difference. It isn’t. But you like to know.
Why are you not curious about the force—the force that keeps these two walls separated? They could have been like this—one after another, “Whhit, whhit, gone!” And they do. Sometimes that happens. But for you, this was pried open.
And people, I know, in certain stories—there are stories like this in India and of course, in the West as well—where the ocean was parted. This is more than the ocean parting. This is the two walls that would love to be just together—and they’ve been forced open. And the amount of force that it takes, amount of force that it takes to pry these two walls apart is immense!
And what is that force? It is expressed to you—that force that is so powerful, so powerful that it can separate those two walls—expresses itself to you in the most gentlest of ways you can imagine, as a breath coming in and going out. And so far that keeps happening, my friends, those two walls cannot touch each other—and that’s it.
What appreciation do you have of that? What appreciation do you have of that? Do you know the value of kindness in your life? Do you know the value of clarity in your life? Do you know the value of joy in your life?
So, that “someone” who loves you has given you these to use as you wish, as much as you wish. You think there is a limit to kindness? You think you will ever run out of kindness—ever? Can you technically run out of kindness; is it possible for you to run out of kindness? No! Is it possible for you to run out of joy? No!
But when those problems come, we choose sadness (in that self-pity) rather than the joy and still celebrating life, and still celebrating that these two walls are still pried apart.
When people talk to me, who know, who can smell the other wall—they can smell—and you can smell the other wall, by the way. It has a smell. And you can smell it; it’s in the air—it’s like, (sniff, sniff), nasty. It’s coming, as you get closer and closer and closer.
I say to them, “No matter what happens, remember this breath. Remember this is a gift.” A gift is not measured in quantity, by weight, by volume. A gift is measured in the generosity of the giver—that even this was made possible.
That inside of you resides this most amazing experience. Most—absolutely the most amazing experience, an experience of those very things, of that very power, of that very, (uhh, what can I say), that is prying the two walls apart. And all it requires is for you to know how to turn within and tap into it, just witnessing. Just witnessing.
And such is the power of this—such is the power of this that it leaves you with peace. Such is the power of this that it leaves you in that simple, profound joy.
And all of a sudden, slowly, everything starts to fall away. Everything doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the ride itself, the ride with the breath—to slide with this breath, like those waves in the ocean, this breath coming in, this mighty force that has been made so gentle, holding apart those two walls: “I exist—and I appreciate my existence.”
And when, unencumbered—when, unencumbered! Unencumbered. When that question that I asked, “Who is that ‘someone,’” that has never been answered.... It has never been answered. And that question is still there. (I’m a human being. I have that question like you do.)
But I have ridden that board; I have ridden that moment called now. And now I got an answer—here’s the tricky part—I got an answer to a question that I hadn’t even asked. And I’m satisfied, even though that one question still remains unanswered.
And it’s okay; I’m full! I’m not full because of some thing, but I have found the fullness of my clarity in me. I have taken that plunge and dove in—and loved, and know....
I know I did not touch the bottom. And for as far as I could see, I saw clarity. There was no end. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve taken a dive in the ocean of kindness—and I did not touch the bottom. I didn’t even try. And I was overwhelmed by its vastness.
I am full—because I have been shown the fullness of this life. This is what you should do too. I tell you this—I tell you this because if I can do it, you can do it.
Cuando el Desierto Florece
Author Event, Madrid, Spain
Why should you know who you are? Because between that time that you are born and the time that you go, you’re going to try to be something. You’re going to try really hard to be something. And it’s not what you’re going to achieve that you’re going to really try for—but it is to be happy; it is to be content—you’re going to try really hard to be content.
I see that in tiny little babies; I see that in grown adults—everybody is going to try to be happy. Whatever makes them happy, they’re going to try.... And not only are they going to try, (like we all do), but we’re going to look towards the outside for our happiness.
But we will try. We will try to be content; we will try to be happy—and here is the irony. Sometimes we will succeed for a fraction of a moment—and then the rest of our lives, we’re going to try to repeat that moment, hoping we would get the same thing out of it again and again and again and again and again....
And some of us will end up filling our lives with disappointment—because we are looking for that contentment through our relationships; we’re looking for that contentment towards the country: “The country will give us that contentment. That, the leaders will give us the contentment; the relationships will give us the contentment.” And when we don’t find that contentment, we end up filling our lives with nothing but disappointment.
And here’s the irony. The irony is that if you only knew yourself, you would realize that you carry in you joy that has no limits. You carry in you the mine of contentment that has no end. You carry in you the lake of serenity that nobody yet has measured the bottom of. You carry in you a tree that gives so much shade—that underneath it, to sit down is the most restful thing a human being can do.
You carry in you a sun that has the warmth unparalleled—that on those cold days, to go within and bask in that sun and feel its warmth—and feel revived. You have in you the ocean of clarity. One dip and the dirt of confusion is washed away. This is who you are. This is who you are—and this is the possibility. That’s why I am here to tell you this.
Two things—I want to tell you this news. And here’s my point of it. What I want to tell you—I don’t want to tell you anything new; what I want to tell you is what you already know. And secondly, I want to tell it to you in a way so that it comes as news to you. That’s my challenge—that what I want to tell you, you already know—because you also have in you, unlimited wisdom.
So, in your life, in your existence, you have to feel the pain; you have to feel the joy. Something inside of you wants to feel happy, wants to feel content, rejects the idea of pain, rejects the idea of sorrow.
So then, who better to look towards, for the source of that joy, than you? The source that you carry everywhere you go? It doesn’t matter where you go in this world, the source you carry in you wherever you go?
That’s what this book is, trying to point to you—and give you some understanding of you, putting the emphasis on you! Because nobody else does. Everybody is; the emphasis is, “You must do this; you must do this. You must accomplish this; you must accomplish this; you must accomplish this.”
And I’m saying “First, let’s put the emphasis on you.” You are the foundation of this building called “you.” You are the foundation of this building called “you”—and when you are weak, so is this building. And when you are strong, so is this building.
Question: “Why does this building need to be strong?” Why does this building need to be strong—because earthquakes will come. Earthquakes will come; fire will come.
This morning I see the rain, rain, rain. Very nice—Madrid needs rain; all this area needs rain—and it’s been tinder-dry. And I’m looking at the rain, thinking about the rain, and I realize—and I still have more thinking to do about this—but water destroys everything man-made. Just, powkh, destroys it.
If the building gets wet on the inside? Forget it. Your electronics? Forget it. Water is a powerful destroyer. And it is also one of the most powerful creators—holds in it those two possibilities; it can destroy; it can create.
You, too have an immense possibility, the possibility of feeling life, of embracing life—of understanding the value of each breath that you take, the value of each day that you are alive, the value of each moment that you have.
And the day you begin to exercise, to practice the wisdom that you have within you, that’s the day you will be wise. And that’s the day you will understand the value of life, the value of being alive.
You do not judge yourself by what you have. You haven’t been taught that. You have not been taught to judge by what you have—you have been definitely taught to judge by what you don’t have. Everywhere. “I don’t have that. And I don’t have that. I don’t have that. I don’t have that. I don’t have that.”
I mean, can you imagine a storefront which has all the familiar things? No, they’re all things that nobody else has. “Oh. No, I don’t have that. Oh, I, yeah, I don’t have that—and I don’t have that, and I don’t have that, and I don’t have that, and I don’t have that.” And now here I come and I say to you, “Peace,” and you go, “Uh-uh, yeah, I don’t have that.”
But you do. You do! You have peace—inside of you! But you don’t know how to access it. You have wisdom inside of you, but you don’t know how to access it. You have love inside of you, but you don’t know how to access it. You have understanding inside of you, but you don’t know how to access it. You have kindness inside of you, but you don’t know how to access it.
You have forgotten that so much is so amazing—for you. That you come here on this earth, not alone, but with peace—that you come with hope, that you come with joy, that you come with understanding, that you come with wisdom. But these are the things that we don’t talk of, we don’t discuss....
What do we discuss? We discuss our problems. You know what’s wrong with discussing our problems, after a certain point? It doesn’t help. It doesn’t help.
If there is somebody and they’re sitting next to me on an airplane and their nose is broken—and I say to them, “Your nose is broken”—and they go, “I know. I know.” And then, fifteen minutes later, I say to them, “Hey, your nose is broken.” And they go, “Yeah, I know. I know.” And then fifteen minutes later, I go, “Hey, your nose is broken.”
After, I think, about ten times, this person is going to be looking for a new seat—because they will be convinced I’m crazy. Right? Don’t you think that would—you would find that obnoxious? And you would definitely entertain the fact that “This person may be cuckoo? Nuts? Keeps repeating, ‘Yeah, you, you know, your nose is broken. Your nose is broken.’”
If you went—if you’re in the airplane, and you, “kkch,” push the call button; the flight attendant comes and you say, “We’re flying.” And she goes, “I know. I know; we’re flying.” Few minutes later, “Ah-brring, brrung,” “We’re flying!”
But that’s what we do! Our expertise is to come up with a better way to express the problem—and still keep repeating it. What about the solution? And the solution, beautifully, lies inside of you.
That’s what, to me, this book fundamentally goes for. It does it in a very different way, using the stories, using the different analogies—but that’s its message: “That you have in you, what you are looking for.” And if you can understand that, your life will change.
The Possibility of Peace
Bunya International Seminar, Hiroshima, Japan
What is this thing called a conflict that can possess a human being—to such an extent that mass devastation becomes acceptable? Now, let’s stop there; that’s pretty intense. After all, I’m here to talk about peace. I’m not here to scare you. So, let’s try to understand “What is this conflict?”
A few days ago, I was in Australia—and where I was, we were talking about digging a hole—we needed to dig a hole. So I said to the architect; I said, “Oh!” (I was just joking. I was just—you know, I have.... I like humor; I like to laugh....)
So I said, “Oh, by the way, this hole is going to be really cheap. Because we already have a hole—a few miles away we already have a hole; all we need to do is bring that hole and put it here!” And I was laughing; the architect was laughing....
Then I started thinking, “Oh my God. How do you move a hole? Can you move a hole? Can you actually move a hole...?” So, here is the question: “A hole is, or isn’t?”
Is that that difficult of a question? “Is a hole, ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’?” [Audience: Isn’t.] Are you sure? [Inds: Definitely.] You are sure—you’re sure a hole isn’t?
But don’t we go, “There is a hole there”? (Be careful.) “There is a hole there.” So, if a hole isn’t, how can it be there? So, is a—what, well, excuse me, which one is it? Is it, “there is a hole,” or a, “not a hole”?
So, I think I have found a flaw in peoples’—the way people express. Right? There’s a flaw. We say, “There is a hole”—and we really have started to think of a hole as something that there is, when a hole is not! (I don’t know how to express this. The English language isn’t quite designed for this.)
So, just like the hole, we think anger is something. What if anger is a hole? What if confusion is a hole? What if conflict is a hole? Because if you’re trying to treat a hole as some thing, then my logic that I expressed to the architect would be correct; “This hole will be cheap because we already have one. We just bring the hole here and we’ll be done.”
So, we want peace? And we know, (this is what we have been told), “How we’re going to get peace? Stop the war.” But what if war is a hole? Nothing in itself—it’s a hole; it’s a—it is lacking something; it is a negative. It is not a positive; it is a negative. It cannot be manipulated; it cannot be moved; it cannot be changed. It’s an absence, not a presence.
Peace is presence. Absence of peace is war—and we are trying to get rid of war—and the only way you can get rid of war is not by trying to stop the wars. But it’s to bring the peace, because peace is; war isn’t!
So if our strategy is to try to manipulate a negative, we will never be successful. People go, “It is human nature to want to fight.” I disagree. It is not human nature to want to fight. It’s not true. In fact, if you look at history, there have been more times when people have not fought, than fought.
What is the state of the world today? There is more to eat than there ever has been. Over forty-five percent of the food produced is wasted—there is more food now than there ever has been, and there are still wars continuing—why? What creates this conflict? Aha—can’t manipulate the conflict because it is an absence.
In you, you have to realize—that in you lies the peace. What is peace? Is peace some idea? “Utopia,” is that what peace is? “Everybody will be dancing. Everybody will have flowers in their hair. Everybody will go like this: ‘Peace, peace.’ Nobody will argue. No problems in the parking lots.”
Is your vision of peace a utopia? Is it? If it is, you’re mistaken. Because what does “utopia” mean? Do you know what utopia means? Utopia comes from two words, ou, Greek, meaning, “not”—and topography, meaning “place.” Utopia actually means “no place.” It actually means “no place.” And so everybody has a dream about this place that doesn’t exist. That’s not peace.
So let me tell you what peace is. Peace is all that is good in you. Peace is the serenity in you. Peace is the kindness in you. Peace is the gentleness in you. Peace is the understanding in you. Peace is the appreciation in you. Peace is the light in your heart. Peace is the joy in you. Peace is the Divine in you. Peace is the acceptance of the blessing in you.
Peace is the coming and going of this breath in you. Peace is the beauty that you are.
You have woken up to your world—but you have not woken up to this one thing called “life.” You know everything about this world. You know it’s round; you know there is a sun; you know there is a moon; you know there are stars; you know there are oceans; you know about this world.
You also know there are wars; you also know there’s hunger; you also know there is famine; you also know there’s fire; you also know there are storms; you also know there are hurricanes; you also know there are typhoons.
You know about your world—but do you know about life? And life begins with this breath—breath—and in this life there’s the possibility of peace. In this life there is the possibility of understanding; in this life there is the possibility of knowing. There is the sun—that gives light, not eight, nine, ten, eleven hours a day—but day and night, that lights up your heart.
Wake up to the world of life. Wake up to the world of joy. Wake up to this inner beauty, this existence. This is the song you need to hear.
This song, the song of life, makes your heart dance. You feel good, not because of what you might get; you feel good, not because of what you have lost—but you feel good because what you understand you have been given is the greatest gift of all.
AMBASSADOR OF PEACE
Well, you’ve been for fifty years now, spreading the peace word, the peace message around the world....
Yeah, I started going there in ’78....
Prem Rawat & Antonio Mateus
What is not working?
Well, it works. Spreading of the message actually works—it makes a profound difference in people’s life. What doesn’t work is all the systems that are there in this world that I see are failing people—but people just keep believing in those things instead of understanding themselves....
You know, and I was in South Africa—and it was really amazing. Because people would—I was talking about peace and I was taking calls. And people were saying, “It’s not possible.”
Because one gentleman said, you know, “When I have a young daughter and she doesn’t see the difference in the black, white—she just plays with everybody, enjoys her time.” But this is something that is learnt.
And he said, “But peace is not really possible.” And I said, “Well, hang on. If this is a learnt behavior then we can unlearn it. You know, and why do we keep learning it and passing it on? Unlearn it; understand that every human being on the face of this earth is the same.”
We all have problems. Our problems are not new. Nobody has new problems. Somebody before us had exactly the same problem, felt exactly the same way—and here we are in this time, in this moment, repeating what has been repeated again and again and again.
When do we break out of that cycle? And when do we accept, “Here I am. I am alive. I’m here. I have good in me; I have bad in me”?
And so, once we start to break this habit that we have found ourselves in, I think we will see a new day—and have a new appreciation for the message that I have. Because I am not the only one with this message. This message has echoed for centuries across the world—starting from Socrates, “Know thyself.”
And even before that, “That there is something that is to be understood about each human being.” [Antonio: Umm.] And so, every human being really has fifty percent good, fifty percent bad. And if they have only nurtured the bad, then that’s what’s going to be prevalent. And if they nurture the good, then that’s what’s going to be prevalent.
And we have to understand that. We can’t start putting everything in a box. All our lives, well, that’s what we do—we put things in a box. We see a guy with a big scar on his face: dangerous. He could be the sweetest person on the face of this earth. But that’s not what we see; we see the scar.
We see somebody is tall; somebody is stronger than us; somebody is weaker than us. I mean, every day, every day: “Box, box, box, box.”
We’re human beings; we’re on the face of this earth. We’re not better than a lion. We’re not better than a giraffe. A giraffe can do things we can’t do; a lion can do things we can’t do. A lion has one advantage over us. He’s ferocious, strong—but when he is full, he will go, and not be aggressive, lie down and take it easy. We, when we are full, keep on being greedy.
To make war costs a lot of money. War isn’t free. It takes weapons; it takes training of the weapons; it takes a lot of effort to get into a war. For peace, you don’t have to do anything. It doesn’t cost any money—you don’t have to do really, anything—just let human beings be; give everybody some elbow room—and let the kindness be there. And things will work.
But all of this stuff that we have got going on—the terror, the fear, it has always been played upon, on us. You know, the fear of heaven and the fear of hell. Actually, “the allurement of heaven,” I should say, and the fear of hell: “You do this; you will go to hell.” “Go?” Go where?
What is hell? When you’re not in heaven—that’s hell. And when you’re in heaven? What is happening? You are in light—you’re in an understanding of yourself. You have perpetuated kindness. You have perpetuated the courage instead of fear. You have perpetuated knowledge instead of ignorance. You love clarity. You think first and do later....
Because most of the world does first and thinks later. I mean, when I go to people who have been incarcerated in these institutions, this is what I tell them. I said, “Remember? You did first and now you’re thinking. And you’re going to be thinking for a long time.” [Antonio: Umm.]
But if you would have just thought first—and then acted, you wouldn’t be here, sitting here, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking.
So, you know, the possibilities are there—but why are we not perpetuating kindness; why are we not perpetuating understanding, and why are we not perpetuating the elements that are going to see us through the problems that we have?
These problems that we have are not problems that somebody dropped on us, on our laps. These are problems that we have created. All the problems that you see are problems that we actually have created.
The good thing about that is, since we created them, we can undo them. That possibility exists. But it takes consciousness; it takes courage; it takes understanding; it takes clarity to do that.
Along these fifty years, you met so many world leaders—that you lost count, for sure. How would you evaluate? Most of them have that sense of wisdom—or you are not very positive about that evaluation?
I remember one person—but he was not a leader; he was a farmer.
You remember one...?
If somebody said to me, “In your fifty years, (other than your father, your family, your friends, or people that, you know, you keep talking with, and so on), who did you meet that you only met once—once, that you still remember? For a brief period of time—but you still remember?” It’ll be this farmer.
I was driving in India. They had packed the lunch; they forgot water. So, we had the lunch and now, even thirstier—and it was really hot outside.
So we saw a farmer, ‘side of the road—and he was throwing this bag, (it’s made out of skin), into the water and then pulling it up and watering his plants. And we went up to him. And we said, “Can we have some water?”
And he was so kind. He said, “Of course, of course,” and he gave us water. And he said, “Come! Come—I have a little hut over there—and I have some dry bread and some pickles, (this is all I have), but please, I want to offer this to you.”
His kindness. His kindness—I mean, there I am in a car.... Obviously, I’m better-dressed than him—but his kindness. That he knew that I am a human being too—that I may be hungry—and he offers me whatever he has.
Obviously, it takes him hard work to get even that little bread and make the little pickles.... But he gives freely of what I would consider was probably the most valuable thing to him—but he gives freely—[Antonio: Umm.] generosity.
I was very young when this happened—and I have never forgotten. And when I talk about him, I see him. I know he’s dead now—he was old then—but he will never die because he lives here. He’s alive; he’s well.
And I travel the world and I see how kind.... When that good is there, how kind, how beautiful it can be.
Mmm. So, “If I dedicate my life making people around me happy, I will have much better chances of being happy than if I try to be happy myself”—do you subscribe to that philosophy?
Well, we are dependent upon other people for certain kinds of happiness. I mean, this is true—when a father comes home and his children run up to him and say, “Papa, papa, papa, so great to see you, so great to love you”—your wife is waiting for you and she can say, “Oh, so glad to see you,” or your friends, “And so glad to see you.”
But a real happiness comes from you—your happiness really comes from you. It cannot.... Other people cannot be the catalysts for it. Because if other people are the only catalysts for that happiness and if they, for some reason, disappear, (for whatever the reason is), you will find yourself very lonely.
I always say this. You know, a man with crutches—say, they can’t walk properly or whatever—you have crutches. And you take away that person’s crutches—and that person will fall. You really have to learn how to stand on your own legs, not on crutches.
And trusting and doing everything outside, loving people, there’s nothing wrong with that—and accepting their love, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there has—there is a love inside of you for this time that you are here, that you’re alive—and you have to understand that love. You have to accept that love.
“You are alive”—this is your truth. [Antonio: Umm.] This is what’s really happening in your life. It’s not your business; it’s not your job; it’s not this.... You are alive. You were born—and you’re going to die.
But you have been, (as we mentioned), for half a century spreading the peace word, the message around the world. What tickles you?
What tickles me—is my heart. It’s my heart. And what is a heart? That’s where the clarity resides; that’s where the courage in a human being resides; that’s where the Divine in a human being resides—that’s that place. It may be no physical place—but it is the combination of all that is good in me, the perpetuator of good in me.
Being alive is not complicated. Being happy is not complicated. Looking forward in your life, having courage, having hope, having beauty in your life is not complicated. It is not complicated. Having peace is not complicated.
It is war that is complicated. You have to feed greed; you have to feed unconsciousness; you have to create weapons; you have to create countries; you have to make rules; you have to make prisons; you have to have people who are important and people who are not so important. You have to do so much to get to the point of where we are today.
And if human beings can understand—they’re human; they have kindness in them; they have good in them.... And you don’t have to do anything; you don’t have to make weapons to have peace; you don’t have to create wars to have peace. You know, it’s simple—it’s all you have to do.
It’s like, there was a competition one time between the wind and the sun. The wind said, “I am more powerful.” The sun said, “Well, I am more powerful.” So they said, “We should have a competition.”
So the wind said, “Okay, I will go first. And the challenge is, there is this man walking on the road. Whoever can take off his jacket, make him take off his jacket, wins.”
So, the wind went first—it blew. It blew—and the guy hung onto his jacket even more. It blew stronger, and he hung onto his jacket even more. The wind blew even more, and he hung onto his jacket even more.
Finally, the wind gave up, looked at the sun: “It’s okay; your turn”—and the sun just shone. And it got warm. And the guy took off his jacket.
That, to me, is what we are about. It will happen. If that light comes into our lives, if we allow that light to shine, this is what will happen. It’s not complicated. It is really, really not complicated.