You have even made growing old a problem for yourself. It’s not a problem. That’s just what happens. You know, that’s just what it is.
Ask any person who has restored a car. When you’ve got a nineteen-twenty-nine Model T Ford, and you’ve restored it, don’t go driving it like you would have back in 1929, trying to, you know...?
What—what gave us the hotrods? It was prohibition. They were running—they were bootlegging; they were running all the booze in these cars. And they wanted these cars to be as light as possible, so they removed the hood; they removed the mudguards; they removed as much as they could, to lighten the car up, so it could outpace the cops.
And people liked that so much, that even when they stopped the prohibition, people kept the cars that way.
You know—you know, you won’t drive an old car like that. You drive it gingerly, nicely—because it’s old. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to drive it; of course you’re going to drive it. And that doesn’t mean you’re not going to appreciate it; of course you’re going to appreciate it. It’s beautiful in its own way.
I had one, and I used to sit down in it and just look at it, you know, it’s like, “Wow, look at this thing.” For the gas gauge, it was right on the dashboard in the middle, and it was attached to the gas tank; the gas gauge was actually attached to the—and you could see the gas.
And what it was, was a spline that was twisted, and on this spline was mounted the gauge—that went from “full” to “and half,” and all those markings. And there was a cork in it.
And as the gas went down, this thing rotated like this, because it always floated on top of the gas. When it got to the bottom, it said, “E.” And then when you filled it all the way up, it rotated like that; it went to “F.” And when you drove on the road, you hit a bump, and the gauge would go like that, because the gas was doing that.
And then, even though the concept wasn’t of a cruise control, but it actually had a throttle lever. So you got going, and you took it, and you put it where—because you didn’t want to push that gas all the way. But, just, you’re driving along, and you could tune the car. You could advance the timing, retard the timing. You could change the carburetor settings.
So, you got it going to about fifty miles an hour, and then you moved these levers to change the timing and make it a little bit richer, or make it a little bit leaner on the carb. And pretty soon, the thing will start accelerating. And you’d go one mile an hour faster, another mile an hour faster. And they were just a blast. You know, and you’d hit the horn, and it went, “Arrrarghk!”
But you would drive it very gingerly. And it’s like, “Oh, no, it’s a problem.” “What is the problem?” “Oh, I can’t—I have trouble walking; I have trouble seeing; I have....” Get a nice chair at home; park yourself; bring the TV really close up, to where you can see it....
What is the purpose—to be normal or enjoy your life? No, but you, everybody wants to be normal. “And, nah, no, no, keep the TV over there, and see if I can see it....” So you’ve got binoculars, uh-huh.... And what for?
So, garner focus in your life; garner clarity in your life. Collect that joy in your life. Those are the things that are real. Everything else comes, goes, comes, goes, because it’s only a...it’s only a dream.
Sometimes the dream is good, and then sometimes the dream is not so good. Those who don’t go jumping up and down when it is good and lamenting when it is not so good, have a smoother sail in life.
If you get off that tack and you start seeing reality in what is a dream—no problem: reset. No problem! It’s not like, “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh-my-God; oh-my-God. God’s going to take off points for that. There goes another day in hell. I mean, and my goodness, you know?”
No! No, no, no, no, that’s all fear. Hell is right here; heaven is right here. If you’re not in heaven, guess where you are? It’s as simple as that! It’s simple math!
It’s simple math. It’s a simple math. “Know. Know”—not believe. Know where you are, always. It’s all you need. All you need.
- Prem Rawat
So, one day I’m thinking about hope. So I say to myself, “Well, what is hope? What’s hope?” So I grab my trusty iPad, (I’ve got a dictionary app), type in “hope.” I was standing up. I was actually standing in my office.... Yeah, I was going to, “Some inspirational meaning will come out of this dictionary....” And what it says is, “A desire to have your dreams fulfilled.”
So I sat down! I thought “hope” was this gigantic thing! It’s not! All it is—I’m not talking about whether we need it or not—but I’m just talking about what hope is. According to the dictionary, it’s “a fulfillment of our dreams!”
As human beings, we are the most unqualified creatures to have a good dream. Our dream is very, very trivial! What do we hope for? “I’m half an hour late to catch my flight, and I’m hoping the flight too is half an hour late.” That’s your—that’s your dream? That’s your hope? You’re walking down the road; you see a very beautiful girl—and what’s your hope?
You know you didn’t study in school, in the class, for that particular year—farted around. Well, you go to take the test, and you “hope you pass!” (I’m just talking about mankind’s hope—mankind’s dream! How can you talk about mankind’s hope if you don’t understand what mankind’s dream is?)
So this “fulfillment of dream” almost seems to be this entire anti-nature twist that we want accomplished—an exception to the rule, not the rule itself. We want exceptions.
That girl that’s walking down the road, you want her not to pick all the eligible people in this world, but you—when you know you’re not eligible. “Exception to the rule.”
So, our dreams, our prayers to even our God, are asking for an exception. “I don’t want to work. I don’t want to do anything; I don’t have enough brain power to make any money—but God, make me rich.”
When wishful thinking starts to merge with perceived reality, weird things happen. So, there we are; we’re walking along in the path of our life, and we just, “I want this, and I want this, and these are our hopes”—hopes!—the exception to every rule that has been made. And if it wasn’t for those rules you wouldn’t be here.
Bring together all those elements, come out of this wall, receive the gift, the blessing of the breath—and there is a thing that starts to happen, and it’s called “life.” This thing starts to move; this thing can think; this thing can grow; this thing can appreciate; this thing can laugh; this thing can understand; this thing can do amazing things. It’s called “life.”
And ninety percent of you will ponder, most of your life, “Why does it have to end?” See, because all your life you have thought about the exceptions, not the rules—because your hope is actually tied to the exception!
What is your hope? “I hope I’m going to die when I’m eighty years old. I hope I die when I’m ninety years old. I hope I die of old age!” I’ve heard that: “I hope I die of old age!” Now, tell that to Death! You won’t find it anywhere to have a conversation with, “And, hey, when are you coming for me?”
Every morning that you wake up, you wake up with two possibilities. And every moment that you live on the face of this earth, you always live with two possibilities—one is you’re alive, and one—you could go.
You don’t understand life. You attempt to make some kind of understanding happen in your brain about what death is—but you don’t understand death either.
So, heaven? In you. Hell? In you! Confusion, in you. Clarity, in you. Anger, in you. Kindness, in you! Sadness, in you! Joy, in you!
Ignorance, in you; knowledge, in you. Do you really get that? Naah. Yeah, and see that—that’s the problem! That—and yeah, and see, that is the problem. Well, if you really got that, your entire equation would change!
Because right now, “You are the cause of my anger. You are the cause of my anger; you are the cause of my anger; you are the cause of my anger.” And when you start to understand yourself, it’s like, “No, I am the cause of my anger.”
“You are the cause of my joy; you are the cause of my happiness.” And no, when you understand that, “I’m the cause of my happiness.
“You may be a catalyst, but I’m the cause of my happiness.” (Some people are not swallowing this; “I have never operated like this. And I don’t understand what you’re saying.”)
This is what knowing yourself is all about! That’s what enlightenment is all about.
Neither abandoning this world, nor accepting this world, has anything to do with your happiness.
- Prem Rawat
Do I feel so fragile in my world that I feel that without the concepts, my house is weak? Is that why I need them?
Or can I be free? That word, "freedom"—freedom from what? Ask yourself, "Freedom from what?"
Now, you think.... When I talk about the inmates, obviously they see bars all day long. Goodness, the entire time I was in prison visiting them, that’s what I saw too—bars here, and bars there, and bars there and bars there, and bars there and bars there. It all kind of....
The only place where there weren’t bars was the front door—which only brought you to a little reception room, which was a waiting room. To go past that towards the prison, there were bars. And not one—two.
You came through one when they let you. Then you went to the security room, which was in the middle. And only when you had cleared security, that first door closed; second door opened, and you could go through. And then that’ll lead you to a hallway where they handed you your credentials, the one, the pass that you had to wear. This is the same in every prison.
Then you go somewhere else, and they have to open the gate—and they have to open, and a, “Who is it? Who is it?” And, “Who, what?” And, “You have to show your”—“It’s okay; I just was....” “Okay, okay, you can go.”
But one bar after another, after another, after another, after another, after another—well, you don’t live like that, do you? Do you? You don’t have any bars in your life, do you? Nothing that holds you back, right?!
So what’s the difference? You’re locked up too. You don’t think so, but you’re locked up too! And so far you’re locked up, there’s no difference between you and the inmates. The only difference is, they wear orange; you don’t. Unless somebody’s wearing orange here. That’s pretty much the color.
But when all that is gone, and when clarity settles in, heart becomes full, human beings are full of gratitude, then joy dances with you, and you dance with the joy! That elation wells from within—and it’s not conceptual. Not conceptual, not an idea, not a thought, but something very real, that you can begin to rejoice that you’re alive, that you breathe.
- Prem Rawat
What makes you happy? Is it something you do that makes you happy? Is it a sequence of circumstances that makes you happy?
Because we know the word "happiness," but we haven’t truly felt what happiness really is. We know the word “freedom,” but we do not know how to be free. We know the word "kindness," but we don’t know how to be kind.
Happiness is a state of contentment.
When you are content, not here, but here, in the domain of the heart—in the domain of the heart, when you are content, when this heart is content....
Let me tell you something. When you satisfy this, this gives you a gift. When you satisfy this, this gives you a gift—a very different kind of gift. The gift this gives you is, "More. More." And when you satisfy this, this gives you a gift, too.
When you satisfy this.... You go shopping; you see a suit; you see a dress? This goes, "Buy it. Buy it. Buy it; it's nice! You will—you will look so good in it. Buy it." So you buy it. After you buy it, it gives you a gift. You know what the gift is? "hmmm.... It’s not as nice as his suit."
You buy a new car; you are very happy; you’ve got a brand new car, "So nice," and you’re sitting in your car. And then all of a sudden, a better car comes up, and this gives you a gift: "Should have bought that." It’s called "the gift—the gift of dissatisfaction." This is the gift this gives you.
When you satisfy this, this also gives you a gift. When you satisfy this, this immediately gives you the gift of peace. "Here, peace!" When you satisfy this, this gives you a gift of, "Here. Enjoy this, a little happiness."
The day—the day you can smile and not know why you are smiling, that is the truest smile. The day you can laugh and not know why you are laughing, that is the truest laugh. And the day you can be happy and not know why you are happy, that is the day of, "Ah," the gratitude, "Thank you!"
That is the day you become really thankful because you don’t know what you did to deserve this, but you feel it, and you go, "Thank you! Thank you for being alive." That is the way to live.
It was a Greek philosopher who said once, “You are never happy if you get what you don’t want.” Tricky words. If you get what you don’t want, you’re not happy. And even if you get what you do want, you still won’t be happy because you won’t be able to keep it. That’s the problem.
So many families, finally they get everything going and the husband dies. “Oh, terrible, what’s going to happen now?” Children grow up too fast; they start bossing you around. You’ve been bossing them around? Wait! You will get a taste of your own medicine. They will boss you around. They will start telling you things.
You had the child because you wanted a child—because you thought all these beautiful, lovely thoughts about having a child, “How sweet the child will be.” And now you are going to be on your bed without a second of sleep, thinking, “Where are they? Why are they not home? It’s already past midnight. What are they doing?” You can’t keep it! Can’t keep it!
You finally got your promotion; you finally got your promotion that you had been waiting for, waiting for, waiting for. And after you have got your promotion, you realize that there are twenty other people wanting the same chair. The one before, there were only five wanting that chair. This one, twenty more....
And if you go to the next one, it’ll be forty more, and if you go to the next one it’ll be a hundred more. And now it’s a matter of, you make one mistake—one mistake—and your chair is gone; promotion is gone. Because you can’t keep it! You can’t keep it; you can’t keep it; you can’t keep it.
Because there is a change afoot, and you don’t like changes. You don’t want changes; you don’t want anything to change. You, even though you want your son who is three years old to grow up, you don’t! You want that child to just stay that way. And you want your wife who’s so pretty to stay that way. And you want your husband who is young to stay just that way.
But everything is changing, changing, changing, changing, changing—and so are you. But you don’t know. Why don’t you know? Because you don’t know yourself. You know your friends; you know your neighbors; you know other people, but you don’t know you.
That’s what Socrates says, “Know thyself.” Knowledge of the self! “All knowledges are good; knowledge of the self is the supreme.” When you know yourself, now you know who you are.
– Prem Rawat