Today I’d like to begin with a Chinese proverb. And the way this proverb goes is like this: “It is better to light the candle than curse the darkness.”
And the reason why I said this is because it’s not obvious to us that we have become masters of cursing the darkness. We have become really good at cursing darkness.
And in fact, I had this experience. A few weeks back I was in Europe, and one day we were just bashing the world, just having a conversation and bashing the world. We’re talking about the politics and how dirty that is.... And we’re talking about how “these super-companies, they’re just taking over the world, and are just destroying everything.”
And it went on—and I mean, it was just bashing after bashing. And I have to tell you that it did feel good. Now, it’s not something that, you know, I recommend, but it really did feel good. It was like, “Yes!” I don’t know—there was something just absurd about it.
And after all that bashing was finished, I went to bed, and I put my head on the pillow—and it was just that time before sleep came to me—and I was thinking, “It’s so easy to bash the world—because this world is not in order!
But what about my world—is it in order? What are the super-companies in me that are taking over? What are these elements that are creeping in every day and destroying the experience of being alive?”
Because if I was to ask anyone “What is the experience of being alive?”, they would be shocked with the question. I mean, yeah, it’s like, you know, nobody asks you that.
“Where is your ticket? Where are you going? What do you want for dinner; what do you want for lunch? What’s your shoe size? Are you married? Are you single? Are you feeling well? Oh, by the way, what is your experience of being alive?”
I don’t know—some people will probably go, “Gee, I…I never thought of that.”
I mean, what is my experience of being alive? I’ve had good days—and tell me if this sounds about right—I’ve had good days and I have had bad days. I’ve had challenges; I have had easy runs. I have good memories.... Does that sound right? About, about, approximately...?
Some things I would change; some things I wouldn’t change.
But, do you know that every day that you have been on this earth—that you have been alive on this earth—this earth has been in motion, traveling through space, hurtling through space? There has been a morning—and it is merely an illusion, as the earth rotates—a sunrise, a sunset, the time in between....
And, everything, everything in motion. Everything that.... You know, and I…I really have an issue with the word, “it.” Because in reality, there is no it. Everything is alive! Life has been happening all around you.
All this time there has been a motion; there has been a sequence of events taking shape— people coming onto this planet Earth, things coming onto this planet Earth, things leaving this planet Earth. I mean, it is actually a drama that you cannot even imagine that has been taking place.
And you have been alive! And you’ve looked at your problems—your problems—“I have a problem.” And in retrospect, what has your problem really been?
You’ve had a plan. And when things didn’t go according to your plan, you had a problem! When things went according to your plan—“Wow, I love it.”
And you’ve been alive all those days! How many days do you actually get to live? It’s a shocking reality. Even if you live for a hundred years, that’s only thirty-six thousand, five hundred days.
I wish I were missing a zero. I am not. That’s all there is.
Now, when I put it like that, then that doesn’t sound like a whole lot. But that’s it! And this is it—this is the time you get. You get those thirty-six thousand, five hundred days to get it right.
– Prem Rawat
The deck of cards has been dealt out. You flipped one, the first one it has birth. You flipped the last one and it has death. The rest of the cards are blank. Absolutely blank.
People say, "How do you know?" Because you're too afraid to pick them up. Status quo is the best thing. Some say the cards have been dealt out and it is already predetermined what is on every single card. I say no. And there's a lot other ones that join this voice. And I am joining the voices of those who have said exactly that. The rest of the cards are blank. But don't be afraid to look. It is up to you what you make of each one of the cards, except for two. Except for two.
Desperation touches you every single day. I've got to do this. I've got to do this. I've got to do this. I've got to do this, today is Sunday! You know what has to happen tonight. Right? You have to go to sleep early because tomorrow is Monday.
That was a very half hearted laugh. Because you know tomorrow is Monday. And there is no saying that goes, "Thank God! It's Monday." It ends at Friday. And Monday will come and you just like a good little soldier will get up and go on with what is expected of you. Not by you, but by everyone else.
"I'm a father. I have to do this. I'm a mother. I have to do this." And off you will go. And what will happen? So this is what will happen. The earth will whizz one more time at 67,000 miles an hour around the sun. It'll turn at 1040 miles an hour to reveal the sun one more time on the horizon. And one more card would have flipped up from the deck. And will you have a part. To play in what that card is? Or like the rest of the cards you will just say, "Well, so it is."
That's a decision you have to make. Can you do something about it? Yes, and that's called awakening. The card is being... the cards have been dealt out. There is one last card and it... It's got something stamped on it and it's going to happen. And I don't... I know you don't want it to happen but it's going to happen. Nobody wants it to happen but it's gonna happen. And should we wonder about it. No. It's going to happen. I mean... shh!
What you should be concerned about is what you can change and you can change ignorance to knowledge. Make that happen.
- Prem Rawat
I’m just a human being. And I am not sitting here claiming I don’t have bad days—that would be stupid! I do! But I also question, "Why am I having a bad day?"
I’m having a bad day, not because the day is bad! Uh-uh-uh, the day is the same!
You think the sun comes out and says, “Here, I’m going to nail that guy.” You really think so?
There are people who believe in the cosmos—you think all those planets and all those stars know, “Hah, huh, oh, let’s nail that one.” No! Mars doesn’t know you exist. Saturn has no idea you are here and you had a burned toast and slipped in your bathtub and have diarrhea … and flu!
I mean, do you really think Mars goes, “Yeah, let’s get that guy. He’s—just keep that train going. So far, we’ve gotten him to slip in the bathtub, burnt his toast, killed the electricity, no coffee in the morning. Let’s just keep going with that thought! I mean, just…the flow is on."
No! No! It has nothing to do with it. You need explanations, so you create an explanation. And this is the beautiful thing about human beings: they have used their creativity, not to create clarity, but to create an explanation which has no head and tail. Point: “Why is this happening to me?” “It was your last lifetime."
All right. Would somebody please tell me what is it that I did, so I won’t do it? I mean, the whole point of punishment should be that you don’t repeat! I mean, what is the point of a punishment—that you are not told?
Somebody walks up to you, hands you a ticket: “What is this ticket for?” “Parking violation."
"I don’t even own a car. How can I have a parking violation? What did I do? Please! So I won’t do it again!"
"No, that’s a secret. You…you figure it out."
I mean, I’m not saying there isn’t karma—there is! But it’s much more recent. It’s nothing to do with the last lifetime. It’s now!
– Prem Rawat
In our lives, one of the things we do is we accept failure very easily, very quickly. Because there is one thing which is failing, and then there is the failure.
So, failing will happen.
There was a time in your life where failing didn’t mean anything. It was acceptable; it was normal. And the part of your life where this happened was when you were learning to walk. So there you were, coming from a place, from a time in which language didn’t mean a whole lot.
So, nobody indoctrinated you into this; nobody gave you a lecture about this; nobody —do you know—you didn’t go out and read some scripture, but you had an urge to walk. And this came from inside of you, and there was no question about it—you wanted to walk!
But you were extremely ill-equipped to walk. You had two legs, but the muscles in that leg that needed to carry you were not developed. You needed a sense of balance. And you didn’t really understand it. And so, a day came in which you made this attempt to get up. And anybody could have told you what was going to happen.
It was not a happening thing. You were going to fall—and you did! And you failed! You…you actually failed—because the first, first part is just getting up. But you kept going—and you would fail! And you would fail, and you would fail....
And finally you got to the point where you could actually get up. And as soon as you got up [demonstrating, wobbling] there was still going to be failure! You were going to fail again. Because now the whole sense of balance starts to kick in, and stabilization, and you know, the nerves are telling the muscles, “Do this, do....”
Because everything is an overreaction, underreaction. Nothing is used to anything—and you are doomed to failure.
But you weren’t a failure because you never accepted failure.
And so you took that one little step, and boomf! You failed—bam! And sometimes the kids even look at the mother, “Should I cry?” You know…you…you—they get to, right to that point of where their bottom lip is quivering and everything, and they’re like... And the mother looks like, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s okay”—it’s like, “Oh, it’s okay.” Brainwashing!
But you just kept failing and failing and failing and failing and failing and failing. Till one day, because you did not accept failure, you did the impossible, and you took that step. And then the next step. And all of a sudden the most incredible transformation took place. And what you just accomplished wasn’t walking. You unlocked the world to yourself. Krrrract! Now you could go wherever you wanted to go. You were free.
So, “fail” and “failure” meant two different things.
Then as you grew up, you started to associate the two; you merged the two. “Failure is always painful—demeaning and painful.” And all your life, your energy turned into “not failing.” So that no failing happens in your life, you would have to become non-human. Not going to happen! You’re human! But there is a way out of this pickle. And the way out is, “Don’t associate failure with failing.”
Do you know what it means to be singular in nature?
It defies nature itself, because nature says, “there can be nothing singular in nature.”
That’s like having a one-sided coin. That would be very difficult to have, wouldn’t it?
In this world, there is so much duality, duality, duality, duality. And then, to have something in your life that is singular in nature. That divinity inside each human being is singular in nature. It has no opposite. It has one thing and only one thing, and it is beautiful.
It is fulfilling. It has no emptiness. It is the light that does not cast shadows. It is that light that has no darkness associated with it. It is singular in nature. It gives, it absorbs, it fulfills, and it is beautiful, always.
- Prem Rawat
I’d like to tell you a very simple little story, and it has something to do with each one of us, as individuals, as we look at ourselves, as we understand ourselves. And the way this story goes is there was a young American Indian, living in a camp. And one day he approached the chief and said, “Chief, I’m confused.”
And the chief looked at him and he says, “Why are you confused? What are you confused about?” He says, “Well, I see some people who are good sometimes and the other times they’re bad! How can this be? If they’re good, shouldn’t they be good? If they’re bad, shouldn’t they just be bad. But sometimes they’re good; sometimes they’re bad. How can this be?”
And the chief looked at the young kid and he said, “It’s very simple. Inside each one of us we have two wolves—a good wolf and a bad wolf—and they’re constantly fighting each other. And that’s why sometimes people are good and sometimes people are bad.”
So this really got the young kid thinking. And he thought, and he said, “Chief, tell me which wolf wins?” And the chief looked at him and said, “The one we feed the most.
I think after you hear that story you just need to go away, sit down in a quiet room for about an hour, and do a little thinking. Because right there that story says, “Things are not that complicated. That this whole achieving that beautiful thing in your life is not that difficult. All you have to do is feed the right wolf.”
But this is where I will interject—that’s not our strategy. Our strategy is not to feed the right wolf. And the story very clearly says, “Which wolf will win? The one we feed the most.” But our strategy is to beat the bad wolf. And this is why we don’t succeed.
Why do we beat the bad wolf? Because this is what, somehow, we have been told: “Beat the bad wolf.” Sounds logical? Never, ever thinking, “Well, ah, what is that going to do for the good wolf? I should, you know, feed the good wolf, so that the good wolf will be strong.”
But, “No, and let, let’s, let’s figure out a way to beat the bad wolf.” And that’s what we do. “Oh, I made a mistake! Oh my God, I made a mistake. I made a mistake! I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a mistake. Oh, man, I made a mistake.”
You have to stop that thing that just comes and beats the…—I won’t say the word, but it starts with a “c”, ends with a “p”—out of you again, and again, and again, and day, and night, and influences your dreams, influences your happiness.
That’s life! That’s life—to know yourself, to understand, to feed the good wolf. Feed the good wolf. When you understand the value of today, you feed the good wolf! When you understand the value of yourself, you feed the good wolf. When you lament in sorrow, when you watch your dreams crumple…
Because you created those dreams; nobody else created them for you. You created them yourself.
You created your dreams. Maybe there are better dreams—doesn’t matter. You’ve got to have the good wolf win in your life.