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
But what is a conflict? You see, conflict does not begin on the outside; conflict begins inside. The war begins in the minds of human beings, and then you see the outside expression.
And what is the outside expression? Innocent people die, destruction, lives and families ruined, prosperity gone. All the things that we don’t want become the outside expression of the conflict that is inside the human beings.
First thing, first thing…we have to learn how to respect. Respect who? First, you have to learn how to respect yourself. Now, most people think “respect” is good manners: “Oh, hello, how are you, thank you very much,” smile, this and that....
That’s just manners, good manners. There’s nothing wrong with good manners, but respect is different. It’s more than just manners. And that respect has to begin with you. When you respect yourself, then you can respect other fellow human beings.
Right now, people are ready to kill each other because of differences of opinion. “You believe in this; I believe in this. I don’t like you; I’m going to kill you.” Well, what is the point of your belief if it is destroying other human beings? What is the point of having something that promotes conflict, when just as easily you can have the peace which resides inside of you?
You know, is darkness truly far away from light or light far away from darkness? No! It’s like one coin: one side is darkness; the other side is light. Which one are we picking?
In your home is peace. In your home is wisdom. In your home is clarity. In your home is light. In your home is the joy. In your home is fulfillment. But the only one that is not home is you. So, come home.
– Prem Rawat
Does the heart say, "Go to Timbuktu." Does the heart say, "Go to this place?"
No. The heart says always one thing. And it's so simple.
Be content; be happy. Be in that place; be in that enjoyment.
Be. Be. Just be.
Have you created the circumstance for yourself where you can find contentment, where you can be fulfilled? Because if not, what peace is is going to mean nothing to you.
If you don’t understand the value of being alive, then everything is all out of phase. No amount of wisdom is going to come and make any difference.
– Prem Rawat
You know, the understanding of, well, who the self is—a lot of people think that this is a very Eastern idea—understanding the self. It’s not. It’s a human idea—understanding the self.
“Who are you? What are you?” Everybody on the face of this earth, soon or later, will ask the question, “Who am I?” Above and beyond everything that we get involved in—“Who am I? What is it to be a human being?”
You come in this world—and I was thinking today, “For me, everywhere I go, it’s like passing through.” So I go home, and I’m just passing through. I’m not there too long; I’m passing through. And I go to one country, and I’m passing through—and go to another country, and just passing through.
And before you know, life is the same way—just passing through. And this is what we do. And in one way all the complexities of being on earth—our relationships, our ideas, our wishes, our dreams—trying to realize those dreams…
Trying to wonder why things happen to us the way they do; why things are good; why things are bad; why things are right; why things are wrong … all these complexities—and we want to understand them!
But we never focus on understanding, “Who am I?” And unless you know who you are, what is your reference? Unless you know what a human being is, how would you know what a human being is supposed to be?
But, what is a human being? Of course, these are physical traits—but what is a human being? And what is the importance then, of understanding what a human being is?
Because, in our aspirations, what do we want? There is a state of being, and in this state of being a person becomes desireless—desireless. You can call that state “contentment”; you can call that state “happiness”; you can call that state “bliss”; you can call that state “peace”—and I don’t really care, because these are just words.
What I do care about is that state. I don’t care about the words. Ah, but the world’s caught up in the words: “Talk to me about peace. You’re Ambassador of Peace.” What? Peace is inside every human being. And peace is something that really cannot be talked about. It needs to be felt.
So, the question then becomes, “In this process of feeling the self, understanding the self, do you feel that state? Are you in that state, in that state of equilibrium?”
Now, you may say, “What are you talking about?” Well, this is how your body works—your physical body works like this: if there is something wrong, it’ll tell you. But if there’s nothing wrong, it shuts up!
Feeling of well-being is… some people call it “peace.” Because there, no more, no less, nothing being weighed; nothing being measured. “Go on. Be. Exist.” And filled with the feeling of well-being, glad to be alive, content—content—this is the nature of the self. This is the nature.
– Prem Rawat