Many people in their lives, they see things not going their way; they start losing hope, and the next thing you know, calamity. But it takes courage to have hope; it takes courage to have clarity. And when there is that courage....
This is what’s beautiful. If you get angry, you know what you will be rewarded by? Anger. Just think about it, right? You get angry; you’ll be rewarded by anger. What is the reward of anger? Either you will get more angry.... Maybe, maybe you begin by being angry with your friend, and the next thing you know, you’re also angry with yourself—for being angry at your friend.
Anger rewards anger; anger begets anger. Fear rewards fear. You get afraid of being afraid—and that’s when it really sets in. It’s more than the boogeyman in the closet. Now, you’re afraid to be in the room; you’re afraid to be alive. “Oh my God....”
But...but what is the reward of hope? It brings you more hope. What is the reward of joy? It brings you more joy. What is the reward of happiness? It brings you more happiness. What is the reward of knowledge? It brings you more knowledge. What is the reward of being content? It brings you more contentment. What is the reward of knowing? It brings you more knowing.
This is how it is. This is how it’s always been.
– Prem Rawat
A few years back, a scientist decided to do an experiment—and he took a huge mirror and he put it in the jungle. And of course you know monkeys are the most curious, right? So they came! And they stood in front of the mirror—and they started screaming! Showing their teeth, hitting the mirror—and freaking out. Then they would run away.
Then ... a big gorilla came, and he went in front of the mirror, and he screamed! And he beat his chest to say, “Who are you?”
And he was angry! He was very angry. And he screamed, and he beat his chest again—and he paced back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth—why? Do you know why? Do you know why? [Audience: No!]
He did not recognize himself.
That gorilla he was seeing was not an enemy—it was him!
Are we seeing ourselves in the mirror, and not recognizing ourselves? When we kill each other, we kill ourselves! When we rob from each other, we rob from ourselves! Because you ... and you, and you, and you, and you ... are my reflection. You, and you, and you are each others’ reflection in that mirror.
When you become angry at each other, you become only angry at yourself! When you tell a lie, you tell a lie to yourself! When you harm each other, you only harm yourself! Because you do not recognize it’s you.
– Prem Rawat
MC: [June Sarpong]
So, the next question is quite a poignant one—and again, this is from an audience member. And then she says, “My mum just died. Someone I loved so deeply is no longer here. I feel the pain of parting. Can you help me come to terms with this?”
Yes, I think I can help. When she was alive.... And first of all, you know, my heartfelt condolences, because it is very difficult to lose somebody that you love. And there is a process of sorrow—and of course, you should go through it—because that’s when, in this sorrow, you reconcile your existence.
But understand something—that when she was alive—and sometimes she would get up and go somewhere else! Right? And when she would do that, you knew she wasn’t here, but she was somewhere else! Right?
Well, not that much has changed. One, she will always live in you—always! In your memories, she will be. She will laugh; she will dance; she’ll call you affectionately. This you can embrace. This you can embrace.
And make peace with yourself; make peace, because this is the law of nature. And nobody can change it. Knowing yourself—knowing yourself is also understanding her—because she lives in you.
And it is not the final story by any stretch of the imagination. We are a part—she was once a part—you weren’t born then—but she was a part of this earth. She had no shape of her own; she had the shape of the earth.
And you, do you know, right, that you’re seventy percent water? That’s mostly all of you—I mean, that’s thirty percent left for everything else—that includes guts and bones and nails and hair and eyeballs and—I mean, you’re seventy percent water!
And that’s what she was; she was this earth, indistinguishable—the dust, the water that flows in this, on this earth. And from there, from this, temporarily emerged this being—gave birth to you.... And now she has gone back to being exactly who she was, part of this earth.
When you celebrate your existence, you celebrate her existence. When you celebrate your joy, you celebrate her joy.
Do not underestimate how concerned a tree is for its seed. The strategies that trees have adopted to make sure that that seed exists and goes on; it is unbelievable, unbelievable. The only difference between us and trees—well, you know what the difference, really, the only difference—and this is coming from an expert, not from me, an expert—is we move; they don’t.
And the strategies that they have adopted so that they can live on—and this is you! You see, you, you, you, you—your mother was the tree; made you—and you live. And so far you do....
And when you thrive, she thrives—because she’s inseparable. And when you are happy, she’s happy—because that tree made you. And when you express kindness and when you express appreciation and when you express joy, she expresses joy. Don’t you see how connected you are?
So, now you are in sorrow because you see the separation—right? And the day you start seeing reality, you will see the connection. And when you do, the world will change—for you. Make the connection. Make the connection.
What is darkness? Is it something in itself? No! It’s the absence of light. To remove darkness, what do you do? Do you open the window; do you have a bucket? You go into a dark room, fill the bucket with darkness, and then throw it out the window? No. That’s not how you...you can’t, because it’s nothing.
So, if this is true—that darkness is absence of light and it is nothing in itself—light is something; darkness is nothing—then this would be also true for sadness. Sadness is nothing; it’s just lack of joy. Bring in the joy; sadness will be gone.
Same thing with ignorance! Bring in the knowledge and ignorance will be gone, because ignorance is only the absence of knowledge. Knowledge is something; ignorance is nothing.
So, then that will also be true for unhappiness and happiness: unhappiness is nothing; happiness is something. Bring in happiness and unhappiness will be gone.
And if this is true, then when you get unhappy, don’t you try to remove the unhappiness? When you get sad, don’t you try to remove the sadness? Well, that’s just like taking a bucket, going into a dark room, trying to fill the bucket with darkness, opening the window and throwing it out.
Because this life, full of fear, full of anger, full of jealousy, full of disappointment—that’s not the gift you were given. That’s not life. That’s not real. That’s not how it needs to be!
There’s a saying, “To fly, you don't need wings! You just have to cut off the chains that are holding you back.” There’s another saying: “Don’t curse the darkness; light the candle.” But this is what people do! They curse the darkness! They go, “Ah, this is so bad, the darkness, oh, but the....” Light the candle. And the darkness will be gone.
If you want to fly, you’re looking for wings! You don’t need wings. You have everything. Everything you need, you have. When you get to know yourself and you understand it’s all there—you have been gifted with everything—you have been blessed. Every breath that comes into you is a blessing.
In fact, peace lies neither in the realm of science nor in the realm of religion. It lies in the realm of human beings. It lies in the realm of people who feel—feel—in the realm of the heart, in the realm of you being alive. And that’s the realm of peace. That’s your realm. So far you are alive, that is your realm.
– 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