Peace and Humanitarian Initiatives

The Arena of Knowing

I’d like to talk about something very beautiful: you are alive. That’s incredibly beautiful. And when we talk about the self, we are talking about recognizing, understanding who you are. When you think, “I am an Australian; I’m a New Zealander; I am English, Scottish, Irish,” you are forgetting who you are. You are a human being.

We hear about superheroes who have reached the ultimate state of being. What if I said that you have reached the ultimate state of being? You are alive. That’s the ultimate state of being. There isn’t a higher state than being alive. This is it.

People go to the movies to be entertained, for some action, some drama. They have a whole ritual of getting their popcorn, their candy, their soft drinks. Talk about planning! The army could learn a thing or two about discipline from these people. They know exactly what and how much to get. Then they sit down in their chosen seat. The movie starts, and the line between reality and the artificial blurs. Some people even start crying. If they could see the real shoot, they’d be laughing, because what they’re looking at is maybe the fifteenth take of the same scene.

We believe. Let’s believe for a minute that there is a cow in front of you, and the cow moos. Maybe there’s no harm in believing in it, but when you need milk, remember one thing: If this cow does give milk, it’s only make-believe milk. It’s not real. You won’t be able to drink it. You can imagine it, you can pretend you’re drinking milk, but it won’t satisfy your thirst. Everything about it has to be make-believe, because it’s all a fantasy.

In the arena of knowing, there’s no make-believe. You experience. This is what I talk about. It’s not a fantasyland. There is a longing within a human being so deep that it leaves you dry and, in the same moment, fills you up. It’s a magical dance of quenching the thirst within.

Have you ever had water when you were really, really thirsty? Water becomes sweet. The focus is on nothing else but to take that water and drink, drink, drink. After you finish drinking, you say, “Ah!” You’re satisfied.

What is water? It’s something that has no identity. It isn’t square and it isn’t round. It takes the shape of whatever contains it. It has no color. It flows out of the ground, sometimes out of rocks—unbelievable places. If you were to try to describe water for its physical appearance, you could not do a good job, because it would always sound insignificant. Yet its power is so incredible that nothing can stand in its way—no mountain, no rock. Over time, water will carve what we think could never be carved. Yet water has tenderness, gentleness, softness. It’s the softest feeling, and it can destroy mountains.

The lack of water has wiped out civilizations. Yet water has a clear understanding and sense of purpose. It comes from the ocean, it travels through the land, but water clearly knows its destination. It knows it has an appointment, a love affair with the ocean. When it merges with the ocean, its identity is gone. It’s stripped of all that it was. It’s home again.

Why am I telling you all this? How is this going to help you? Because you can learn from it—about the passion, the desire, the want in your life. You have a thirst in you. You have a thirst to be fulfilled, but many people don’t acknowledge it because they’re afraid. Why? Because they don’t know what will happen to them. They have some concept that if they really acknowledged this thirst in their lives, they might become a vegetable, they might become irresponsible, or they might not be able to hold down a job.

What you do in this world, you do. It has nothing to do with your inner passion, because it will never satisfy that inner passion. They are two different things.

I’m here to tell you to listen to that sweet thirst. How could you not desire true peace in your life? Understand the passion for peace and satisfaction in your life. You have been thirsty. Throw your bucket in the well. And when that bucket is full, reel it in, and you will have a reward. Your reward will be satisfaction.

☆ Prem Rawat

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