Psychology: How to achieve inner peace? Is it possible to achieve inner peace?
The master Prem Rawat, Peace Global Ambassador, explains how we can have a more fulfilled and serene life.
Prem Rawat is considered by many institutions as one of the most relevant global peace ambassadors. His message has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the planet for 50 years. Usual guest of political and business leaders, prestigious institutions (Harvard, Oxford, European and UK Parliament, ONU) and also of prisons and remote villages in developing countries.
He is responsible for messages such as: “It isn’t the world that needs peace but people. When each person has inner peace, the world will be in peace” or: “Peace is inside of you, the knowledge of the self is what allows you to experience it.”
Coinciding with the launch of his latest book, Hear Yourself (published by Aguilar), we had the opportunity to talk to him so he could tell us how to achieve inner peace. Thanks to his words, we will understand what is happening inside of us and how it is possible to live a more fulfilled and serene life.
Question: You say that the height of existence is inner peace. Is there a definition for inner peace?
Prem: Inner peace is a feeling and when you have it you know it. We can certainly look at anger. We can look at fear. We have seen those things in people. We have seen those things in ourselves and we know how they manifest. Yet peace has no relative expression that you can point at and say ‘ah’, that person is angry, that person is in fear because you see him shivering, or you see a face that’s red, and you know he’s huffing and puffing. Peace does not manifest like that, it is a feeling. It is the feeling of everything in you being right, correct.
When all the bits and pieces are in the right place in your mind. The way you perceive the world around you is clear. Who you are and your relationship to everything else that is around you, is clear. This is what I talk about in my book, the relationship of everything that is around you – and you - and how important it is to know yourself. Because with that begins the process of peace.
Question: Then, can anyone achieve inner peace?
Prem: The thing is you don’t need to achieve it because it’s already in you. You need to discover it. It is a process of discovery, because it already exists inside every human being. We need air, and we have plenty of air available to us. We need water and we have water available to us. These are things that we need, but if they were missing, we would be missing too. Peace is essential for our wellbeing and that peace we need, it is already in us.
Question: If someone has always lived outwards but never inwards, how should they start the path to change?
Prem: First of all, that person who has only looked outwards and never inwards, really doesn’t know themselves. So, for them to start this process they would have to first understand what it means to know yourself. They also need to live their life consciously, and they need to have gratitude in their life. These are the things that come from inside of us, not outside of us. And to find these things, we have to start looking inward not outward. There is a whole chapter in my book dedicated to gratitude.
Question: Lao-Tse said: To know others is wisdom, to know oneself is superior wisdom.
Prem: Self-knowledge is truly achieved when you first start to accept that these possibilities exist inside of you. For most people there is no value to knowing yourself, much less trying to find a way to truly know yourself. But without knowing yourself you will never be yourself, because you don’t actually know who you are. So, you have to begin with knowing who you are and then this becomes real.
This is not just some fantasy. This is not some idea that is coming from the top of a mountain, but it is real to know yourself. And you begin with accepting that you have in you all the wisdom that you need. You have in you the peace that you are looking for. You have in you all the clarity that you need. You have in you the answers that you have been looking for all your life. They are already inside of you. Most people don’t understand the value of this. Until you recognize that those things exist inside of you, you will always be looking outside. This is because you don’t think there is anything inside of you.
Question: How do we start to listen to ourselves?
Prem: It comes by being conscious, being aware of what this life is all about, what this world is all about, what this existence is all about. Because, we’ve got it all in a nice little package. You come into this world and you try to become successful. Someday if you reach these goals you become successful, and then what? Then you retire and die, and what a nice little formula we’ve got. And you know, the whole world is chasing its own tail because of this formula. Nobody seems to actually know what it means to be successful.
People become successful and yet they don’t think they are successful. They have so much money that they can’t even count it, and yet they show up at the office every single day and try to make a little more money, and a little more money. So, we’ve got a nice little formula going but the dog is chasing its tail, and it is going to keep chasing its tail, until one day we say that’s not the formula to success.
The formula to success is when you feel successful inside. When you feel truly at peace, in recognition of your life. When you know how to celebrate each breath that comes into you. When you can celebrate your existence today. Not all the ideas about existence, but your existence today. And this is what I talk about in my book.
Question: Do you think that we, as a society, are prepared to feel?
Prem: We are prepared to feel what we have been told we should feel. We are not prepared to feel beauty and joy. When I talk about knowing yourself, people sometimes ask me ‘what if I find the horrible in me, how will that be?’ Why do they assume there’s horrible in you? Why assume that? It’s just a thought that floats by. ‘Oh! I might be looking at something horrible’. It’s not horrible, its beautiful.
This is what Socrates said a long time ago, ‘know thyself’. Knowing that there is a lot of wisdom in that, understanding who you are, what you are all about, celebrating every day of your life. You need to start learning how to celebrate, what it really means to celebrate.
Question: Are we prepared to overcome fears?
Prem: This is a very interesting question because we all, wherever we live, in whatever situation, whether we are rich or poor, whoever we are, we all hate being afraid. But there’s only one problem, we all are afraid. We are all afraid of what would happen if peace was to take over. We are all afraid of what would happen if we were to actually change our viewpoint and look at the world as a beautiful place and a place worth preserving.
What would it be like if nobody was hungry? What would it be like if nobody was sick? What would it be like if there was no cruelty towards human beings and to animals? We are afraid. We are afraid what this world would look like if everybody was in peace. And this fear just goes on and on and on. The only fear we don’t have is of fear itself. We don’t seem to worry about fear coming and taking us over.
No, we let it happen. And we are all afraid of something. There are people who are afraid of looking at themselves. What would it be like if you got to know yourself? But we are afraid, and what we need to fear is the fear itself.
The original article can be found here.