Your message of peace, since your early childhood, has taken you all around the world, into your adulthood—which brings you here today in the Los Angeles County Jail Twin Towers.
TWIN TOWERS JAIL
And on that note, thank you, Los Angeles County Jail Sherriff’s Department.
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADMIN
This is the largest, actually, mental health jail probably in the world. So, almost everyone in here has some kind of mental health issues. We have, in Los Angeles County, in our jails—we’re larger than most prisons....
Twin Towers Jail is the largest in the
world with 18,000 in any one day incarcerated.
Dr. Yael Hellman:
It really is that self-discovery and hopes, having a fulfilled life, that is so important, within or outside of the jail walls.
It’s just so good to have you here with us today in the City of Angels. And thank you for coming—and I just want to say that you come to my mind as a modern-day hero, giving flowers to people all around the world saying, “Have a nice day.” But your flowers are of words of peace. Thank you.
GLOBAL PEACE AMBASSADOR & AUTHOR
I, I have to say, because that word that you used, “hero”.... There is only one hero in your life—and there will always be just one hero in your life—and that’s not me, and that’s not Superman, and that’s not Wonder Woman. It’s you.
Prem Rawat speaks to inmates
at Twin Towers
I want to tell you something—one of the key messages is about knowing yourself, and why is that important.
And if you have a map, amazing map, most detailed map, most incredible map—and it’s got all of this stuff; it’s got all the details of where everything is, where this is, where that is—and you have some idea of where you want to go, and you want to use this map. And it’s a very good map; it’s a very detailed map.
What is the most important thing you need to know when you look at that map, to be able to navigate? And that is, “Where are you on that map?” If you don’t know where you are on that map, that map is useless—with all its detail, with everything on it. You can look at it, but you don’t know where you are? Then how are you going to figure out where to go?
That’s what I’m talking about: knowing your self. If you don’t know who you are, what do you do? What do we all do? We look at other people to identify us, who we are: “Am I a good person? Am I a bad person? Who am I?”
We create our friends; we create our social circles; we create all these people and we look at them—we want to appease them. We want their approval. Because we don’t know the possibility that lies here.
Life is like a book. The first cover was moved when you were born; it opened. Every day you get a new page—every single day you get a new page—there’s nothing written on that page; you write what you want on that page.
And that page will turn automatically—and it’ll present a new page every single day till the book is finished and you will have the last page close the whole book.
You are writing chapters of life. Are you ready for the day when you wake up in the morning—or are you just full of expectations of what you would like to happen? Are you ready for that day; are you ready for the possibilities?
Because when this breath comes into you and gives you the gift of life, that is a very powerful thing. It is more powerful than all the stuff that is going on around this world.
You find yourself here—how you got here, everybody has their story. Everybody has their—see, I go to a lot of places where there are people who are incarcerated. And they look around them and they go, “That’s wrong, and that’s wrong, and that’s wrong, and that’s wrong”—all their life.
Easy to do that, right? Hard to look at the three other fingers, isn’t it? Because that’s saying, “What about you?”
The day you make that transition—that this book isn’t about other people; that this book is about you, your life will turn. Your life will change—I’ve seen it—your life will change. Because it isn’t about other people. You don’t have to look for the approval or the disapproval. You find that satisfaction of being alive in you.
Now I know you’re all thinking, “Eh-beh-but-but, but-dah-dah-dah, is it, but-but-but-but, but-but-but-but.” Listen to what I’m saying; it’s very, very simple. It’s a fact; it’s not fiction: “You are alive.” You are alive. What were you yesterday? What can you be tomorrow?
Who does that depend on, your fate? The society? The world? Or you? We are told, “Oh, yeah, the world, society has to change.” When I go to people and I say, “Peace is possible,” they look at me and they go, “Are you crazy? What are you talking about; how is peace going to be possible?” I said, “One lamp at a time, lighting one lamp at a time, that’s how peace is going to happen.”
Then I asked them, “Why do you think peace is impossible?” “Oh, there’s so much greed in this world.” I said, “Excuse me, did human beings create greed—or is there a mountain somewhere where ‘greed rain’ falls and then it goes around the whole world?”
No, these greeds are created by human beings. What is the good news? What human beings do can also be undone. That’s how peace is possible. Human beings make war? Human beings can also undo war.
This is a fact; this is not fiction; this is not a philosophy. My whole premise of the Peace Education Program is to really shed the light that you are alive! And every day that you are alive is the most incredible hope there is, is the most incredible possibility there is!
It may not look like it, but this book, the pages are being flipped every single day—and one day that last page will go “bdoomp” and that’s it. That’s it! That’s it! No more.
Is that good? Is that bad? Is that terrible? No, that’s how it is. And it is like that for everybody on the face of this earth, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, powerful, weak—male, female—everybody; this is the law!
So what have you got? What you’ve got is today. Because tomorrow is going to come as—today. It’ll never come as tomorrow; it’ll come as today. At midnight, that “tomorrow” turns and becomes today, and you will have today.
And the next day you will have today, and the next day you will have today, and the next day you will have today, and the next day you will have today, till one day you won’t have that today anymore.
The urgency, if there is one, is to recognize the preciousness of each day, the gravity of time—that there is no rewind button on time. It doesn’t matter; there is no rewind button. You must take the next step, and you must take the next step consciously, with full awareness, with full understanding of its gravity, and full understanding of its potential.
You don’t have to be a victim of all that goes on. You can be the victor within. You can be free—not on the outside, but free within.
Everybody is imprisoned by something. Everybody—even those people who are walking out there, they’re imprisoned too—by their ideas, by their dreams, by their effort, by their work, by their boss, by all the drama that plays out every single day in their lives, as well.
You want freedom? Then you will have to turn within. You are the source of that freedom.
You are your worst enemy, and you are your best friend. Who have you kept company with, your enemy or your friend? Find that friend—and you will find yourself. Find yourself, and you will find that friend.
Arguments, revenge, anger, fear, doubt—they don’t come from outside; they’re in you all the time. When you’re locked in your cell, guess who’s there with you? Your anger is there; your fear is there; your doubt is there; your sorrow is there. Do you know who else is there? Your joy is there. Your clarity is there; your understanding is there.
What if I told you that the darkness and light are two sides of the same coin? Darkness is never far from light and light is never far from darkness.
How long does it take for darkness to come when you turn off the light? It’s not like you turn it off and it goes, “Uhaah, dah, dah-heaah-dah”—no, it’s not coming from anywhere. It’s always there; turn off the light—and it gets dark. And how long does it take for the darkness to be removed when the light is turned on?
Both are in you. Joy is in you; sadness is in you. When you are sad next time, think about that—think about that—that immeasurable joy is also within you. When you’re confused.... Things don’t look clear; things don’t make sense—stop—and understand that incredible, unlimited clarity is also within you.
Learn to garner, to collect what is good. Little understandings, (it doesn’t matter how little they are), go a long way in making this life good—in making this life good, in making this life enjoyable, an enjoyment that is centered within you. If you can understand that? If you can grasp what I’m trying to say, (which is very simple). Believe me, it’s incredibly simple.
You know, one of the things I’m sure you have noticed—the Peace Education Program is not complicated. It’s not complicated. It’s not like, “Oh, well let’s figure out how many stars there are....” No, it’s just about you, you, and you.
And to me, that’s your strength. You need strength. But you don’t need the strength of revenge. You don’t need the strength of show. You need the strength that comes from within you, for you. For you!
You have another life, another page coming. Your book doesn’t begin and end here. Hopefully, one day you will be out—what then? What then? Those pages will still be coming—and you’ve got to write on them. And what are you going to write?
Is this book going to be a book of memoirs? Or hopes and aspirations? Or successes? Or about your understanding, the understanding of the self? This is up to you. It’s totally up to you. This isn’t about anything; this is about you.