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“Have you felt courage? It’s your power to thrive in this world! To shine! To be!” —Prem Rawat


 Prem Rawat’s daily “Lockdown” videos highlight his talks and how his Peace Education Program helps people discover personal peace.

Stay tuned for details on how you’ll be able to join Prem virtually in the program soon.

Experience versus Beliefs

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Prem Rawat:

You have chosen, today, to be here to hear about peace, to further your understanding of what it is to be alive. To take one more step. And what I want to talk about today, really is more to do with “Who are we? Who are we? What is a human being?”

On one hand, very simple—we’re made out of six things, six elements: oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus. That’s what you are.

Logically, this is what you look at. When you see another person, this is what you look at. And there’s no difference who you look at—this is what you see.

But that’s not true. We look at our mother—and we are not just looking at carbon, calcium, oxygen, and all these things; we’re looking at something else. We look at our father; we’re not just looking at carbon and calcium and nitrogen and phosphorus and hydrogen and oxygen. We’re seeing a father.

We see somebody we love—we don’t just say, “Oh, this is all you are.” We see somebody we love. So obviously, even though, technically speaking, this is what we’re made out of, that’s not the whole story. There’s something else.

And then there is another thing that is also involved—and that is our desires, our wants. We desire to be happy. We have an incredible tolerance for happiness. We can take two billion tons of happiness any given day—and it’s not a problem. We can consume all the happiness, and it does not give us a problem.

And all our dreams, our road maps that we make in our mind to achieve happiness, we draw little maps: “If I have this, I have this, I want this, I have this, I have this, then I can be happy.” These are our road maps to happiness.

It doesn’t matter. Whether you’re educated or you’re not educated, whether you have a job; you don’t have a job—you do, every day, you aspire to be happy. This is who you are.

Now the question becomes, “If this is who you are, this is what you aspire, this is what you want, why doesn’t mankind succeed? What happens?” The more we try to be happy, the sadder we get. The more we try to be free, the more frustrated we become.

Because we’re caught in the web like a fish—we’re caught in a net of definitions. And we believe in these definitions even when they don’t work. Even when they don’t work, we keep on believing. We have become believers.

You have heard of Leonardo da Vinci, no? Have you? [Audience: Yes.] Good. So, they found these notes of Leonardo da Vinci. And on one of the notes, he writes—and at the bottom, he signs it. And this is how he signs it; signs it, “Disciple of experience, Leonardo da Vinci.”

And when I read that, I had to ask myself, “Are you a disciple of experience? Is this what you follow—experience? Or do you follow beliefs?” Now, and this is a big difference, huge difference. Because one says, “I follow what I know.” And the other one says, “I follow anything.”

What questions do you ask? What questions should you be asking? Do you ask the question, “Am I blessed? And if I am blessed, do I feel it every single day? Every single day. Am I alive? Do I feel alive every single day? Or do I feel, in my emotions, jealousy, anger, fear, doubt?”

If you don’t feel jealousy and fear and anger and doubt, you should be put in a museum. You should be stuffed and put in a museum to say, “Here is a person who doesn’t feel anger, fear, doubt, confusion....”

But the thing is that if there is fear in you, there is freedom in you. If there is anger in you, there is compassion in you. If there is confusion in you, then there is clarity in you. If there is pain in you, there is joy in you.

In you! Do you understand what that means, “In you”? Most people hear what I am saying, but it doesn’t compute: “In you!” Because for most people who are the believers—for them, this comes from up there.

What does fear do to you? What does fear do to you? It destroys you; it can destroy you. What does confusion do to you? It can destroy you; it can destroy your moment; it can destroy a whole day just like that.

So, heaven is here. (What do you think? You believe? Or you know? Know or believe?) [Audience: Know!] Know? [Audience: Know! Yes!] Yes? No? And, yes? Yes! [Individual: Yes, because of you.] And do you know? Not because of me. No-no-no-no-no. I disagree.

I am a mirror. Does the mirror make up the face? [Individual: No.] I am a mirror! I don’t make up your face. You can experience heaven, not because of me, but because you are alive. If you are not alive, there can be nine million of me—and we cannot help anyone.

Because it’s you. You have in you the Divine. What could you ask for, more, in your life than the Divine being in you? Closer than any friend, closer than your wife or your husband, in you? The one that will accompany you wherever you go.

In the darkest place, the Divine is with you. On top of the mountain, the Divine will go with you. In confusion, the Divine is with you. In your troubles, in your sorrow, in every emotion that you consider hell, the Divine is with you. Do you celebrate this? Do you thank? Do you thank the Divine for being with you?

Your friend—if you do not acknowledge your friend, your friend won’t be your friend for very long. At some point in time, you have to tell your friend, “I like you. Thank you for being my friend.” What do you say to the Divine?

These are the paradoxes that we should be working on. Because when we do, the resolution of these paradoxes—knowing—this is truly, truly knowing the self. “Know thyself?” But here’s a very good reason why you should know yourself. Because this is who you are.

You have a mind—and you have a heart. You’re balanced. You’re balanced. If you learn how to use both of them equally, not only will you be in peace but you will prosper in this world.

But most people only know how to use one—the heart, they don’t understand. I say “the heart”—and people go, “What is a heart? What are you talking about?” I’ll tell you what a heart is.

Heart is the place where the human courage resides. Heart is the home of your clarity. Heart is the place where the Divine in you belongs and exists. Heart is the place from where you seek the truest gratitude of your existence. Heart is the place where the love because of reasons—no reason, that love resides.

Heart is the place where, in you, the thirst to be fulfilled is. That place that contains all this that is good is called “the heart.” That’s what a heart is. The courage. The courage to seek clarity in the midst of confusion. When everything is going wrong, the courage to say, “No. No. I want clarity; I want to be fulfilled.”

Have you experienced this courage? Have you felt this courage? Have you understood this courage? This is your power—it’s your power! It’s your power to thrive in this world—to thrive! To shine! To be!