What is “journey to the self”? Who is the self? What is the self? And why a journey to the self? I mean, aren’t you with you all the time? So, what do you mean, “journey to the self”?
And in here lies a lot of little issues that we deal with every single day. Because whoever we may be, we don’t like confusion. We just don’t—and it’s fairly universal, right across the board.
And we don’t like anger—well, we don’t actually know when we’re getting angry, because it’s a surprise—but then what happens afterwards, we don’t like it. We don’t like to be sad. We don’t like to be in fear. Pain is really—we’re just not very well suited to take on pain. (Joy, we don’t have a problem with.)
So, what is the self, and why the journey? Because “journey” here, (verb), implies travel.
And here is the issue. Because when you look around you in this world, the situation of this world…. And I may say that I may have a fairly unique perspective on this—because, one, I have been doing this for fifty years—some of you weren’t even born then; some of you weren’t even a twinkle in your mom and dad’s eye.
And when I started—actually, when I started speaking about peace to large gatherings, I was four, as you might have heard in that documentary—and then I started taking this message out when I was nine. So, I’ve seen the world; I travel the world quite a bit. And I see something—and what I see is that people have moved away from themselves.
You hear Socrates saying “Know thyself”—very common. But do you know that Socrates also said, “You won’t be happy”—this is paraphrasing—“you won’t be happy if you don’t get what you want.” (Because we’re not.)
So, here you are—you’re alive—and here is the situation, and this is an analogy. One day you receive this lottery ticket. And you have won. And the ticket allows you, entitles you to go to this shopping mall.
And there are beautiful shops in this shopping mall; there is a grocery store in this shopping mall; there is clothing in the shopping mall; there is everything you could possibly imagine in this shopping mall.
And you are excited: “Wow, I get to go there?” And not only do you get to go there; you can have anything you desire. If Bentley is your thing, they have them. If Rolls Royce is your thing, they have them; if Mercedes is your thing, they have them—and you get to have it!
And you flip the ticket over; there’s a caveat. And the caveat is, “You can have anything you want—but when you leave the shopping center, you cannot take anything with you.”
“Wow, aaagh!” Would you be disappointed? I see some people shaking their heads. I mean, my God, beautiful things, incredible things…. And you can have them—all yours! But you, when you leave the shopping center, (which you must; there’s a time); you must leave the shopping center and when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
What am I talking about? Ta-dah, here you are—in this most amazing, incredible shopping center. There are the oceans, the mountains. And you can have anything. And one day, you have to leave the shopping center—but when you do, you don’t get to take anything with you.
Now, the issue is strategy, simply that. “What are you going to do? What is your strategy going to be?” Are you going to stay home—and get angry at this ticket? “How stupid; how weird. I get to go; I can have everything I want but I don’t get to take it out with me? I mean, that’s really stupid!” Or are you going to say, “This is the divine joke, (hah-hah-hah)”?
What is your strategy? What do you do? And it is precisely the strategy that you must have; you must have a plan—and you must not only have a plan but you must execute it perfectly—perfectly.
And in this plan, it is not about lamenting, and it not about “I wish it was this way; I wish it was that way.” No, it is afoot: here is your ticket; there is the shopping center…. This is the time you get in—and this is the time you get out—and there are no “ands, ands, buts” about it. That is it.
So, I’m not here to preach to you. I’m not here to tell you I am better than you. I’m not here to tell you, “I have a plan; copy my plan.” I’m not here to sell you a plan.
But I am here to share with you, fifty-plus years of experience—and that’s it. Because I have seen plenty of people who go, “This is stupid. This is weird. This is strange. Why me?! This is a torture.” And I am here to say, “But, look—one, you have no limit for enjoyment….”
Right, just simple stuff, right? Simple stuff? You have no limit. Because nobody has temples or churches or any of the holy places where you go to say, “Dear Lord, please remove some of this happiness; I can’t stand it.” It’s always about sadness: “Please remove the sadness,” but happiness, that was like, “Bring it on!”
Some of us, we are here: “Is it afoot? Do I want to be a part of it? Don’t I want to be a part of it? What is it all about; where do I go; where did I come from?” But that’s not what it’s about, folks. You got a ticket—and the ticket says “that’s the shopping center,” and you are in the shopping center now, by the way—by the way, you’re in the shopping center.
And it’s an opportunity of a lifetime—and you have no strategy, no plan. And so I say, “Keep it simple. You’re in. This is what’s been given; this is the opportunity you’ve been given. Have a blast.”
Why not? Why not? You feel hungry? Go to the supermarket—and eat! Feel thirsty? Go to the supermarket, drink. Feel like sleeping? Go to the bed section, find a comfortable bed and rest well. Feel like exercising? Go to where all the cardio equipment is, find a treadmill and go at it. Because you get to do it all.
No, never lose the self—so you don’t have to go look at those signs that say “You are here.” Always be in touch with who you are. Why? Because when you know yourself, you are your best friend. And when you are not with yourself, you are your worst enemy; you don’t need enemies.
You will never have a friend like you—and you won’t have an enemy like you, enemy that is completely capable of destroying you—you. And friend who’s completely capable of being there for you in thick or thin, in the most wonderful moments and in the most darkest moments.
This is the opportunity—and may I say, an opportunity of a lifetime, because this is the possibility that exists. And who holds the ticket? The self. It was the self who was given the ticket to come. Not your ideas. Your ideas weren’t given a ticket to go enjoy; you were given the ticket.
You look at the condition of the world, where the world is destroying itself, war after war after war after war after war after war? Mini-war, mega-war, big war, little war…. Somebody asked me that: “Well, how come there are so many wars? We seem not to be close to peace at all.” It’s true.
My strategy is very simple—and my strategy isn’t to have world peace. (I said it. “Ehaaagh,” pin-drop silence.) Because that’s not possible. But this is what’s possible: “You be, first, in peace with yourself.”
It’s just you. Nobody else is involved. You be in peace with yourself—and how can you be in peace with yourself? One, (and that’s why we are here tonight), “journey to the self”—you must know yourself. And once you know yourself, you then must gain victory over the self.
Not victory over your neighbor, not victory over that person and that person and that person and that person, but victory over the self. And when you are victorious over yourself, then you can be in peace with yourself. And when you are in peace with yourself, then you make peace with the world.
And when enough, enough people make peace with the world, (because they have made peace with themselves), then, vaguely, the idea of world peace starts to come into view.
When every war happens and the innocent die—the same way, when you are at war with yourself, the innocent moments of your life are being slaughtered. Because they’re innocent. They can be anything.
Never have I seen more innocence than in a moment of existence. It’s totally, as it comes to you, it’s innocent—just brings you possibility, anything you want. Like a baby, like a baby…. You can mold it; you can fold it; you can destroy it; you can create a monster out of it if you wish.
Or you can have it as the most tender-est, gentle time, the time with you, listening to that feeling which fills this heart and causes the gratitude to emerge.
The journey to the self, then, is truly a journey to you. It’s called, “Come home. Come home.” Come home—and you will see the world change, for you. Because, remember, you have to make peace with the world; the world isn’t going to make peace with you. You have to make peace with the world.
And when you understand that, you understand, “nothing is wrong; nothing is wrong. You journeyed away from home—and you need to come back home.” Because there, your thirst will be quenched, hunger satisfied, tiredness removed—and a sense of familiarity in life, not alienation, but a sense of familiarity will be restored where you can rest.
The answers you look for in this world, they’re not there—they’re not there. The answers are in you. Come home to your self. Journey to the self.