The Difference between Knowing and Believing
Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
Those people who say, “Well, I don’t need to hear about peace; everything is going fine in my life,” my message to you is “Figure out a way that all that, that is good in your life, that you’re enjoying in your life, is preserved—is protected so that you can have that for the rest of your life.”
And for those people who are struggling—and have been struggling, and trying to find a meaning, an excuse, some sanity in an insane situation, (“Why is this happening to me?”), to them, I would like to say that “You are filled with more hope, with more joy than you can ever imagine.”
And for me, the irony really is that being human and having that possibility of being fulfilled is so close. This is the platform; this is the stage where that happens—no other, none other. And this is the possibility for every human being—to be in that place where their heart sings and they listen. Not given to all the ideas….
And so—actually, let me finish my statement here. Because then, this is, you know, going on in my head and it was like, “Fear—talk—but yeah, you talked about fear….”
And I realized this morning, (it was around six forty-five AM), I realized that “more fear you have, more believing you do. Less fear you have, more knowing you do.” Maybe if you can begin to distinguish between knowing and believing, you can then start to get a clue of how much fear you actually have.
Because, because of the fear, you don’t want to know—so you believe. And believing is much easier—because there is no knowing involved. You can just let your imagination run wild. And, you know, two people….
See, that is the reason…. Because, truly if there is one God—right?—why would there be different religions? I mean, why? What would be the reason; what would be the necessity?
But the reality is, there is only one. But not in the realm of belief—in the realm of belief there are different ones. And in the realm of belief, these gods do different things. They say this; they say that; they say, “No, you can—yes, you can do that. No, you can’t do that. No, you just….”
And it’s all about rules. It’s all about rules. And if you go through these rules, then you will just—when you, especially when you die—you will go to this really great place. It’s called “heaven.” And that’s it.
I have two puppies, two little Pomeranians. And so, when I come—when they figure that I am in my office, they come and scratch at the door: “Let me in; let me in.” So I let ‘em in. They come in—and they look at me like, “Okay, what do you have for us?” So I have a big jar of treats, so I give it to them and they get very happy.
So, one of my tricks is, (because I’ve got to work; I’m not going to pay too much attention to them….) So, I take them outside; say, “Look what I’ve got for you,” and they get really excited. I mean, one starts to do a dance. And the other one is just like, “Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
So I take them outside; I give them the treats…. And they’re blissed out—and they eat the treats and I can get back in my office. And everything is fine.
About forty minutes later, they’re scratching at my door again—and I open the door and they come into my office like, “We haven’t been here. Where is our treat?” It’s like, “Well, wait a minute; you just got it!”
So, it—that makes me laugh every time, because they come to me and look at me like, “You haven’t given us any treat today.” And it’s like, “Well, I just gave it to you.” But they don’t remember; they don’t remember.
So if they don’t remember, what’s the point?—of the good and the bad? And off people go—in the business of believing. In the business of believing—that is a business. That is a business. And the business is you sell your beliefs to other people. You make them buy it.
What’s the alternative? Knowing. What’s knowing all about? Wow. You don’t sit there and talk about God—you feel God. You don’t lecture on God. You don’t lecture on God; you help people turn inside and feel the Divine that resides within them. You don’t write books about believing; you write books about helping people to get to understand knowing.
I went to do an interview—and before the interview, of course, we have a meet and greet. So, the person who was going to interview came out, sat down and talked a little bit—and then we went into the interview room, sat down, and the interview began.
It became very obvious that this person had never heard answers like that before. Because everything about this person started to change. And at one point, I talked about God; I used the word “God.” “Do you know God?”
I said, “Wrong question.” “What’s the right question?” “Have you felt God?”
“Know God” is not a happening thing if you’re using your brain. Because that, where it comes to imagination, you can’t imagine. Unimaginable—so don’t even go there; don’t even try.
So, she says, “Have you felt God?” I said, “Yes.” “Is there a God?” I said, “Yes.” “How do you know?” So I said to her; I said, “Every time you breathe, you’re being blessed by the Divine. That’s how you know the Divine.”
Never heard that before. Eyes filled up with tears. And in a fraction of a second, this person got a little view into what life is all about, feeling, living, accepting this blessing. Feeling fortunate. Not believing you’re fortunate; feeling fortunate. Feeling alive. Disconnecting from the results of the wishes, and observing and delighting in the reality.
And when you begin to accept it, you then really become so alive that you understand what life is. That’s what life is.
To understand this for a fraction of a time is not enough. This knowing must happen every day. This knowing must happen, and this celebration…. So, “party,” right? This party—when the human being embraces that blessing and the gift of life becomes obvious, this is the party, and it’s called “gratitude.”
Gratitude—is when you go beyond words because the words are not sufficient—when the heart is full, when there is a joy because there is an understanding, because you know, (not believe); you know; you see; it’s obvious…. And your life has changed.
In that moment, again—again, the riches of existence, of clarity, of wisdom, of understanding become yours. And this is a wealth that nobody can take from you.
Do you know what the wealth of wisdom is? Even if somebody tried to steal it from you—and you let them have it, do you think you would have any less? Wow. Kindness—if somebody stole kindness from you, you think you would have any less?
You can give of kindness from you to every single person on the face of this earth, 7.6 billion people—and you would be missing nothing. You will still have all the kindness you had before. And you could multiply that by a billion times—and you would still have it. And nothing would be missing.
This is how much kindness every one of you has—but do you use it? Oh, you are very good at using your judgment…. You are very good at using your judgment with everyone! But kindness…? So, what is the point of having this incredible wealth called “kindness,” and live like a pauper for the rest of your life? What’s the point?
People say to me, “I wish I had clarity like you.” And I’m like, “But you do.” You think there’s something special about me? I’m made out of the same things you are. I’m made out of the same things you are. I follow the same rules on this existence, of this earth, that you do. And if I can, in my life, say to myself that feeling this blessing should be a priority, why can’t you?