The Gift of Life
In this life, you try to make a picture. And we have no understanding of what life is—none. Zero. Because whatever little piece of information that we do have about life, it doesn’t come from us—it comes from other people. Because we’re in the middle of it, right? We don’t know what it’s like. We don’t know what really happens.
All we know is that we have a desire, a want to be happy—because when we’re happy it feels good! So now, we find ourselves in this life. We know “it’s nice to be happy. It’s nice when things are good.” But our version of happiness? We don’t even know what that is—because it’s usually just this—so far things go our way, “Everything is good.” If things are going our way….
What is “your way?” You’re doing eighty miles an hour in a fifty-mile-an-hour zone. The police officer pulls you over. And he says, “You know you were speeding?” And you say, “Oh, I didn’t know I was speeding.” You’re absolutely, blatantly lying.
But then the police officer says, “Oh, I’m so sorry; I didn’t realize you didn’t realize how fast you were going—pardon me. Please be on your way. A thousand, thousand pardons to have delayed you on your way to something obviously very important.” (“My way.”)
So what is “my way”—your way, our way? Unnatural. Unnatural. And you’re running a little late? The sun rises a little late. If you’re running a little late and it’s getting too dark, (especially like in winter, it gets dark too early), the sun slows down. “Wow!”
And this little, funny little act keeps on going all the way till you hit the other wall. And what do I mean by “the other wall”—it’s where I have this, my two walls, right? The one that I came through—and the one that I’m going to disappear through.
Anywhere else it would be called “procrastination.” Because what’s inevitable is going to happen anyways, and you’re just trying to delay it. It’s like, “Heeah, haah, my God….” So, when that wall comes, “H’eah, one more day, two more days? Three more days, four more days, five more days?”
I’m sure Death sits there laughing his head off. Because you don’t realize, you are the one with the limited time, not Death. Death has all the time in the world. Time doesn’t matter to Death at all. “Whenever! I’m ready. I’ve got your number the day you were born!” The only one who doesn’t have your number the day you were born is, you know who? You.
And this is what I talk about. It is—this message of mine is entwined with peace. Yes, it is not faith-based—no. It is not, you know, you have to have a certain “set of beliefs” and then everything falls in place. This is all about experiencing it for yourself. Understanding it for yourself. Living this life every day with understanding, for yourself.
Not some formula. Not somebody’s interpretation. Not a quote from a book. But you, you as a human being. That’s what it’s all about, folks.
You see this earth? You see those mountains out there? You see those rivers? You see that sun? You see those stars? You see the Milky Way? You see the snow, see the deserts? You know what that’s all about? It’s about you. You. You get to exist; you get to witness; you get to admire. You get to fall in love. You get to be in awe. It’s about you.
But you don’t think it’s about you. (It’s about everything else—not you.) But it’s about you. And you’ll be gone! And for you—for you—all that you were in awe of will also be gone. And then there’ll be somebody else. And it’s, it’ll be about them—and about them, and about them, and about them, and about them, and about them. But right now, it’s about you.
The divinity? This is your chance, your only chance to understand what divinity is. This is the only chance you’ve got to experience what is fundamentally called “joy.” That’s it. It’s about you!
This is the only time you will be able to experience clarity. And it’ll touch you. And serenity, and it’ll touch you. And joy, and it’ll touch you. And when they do, you know what will emerge?—is the sweetest, most profound gratitude—which is not about manners. It’s not that stuff that your mother told you to say for every piece of candy you received.
It’s about you! Because you can connect with it. You can connect with this universe. You can sit. You can look at your hand—and you can admire that skin. Because the material that it is made from is no different than what this entire universe is made with. How powerful is that? How incredible is that? How joyful is that?
So, when I talk about peace, “peace” is talking about what you should be truly attracted to. So, let me tell you what you should be attracted to. You should be attracted to this breath. As it comes into you, it brings you the gift of life. The gift of life. Life—without which you have nothing! You are nothing.
Your most incredible brain that can solve problems—only works because you’re alive. It doesn’t work on its own. (Wish it did—but it doesn’t.) It only works because you’re alive. And the bringer of that gift of life is this breath.
Your ability to love someone is only possible because you’re alive. Your ability to have relationships, (have somebody be your uncle, be your brother, be your sister, be your father, your mother, your son, your, whatever), is only possible because you are alive.
So, you need to be alive to be able to enjoy yourself—and what brings you the gift of life? The breath. All the things that you want to do and you want to do well, you fundamentally have to be alive to be able to do those things—and guess what brings you the gift of that life? It is your breath. And what do you know about it? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
We’re about the coming and going of this breath, and we have no understanding of it and this is a catastrophe! And I want to avert it. I want to avert it for everyone on the face of this earth who will listen to me—I want to avert it because this is a catastrophe.
You know everybody else but you don’t know you. This is a catastrophe. You need to know who you are. You need to know your being. You need to understand your existence. Do you know it? Before it’s too late, before it’s gone! Believe me, this goes by all too fast.
And the lamp—nothing sadder than to see a lamp that was unlit—thrown away, cast away. This lamp needs to be lit! So you can be and feel and understand who you are.
Sometimes we suffer. Some of us have gotten really good at accepting the suffering, have we not? Our excuses: “Oh, God wants me to suffer. He wants me to learn something. I haven’t learnt anything in my whole life. But, you know….”
There is a song in Hindi. And it goes (the other day I was listening to it), and it’s like, “The pain and sorrow are our friends. So, why bother; why are you worried about sorrow and pain—because they are our friends.” And I’m like, “Really?” No. No!
Life that you have, your existence? That’s what it’s all about. A lot of people are like, “But isn’t that a very egoistical way of looking at it?” No. It is the humblest way of looking at it.
Because you look at reality—reality is humble, and it is profound at the same time. As you look at the sun, you realize its beauty; you realize its power. You’re humbled in front of it—and yet you are so glad it’s there. It’s not like “one or the other.”
Things will change in your life—of course they will. Why? Because that’s their nature. You try to hang on; it won’t let you. But do you know, with all those changes, you can still be happy? This is what I mean by “knowing yourself.” When you know yourself, you can say, “Oh, and by the way, all this can change—and I can still feel contentment.”
So, do you know what you need? Do you know what the difference is between a want and a need? Uh-uh. You don’t. Knowing yourself, that’s what it’s all about—figuring out what is just merely a want, and what is a need. Knowing yourself: “Know thyself.”
That no matter what happens in your life, you need, (not want), need to know the value of this breath, the value of being alive, the value of this time that you have.
Because we’re celebrating life; we’re celebrating existence as it is, as it has played out for so many thousands of years on the face of this earth—and a message that has always honed in, regardless of all the things that were going around, “That you are alive, and you are very fortunate.”
See, I talk about breath. There was an inmate in South Africa. And he kept hearing me talk about breath and breath and breath, so one day he went back in his cell…. (And this is what he told this fellow who was bringing him Peace Education videos and so on.)
And he said he’d just lay down—and he started to focus on his breath, feel his breath. And he said, “All of a sudden, the same bed that I had lain on many days, tormented—I begin to fill with peace. And the more I felt my breath, the more I filled with peace.” And he goes, “After a little while, I felt peace like I have never experienced in my life.”
It’s really worth knowing yourself, believe me—because it’s a wonderful thing.