One 2 One, No. 14 – The Human Niche

“Anyone can experience the joy that peace brings.” —Prem Rawat

Prem Rawat:

All stories begin with “Once upon a time.” The story that I really want to tell you also begins like this, but there is a small difference—and the difference is, “Once upon this time there lives you.”


Once upon this time there lives You.

NO. 14

Prem Rawat:

Hello, everyone. Prem Rawat here. So, it’s been awhile since I’ve had this opportunity to put this video together. I just came in, not too long ago, from Europe—and then stopped off on the East Coast of the United States, and finally, I’m back on the West Coast.

So, you know, a lot happened during the trip—visited many places within Europe. And, as much as I could do under the circumstances, I tried to get it done.

Of course, it would be lovely to just continue this and help people just understand what this is all about—your life and whatever the circumstances may be. It doesn’t really matter; it could be something else. (It could be something else; it could be something else.) You’re alive—and that should mean the most to you.

And so, today’s video, I’m going to focus in on being human. Because in our understanding, being a human is like nothing. And yet being human is everything. To a human, naturally, it should be everything.

But why do we look at ourselves as, “Ah, we’re no good.” We, you know—if somebody has something extraordinary that they do, then—then that’s good. Then they’re good. But otherwise, just the normal simple human being, what are they? “Nothing.” Nothing, the way we see them.

And that’s what I want to address. And the reason why I want to talk about this is because, just recently, somebody wrote a question—said, “Well, there is this person and through their,” you know, whatever they went through, “they, they can now sit on rocks and thoroughly enjoy it,” sharp rocks or whatever it is.

And when I first read that I was pretty impressed. It was like, “That’s pretty cool—you know, you can sit on rocks—and not feel the pain.” But then I started thinking about it. And I realized that I’ve done that many times. And what I have used is not years and years and years of some isolated practice or some meditation or some of this—and I, this was a pillow.

So, if you are sitting on a surface that is not friendly to your butt, ah, get a pillow—that human beings have already invented!

As soon as I thought of that, it was like, “My goodness.” You know, there are people who try to walk on water. So they, they want to walk on water because they want to show people how extraordinary they are, how incredible they are.

But water bugs walk on water all the time. It’s not a problem for them. So, are we trying to prove then, that we as human beings can also do what water bugs can do? Because to me, that’s pointless. What’s the point of trying to prove that you can also, as a human being, do what a water bug can do?

After all, you’re a human being and not a water bug. A water bug can do what a water bug needs to do—you, as a human, do what you need to do. But if there isn’t a true sense of what it is that you need to do—and if there isn’t a true sense of what it means to be human, then all of these things are going to happen.

So, the imagination takes over and human beings have some pretty dramatic, incredible imagination here—that’s to say the least. And then the next thing you know, there is Superman, and then there is this person, and they are that person and they can do this, and they can go around the world, you know, buzzing around, and then they can do this; they can do that, and….

But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You’re a human being. And what is your forte as a human being? What can you do that is so human—that nothing else can do it? And that is what you have to understand is truly your strength.

It doesn’t matter what you accomplish. You can read this; you can read that; you can memorize this; you can memorize that, but ultimately, one day everybody has to go. And that’s very human—that we are born one day. And then one day we have to go—that’s human. (Of course, everything else does it too, but we do it too.)

We don’t certainly live as long as trees—but we live for as long as we do. And in this, we can see things. We have eyes; we can see things. We don’t see everything. We don’t see the total spectrum, total frequency of light—but we see what helps us in this world.

We can hear. We don’t hear everything, not the whole frequency spectrum. But we hear what is relevant to us. We can smell; we can’t smell everything—but we can smell what is relevant to us. We can produce sound. We can’t produce the whole spectrum but we can certainly produce the sound that we need to produce.

And so, being human then becomes very relevant to you being alive, you understanding your role in this nature, in this existence. And you know, somehow, human beings very much jumped to this conclusion that “We’re the kings; we’re, we’re the top. There’s nobody better than us!”

Well, that’s certainly not true. Because human beings cannot dive as deep as whales—and that’s without scuba tanks and all that good stuff—can’t hold their breath as long as the whales can. There are hawks that can fly faster—we can’t even fly without equipment.

So, we can do something that gives us the niche to be in the midst of this nature, in the midst of everything! In the midst of everything, you know, you have trees. There is this particular line; trees don’t grow above that. There are places that you won’t find too many trees, like a desert. But where they have that niche, where they can make it work, they’re there.

There are different oceans—and different kinds of fish live in different regions. Not all fishes can live everywhere in the ocean. But everything has a niche; everything has a very proper and prim place.

There are lions; there are cheetahs. There are leopards; there are snow leopards. And each one of them has found their niche of where they do exist—and one role that they fulfill.

So, what is the human role? What can a human do? Can a human being have compassion like no other? Can a human being have an understanding like no other? Can a human being communicate with each other like no other?

We have perfected language; we have perfected so much! Do we communicate? Well, sometimes we do—and most of the time that we do communicate, it’s lies. Well, that’s no good—if we cannot even speak the truth.

What is the level of transparency in this world? (And transparency is very good!) But do the—are the governments transparent? “No, no, no, this is top secret. You, you…. You, you, you as a citizen,” (who pays for everything in your, through your taxes; you take care of all these things)—“But no,” you are not privy to any of the information. It doesn’t make sense to me.

So what have we created; we have created societies; we have created cultures. And these societies and these cultures do not even respect the basics of what it means to be human!

All of a sudden, you have issues—citizens divide amongst themselves. People divide amongst themselves. There is, you know, “And you’re a woman. You’re a man.” I mean, this is the basics, right? And even today, (this is 2020), women don’t get the same pay grade, pay scale as men.

And you have to wonder, “Who came up with this? Who came up with this idea that women are inferior?” Well, put it bluntly, we did. The societies did. For some reason, they—there is a fear! A dramatic fear of what might happen.

But those are the things that are incredibly human to do—to accept, to understand. To say “Yes, you’re a part of this. You’re not away from this but you’re a part of this.” And most importantly, (in my opinion, anyways), to understand yourself, to understand the self—this is the capacity, this is the capability of the human being. To know who you are.

One of the tests that they do is they put a mirror, sometimes, in front of the animals, and see if the animals actually, looking at their reflection, connect that “That’s them.” And, you know, there are animals that absolutely do not connect, don’t have the level of intelligence—just to realize that “That’s really me.”

Well, we as human beings, are looking at this mirror. And this is the world around us. And we’re looking at ourselves—and we’re not recognizing that all that is going around in this world that is not good is also something that is brought on by us.

And the key point here is “also,” because human beings have done some incredible things—I mean, some powerful things. So, it’s not like everything that we have done is wrong. No, we have done some pretty remarkable things. We have helped to eradicate many diseases. We have created medicine that can help people—of course, we have also created medicine that doesn’t help people.

So, we have created these things. So, as human beings, are we recognizing our role—our role as human? Are we recognizing ourselves—that we have this potential, that we have this possibility? And that we are capable of achieving something that is far more superior than being comfortable on an edgy rock. And it’s called “peace.”

Anybody can experience that peace. Anybody can experience the joy that peace brings. The joy that peace brings is very unique. It’s actually incredible. Because this life is a celebration. You being here needs to be celebrated every day. You being here needs to be recognized every single day.

And what is the importance of it? The importance of it, if nothing else, would be—at least, if nothing else, it would be that one day it won’t be like this. And that makes it unique. That makes it unique.

And we get caught, you know, we get caught in our problems, our troubles, our this and that and “This isn’t right and that’s not right. And that person said that to me and that person said that to me.”

And all I can say is that “We really have to get down to the art of shaking it off!” It’s like when you look at a dog that’s got water all over its coat, and it sits there and just shakes it and shakes it and shakes it and shakes it.

And it’s remarkable, if you can catch it, you know, in slow motion. Because it’s shaking that water off. It cannot use its paws and use a towel to dry itself. But it has come up with a similar effect—a similar result will be achieved. And it knows how to do that.

You, as a human being, also need to learn how to shake it off. Because if you don’t, and you—and you have learnt how to bring it on!—but not learnt how to shake it off, you’re going to have an issue. And it, it’s going to be too much.

And there are so many people, it’s too much for them. It’s like, “Oh my God, you know, this is this; this is this; this is this! I’ve got this problem; I’ve got that problem.” Yeah! Because you haven’t learned how to shake it off; you’ve got to learn how to shake it off.

It always reminds me of that story, you know, where this old man is walking and a young man who has just graduated from the university and he’s now going to start his life, he comes up to him and he says, “Old man, you know, you’ve been around for a really long time—and seen a lot in this life. And I’m just starting off. Could you give me some advice?”

And the old man has got a big bundle of wood on his shoulders. And the man, the old man, puts that burden down, puts those sticks down—stands up straight. And then puts the load back on his shoulders, hunches over because of the load, and continues to walk.

Now, that’s amazing. I mean, you know, so a lot of people are like, “Well, I don’t get that.” And but I do. And what I get—is that we carry these loads on our shoulders. And that hunches us over, bends us over, makes us uncomfortable—every day, makes us uncomfortable.

And if we put that load down, we can then stand up straight—as we are meant to stand up straight. And then continue. 

Somebody said to me in one of the expressions—was like, “I want to fall in love with my breath as I am in love with my thoughts.” And yeah, I think it’s—it’s nice! It, it’s, you know, it’s a nice gesture. And all I can say is, “You have had so much practice following your thoughts—and you have had no practice following this breath.”

So, you have become very good at “That’s wrong; that’s wrong; that’s wrong; that’s wrong; that’s wrong, and I wish it wasn’t that way, and I wish it wasn’t that way, and I wish it wasn’t that way.” But you have not become good at seeing the obvious—and the obvious is that this breath comes into you, brings you the gift of life. Brings you the gift of life.

Should it bring you rules? Should it bring you regulations? Should it bring you, you know, a scolding: “You did this; you did that”? And maybe we’d be more attracted to life if that’s what happened all the time. But that’s not what happens all the time.

What happens all the time is—the sun rises; our day begins; we wake up. And there is no agenda in the sky. If there is an agenda, it is an agenda that was created by us—on some paper or some app or something! And we look at it—and the things that we remember that we have to do.

We don’t remember that “Today is a gift”—but we look at today with the sense of responsibility of all the things that have to be accomplished. This may be really great for a society. This may be really great for a functioning society.

But if that society does not recognize the need for the simple elements that it is composed of, the human beings that make that society—if it doesn’t look towards their happiness, if it does not guarantee their happiness, if it does not guarantee their fullness of life, then that society is going to have problems.

And the problems it’s going to have are very obvious. People are not going to be able to get along with each other. More and more people are going to end up in jail, hmm? Jails are being made. Most of the jails are overcrowded.

People don’t have food to eat—when then there’s plenty of food that is grown, but people don’t have food to eat. People who are poor are really poor. People who are rich are getting richer and richer and richer—and they don’t even have to do anything. There are more people homeless now than, than ever!

So, when a society cannot guarantee the simple elements, simple things that the society itself needs—of those people who are the members of that society, then that society is going to be doomed.

And as that society becomes and deteriorates, things happen—people start to lie. And lies become truth—not because they are truth. But they are repeated enough times—and people think that is the truth.

You know what the truth is. Do you? Don’t you? The truth is that you exist. That’s your truth. One day you won’t be. The amazing thing? The amazing truth?—that already places you beyond anything that Superman can be—is that you, encompassing you, that which will always be.

“Always be” is in you. “Was, is, and will be.” “Wasn’t, is, won’t be,” that’s you. But you have in you that which was, is, and will be. And it’s not for a long time that you will have that in you. But so far you do, you’re alive. You exist.

Not what you do. Because this is the first question we want to know, right? We meet somebody, “Hey, who are you? What do you do?” What do I do?! I do what you do—breathe. I exist. I am.

I know that there are a lot of people; it’s like, “That’s too simplistic.” Well, when that time comes and you struggle for that last one, you realize it’s not that simple. That it came freely to you, that was truly a gift. And this gift, you, in your existence, must accept, must understand.

And pursue then, those things that’ll bring you joy, that’ll bring you peace, that’ll bring you that sense of being, the sense of belonging. Not the dreams of becoming a Superman. Not the dreams of sitting on some rock and enjoying it, finding it comfortable when it isn’t—and a pillow can easily do that.

As a human being, in my imagination, I can do many things. But as a human being, in reality, I can also recognize all the things that are happening that I don’t have to imagine—that my breath comes into me, and that’s beautiful.

So, being a human being is incredible! It’s, it’s the most powerful thing—and it should never be demeaned. It should never be looked at as like, “Oh, that’s nothing. Let’s see what we can have; let’s, what, what can be better?”

No. Being a human being—is so much. And so much to be thankful for, to be alive. And know that one day it won’t be like this. But so far it is, you are amazingly powerful. You are alive.

So, thank you. Take care of yourselves. I’ll see you soon. Thanks.

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