One 2 One, No. 19 – Are You Paying Attention

“You need to be conscious all the time, as much as you can—so the preciousness of these moments is recognized.” —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. 19

Prem Rawat:

Hello, everyone; Prem Rawat here. And I’d like to talk to you about a very simple thing. You know, in this life, things are happening. And indeed, sometimes it is every second, something is happening; something is happening; something is happening, and there we are, trying to make sense out of it: “What does that mean; what does that mean; what does that mean?”

Last night I was thinking that there is this long tube—and it’s a clear tube; it’s like a glass tube—it’s long. And in this tube, there are these marbles, randomly, that come. You don’t know when it’s going to happen; it’s, they just come. And you’re at the edge of this tube and you have a glass. And hopefully, it’s an empty glass. This is how you begin.

And these marbles come—and they are two colors. There is a clear marble—and then there is a blue marble. And that blue marble comes and your job is not to take on the blue marble. The clear marbles are beautiful marbles, beautiful moments. “Blue” represents all that pain and suffering and whatever you go through!

And so, you don’t know—you hear the noise; okay, here comes the marble and you get your glass all ready. And at the very end, as soon as you see that marble, as soon as you see that it’s not a good marble, you would remove the glass, so it won’t fall in the glass. And if it is a beautiful marble, you allow it to go in the glass and capture it.

Now what if that was a game? And how good would you be at playing that game? Would you have the sharpness that would be required to, as soon as you see that that is not a clear marble or is not a white marble, you remove your glass—and if it is a white marble, you make sure that you capture, capture that beautiful marble?

Well, you know, so what’s the point of this story, or point of this analogy or this example? Well, that’s what’s happening. All these moments are coming down this tube, in this tube of time. And they’re at random. And some are good—and some are bad. Some will bring you pain; some will bring you joy.

It’s not like, you know—and people will like to get into “What dictates that?” Nothing! It’s at random. But the question is, “Do you have the sharpness—do you have what it takes to avoid taking on the blue marbles, and filling your glass with the white marbles or the clear marbles?”

Because if you can store the good—and this is a capacity and a capability that every human being has. And, you know, sometimes it’s bad and bad and bad and bad and bad. And immediately when that starts to happen, there is the question, “Oh. Why was it like that?”

There are a lot of people who do not consider themselves to be as lucky as some other people. But that doesn’t mean that the good marbles don’t roll down the tube for them. Still, the good comes for them. The question is, are they able to collect it? Are they able to capture it?

I mean, some people, you know, they get into this whole “karma” thing, “Oh, this is bad and that’s bad” and, you know, then there’s the “karma” thing; then there’s the auspicious time: “This needs to happen at this time; this needs to happen at this time for it to be auspicious. Then when everything is auspicious, it’s good.”

You know, because we don’t like difficulty. We like things to be a certain way—and things aren’t that way.

Say, if somebody, one morning, gets up—has their coffee, has their juice, picks up their surfboard and goes out to the beach—and they want to surf. But the waves are just flat. No waves—it’s just like a big pond. But they’re going to be disappointed. Because they want that wave to be there that they can ride.

And I see that. So, we want things to be a certain way. And things want to be their way, whatever that way is. And, you know, we want explanations for everything!

And, you know, a lot of times, I see this happens, and they’re digging up a site—and it’s, you know, some important site where they have discovered things. And a part of that site, they leave it alone. Because they know that in the future, the technology will improve—and they may be able to get more out of that site than what people can, today.

So they excavate, of course. Technology is much better today than it was fifty years ago, a hundred years ago. And much more can be extracted—but at the same time, keeping an eye towards the future, knowing that it’ll get better, too. And I like that. You don’t have the answer right now—but maybe there will be things that will be answered in the future. 

Today, there are people who get cancer and it’s like, “Oh, my.” And then I just, I heard this doctor—and he just said, “You know, we know more about cancer now than when you entered the building.” Because constantly, new discoveries are being made.

So, we don’t like difficulties. We want all our questions answered. We don’t want to live in some, you know, uncertainty. But there are things in this life which don’t need an answer.

You know, certainly, if you’re walking on the street and you all of a sudden got a question in your head—that, you know, “What, well, what date is it that I’m going—what date and what hour is it going to be when I die?” And of course, there’s going to be nobody to tell you that.

But if you happen to be at the, you know, a camp or a prison camp, prisoner of war—you don’t, certainly don’t want to ask the guard, “Well, what date is it that, you know, I’m going to die?” Because he might give you an answer. And if he gives you that answer and he holds it true, God, you know, you’re in trouble.

You know it’s going to happen—but you don’t need to know when. You don’t need to be ready for it; you don’t need to be unready for it. You become ready for it by enjoying every moment that you have, by accepting every moment that you have.

So, people get into this whole thing of, you know, “Is this happening to me because of my karma in the last lifetime?”

And I’ve—you know, I’ve thought about it and thought about it and I know there are people—and look, hey, I was raised in a culture; I was raised in a religion that very much believed that: “Everything that happens to you that, you know, is good or bad is because of your karma.”

So when something good happens to me, it’s like, I, you know—if I’m eating ice cream—and I would like to know why I was given this ice cream. I mean, what did I do; did I do something good, because I’d like to do that again. And if something bad happens to me, I would certainly like to know what that is, so that I don’t do it again.

So by giving, just, somebody, the fruit—and nothing else, no other information, how does that shape that person? And what is good?

There is that story—that one time this king was going with his entourage. And all of a sudden, the king drew out his sword, just to look at it—and he cut his thumb. And one of his companions, he turned to him and he said, “Look, I cut my thumb.”

And his companion, minister said, “Sire, whatever happens, happens for a good reason.” (And I—this is like, you know—so many people would be like, “That, right!”)

And the king got upset! He said, “I’ve cut my thumb—and you’re saying that that’s for a good reason.” He said, “Yes, sire, whatever happens, happens for a good reason.” So the king said, “Okay. I’m going to throw you in this ditch—because you think whatever happens, happens for a good reason? I’m going to throw you in this ditch,” so he throws him in this ditch.

They go further and further into the jungle. And sure enough, there is a tribe that has been following them for a while with their spears and everything else, and they get them. And they take the king as a prisoner. And the chief comes out and says, “Yep, we’re going to chop off his head; we’re going to sacrifice him to our gods.”

And the king is like, “Whoa! Wow, whoa-whoa-whoa, this is terrible! I, you know, I mean, I really didn’t want this to happen.” And they are getting ready to chop off his head; they’ve got him bent over this block and they’re just about getting ready—to where somebody looks at the king’s thumb and it has got a bandage on it.

And he says, “Wait-wait-wait-wait, wait-wait-wait. We can’t sacrifice this guy.” “So, why not?” “Because he’s got a cut on his thumb! And we can only give a sacrifice of something that is absolutely perfect.” So they let the king go.

The king then thought as he was going away, running away, “Maybe that minister, what he said was, ah, you know—he was right. Because certainly, if I hadn’t cut my thumb, I’d be executed right now; I’d be dead.”

So he went and got the minister. And he explained the whole story to him—and he said, “I’m so glad you threw me in the ditch! Because I don’t have a cut. And I certainly would be sacrificed instead of you.”

So, you know, things happen—and it’s up to our viewpoint of how we take them to be. What is it? It is life—and every moment is this pliable thing. What you shape it to be, how you shape it to be, that’s what it will be.

You can make it profound. Or you can make it inconsequential. You can make it important. You can make it beautiful. Or you can make it horrible.

And unfortunately, most of these moments, we don’t recognize their value—that they can be shaped into anything you want. And you can shape it as you desire; you want this moment to be a moment of angriness? You can shape it into that. You want this moment to be a beautiful moment? You can shape it into that.

Whatever you want. But what is going to dictate what you want? And this is where you need to be conscious. You need to be aware; you need to know. And this is why you hear that “You need to be conscious all the time, as much as you can—so the preciousness of these moments is recognized and they are accepted, not just thrown away, not just discarded.”

Because what is this life? It’s a chunk of time—but not only is it a chunk of time, but it can be divided up. And it’s these days—that accumulate into weeks, that accumulate into months, that accumulate into years! How old are you?

We don’t—we certainly don’t look at each other and say, “How wise are you?” We don’t have a scale for wisdom. “How happy are you?” We don’t have a scale for happiness. We don’t have a scale for joy. We have a scale for time.

And a lot of people walk around in their life, wondering, wondering, “What’s this? How is this going to be; how is that going to be; how is that going to be accomplished; how is that…?” Because they’ve already got a plan; they’ve already got a map in their head of “Well, what it’s all supposed to be.” And what dictates that? “Being normal.” Being “normal” dictates that.

People come up—and they say, “Okay, this is what happiness means. By the way, happiness means you have a good job.” So now the pandemic has hit; people are losing their job—can’t go to their job. So, what job?

Can you be happy—the question is, “Can you be happy in the midst of this pandemic?” Not according to that formula. “That your future somehow is secure.” Well, you may have a lot of money in the bank. But that is not going to, anymore, secure your future.

You could—you could catch this coronavirus, and then if you do? You know, maybe you’ll be okay; maybe you won’t be okay. So, what? So, and that that—obviously, if you look at that formula, there’s no way that you can be happy.

But being in the midst of this, I face the same things. At first, I, you know, I wasn’t traveling. At first, I was just at home. And every day I was trying, you know, putting out these videos. And then? I took some time off. And that was really nice; it was really, really nice.

And then I started doing the Lockdown series again. Then I went to Europe; I did some events. That was really nice—to be able to see people, to talk to them about, about this life. And, you know, in some way, bring a little bit of happiness, a joy in their lives.

Because, very easy for people to be scared—I mean, who prepared you for this one? You know, who prepared anybody for this one? Nobody!

I mean, this one came like you wouldn’t believe it. I mean, all of a sudden, all—and because, the way we have shaped the world to be…. It is entirely possible—it is entirely possible that this coronavirus, if people weren’t traveling as much as they were at that time, would have stayed isolated.

But man, people were just going—all of a sudden, people are going to Milano; people are going to America; people are going all over the world, and—“Boom,” there you have it. Who figured that that would be a severe consequence of deregulation?

And so, is the happiness impossible? Is peace impossible in the midst of this pandemic? And I have to say that it’s very possible to be happy. It’s very possible to be in joy. It is very possible to feel and shape those moments into something beautiful, into something good. And be cognizant of the gift that I am being given.

Even in the midst of all this craziness that you’ve really got to filter out what’s real—and what’s not real.

You know, I mean, even with this pandemic, even with this coronavirus thing, the amount of misinformation that is there is just unbelievable. People just, you know—it’s like somebody was saying nasty things—and then you give them a PA. And they’re still saying the nasty things but they’re just saying it so much louder.

And this is what technology has done; technology doesn’t filter this out. People are saying what they’re saying, and so now it is up to every single individual to filter out what is true and what is not true—the consequences of technology; it’s up to you!

So, your responsibility has gone way up, way up. Because now, not only you need to shape every moment, to store what is good, to let go of what is bad—but initially, only let in what is good; only let in what is true. Because the bad is going to affect you negatively. And it’s not true.

You know, when we get scared, we pay attention. (This is crazy. You’d think you should pay attention when you are not scared—but when people are scared, they pay attention.)

All of a sudden, you know, you—the airplane is on the ground and the flight attendant is trying to make an announcement about the oxygen masks, about the exits, about the life vests, about, you know, all the little things—and people are like, “Yehm-yem-yem-yem, dem-dem-dem-dem,” you know, paying attention here, paying attention there, but nobody’s paying attention to that.

And once they’re in the air and a big “boomf” happens, everybody’s like, “H’eah!” This has become our habit—and we need to change it. We need to pay attention—we need to pay attention every single day. Not when everything is going bad—but we need to be aware every single day, of that joy, of that beauty that is within us.

So, anyways, take care of yourselves; stay healthy. And hopefully, I’ll talk to you soon.

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