One 2 One, No. 7 – What Defines You

“You’re a human being. It is your existence and your life, your joy, your understanding, your knowledge that defines you—that defines you as a human being.” —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.”


NO. 7

Prem Rawat:

Hello everyone; I hope you’re doing well. So, it’s been a few days. In fact, I went to England—and I did two events there. And that was nice—they weren’t large events, as usually they are in England. These were relatively small because of this coronavirus thing—and, ta-dah, look at the background.

So, a lot of people had (not a lot), but a few people had said to me, you know, “Your lenses are dirty.” And I actually have full 4K footage—so I looked at the footage and it looked pretty clean to me. So it’s like, “What are they looking at?”

So then when I looked at it, this is a cement block wall behind me and it had those holes. And these are very shallow depth-of-field lenses, and so they throw everything out of focus in the background, and so they look like gobs. But they actually weren’t; the lenses are clean.

So, anyways, I got—when I was in England, I picked up this background, (easy to set up, easy to put up). But I do have a request—and my request to you is, “Don’t look at the background. Listen to what I’m saying.” Because that’s why I’m doing it. It is not to show off the background.

And a lot of people are like, “Well, what’s wrong with that?” Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, but what’s right with it either? Because what is my intent here?

And a long time ago, Burt Wolf and I were doing an interview. And in that interview, this came up—and it was just like, you know, people were futzing around with the background.

And Burt Wolf said to me, (and which, I agreed with him), it’s like, “I hope people are going to pay more attention to what we have to talk about than the background,” than the little nuances that we get caught in. And what is the intent, we forget.

This happens too many times in life. All the other things start to take priority, except for what’s really happening. And distractions are many—not one, not two, not three—but distractions are many. And clarity is one. It’s one thing that you can focus on that will be the source of your enjoyment in your life.

And you’ve got to get that; you’ve got to focus in on that. Because this is really what it all boils down to: “How focused are you in your existence?” Most of us, we’re all over the place—and you know, “This is important; that’s important, we’ve got to get to this. We’ve got to get to that; we’ve got to do this; we’ve got to do that.” And all the sense of responsibilities that we create for ourselves.

And I have to put this in context. Because what is the context? And the context is what I was talking about in England at one of the events. And I said, “There are these three things, these three elements.”

And I know the definition of the infinite—or as I would describe the infinite, because I’m not the only one; there are many, many, many before me, have actually described what that infinite is like.

And one very simple way of looking it—of course, the infinite is beyond description, beyond definition. (That’s one of its definitions, I guess.) But most importantly, that that infinite was—is—and will be.

That whenever this universe began and however this universe began, that that energy was there to make this universe. And while this universe is there, that that energy is sustaining it, making things happen. And it is entirely possible that the whole thing might fold. And if it does, that that energy will still be there; it cannot be created; it cannot be destroyed (as Einstein put it).

So, there is this one element you have, or this one thing you have which was, is, and will be. Then there is you. You weren’t—that’s obvious that at one point, we weren’t; I wasn’t. Now I am. And it is also imminent that one day I won’t be.

So, my bit is now, “I wasn’t; I am, and I won’t be.” Now it comes to this third thing—and this is where everything goes crazy. I mean, the first two, easy enough. Right?

Those who defined the first one, (was, is, and will be), they also defined this third element, this third thing. And it’s this world that we have created. The world that we have created, the systems, the…. Another word for it which you might have heard: “maya, maya, the great illusion, the world” that we have created.

And what they’re saying is, is “It wasn’t”—which is obvious. And here is where it goes nuts—“It isn’t.” And everybody is like, “Yikes, what are you talking about? How can that be? It’s, this is reality.” You know, if you own a Ford, “That that’s reality; that’s my car; that’s a reality. What are you talking about? This house that I live in—is a reality!”

And that’s very, very interesting. And why is it interesting? Because something happens and boof! The house is gone. You know, there are sinkholes and cars disappear. And sinkholes—houses disappear. So, they’re saying, “Wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be.” That that’s why it is an illusion. It looks like it’s there—but it isn’t.

And so, we’ve created a world for ourselves. In this, we have the technologies, the conveniences—and I’m, you know, I’m not being judgmental about this. I’m just saying “perspective”; it’s perspective. It’s really all about perspective.

If you’re sitting on a flight; you’re sitting in a chair, on the airplane, and the flight is only forty-five minutes. Maybe you won’t arrange anything. And well, however it is, you will accept it, because you know that very soon it’s going to be all “climb-climb-climb,” very short cruise, then “descend-descend-descend” and “landing-landing-landing.”

So, there’s no point to, you know, “get this sorted out; put a blanket here; get a pillow here; get a this here; get a that here.” But if the flight is eleven hours long, twelve hours long, thirteen hours long, then you may want to get as comfortable as possible.

So, how is it that we try to “become as comfortable”—because we think, you know, “This all goes on for a really, really long time.”

So, imagine that you are in a forty-five-minute flight, but somewhere in your imagination it’s really a fourteen-hour flight, and so you’re asking for blankets, and you’re asking for pillows, and everybody is trying to bring you those pillows, and you’re trying to make yourself as comfortable as possible….

And you’re like, “Well, this is going to be okay because now I’m really comfortable and,” you know, and you want to know what the food service is going to be, and you’re—you know, it’s almost kind of getting to the edge of excitement.

So, you finally get all comfortable and everything is good—and the plane starts to descend. And you’re like, “Wait a minute; this is all too short!” That vaguely sounds familiar—you know, we finally get everything right, and “everything is this way and everything is that way, and we’re all really nice and comfortable” and it’s like, “Well, it’s time to go. It’s time to pack up.”

And that’s like, “Well, how can that be?” Oh, and the—you know, and what people say is like, “Oh, that person died way too young.” You want to try it; you want to talk to Death about it? Because this Death doesn’t care if it’s young; it’s old; it’s—whatever! When the time is up, the time is up.

So, anyways, it really becomes very, very important that we pay attention to that one thing that can put this equation right for us. So, and that necessarily doesn’t mean that, just because it isn’t, we can’t extract some good things out of it—we can. This illusion may be very enjoyable: enjoy it! But don’t forget your own vulnerability—and don’t forget the vastness.

You’re going to—who are you going to—in which state are you going to spend the most of your time? If there is most of your time…. I mean, one, if you can be on the side of that infinite, it’ll be forever. You’re on the side of the world? And like some have said, “It wasn’t; it isn’t, and it won’t be.” And everything comes to a grinding halt because of that.

And you’ve got to turn around; you’ve got to look at the reality. You know, people are fine; they’re just like, “Okay, you know, I’m mad at that person and I’m mad at that person and I’m mad at that person and I’m mad at that person,” and sometimes in different situations, truly, we are mad at this; we are mad at that; we’re not happy with this; we’re not happy with that.

Somebody takes our parking spot—and we’re like, “Uuughah!” But there’s the earth; you’re on planet Earth. And it’s huge. (For you, it’s huge.) So, if somebody takes your parking spot, find another one. It’s up to you what you make of it. You can get angry; you can get mad—and what, will that affect anything in your life? No, absolutely none.

And if you did show that generosity to someone—in some positive way, that’s going to touch you. That, “Yeah, I did that. And that felt good.” That that felt good. And that’s what I’m talking about.

So, let me, let me introduce to you that there’s this thing—and I came across it, and so I thought it would be appropriate. And it’s called “Dunning-Kruger Effect.” So, how did this actually start? Well, it started like this. There was a guy—and he wanted to rob a bank. Of course, the problem with robbing a bank—is if you get caught, you’re in trouble.

So, he didn’t want to be caught—but he still wanted to rob a bank. So he had to figure out, “What is it that I can do to rob a bank and not get caught?” So he had a brilliant epiphany—and his brilliant epiphany was, “If I could be invisible, then nobody will see me doing it and I can get away with it.” Then the question, of course, was, “How do you become invisible?”

So he came across this thing where people in the old days used to write sometimes, (when they wanted to send a secret message; they didn’t want anybody to see it), they’d write it with lemon juice. And so they wrote a message with lemon juice—and nobody could see it; it would be invisible. And the person who wanted to read it could use, you know, a candle and heat it up and look at it.

So, he was like, “That’s it.” So, he took lemon juice and he put it all over his face, all over his body. And he just wanted to make sure that that actually worked—so he set up a camera, (his mobile phone camera), and he took a little shot, took a little footage of it—except the camera was pointing in a direction where he wasn’t standing.

So when he looked at it, it really confirmed exactly what he wanted to see—which was, he’s invisible. He proceeded to go to the bank, and rob the bank. Well, he is even looking at the camera—and flaunting the camera because he knows he’s invisible. (In his mind, this is what he believes, that he is invisible. He’s not invisible, but he believes he’s invisible.)

So, they, of course, looked at the footage and caught him. And when they showed him the footage, he said, “It is fake.” Because there’s no way this camera could have picked up his reflection—because he was invisible.

Now, I know this is hilarious, right? But then Dunning and Kruger started looking at it and they came up with this, that it’s like a—it’s a, it’s like a cognitive bias—in which people believe they are smarter and more capable than they really are.

So, the way it works is that people who are in this thing have very little knowledge, and the amount of confidence…. So, if you were to look at one axis—the vertical axis and the horizontal axis, and have a graph—and the bottom is knowledge, and the other axis is confidence, their confidence is really…. As, because they have very little knowledge, their confidence is really high.

So it’s a cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are! And in fact, Charles Darwin once wrote, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

So, when I came across this, it was like, “Whoa, this is interesting. So, the combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their own capabilities.” And I started thinking about this—it’s like, “Wow! This is—I mean, not only is it hilarious—but this is really, really dangerous.”

So, I just started thinking and thinking and thinking. And I had a really scary thought. And the scary thought that I had was of “This world has been created by people who were incapable, (and still are incapable) of realizing their incompetence—because they have very little knowledge of what they’re actually doing…. And we are all going along for the ride.”

And it becomes even more imperative that we understand what it means to know yourself. That we understand what it means to live this life consciously. That we actually understand to have this heart full of gratitude.

It’s more imperative now than ever before—where it is obvious that, that if somebody says to us, “Okay, you know, just stay in your room. Don’t—or in your home; don’t go out”—and it drives us crazy. It drives us crazy.

Where there is no recognition of the self; there’s no companionship value of the self. There is no mode; there is no way for people to be able to extract companionship just from themselves.

To be in the company of that that was, is, and will be—how wonderful, how beautiful, that that that wasn’t, now is, and won’t be, is experiencing that which was, is, and will be. Because if that which wasn’t, is, and won’t be, is only plugged into that that wasn’t, isn’t and won’t be, then that that wasn’t, is, and won’t be, is wasting his or her time.

So, either side, you have two. And one: nothing—and the other one: forever. And that is your choice—is your choice, how much you extract from this, and how much you extract from this. And to me, somewhere where most of the extracting is happening from that which was, is, and will be—and sufficient extracting happening from that that wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be….

And this that wasn’t, is, and won’t be, is filling him or herself to the brim with reality, with simplicity, with beauty, with contentment, with joy, with understanding—then I think it works—it works! It actually works. But it doesn’t work if you miss the point—and the point is a very powerful point.

And these relationships that you have? You have them; now you have them. Will they happen again? No! “So, what does that mean?” Well, it means you get with it, and get with those relationships. Make them count; make them really count. Extract everything you can out of them.

Not be frayed by all these ideas of “Oh, I don’t like that in that person; I don’t like that in that person.”

I mean, this is what I say to people. And I get it all the time; you know, it’s like, I’ve got some people saying, “Oh no, but that person didn’t treat me right; that person didn’t treat me right; that person didn’t treat me right.”

And all I can say to you—“My friends, shake it. Just shake it off.” It’s like these claws that come and just dig into your shoulders—and produce a tremendous amount of pain, tremendous amount of concern, tremendous amount of anguish. And then fear and everything else.

But it doesn’t need to be like that. It’s like a dog—and it comes out from being wet; it just gives it a shake. And back and forth and back and forth, and all that water just goes flying off.  

Shake it; shake it off—and look at the reality. Look at the beauty. Look at the understanding. Nothing is simple in this world—but nothing is complicated either. And if something is complicated, it’s because we have made it complicated. And if something is simple, then most likely we left it alone—and so it is.

You know, I think about it sometimes, and it’s like, I think about a strawberry. I think about wheat growing, or rice growing, or sugarcane growing.

When I was a little boy, we used to have a farm and I used to go there quite frequently—and watch, watch and help out with planting and—and sugarcane is very labor-intensive; so is rice. Because for sugarcane, you know, you throw the little pieces, and then you have to straighten them out so that the sugarcane grows straight and not crooked.

And you look at how complicated this world is. If you want, if you want to go…. If you want a strawberry, I mean, you’ve got to go to the supermarket; you’ve got to go down one of the aisles where you can find where the fresh fruits and vegetables are—and then look at the strawberry, and they all look the same. And you, of course, want to get the best one, and….

But the way strawberries actually come forth has not changed. You need to sow a seed; you need to water them; you need to take care of them. And out of the ground, “Ah, for free?” Yeah, for free, they come up. Same thing with the rice, same thing with the corn, same thing with wheat, same thing with all the vegetables.

That nature that had been supplying all of that all along is still the grand manufacturer—of that okra, that avocado, that carrot, that onion, that celery…. And it hasn’t changed—the trucks that it is transported in, they have changed. And the watch that the Farmer John wears has changed. And now he has his cell phone; he doesn’t need to go running to his house to make a phone call.

All that has changed. And the flowers that come—that grow in India, grow in Pakistan, grow in Africa, that are brought over in 747s, in cargo airplanes—they’re flown so that the freshness can be preserved. All that has changed.

But the way a rose grows has not changed. The way a river flows from a drop—to a drop, to a drop, has not changed. How it is dammed, and what the electricity is used for, perhaps has changed. But the properties of water remain the same. Ten thousand years ago, if you were thirsty, water could quench your thirst. Here we are, twenty-twenty and the water still can quench our thirst.

And you’re a human being. You’re a human being. It is your existence and your life, your joy, your understanding, your knowledge that defines you—that defines you as a human being.

This is a message—and I don’t know how many times this message has echoed in this world, generation after generation after generation after generation. A few, very few pay heed to it. Because most of us are too busy trying to extract something from that which wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be.

When on the other side of us, very much so in the inside of us, resides that which was, is, and will be—and that’s a powerful thing. And why should you do it? Because you weren’t; you are, and one day you won’t be. Is that sad; is that bad? No, it’s neither sad nor is it bad. Be an opportunist and grab as much as you can.

Going around walking on a road, it pays to know what a diamond looks like. Hone in that skill; hone in that skill because someday, someday it may come in use. And that would be certainly your lucky day. Because that is the day you will realize that every day is that diamond; every moment is that diamond; every breath is that diamond. You can do something with it.

One day it won’t be. All that will be gone. But it’s not about that day. It is about the day you discover yourself. It is about the day you discover joy in your heart. It is about the day you discover that goodness that is inside of you.

So, I hope you stay well, stay healthy. Pretty soon—in fact, I have events happening in Germany. And then—I’m, I mean, I’m trying to do as much as I can under the circumstances. So, traveling, I know it’s not easy. And doing these events, and you know, making sure that everybody is safe, I am safe, people around me are safe, participants who are coming are safe; everybody’s safe.

And it’s a monumental task, and there are a lot of people who are really wanting to help out, and have been helping out, and have been doing a great job. I mean, all those people who make these videos, then, possible for you to see….

My role in it is, of course, to talk to you about this and get this recorded. I set up these cameras; I set up the light; I set up the background….

Anyways, the possibilities are beautiful—regardless of how ugly the situations can be in this world; I know. But you have that one tool: “Shake it off; shake it off; shake it off.” Bring a smile to your heart; bring a smile to your face. And enjoy this existence. Because remember, it wasn’t; it is—and one day it won’t be.

Thank you very much; stay healthy; stay safe. I’ll talk to you soon.


Continuing onscreen text:

An extensive library of content is available at

Subscribe and Like Prem’s Official YouTube Channel

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is prohibited.

© TimelessToday. All Rights Reserved.