One 2 One, No. 9 – The Grand Illusion (Part 2)

“Connect, connect in your heart, in your being with that that was, is, and will be. How wonderful, how beautiful that journey of life can be for each one of us.” —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. 9

Prem Rawat:

Hello, everyone—Prem Rawat here. So, this is the second part of the, one of the presentations that I had done yesterday. And a question was brought up, and I’d like to answer it.

And the question that was brought up was “So, because all this—we talk about the permanent and we talk about the temporary. So there is this temporary. What does that really mean? I mean, does that mean that we don’t enjoy it; that we stay away from it, and…?”

And, you know, I have to say that, from a very long time ago, I would say things—and people automatically assumed what it might be, or the consequences might be.

So if I say to somebody that “You need peace,” they automatically assume (because I think they heard it somewhere) that they’ll become a vegetable. (Well, I, I don’t know where that comes from.) Or about the temporary, that that means we shouldn’t enjoy the temporary. It makes no difference.

The example that I would like to give is, say you arrive in a city—and you have business there; you’re going to be there for two or three days. So you check into a hotel. Now, they make hotels quite nice—but everybody coming into that hotel, more or less—I mean, I guess there are some guests that are permanent. But most of the people coming to that hotel are there, and their visit is very temporary in nature.

So they come; they come; they stay for a few days, maybe a week, maybe overnight—and then they move on.

What happens when they come there? Well, they might go to their room. If they’re particularly tired, they might take a shower—should they enjoy that shower? Yeah, of course they can enjoy that shower; that’s not a problem. That’s not going to take away the enjoyment of the shower that you have at home.

And then, maybe after you’ve taken a shower and you’re nice and relaxed, you decide to take a five-minute nap, so you lie down on the bed. Well, that’s very relaxing; that’s very enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean that now when you arrive home, your bed will be missing—no.

What is in that hotel is in that hotel. You might turn on the television, might enjoy a movie—you might order in. (Room service is very popular in hotels.) And you might, you know, enjoy a decadent meal, you know, some French fries and cakes and pancakes and hot maple syrup and ice cream and, you know—the kid’s menu is really, usually very good in regards to that.

So, why do we automatically assume that because this is temporary in nature, that it cannot be enjoyed? It can be enjoyed—but you have to remember what its nature is. That one day, all of this won’t be. That there is a difference.

Now, this room that I am using, I have used this before, this room. And right now, where I am, it’s very, very hot. So, you know, it’s a good thing that these videos don’t go on for too long, because the air conditioning is running. And then just before I start to do these videos, I turn the air conditioning off, so that you won’t have to put up with the noise.

But I know that that’s not the way it’s always going to be—that winter will come. And when the winter comes, it’ll be very cold. The air conditioning won’t be on; it’ll be the heater. And that works out fine for making videos because you wear a jacket or some warm clothes and it all works out.

So, as we go, as we live our lives, there is our relationship with the permanent, because the permanent resides inside of us. This is this very peculiar thing that existence really is. Because here, the two most unlikely things have come together. And what are the two most unlikely things?

The finite, (extremely finite in nature), and the infinite, (extremely infinite in nature), have come together—and allow and present a possibility to experience…. That the finite gets to experience the infinite—that is remarkably enjoyable, that is remarkably good, that’s remarkably beautiful.

A few days ago I was in Germany. And something happened there; I was at this house—the house was okay; it was a nice house. And it was like a bed and breakfast. And the—you know, it didn’t have air conditioning, so that didn’t make it—and those particular days that I was there, it was pretty hot in Munich.

Then one day I came—and I see there are three people standing in the living room and they’re looking out the window. And I look out the window and there’s this machine, and it’s going back and forth over the grass.

And to me, it was pretty obvious what it was; it was a lawnmower, one of those automatic lawnmowers—it uses a GPS and it uses a wire, and that’s its intelligence; it knows not to cross that wire.

And so you can set up a perimeter. And it goes and it cuts the grass. And then when it’s running out of battery, it goes and it knows where its spot is, where it needs to charge, and it’ll go and charge itself—and then once it has charged it’ll go and cut some more grass.

So, I’m looking at them, and they’re like, they are really looking at this thing. And I say, “What are you looking at?” And they go, “That machine!” I said, “That machine, yeah. Do you know what that is?” And one person answered, “Yes, it is a dew vacuum.” (So, dew, d-e-w, dew vacuum.)

And I said, “How…? What?” You know, it’s like, “Well, what, what brought you to that conclusion?” And of course, this person had never seen one of these machines—and certainly hadn’t seen one of these machines in action.

And so I’m sure that when he saw this thing going around and around and round and doing its thing, it’s like, “Well, what is it doing?” And it does not look like a lawnmower; it looks very different than the lawnmower that this person was used to.

And so he, I am sure, stood there and probably scrambled his head quite a bit trying to figure out what this thing is, and came to the conclusion that it was a “dew vacuum.”

And the explanation that this person proceeded to give me was, “In case you want to take a walk on the grass early in the morning, this machine will come and suck up the dew; then the grass will be dry and you won’t get your feet wet.” I started laughing. I laughed, and we all had a good laugh about it, and I explained to them what it was, and….   

So I really started thinking about that. And it’s like, we come up against something—and we can’t figure it out; I mean, there is no common frame of reference—we’ve never seen that before.

A lot of people, then, they first walk into a cockpit, they haven’t seen—if they haven’t seen the circuit-breakers (with the particular kinds that they use in airplanes, which are almost like buttons; they look like buttons), they think they’re buttons—because they look like buttons.

But they are circuit-breakers; they’re like fuses. And they think, “Oh my God, so many buttons.” It’s not the buttons—there are quite a few of the circuit-breakers—but that’s what they are.

And so when we come across something that we have no common reference for, we have no experience, no understanding of what it is—we automatically assume. And when it comes to the infinite, that is certainly the case. Then, no common frame of reference. Not too many people talk about it—certainly not when we’re growing up.

When we’re growing up, it’s very particular, the things that we are taught—depends where you come from. You know, and that there is a joke about that.

This young girl went to her mom and said, “Mommy, you know, where do human beings come from?” And the mother said, “Well, you know, there was Adam; there was Eve. And God created them and then they went on and here we have the whole human race that came from that.”

So, she thought about it; it didn’t make too much sense to her—so she went to her dad. Says, “Dad, dad, how did human beings come about? How’d they come to be?” And the father said, “Well, there were these monkeys, and the monkeys, do you know, going through the evolutions, slowly—and from the monkeys we have all derived, and this is how we all came to be.”

Now the girl was thoroughly confused. So she went to her mother—and said, “Mom, mom, mom. Dad said that we all came from monkeys.” And the mother looked at the little girl and said, “Well, I just told you about my side of the family, where we came from. Maybe his side of the family, they all came from monkeys.”

And I read this joke; it was funny. And it’s funny—but the thing is, there are people who believe one way; there are people who believe the other way. And they are, you know, very, very staunch about it; “This is, this is how it is,” and, do you know, because this is what they have been taught.

And most of the things that we talk about, or the way we look at things, are the things that have been put inside of us, not by us, but by other people. “And therefore, something that is temporary, what is the point of enjoying it?” Well, but the cake that’s on your plate is temporary too; you’re going to eat it! And you’re going to thoroughly enjoy it, right?

I mean, the ice cream in the bowl, that’s temporary for sure, especially when it’s hot outside—it’s going to melt; it’s not going to stay ice cream. And whilst it still is ice cream, you’re going to want to eat it; you’re going to want to enjoy it.

But you understand the nature—you understand the nature of the ice cream; you understand the nature of that cake; you understand the nature of all those things that are temporary. And those things that are temporary, you would like to eat them quickly so they don’t spoil.

Well, because you understand that temporary nature, and you understand, (if you can), the nature of the permanent. That all this that we get all excited about, “Oh, this is this way; oh, look, this has been invented.” Should—should we not be excited about those inventions that are truly incredible? We should be; we should be excited. Sure, that’s fine.

But by the same token, understand that that is not the permanent. That somewhere you have to have a connection with the permanent. What is temporary is temporary—it is here; it may not be here. But by the same token, you also have to understand the nature of the infinite, of the permanent—that which cannot be created, which cannot be destroyed—that is.

And you know, in all of us as human beings, we yearn every day to be fulfilled. Now, when we want to be fulfilled, it isn’t about anything in particular; we just want, we like to feel fulfilled.

One day, the grandfather turned to his granddaughter and said, “Honey, do you have a newspaper? Can I borrow a newspaper?” And she went, “Dad, grandad, grandad, we don’t use newspapers anymore. That was a long time ago; now it’s all about iPads, and it’s about iPhones, and it’s about all these tablets that you can have. Here, here is my iPad. And, you know, this is what we use; we don’t use newspapers anymore.”

And the guy took the iPad—and I can tell you one thing; that fly had no idea what had hit. And the next thing you know, the iPad is in pieces, but so is the fly! He wanted to kill a fly; she assumed he wanted to read news, and she said, “Well, no, use the iPad.” But it’s completely wrong if you’re going to start using an iPad to kill flies!

These assumptions go on. There’s no limit to these assumptions. The doctor says something—and we assume automatically the worst. Somebody says something? We assume automatically the worst.

I mean, it was so wonderful—it was so wonderful to just, to watch some of the police officers who came to the, you know, the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that they were having, and they actually joined them! It was such a breath of fresh air, and it was so wonderful—that they actually joined them.

They just wanted everything to be peaceful—and it stayed that way. Of course, where there was confrontation, things didn’t go so well.

So, we have the capacity in us to really take a look and be able to say, “Okay, this is what I’m going to get out of this—and this is what I’m going to get out of this. I should not expect permanence from the fulfillment that I will receive from this temporary—it will be also temporary by its nature.

“And the permanent will give me that fulfillment that will be so much more permanent”—or I should say, “that will be permanent in my life, in my existence.” Because remember, I wasn’t; I am, and I won’t be. And people will automatically jump to, “What does that mean, ‘I wasn’t’?” Well, you weren’t.

But you are! Would you please focus on that you are? I know people will immediately jump to, “Well, we won’t be. Well, what do you mean? And that’s not what I was told. (You know, ‘We’re going to go through this, and we’re going to go through that.’)”

I mean, pick a religion. And they will tell you, “You will go through this; you’ll go through this, and then you’ll arrive here and you’ve got heaven; you’ve got”—you know, in India, you have the paradise….

The Hindu religion, you have the paradise; then you have the Vaikunth, which is, you know, total liberation; you don’t come back from there into this cycle of birth and death and birth and death and birth and death.

But my point is, “Are you paying any attention to where you are?” Because if you aren’t, then something is going to be wrong. You are more busy contemplating about that which isn’t—than that which is—is! And it becomes, this life should not be a comedy of errors, otherwise, it will become a comedy of errors.

And it’ll be one error after another error, after another error, after another error. And people become disappointed because they’re looking for their fulfillment from this temporary. When they don’t get that fulfillment, or they’re, they’d—they get disappointed. Disappointment.

A very high level of anxiety is produced from this world, in this world. Human beings—they get disappointed and they will kill themselves. Well, what’s that all about? Because you’re not paying attention to how things are.

That in this veil of everything that is so temporary, there is something that is permanent—and that is there in your life, in your existence. And this thing called “life” is the confluence, is the joining, is the meeting of the two, the infinite and the finite.

And what have you been created as? As the ultimate experiencing machine. One of the things that you can do; you can experience! You can have joy in your life. You can have fulfillment in your life. You can have these wonderful, wonderful gifts—and they can be ours to have!

And this, we can take with us wherever we go, whatever happens to us. And you know, existence is not a matter of convenience—of “what is convenient to think about, and how will, you know; it’d be so great if we, yeah, we don’t actually die. We just move; we go somewhere else.”

But, I know; I know. I know, it sounds great; sounds like a wonderful thing. It just doesn’t sound realistic for all this to end one day and “ta-dah, gone.” But like I said, you know, you’ve got that obituary column in the newspaper: “So-and-so went; so-and-so went; so-and-so went.”

How come you don’t have another one, “So-and-so came back; so-and-so came back; so-and-so came back; so-and-so came back”? Is it obvious? Is it that obvious? Yeah, it’s pretty obvious. Is it nice to accept that? Umm, tough. So, when somebody says “Don’t waste your time”—that the present is called “the present” because it is a present.

Do you really see the present as a present? A gift that has been given to you? Or do you see it as something else? Do you see it as challenges? Are you trying to extract from this temporary, some form of permanence—which this temporary can never give? Because it has none to give.

And for that, you’re going to have to look within you—within you where that beauty resides, where that simplicity resides. And then, when you put away, put aside your assumptions…? I mean, should you have assumptions about all this world? Go right ahead; I don’t care. See, it’s all temporary; it’s just a play.

You’re playing a play; in this, you can get angry—and your, you know, co-actor can get angry, and that co-actor can pretend to take a knife and stab you with it. And you can pretend to fall down—only to get right back up again when the curtain falls. But it’s only a play; it’s only a play; it’s only a play; it’s only a play. It’s only a play.

Should you be a good actor? Why not? Be a great actor. Should you really get into this role? Absolutely, get into the role. But know that you return back when the curtain falls. You’re done.

Kind of like the Cinderella story, isn’t it? Yes, the pumpkin has been turned into a chariot, and everything is wonderful, and—but the midnight strikes. And everything goes back to the way it was.

Well, that’s what happens. It’s happened before; it will happen again. And nobody’s exempt from it. People have tried to make themselves exempt. Houdini said to his wife; he said, “I, any which way I will try, I will try to get hold of you.” He was such a great artist, escape artist—“I can always escape from even wherever I end up.” He didn’t; he couldn’t. 

So, when somebody says, “You’re made out of dirt”—should we, should you be shocked? Is that belittling you? No, that’s just stating a fact.

You should give some thought to it: “My God, what’s going on here—and dirt talks? Dirt walks? Dirt has learnt how to fly airplanes, fly gliders, fly helicopters? Swim deep underwater? Create rockets? Reach for the moon? Reach for the planets?” Sure. Sure. Fantastic, great, amazing. But don’t forget, dirt is dirt. And one day it will try to join the big dirt where it came from.

This is true of the pharaohs; they believed that, you know, there was a lot going on after they died; they will go there, there, there, there, there, and they’re going to need all these people—then they would bury the people live, and they would bury the animals alive, and the chariot and the horses and…. They’re still here. They’re never—they never went anywhere.

So it is! So it is. Whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not, it is what it is. But you can extract something wonderful—that “Yes, my mission here is to gather joy, is to gather clarity, is to gather understanding—is to be fulfilled.”

How wonderful if it can be that way for us, not assumptions but clarity. That that which was, is, and will be—versus us, who wasn’t, is, and won’t be—versus what isn’t; wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be. Connect, connect in your heart, in your being with that that was, is, and will be. How wonderful, how beautiful that journey of life can be for each one of us.   

I’ll talk to you soon; take care of yourselves. Stay healthy; stay well.


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