The cost of distraction


If you have ever seen a magician perform—and you have to pay attention to how they do what they do—it’s very interesting.

Because whatever they do (if they’re hiding a coin or whatever), they distract you from what’s really happening, and they’ll do something else with the other hand, and you’re looking at that hand, whilst they’re doing what they’re doing.

And it’s so smooth that—you go, “Oh my God, what just happened? How did he do that? How did he produce, you know, this dollar bill out of his shirt?” I mean, you have to think. Yeah, And people will sit there and people will applaud.

And obviously, I mean, if he could do that for real—make hundred-dollar bills come out of his sleeve—why would he be doing this performance? He could be having a nice vacation on a Caribbean island somewhere, you know, sipping his umbrella drinks.

But he’s not doing that. He’s traveling, town to town, place to place, trying to make a meager living while fooling the audience—and this is the point of it. He’s actually fooling you, and you’re applauding being fooled.

This is the same problem I have with people when they’re watching a movie, and then they start crying! And I’m like, “But this really didn’t happen.”

And it’s bizarre watching TV in India, because that same actor could be in four different movies. And you switch a channel and it’s like, (ha,) and he’s there, and kissing another girl, and then running away with another girl—and it’s like, “What’s with this guy?”

But, we get fooled! And we have a propensity to get attracted to something that takes us away from where we truly should be attracted to.

So, distraction is actually another attraction, but it’s taking you away from what you should be attracted to. You should be attracted to your existence. Why? Because it is the most precious thing there is. There’s nothing more precious than being alive. This is one thing that nobody is selling and nobody can buy!

– Prem Rawat