Prem Rawat: Divine Times magazine This series is based on the understanding that there is an experience which satisfies all human requirements for love, security, intimacy, freedom, identity, communication and joy. This experience is called Knowledge and is realized through meditation.

A corollary to this assumption is that all problems - both social and individual - stem from a lack of Knowledge. In other words, Knowledge is the solution to all human problems both personal and societal.

All human beings are endowed with the potential to experience Knowledge. Anyone from a peasant in Bangladesh to a Rockefeller can meditate upon Knowledge. Because Knowledge lies within the human heart, everyone who breathes carries the Knowledge with him at all times whether he is aware of it or not. The point when a human being becomes aware of this Knowledge within him add begins to meditate upon it is called receiving Knowledge.

With that in mind we could end this series right here. After all, the solution to human problems is cut and dried: merely meditate upon Knowledge and become harmonious with yourself and your fellow men. If Knowledge were universally practiced, armies and psychiatrists would be on unemployment.

neurotic society

But we will not end here. Instead, this series intends to examine the dynamics of how Knowledge affects human beings and the things they do. As Knowledge changes the inner man, the outer man is also affected, as are the things which he creates. Knowledge will be reflected in man's attitudes toward politics, education, art, marriage, recreation and so on.

Society is made up of people. The tenor of any society is a direct reflection on the mental state of the people who compose that society. That is, neurotic people create a neurotic society and divine people create a divine society. People whose lives are centered in Knowledge gradually become divine people.

Understanding why man is what he is. and behaves as he does is the domain of social science. Our psychologists, sociologists and philosophers have studied this creature called homo sapiens in the laboratory and in the field of human endeavor in an attempt to discover what makes him tick.

Countless theories have been espoused which sought to explain the basis for man's behavior. Sigmund Freud's notion that human beings are motivated by sexual impulses was once widely accepted. Freud manufactured a complex argument complete with ids, egos and sublimated actions to support his thesis that sexual desire is what makes man tick. Today his ideas have fallen into disrepute and seem more of a reflection on Sigmund than they do upon the nature of human behavior.

unity drive

What does make man tick? The authors of this series believe that human beings share a common destiny and that is to merge into the infinite awareness of God. Until we fulfill that destiny our lives are unfinished business so to speak. We believe that lasting peace of mind is impossible until the individual achieves union with infinite consciousness or Knowledge.

The drive to achieve that union the unity drive – is the motive force behind all human behavior. All other human drives – sex, power, fame, wealth, beauty etc. – are but fragments of that one true human drive. Lust for power is not a sublimated sex drive; it's a misplaced unity drive.

cosmic joke

The cosmic joke is that people mistake their unity drive for something less than the infinite desire that it is. They feel hungry but they do not know what they are hungry for. By underestimating the extent of their own desires, people are fooled into thinking that the limited experiences available in the world will satisfy them. Some people lust for sex, some lust for power, some lust for beauty but in reality everyone lusts for God because the experience of God is infinite and the human appetite is infinite.

mink seat covers

To say that everyone lusts for God does not mean that all people desire religion. The difference between God and religion is great. Singing hymns and following dogma is not an infinite experience; knowing God directly through Knowledge is an infinite experience.

Until a person actually tastes Knowledge he lives in the dark, trying to figure out which experience to try next. He samples one experience after another hoping to find true satisfaction. One day he may take up skiing. The next day he may buy mink seat covers for his Porsche or go to a porno movie.

Once a person receives Knowledge his life's goal is understood. The experience he should pursue is made clear. Receiving Knowledge does not mean automatically fulfilling one's life work and merging into infinity. It means recognizing that all one's longings are connected and that suffering is the symptom of an unsatisfied unity drive. To end suffering, satisfy the unity drive. How? With union, with Knowledge.

Life without Knowledge is a doomed existence in which man tries vainly to find peace where peace doesn't exist. Life without Knowledge is life on the outside, and life on the outside is tough.

accutron

Life on the inside is another matter. When a man begins to meditate, his concentration is withdrawn from his material surroundings and focused within himself on the source of his life.

Imagine that a human body is like an Accutron watch with a small tuning fork humming inside. By concentrating upon the vibration of that tuning fork, we could capture the essence of that watch.

The same principle applies to Knowledge. Inside everyone is a point upon which we can concentrate and connect with the essence of our life. As you concentrate on that point you are drawn deeper within yourself and you come closer and closer to the essence of life. Your mind calms down and your entire being is filled with tranquility. If you go deep enough you reach a point where your individuality vanishes and only pure consciousness, unfettered awareness, exists.

In Union there is neither dimension nor individuality. There is no perspective. Up and down do not exist. Only existence exists. When we slip from that pure state of consciousness, like raindrops condensing from a cloud, we find ourselves in a world of dimension.

shattered vase

This dimension is duality, or pairs of opposites, like good/bad, up/ down, hot/cold, happy/sad and so on. In the material world unity has been split into many parts. A whole, complete experience has been fractured into many experiences. We spend our time in materialism trying to reconcile these dualities and put it all back to then This reconciliation is impossible. It is like attempting to fashion a whole crystal vase by gathering the shattered parts of another and glueing them together. It's futile; what works is to return to the time when the vase was still whole.

The following example of Henry shows how this problem of duality creates dilemmas in human life. Henry feels like he is two men. One part of him wants security and stability in his life. This part of his personality inspired Henry to buy a home, find a career job with retirement pension, get life insurance and become politically conservative. But another part of Henry wants to raise hell and "kick out the jams." It is this side of his character that thrives on adventure and inspired him to gamble his life savings at Las Vegas and risk his life racing motorcycles.

two henry's

Henry tries to make peace between the two Henrys by finding some optimum balance of the two extremes. If he gave in to the first Henry his life would be a stagnant bore; he would yawn to death. But if he gives in to the second Henry life would be too much of a strain; he would die of stress within two years.

"If man thinks he is an individual, he believes that he owes nuttin' to nobody and goes about grabbing all the gusto he can get. Unfortunately there is a gusto shortage because man's appetites are endless and the toys he uses to satisfy those appetites are limited. This is the formula for conflict …"

So Henry settles for a compromise. During the week he works his 9 to 5 job resigned to the dull, stifling routine that it is. But on weekends, Henry raises hell, gets drunk, insults his wife, drives his car fast, chases women and becomes Joe Namath vicariously through the medium of television. But Henry is never satisfied with this compromise and constantly tinkers with the elements of his life hoping to strike the perfect balance.

This is Henry's life in duality, engaging in a tug of war with himself in a search for perfection.

The solution to Henry's problem is for him to elevate his consciousness to the point where the duality of adventure and security are already reconciled. This point is found in the pure Knowledge experience. Knowledge is unique because in that state both restfulness and excitement are simultaneously at their zenith. There is no greater thrill than dissolving into the ocean of pure awareness and no greater security than realizing that you are that ocean. Meditation fuses all dualities together perfectly.

Knowledge also offers the realization of one's true identity. In meditation man realizes that his nature is infinite and that the individual he has always thought himself to be is merely a role he is performing in life. This realization ushers in a liberated sigh of relief and often a hearty laugh. Limitations are no more, not even death! If man's nature is infinite, which it is, that means being beyond time and space. This is freedom.

moment of bliss

The freedom of Knowledge is the type of freedom people seek throughout their lives in the wrong places. Being ignorant of the true source of freedom, the average man will try all sorts of things to feel free. He might take drugs, sky dive, climb mountains, fight in the streets or become a revolutionary. Each of these things offers its moments of bliss but never for long and the peaks are never high enough. The real bliss comes when you realize that your nature is infinite.

Not knowing one's identity is the root of almost every neurosis known to man. A man ignorant of his identity walks through life seeking to discover himself. Often he looks to the people he associates with for his identity. Lacking a mirror with which to see his true self, he settles for second best and looks for himself in the reflection in other's eyes.

Consider the case of Alfred, a 30 year old car salesman who hangs out at the Blue Parrot, a neighborhood tavern, with a group of friends who Al considers to be "regular guys."

al's pals

Al wasn't sure of himself until he began to hang out at the Parrot. He didn't know who he was and masked his insecurity with extroverted behavior, a congenial disposition and a sense of humor. Al's pals quickly branded him the funny guy and whenever Al would enter the bar they'd say, "Here comes Al, the life of the party. Get ready to laugh, this guy's a stitch." It made Al feel good. He knew who he was; he was good old Al, the clown. If people like me, thought Al, I must be okay. He felt confident.

But there are times when Al just doesn't feel funny. He has more than one side. But the pressure to be funny is too much to resist. For Al not to tell a few jokes and goof around would mean that Al just isn't himself anymore. Poor old Al is caught in a bind. If he leaves his circle of friends he leaves behind the sense of who he is. Al doesn't want to go back to being nobody again. If he stays he must pretend to be somebody he knows he is not. This is the irony of seeking identity in groups. Join a group and you are outfitted with a ready made role, an identity that is yours to wear with pride so long as you conform to group expectations and don't step on sacred ideas. Belonging offers comfort but it also oppresses.

go getters

Al looked to his friends for his identity. Others try to find themselves in their achievements. Some go-getters are out getting not for the tangible value of their victories but because winning reflects well on themselves. Some do-gooders are out doing good not just to help others but because their kindness reflects well on themselves. This is a precarious way to seek identity because there is always someone who wins more or who is nicer and poses a threat to the identity you've established.

Of course, Al and the others act out of ignorance. With Knowledge they would be spared the paranoia and dissipated energy that their confusion confines them to. Lack of awareness also muddles one's understanding of one's relationship to others.

In the pure Knowledge experience, one sees that his relationship to other living things is interdependence, not independence. He sees that his breath is being loaned to him by God and that all life forms share the same debt of gratitude. In meditation one learns that life is indivisible, not individual and that one's duty to other men is cooperation, not competition. One realizes that, "We are all in the same boat," or more precisely, "we are all in the same breath."

grabbing gusto

Withdraw that realization, i.e. take away Knowledge, and you find man relating to himself as an individual. He believes that he owes nuttin' to nobody and goes about grabbing all the gusto he can get. He is plagued by the idiotic notion of versus. It's "me versus him" or "me versus my environment" and in extreme cases, "me versus me." In Knowledge there is nothing to be versus.

Without Knowledge competition becomes the rule. If cooperation does exist, it is only a temporary measure employed by one group so that it can compete better than another.

Without Knowledge man's unity drive remains unsatisfied and nags him to "do something." His dissatisfaction propels him through life, trying one experience after another. Eventually he discovers meditation and the infinite delights of God realization.

But in the meantime, he is out there grabbing for all that gusto. Unfortunately there is never quite enough gusto in the world to go around, so competition is unavoidable. A gusto shortage exists because man's appetites are endless and the toys he uses to satisfy those appetites are limited. This is the formula for conflict, like tossing a quarter into a circle of bums. When the coin strikes the pavement the bums will converge into a noggin honking, elbow poking, tongue lashing display of greed.

This is war on a small scale. No matter what sophisticated reasons historians cite for war, the cause always boils down to two sides fighting for a larger slice of the pie. When you see that the pie is materialism, and that materialism can never satisfy either party in the conflict, you are let in on the cruelest, blackest joke that human beings personify. That is, people struggling savagely for something they don't really want.

track record

Just how much should you expect from human beings? How human are humans supposed to be? The track record for the species homo sapiens is less than distinguished. The record contains some embarassing entries: items like wars, lopsided distribution of wealth, racial and ethnic tensions, violent crime, suicide and so on.

Most people conclude that to be human is to be imperfect. They would support their conclusion with the notion of human nature. Human nature is a pessimistic notion which assumes that there are limits to man's ability to be nice. After a certain point one should expect people to be greedy, selfish and violent. When humans behave barbariously the refrain is, "Well, that's human nature."

Knowledge is the antidote to human nature because it is the essence of purity and virtue. When a man meditates, purity and virtue rub off on him. The limits of his goodness are stretched; his human nature is diminished.

This series is about people who have taken, are taking, the antidote to human nature. In future issues we will take close looks at the way Knowledge affects human life by eliminating the greatest enemy to man - ignorance of the Truth.

See part II "Have Your Cake & Eat It Too"

Prem Rawat: Divine Times magazine