Enjoy this Precious Life!
April 21, 1988
(Applause) I'm sure that everybody is rather intrigued. At least half of us who are here tonight, of what we're going to talk about, what Knowledge is all about. Why the word 'Knowledge?' But before we dig into the subject of Knowledge, let us put that aside. Let's ask the fourth question— 'Why Knowledge?' Why do we need this? And here another new door opens up. A door that sometimes, perhaps we our-selves are very reluctant to. open. And for a moment let's back off from our situations. Let's back off from our curiosity. Let's take a look at what we've got here. And I know that our M.C. feels that I travel a lot.
There's something more!
I do travel a lot. And what do I see? I mean, when you arrive in the airports — and everywhere it's the same thing—they want to know who you
4 Life Force - October-December 1988
are, where you're going, how long you're going to stay here. And after all the formalities are done they allow you to go in. Highways, roads, cars, people driving cars — This is the same thing that's going on everywhere. It's a routine. It's a set routine more or less. People have jobs. There are little kids that go to school. Around lunch time everybody kind of seems to get hungry and hit for the restaurants, cafes, cafetarias. And then, when that's all over everybody goes back to work. And then, of course in the evening you have your typical rush hour problem. But the fascinating thing about that is that you would think that there would be some places where this woul-dn't happen because people have something else going on. But that's not true. Everywhere, every single country has rush hour problems and all the rest of it that comes with it. So then the obvious question is, 'Is that what everything is all about?'
As a human being what are you? Is there something more to you than simply everything that we see day to day? Now, I'm not putting it down. I don't
have to put rush hours down. Everybody hates them. I'm not trying to put down any particular thing. I'm just forcing an issue. And the issue is, should we take a look at this stuff and say, "Is there more or. is that it?" Because certainly if there is something more then what is it besides these daily routines, besides our ,problems? I mean it is amazing. There are even people who look alike. Just different colour, different clothes. They even look alike. You know this is probably, not quite your clone but similar to you.
Somewhere around in India — I mean, I was just there a few days ago. We had a wonderful meeting there. 167,545 people showed up. I don't know how they got to the last numbers, but approximately 167,000 people. And of course, you can't even make out their faces, when you're sitting that far away from them. And yet, is there something more? And this is what I have to say, and at this point in time I guess you have to take my word for it. But I'm not just speaking toiit. I have talked about this subject for an awfully long time. Since
all about? Why the
Why do we need
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I was very young. And I have spoken to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people millions in fact — about this subject. That there is something more. That it isn't just the time that we are born. And we are put into the system.
You go to schools and the teacher tries to make the same thing out of everybody. I mean, that's the teacher's job. Same education, hopefully same grade. And then you pass on to the next one and you just go through this little system. You emerge out of it. May be you're lucky enough to get to the university. Same system. Same thing. Same thing being taught to everybody — "This is what Socrates did. This is what this guy did. This is what this guy said. This is what this guy said:" And it's fascinating that everybody is familiar with Socrates. And is familiar with the fact that Socrates said, 'Know Thyself'. And this is in fact taught in our educational institutions.
what are you? Is
there something more
to you than simply
everything that we
see day to day?
But what does it mean to 'Know Thyself'? What is he talking about? It's one of those things that is just passed over. Just thrown away. Right 'Know Thyself' — You should know yourself. You should know whether you are strong or you are weak. And you know one thing that fascinates me is that Knowledge has nothing to do with psychology. And I'm not a psychologist by any means. Nor do I have any desire to be one. I just love the stuff they come up with. I mean, I just love it you know. It's just fascinating to me. They've got categories, groups of people. People who will make it. And people who won't. And people who might. And people who never will. And when I think about this it's like — Gee whiz what, why? Because nobody is particularly born with a set of papers saying, "Right you belong to group A." And what is the standard of making it?
In this world it's a very odd thing. If you don't have a Rolls Royce then all your life you wish you had one. And if you had one you wish you didn't. I mean, it's one of those things. You know, if you've got an expensive car, where are you going to. take it? One little
6 Life Force - October-December 1988
scratch, one little bump and then everytime you drive it on the highway everybody is going to look at you. And for people it's like, "What do you do? Which group do you belong to?" And people sit there and they read these magazines and they read these papers. Right, I want to be the doer. I want to succeed. Succeed in what?
to 'Know Thyself'?
What is he (Socrates)
talking about? It's
one of those things
that is just passed
over. Just thrown
If you look at it perhaps very superficially, we're all born and we all die. Now the testament to this happens to be a graveyard, where it proves the fact that we all do die. And then you go and they have these lovely head stones: 'To our beloved Henry. Born 1943,' then a little dash (—) and then '1988, 1987.' Do you know what that dash represents? That represents your entire life. That represents all your frustrations. That represents all your successes. That represents all your failures. Everything you are is a dash (—).
You know, sometimes, I see these graveyards; specially there is one in America. It's next to an airport. And sometimes when I go there, I see this mega graveyard. These little, little, little head-stones all over the place. It's an army graveyard. It's like all these people died because of this and because of that, but they're all dead. (Written on the head-stones). And you know what the curious thing is? I wonder what they looked like, I wonder what they did this for, I wonder what went on in their lives. But that's all you have now, this little white stone, which says, "Somebody lies here."
Fine. What about you? What about me? Do I accept the fact? And I know that I'm going to die. You see, that is one of these things we don't talk about. Well, frankly, you don't have to talk about it. Because it'll come regardless of that. That is one of those things you don't have to make an appointment with. You don't have to really worry about it too much, it'll just come. And there is this little joke. I love this little joke. It's a little joke that's placed on human beings. You just don't know when it's going to come. You know it's going to come. But when is it
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your family." — Families are great. I have one. Four kids, wife, house, two dogs — the works. What I don't have is a station wagon but the rest I do have. But families — let's face it, can be very trying. You wake up in the morning and sometimes what happens is, that I've been on a tour and I come home, I'm very tired, I'm trying to sleep, and the youngest one has decided that day that he doesn't want to go to school. Of course, he kind of has made that decision everyday. But he perseveres, and he does it. And some days there is more of this deci' sion that he doesn't want to go. And he knows that everybody in the household will try to quieten him down so I'm not woken up and he will start crying. And it is like a little black-mail. But, then I wake up in fact, "What is the matter?"
"Daddy, I don't want to go to school today."
"Oh, come on, not this again." I mean, we've been through this hundreds of times. You know, sometimes you feel like saying, "Okay with me," you know. But then there is all these parts, "Go back to sleep and let me go back to sleep. If you don't want to go to school, no skin off my back."
And then the parent part comes in and says, "No, it's my responsibility to make sure that my child goes to school." And specially when your time is 4 0' clock in the morning or 3 0' clock in the morning and you have to make this ultimate decision between being a parent and just a human being, it's very tough. It's very tough. And it's like you are constantly in this position with your family.
What about me? Do
I accept the fact
that I'm going to
die?. … That is one
of these things we
don't talk about. Well,
frankly, you don't
have to talk about it.
Because it'll come
regardless of that.
And you have to give to everyone whatever it is that they are looking for from you. Sometimes they'll come in my office and 'say, "Daddy, I can't solve this problem." And it's like when I went to school they didn't have those problems. They just came up with these problems after I left the school. So I have to sit down and figure this one out, there was one problem nobody could solve it. Nobody in the whole house could solve it. Finally, you know, my eldest daughter came up to me and she said, "Well, what do we do with this?" I said, "Okay, well, Sit down. We'll solve it." I finally solved it for her.
But it's like amongst all these things 'what about me?' To some people — "Well, that's a very selfish thing to say. YOU shouldn't think about yourself. You shouldn't even talk like that, Just give. Don't worry, just give to everybody else." But who is going to come? Because it would be so convenient if you knew when it was coming. That way you could set everything up.
In America people plan for this after they retire. They go and they buy a lot overlooking the beautiful view. I'm not kidding you. You drive around in United States and you see these bus stops, specially in this one particular area and they've got this adverts — "Beautiful cemetery. Beautiful view." I mean, who's going to look at it? But that's the way it is. And they go, and then they give each other these presents on the anniversary. The husband gives it to the wife "Honey, I bought you a little piece of land. It's all yours." And the wife replies, "And yes, sweetheart, next one, I'll buy you a little piece of land and there we shall lie together overlooking this beautiful view."
I mean, okay, these are sentimental things and people have every right to do this. But nonetheless that's what's going to happen to us. And we know we're already born. So the clock is already ticking. And that's one of those things, you know, lot of people think, "How wonderful it would be if you could stop everything and start it all over again." I agree. Certain things you could change. But you can't. The day you were born the clock started ticking. And it's still ticking. And every moment that goes by it's actually bringing you closer and closer and closer to the point where you shall no more be. Now what are you doing ? What's going on in your life? It seems to me the problems are identical, only the names are changed to protect the innocent. And then you wonder, "Well, who is the innocent?" Since there are problems, we look at these problems and we try to deal with these problems. And this is it. And then still the impending question exists. Because if we look at it there are certainly those people who believe that everything just goes on in this
8 Life Force - October-December 1988
striving for something.
is what are
world as it does, and it must.
And then there have always been some people amongst us who have tried to point out another reality that there is something more, that there is something greater that fundamentally each human being regardless of his psychological groove strives for. That's quality. I mean, even if you look at somebody who does a sloppy job. Say, he's painting a house. He's been hired to paint this house, and he is doing a really sloppy job. I mean, since the house is white, it has been painted white, he doesn't care. From the owner's perspective, "Yes, this person is doing a terrible job and a job with no quality."
However, from this person's perspective, who is painting, he is striving for something — to get more time off. And this person sees that if he could have more time off then he could do something with it that he likes, that he enjoys. Whether it is to go down to a pub or it is to sit on top of a house and whistle at every girl who walks by. But that's his time and he can enjoy it. And so even in that area he is striving for quality too. Agreed that it's not that kind of quality that benefits the owner of the house but it certainly benefits that worker.
What about me?
So we are all striving for, something. The question is what are we striving for? People say, "Love your job." Well, that you can only love it so much. "Love
Life Force - October-December 1988 9
your family." — Families are great. I have one. Four kids, wife, house, two dogs — the works. What I don't have is a station wagon but the rest I do have. But families — let's face it, can be very trying. You wake up in the morning and sometimes what happens is, that I've been on a tour and I come home, I'm very tired, I'm trying to sleep, and the youngest one has decided that day that he doesn't want to go to school. Of course, he kind of has made that decision everyday. But he perseveres, and he does it. And some days there is more of this decision that he doesn't want to go. And he knows that everybody in the household will try to quieten him down so I'm not woken up and he will start crying. And it is like a little black-mail. But, then I wake up in fact, "What is the matter?"
"Daddy, I don't want to go to school today."
"Oh, come on, not this again." I mean, we've been through this hundreds of times. You know, sometimes you feel like saying, "Okay with me," you know. But then there is all these parts, "Go back to sleep and let me go back to sleep. If you don't want to go to school, no skin off my back."
And then the parent part comes in and says, "No, it's my responsibility to make sure that my child goes to school." And specially when your time is 4 o' clock in the morning or 3 o' clock in the morning and you have to make this ultimate decision between being a parent and just a human being, it's very tough. It's very tough. And it's like you are constantly in this position with your family.
And you have to give to everyone whatever it is that they are looking for from you. Sometimes they'll come in my office and say, "Daddy, I can't solve this problem." And it's like when I went to school they didn't have those problems. They just came up with these problems after I left the school. So I have to sit down and figure this one out, there was one problem nobody could solve it. Nobody in the whole house could solve it. Finally, you know, my eldest daughter came up to me and she said, "Well, what do we do with this?" I said, "Okay, well, sit down. We'll solve it." I finally solved it for her.
But it's like amongst all these things 'what about me?' To some people — "Well, that's a very selfish thing to say. You shouldn't think about yourself. You shouldn't even talk like that. Just give. Don't worry, just give to everybody else." But who is
10 Life Force - October-December 1988
this person who's going to give? I mean, how can you give something that doesn't exist? And at some point in time not being selfish becomes a little bit difficult. Because after all you do have to accept the simple fact that you are here. And you are here as an entity. You can think for yourself. You are, we all are this incredible being. We can look at something and we can say, "Ah, that's good." You see, we take this for granted. But believe me, rabbits simply can't do that. No matter how many schools they go to, they simply can't figure this out for the life of them. A donkey? No way.
that has been
are the ones that
We're the ones
who can enjoy.
I mean, the amazing difference that I find in India -- they have these wells. And instead of having an engine that's going to drive the pump, they have this whole assembly. It is a big wheel on top of the well and there is a big chain and this chain has buckets. And then there is a shaft that is connected to another gear which is driven by an oxen or a donkey or a camel. And they sometimes will start in the morning pumping this water out. And what happens is that the camel goes around and around in circles. And what they basically do, so that the camel may not figure that he is not going anywhere, they cover his
eyes. And then don't forget that behind this camel is a human being who is constantly prodding the camel along to move. And so both of them are going around in a circle. Not just one, but both of them. The human being and the donkey or the camel or the oxen.
What's the difference? The difference is — for the camel absolutely nothing is being accomplished. So far as the camel is concerned, he may as well go park himself under the tree or find a good looking camel. Another good looking camel or something like that which may be hard to do, but camels have a unique way of doing it. But for this guy who's also going around in circles all day long, he is accomplishing something. This water is going to now grow the crops which are going to feed him and more water is
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coming out and that's good and this man can be behind the camel driving this camel and saying, "Right, I've got this problem. I have to solve it. I've got a debt of 200 rupees and I must make the camel go a little faster so that more water will come out, more crops," and so on and so forth.
While what is going on in the camel's head? What could possibly be going on in the camel's head? Now, I'm not going to place myself in the camel's position. Because that's ridiculous. I mean, there is no way to confirm it. But there is a great distinction in all the rest of it and you. I mean, people look at chimpanzees and they say, "God, chimpanzees are cute!" Cute they may be but you can't live your life with a chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are fairly smart. But basics, not as smart as you are.
appreciate our ownselves or not?
Then the question of course, is,
is there something within us to appreciate?
Is there something real that you
can appreciate about your ownself?
And this is where many more
theories can be presented.
A flair for appreciation
You — what are you all about? What am I all about? What is this thing that has been bestowed upon me called 'appreciation,' that I can look at a sunset, which believe me, I have nothing to do with? Because the sun isn't really setting, but I call it the sunset nonetheless. And I can look at this wonderful fiery display of colours, which I understand is not very common in England. But it does happen. I've witnessed it. When you look at something like that, you can stop for a minute and say,
"God, that's beautiful!" I've never seen rabbits do that. They come, they eat — they eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. Then they do something else. And then they go back to eating again. I mean, what we consider to be this incredible thing, and there is a joke. And it goes — there was this man and
12 Life Force - October-December 1988
he died. So his friend one day somehow managed to get in touch with him. And he said, "Well, tell me, what is it like up there?"
"Tell me, what do you do?"
"Well, all day long I eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. And then whenever there is a little time I go on with the activities of procreation. I do that for a while then I eat, eat, eat, eat and then I go back and do that some more."
The man on the earth said, "God, you must be in heaven!"
He said, "No, I'm not in heaven. I'm a jack rabbit in Arizona." (Laughter)
And I mean, of course, you can make that joke much saucier. I'm not trying to do that. Because you're not here to hear jokes. I'm supposed to provoke some thoughts. Not provoke you, but provoke some thought about the possibility of knowing something more. So when we look at all of this stuff there has to be this feeling that we are the ones that can appreciate. We're the ones who can enjoy. I mean, just look what we've done with food. If we were only to spend as much time as we spend on food as on solving other problems of this world, I'm sure we would have solved them. I mean, look at the things people do. Most amazing things.
That day I was watching this guy on TV. He was putting pears and plums and apples together with things that I couldn't imagine. And it's like, "I wonder if
Life Force October-December 1988 13
he's tasted this stuff?" He's giving out recipes but I wonder if he's tasted them.
The thing we can truly admire
And I saw that — yeah, we have a flair for appreciation. But in this appreciation — of course we can appreciate sunsets, of course we can appreciate a good dinner, of course we can appreciate wonderful things in life. But in this appreciation, do we also appreciate our own—selves or not? Then the question of course is, is there something within us to appreciate?
found that yes, there is something inside
of me and inside of you and in fact in
every human being that is most admirable.
I mean, after all you've looked at your face enough times. And it's hard to look at yourself changing. You know, unless you got pictures to compare. You look at yourself everyday. You know that when you wake up in the morning you're an absolute mess. You know this, that's why bathrooms have locks. And everybody locks them. You know it's like, "Ooph." And then the procedures start one after another: cleaning, grooming, cleaning, grooming, cleaning, grooming, cleaning, grooming , cleaning. I mean, can you imagine this life without mirrors? We would all go nuts. Every so many minutes we have to make sure our tie is straight. Every so many minutes we have to do this.
I mean, it's like, this tie for instance. This is my tie. Then who is it for? Me? This is my tie, but who is it for? Well, can I see this tie? No. Not unless I look like this. Now, can you imagine me walking on the street like this? Whom is this tie for? The best part of this tie is right here, the knot. This is what
makes it look really good. Can I see this knot? No, I can't, not unless I have eyes right here. So whom is this tie for? It's for you. But you can't have it. It's mine. And that's the way we go around in this world. This tie is for you but it is mine. Whom am I wearing it for? For you, absolutely. Before I came here I was having a game of tennis. Were I wearing this tie? Of course, not. Would I wear this tie if I'm not doing a function or something like that? Of course, not. I'm not a tie tree. Nobody is.
14 Life Force - October-December 1988
Everybody hates these things, you know. And of course men aren't the only ones. I mean, how can women ever see their lipstick? It's their lipstick, but for us. And on and on it goes.
But is there something real that you can appreciate about your ownself? And this is where many more theories can be presented. Now here comes experience. Why am I here tonight? What gives me the authority to stand behind this podium and talk to you? Do I have a credential? No. Do I have a certificate? No. Then what? I have experienced something. I have found that, yes, there is something inside of me and inside of you and in fact in every human being that is most admirable. It's not emotion. And it's not behaviour.
Today, I was thinking about, you know, anger — getting angry. When I get angry, I don't even know I'm angry. It's only afterwards you realize, you've been angry. What is the most inconvenient thing about being angry? What I've realized the most inconvenient thing about being angry is that other people get greatly inconvenienced. They are the ones who come to me and say, "You shouldn't have gotten angry." Because it is very
inconvenient for them to watch me get angry. Specially when I'm in a firing mood — "You're fired. You're fired. You're fired. Everybody is fired." — That's inconvenient for people. I mean, jobs are scarce these days. So it's more inconvenient for the other people than in fact it's for me. But then, of course, once I've gotten angry I feel guilty and what makes me feel guilty is the voices of other people: "You shouldn't have gotten angry. That's not good for you. You get ulcers that way." But the problem is still I haven't figured out what is the red light that comes out just before you get angry. There is none. You just simply blow up, and then you realize I blew up.
It's one of those things like the British Weathermen. I have a lot of sympathy for them. Every morning that I watch news I just get the biggest kick out of them, because of the weather they give, it doesn't matter what it is. It may be raining there. It may be sunny. And I mean, I understand exactly what their problem is. You happen to be sitting in an area where you have got the jet stream blowmg, and so the weather changes very rapidly. And it's very, very hard to predict. And nonetheless it would be easier for them to say,
Life Force - October-December 1988 15
"Well, we'll let you know tomorrow what happened." You simply can't do that. I mean that would be no good. In India they do that. They tell you the temperatures of yesterday. They are very accurate. But a day late.
And I just see, that yes, there is something that we can truly admire from my experience. Not that I have gone off and read a book. Not that I'm talking about following a particular religion. No, this is not true.
And in one sense, one ought to really start by telling people what this isn't all about rather than what it is. Well, no, it's not a religion. It's not a sect. It's not a cult. This is a basic human response. Responding to your own-selves. Not so that you can become a better person. Self-help groups, you know? Join us and you can become a better person? Well, no, this is something very different than that as well.
the best. Not that you
need to be better. You
are the best. All you
need to know is find
out for yourself
that you are the best.
Our amazing capabilities
Because I'm saying, "Look, you are already the best. Not that you need to be better. You are the best. All you need to know is find that out for yourself, that you are the best. Incomparable. Millions of years of genetic engineering has gone into creating you and you alone. Millions of years of genetic engineering — falls mistakes, booboos, whatever you want to call it — so that you can be as you are. Somebody who can appreciate, somebody who can think, somebody who can understand, somebody who can laugh, somebody who can cry. I mean, after all, think about this that not only have we been given the capacity to be able to see, but we have also been given the capacity to appreciate what we see. To see would be great. I mean, think of what goes into seeing. My God! A sophisticated system. A system that's more a technology people still haven't been able to duplicate. How smooth it is. How well it works. A good system. Sun glasses automatically built in. Light regulation. Zoom. You name it. Autofocus. I mean, you know, these Japanese they came out with autofocus. And it's autofocus everywhere. I mean, can you imagine if I put labels on me of all the features I have.
16 Life Force - October-December 1988
When you go to some of these Japanese stores and they say, "Autofocus and autocolour and autowhite balance," just look at me! Autosmile, autocry, autohear, autofocus, autotouch, autotaste, autowalk! Scientists are having an incredible time trying to make a robot walk. It falls off every few steps. And it falls flat on its face, and here we are. Not that we have totally mastered it. But we do a fairly amiable job with it. Just basically walk. Total. Oh my God:
An incredible investment
Gyroscopes — if people talk about gyroscopes — sensitive gyroscopes. I've got the finest. One of the finest balances. I mean, there'd be too many labels on me. But that's what I am. And within me the capacity — the capacity to accept; the capacity to understand, the capacity to enjoy — has to be one of the greatest things. Because for a computer to be able to perform a mathematical calculation of '4 + 4 equals 8' may be easy. But whether the computer enjoys it while it's doing the calculation or not, is wholly another thing. And we can enjoy it or procrastinate. Sit there and complain, "Oh no, not 4 + 4 again." Computers can't do that. But we can. And let's not look at these things and look at them as our shortcomings, but look at these as an incredible investment that has been made in each human being.
Then obviously the next question is, well, if there is this capacity within us to enjoy these tremendous things and if there is something high, why aren't we already in touch with it? Why do we need to be at Wembley Conference Centre? Alright, let's talk about that too. There's a quote that I really love. I mean, I love this quote. I can't shake it. It's Khalil Gibran's quote. I don't usually like to use other people's material. But the fact of the matter is whatever I'm saying tonight I haven't prepared any material for it at all. I'm just speaking to you. There's no speech down here. (On the podium.) Or I didn't sit down and figure out what I was going to say tonight. But nonetheless I love this one.
Khalil Gibran wrote about many beautiful things. Some things that are easy to understand and some things are rather difficult to understand. And this one is about medium. But, for human beings, I think, we can relate to it. And he says, "When God of gods, when Creator… ." and this is a scientific fact whether you believe in one or not. I
Life Force October-December 1988 17
mean, just let us suppose some people don't. They believe in another one. You know, after all every religion has their own God. The only problem is everybody knows that there is only one God, but only their God is the right God. So, let's for a moment create a neutral situation where there's just one. Really one. And He's not a Hindu or a Moslem or a Christian and all the rest of the stuff. He's just Him or Her or It. Not that it makeg any difference.
Millions of years
gone into creating
you and you
So, "God of gods," Khalil Gibran says, "created the soul. And within this soul God placed a cup of joy." Well, it sounds about typical. God would do some nice thing like that — create a soul and put a cup of joy in it. And doesn't God do all kinds of nice things? And this is another one of these nice things he did. Very unselfish thing to do, but he did. And then before he finished sewing it back up, He placed a condition. And He said, "You," and that means all those people who have souls, "You may not drink of this cup of joy." It's like, "Now, everything makes sense. This is typical of God, isn't it?"
How to drink the cup of joy
I mean, isn't this what we're talking about? If there is this higher thing within each human being, why aren't we already in touch with it? Well — God of gods, and he created the soul, placed a cup of joy and then he said, "You may not drink of this cup." Fabulous. Now, what do we do? Then he placed a
18 Life Force - October-December 1988
condition. He said, "Except you may — " Now here is the condition — "Except that you forget the past and renounce the future."
Oh, it's great! I mean, that is what 1988 is all about, isn't it? Do you realize that's what we do? I mean, there're not too many people in this world who don't have a camera. What does a camera do? Why cameras? Cameras are there so when you go on a vacation you can record those moments so that years down the road you could be reminded of the past. And this is what it's all about.
And here Khalil Gibran is saying, "You must forget the past and renounce the future." Tell that to the Japanese industry. They'll hit the roof, you know which would be really funny to say it to the Japanese. Because Japanese don't like to say, "No." I mean, it's a wonderful culture. It really is. Very polite. And I love them. And whenever I go to Japan I love it. Specially at the airport. In your eye, they won't tell you "No." You can ask them for anything, "Could we
have that aeroplane over there please?" They will not say no to you. It's very disrespectful. So you can tell them. But that's not what they're working on. They're working on the future.
into seeing. A
A system that's
more a technology
people still haven't
been able to
smooth it is. How
well it works:
I mean, everything is in the future. "This is the future," they say. The future where you can be rich. The future where you don't have to do anything. The future. The future. The future. I mean, all those couples buying those blocks overlooking Los Angeles, they're not buying it for the past. They're buying it for the future. A pension plan — future. Reti rement funds future House security — future. Mortgage loans — future. Banking — future. Technology — future. Automobiles — future. Roads — future. Food — future. Clothes — future. You name it and it's future. Even hair cuts — future. You go to a hair dresser and you say, "Give me a hair cut that'll last two weeks." That's what I do. I figure out how long I may be gone. And I say, "Well, give me a hair cut that'll last three
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weeks, two weeks, whatever." Future. I mean we can't live without this stuff.
Look at it — how many clothes do you have at home? Even if you have one suit, may be you have two ties. Why did you buy two ties? May be you were victimised and given the ties but it's entirely possible that you went out and bought the ties. Why? So that some day when you wear the suit and you go to an occasion you might wear this one or that one or do it this way —. What do you think wrist watches are all about? So you can tell time. Even though it tells you the present time it gives you a scale of calculations for the future .or the past. And I see this incredible discrepancy that we have ultimately placed ourselves in a situation where it is absolutely impossible to fulfil that wonder part.
I wonder if that is what Khalil Gibran had in mind when he wrote that. Since he knew that nobody would follow it, why not write it? I mean, isn't that what philosophers are all about? Say things that will never be done and that's what makes them unique. I mean, if Socrates would have said, "Drive thy car," I don't think we would be reading about him. He says, "Know thyself." And everybody is scratching their heads and wondering what he meant by that.
You know, how much literature is published about mothers. I mean here the mother has been saying, "Eat thy peas." And that's not a big thing. Every mother says, "Eat thy greens. Otherwise thou shall have no dessert." There is no literature written on it. This is not taught in universities. This is common stuff. And the kid says, "Fine, I hate your dessert anyway." Or if you are really smart, you'll start crying. That'll see you through. You don't have to eat your greens and you'll still get the dessert.
Then what does he say? Now, here comes the good part. Then he says, "And then God also placed in this soul a cup of sorrow." "Now we're talking." You see this pathetic world out there. Everybody hates this world. I wonder sometimes why they live here. Then, if you hate it so much — leave. Go somewhere else. You will really hate that other place then. Can you imagine living on the moon? That would be horrible. It's dusty. You will be bouncing all over the place. There's nobody to talk to. And if something showed up you would be so scared. I mean, that's a horrible
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You are here. And you are you. And you are a treasure chest. And there is infinite amount of treasure, of joy, of beauty that is buried inside of you.
place to be. It's good to look at. But you wouldn't want to visit there.
Everybody hates this world and everybody lives in it. I wonder, why? This is a love-hate relationship. And then he says, "God also placed a cup of sorrow." And everybody can relate to that." Right, that's what we feel — a lot of sorrow." And he says, "And God said …" Now here is another condition. This is not really a condition. This is normal stuff. And he says, "Then God of gods placed a cup of sorrow and he said, 'Drink' " Now, that makes a lot of sense. No limit. No prohibition. You don't require a licence, " 'Drink — Drink so that you may understand the meaning of joy.' "
So the way the whole quote is, "God of gods created the soul and within this soul he placed a cup of Joy. And said, 'You may not drink of this cup. Except that you have forgotten the past and renounced the future.' And God also placed within this soul a cup of sorrow and he said, 'Drink, so that you may enjoy.
So that you may know the meaning of the cup of joy.' "
Now what happened? I know exactly what happened. Or at least a good calculated guess. Well, when the guess is over 50% calculated, you know. And to me it's like, okay, I know exactly what happened. So human beings started drinking from the cup of sorrow. And they drank. Because it's free. No limitation — "Drink, so you may understand the meaning of joy." So they just sat there and they drank and they drank and they drank and they 'drank. They drank so much they got addicted to the stuff. Now, somebody comes and says, "By the way what about joy?"
"No, who needs it? We've got this stuff. This is good. This is really great. It's fine. Don't worry me."
The basic call
Here we are, whether it is that all which exists in this world today, whether we accept it or not it doesn't make any difference, whether we belong to category A, B or C or D, it
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doesn't make any difference either. What makes a difference, if it does, is to respond to that basic call that every human being has inside of them. To address first the very basic and fundamental thing. And that is you. Your existence. You are here. And you are you. And you are a treasure chest. And there is an infinite amount of treasure of joy, of beauty that is buried inside of you.
When you love someone, that love does not come from the other person. That love comes from within you. You may say, "The food tastes good." But remember the taste is not in the food, it's in you. You are the one who tastes. It's your tongue. The front end of the tongue tastes salty food. The back end of the tongue tastes sweet food. You can't mix them up either. It's very particular about it. But remember when you have a milk-shake and you go, "Ah, that was good," that wasn't in the milk shake. That was in you. And you are the treasure house. Within you is the treasure chest. And I'm not saying this to impress you. Because frankly I've nothing to do with it. I didn't put it there.
You know, people obviously think, like everybody else that I too, do things for monetary gain in this world. I wish I was doing this for monetary gain. I'd be very rich. And it would be very simple for everybody too. You pay your 50 bucks, you know, 50 pounds or whatever, and bang. You've got the key to your treasure chest and off you go. But that's not the way it is. Because sometimes there are certain things in this life that are done of quality. That are done of earnest desire. That are done because somebody wants to do them. And that is the reason why I do what I do.
And today I feel, it is my privilege to have been here to have presented something to you. Something that I hope will at least provoke some thoughts within you. That yes, we live in a marvelous, marvellous world. And yes, we truly all of us are. Don't be envious because Leonardo daVinci could paint better than you could.
I had an experience once. I was at this airport. I was waiting for my flight. It was very early in the morning. The aeroplane was parked there. It was at 45° to the terminal building. The terminal building was all black glass. As the sun came up from behind, if you looked at the aeroplane, it looked like the window was missing. Because there was a dark reflection of the
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terminal building falling on the cockpit window. I was sitting there waiting for the flight and this gentleman came. He's an elderly gentleman with his wife, with his son, with his daughter-in-law as it appeared to be. And he came over to the big window, looked at the aeroplane and he says, "God, the window is missing in that aeroplane!" Then he said, "Oh boy, I wouldn't want to be that pilot. That pilot's going to be cold." It was freezing temperature outside.
And I just, right at the top of my head, I said to my ownself, "God, this guy is stupid." Because I know how to fly aeroplanes. I've flown jets. I still fly jets. I mean, I know that there is a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) for all aeroplanes. And I don't know if they even mentioned it in it, because it's such a ridiculous thing. Like, obviously you are not going to fly without a wing. You're not going to fly without a window. It would not pressurize. I mean, there would be all sorts of problems. The plane flies so fast, even if the pilot wanted to sit there and look out of the window he couldn't. And this reaction almost stopped me. It grabbed me. And I looked at him. And I said, "No, he's not stupid. He's probably a farmer." I mean, this is the area — Lincoln Nebraska is full of farmers. He can plough the fields better than I can. I may be able to fly that jet down there and I may know more about this jet than he does, but he knows about something that I don't. And he's not stupid. Because if I was given a plough, I still wouldn't know which end is what.
No, nobody is stupid. Yes, there is a Michael Angelo and all of you are Michael Angelos. And yes, you are all Leonardo daVincis. And yes, there is a little bit of Socrates within all of you. And yes, there is an incredible, admirable beauty within inside of you that only you can admire.
Why this Knowledge?
So, why Knowledge? Well, very simply, Knowledge is that thing that can put you in touch with that beauty inside of you. Very simple. That's what it's all about. Why call it Knowledge? Very simple. Because it's a know-how, so you can get in touch with it. Is it available? Yes, it's available. liqw do you get it? Well, if you haven't got a card and you came in, may be when you go out see if you can find one. It's got the addresses so on and so forth. Come.
If you don't like what
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happened today, if you hated this, you came here because of your friend, can't wait to get out — don't worry. Pubs will be still open. You know, some people probably sit there and think of a big Guinness. Like the ads they have — "It's got to be a Dolphin." And so, it's like may be you came here to fulfil an obligation to your friend. Fine.
I know one thing that the day the search becomes conscious — because every human being is searching. I know that every human being is searching. To some the search is unconscious and to some the search is conscious. The day your search becomes conscious you will start searching too.. But everybody is searching. Some are searching and they know. And some are searching and they don't know. But everybody is searching. Arid everybody has their own time. And may be this is not your time. May be it is. It's offered free of charge. No monetary gains involved here.
And most importantly, enjoy. Enjoy this precious life that you have. Don't sit there and try to calculate whether there'll be another one, because you, simply don't know.
People asked me, "Will there be another life after this one?" I said, "Well, I'm still alive. I don't know. When I die, give me your number. If there is a phone up there I'll give you a call." I have no idea, no way of knowing if there is another one. And I know I can blow this one away thinking about another one. And I don't want to. You know, I can say, "It's okay, I can make all the booboos (mistakes) now, and then and I'll straighten out in the next one." No it doesn't work like that. Enjoy. Enjoy what you have. Because it's yours. And nobody can take it away from you. This is one thing that you will always have and this is one thing that you will have till the day you die. It's all yours. It's God given. Nature given. Whatever you believe in has been given to you.
I want to thank you. Thank you for hearing me out for what I have to say. And hope you learnt something. If nothing else, may be you had a good laugh. That's good for you too. It gets more oxygen into your system. And if nothing else think about it. Because I think this is something of substance that has been said tonight.
Good night and thank you very much.
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