Nothing Celebrates Life … Like life

Cover

CONTENTS




ON THE SUBJECT OF LIFE




LIFE IS A WONDERFUL SUBJECT TO TALK ABOUT. It concerns everyone who is alive around the world, no matter what language they speak, who they are, or what they do. We have divided ourselves by geographical boundaries, by the languages we speak, by the type of food we eat, our professions, our looks, the color of our skin--but what is life?

Life is definitely something more than your skin color, your thoughts, your ideologies, or your educational background. It is very difficult to break through those barriers and look at life for what life is worth. Sometimes, that is where people get caught and that is where they stay.

BUT WHAT IS LIFE? Is it just a simple action of breathing in and breathing out? Is it consciousness? Is it the ability to think? If we can go beyond all those things, we can look at life itself. Life allows us to exist. It is because we are alive that we can think, that we can come up with conclusions. It is because we have life that we can even distinguish that some people speak a language different from our own.

Life is something wonderful, magical, incredible. It is only when you can take a look at life from its own perspective that it starts to make sense, because life is very simple thing. Life is not complicated; we are Complicated. We are complicated because we have lost the ability to look at something in it's own realm, for its own beauty. We have a very hard time looking at a rose where it is. We have to bring it into our yard and plant it so that it goes well with the rest of the flowers we have planted. We have to manipulate. We have lost the ability to look at something just the it is, in its simplicity, in it's own domain. Certainly with life that is true.

OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVE DIVIDED UP LIFE.    From a religious perspective, life is defined one way, and from a scientific perspective, another way. A rich person's perspective is different from a poor person's, but none of these definitions is life. We always have to remember that if we were not alive, we could not make these distinctions.

Life is that simplicity, that gift, that feeling, that beauty that allows us to be. And what does it mean to be? Why is it significant? Why is it important even to make the statement to be? Aren't we just beings, being who we are no matter what we do? No, because once again, we have manipulated the meanings and the definitions of these things. WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT IT MEANS JUST TO BE ALIVE.

It means something and it is beautiful. It is very difficult to do, but you have to back off and look at life

5




without defining it, without giving it a meaning. Just appreciate life for what it is without bringing in a barrage of explanations. Feel. Have we not forgotten how to feel?

HOW DO I APPRECIATE? Do I have the ability to appreciate something for what it is? Can I look at a day and not judge it by what happened to me? Was it a good day because everything went the way I planned, or was it a good day because it was a good day? I was alive; the sun came up; it was wonderful. I existed.

This is where we have to make a distinction because, to us, a good day is when things go our way. Nonetheless, if we were to reintroduce into our lives the power of appreciation, then every day would become a wonderful day. Every moment would be a wonderful moment--a moment in which we can be, in which we can live, in which we can thrive, because we exist. We have life. We measure our success by what we have, and sometimes by what we do not have. But do we ever simply stop, look at ourselves, and remember that the most important thing is we are alive?

We get so caught in our pains and troubles and emotional creatures. We have goods, bads, rights, wrongs. We all have the ability to cry, and we have the ability to smile, and between those two extremes is the whole spectrum.

WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO APPRECIATE. It is not something we have to go out and conquer or that we have to gather, but something to uncover. We have to rediscover within ourselves the ability to enjoy. Enjoy simplicity.

Yes, we have our problems, and yes, we have our goods and bads, but almost as a third element, we have life. We have the power of appreciating it even in the midst of our troubles. To exercise that innate ability that we have within us is our fundamental right. So, why not use it? It is not very complicated. It is a process of understanding step-by-step that all the things you have created around you are variables.

Things will change whether you like it or not, and when they do, they may cause you horrific pain. In a way, we set ourselves up. We decide what we don'I want changed, and then it changes. It is the nature 01 things to change, like waves that come and go on .1 beach. One clay it is calm with just a small ripple, and you might like it to be that way all the time. But anol er day, the wind will pick up and the waves will be hi,: ger. The beach changes; the velocity and ferocity or the ocean changes. Everything we have placed around us

6




will change, but THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE US THAT DOES NOT CHANGE. Something that is wonderful.

There are a lot of problems in the world today, and there are a lot of people very busy trying to solve them. Problems have always been there. One country goes to war with another country. Only the names of the countries have changed. The way they fight has changed. The names of the newspapers have changed, but the news has not changed. There are wars; there are ideas.

What is really fascinating is that people have good intentions. There should not be hunger. We should not be destroying our Earth, but we are doing it every day. Why? You really have to stop and wonder who is in charge here. Are we in charge of our faculties? Are we in charge of what goes on around us? Or, have we just been put on a train, and wherever this train takes us is where we will end up whether we like it or not? Are we allowed to look out the window or to stand up? Is it our choice to sit down? Are we allowed to like what we see out the window? Or, is it all predetermined?

You know, God is a very beautiful presence. God is there to be loved, to be appreciated, to be adored. God gives us hope, but only when we are willing to take it and use it. What greater hope can there be than having life itself? The miracle has already happened. It is almost as though we are in the aftermath of the miracle, and nobody can cope. We are alive no one knows what to do.

FOR ME, IT IS REALLY VERY SIMPLE. WE COUNT. We have to make the difference. We have to decide what we want. We have to take the ideals out of the sky and bring them down to earth. We have to make it work. We have to use the intelligence we have been given to preserve, not to destroy. That does not mean to create, either. but to preserve-- because that is what the miracle is all about. Sometime, we want to become the Creator. When we start to become the Creator, we start to destroy things that are irreplaceable. You cannot have creation without destruction.

When we can begin with the simplicity of enjoying life, of understanding, of appreciating -- then, and only then, can we make a profound difference in our own existence and in the existence around us.

7




"When we can begin with the simplicity
of enjoying life, of understanding,
of appreciating -- then, and only then,
can we make a profound difference
in our own existence
and in the existence around us."




p09 (401K)


WHAT IS IMPORTANT




WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE TODAY, IN EVERY MOMENT. It is not the number of years we have lived; it is this moment that counts. That is where the celebration is; that is where life is.

We come up with ideas, with things to lean on, trying to believe in something, trying to trust in something. Why not trust in the one thing that is the most important to you? Don't trust in the world because the world is in transit, in motion.Try to stabilize it and it becomes more unstable. Do not put your trust in ideas and ideals because they change, too.

It is so important to understand what it is that changes, because here we are -- we are moving, too. We are different, too, even though we don't like to believe it. We like to see our universe as though we are the center of it, but we are not. The center is within us in the one place where there is wisdom. The center lies in the heart. The center lies in understanding. When everything else is just slightly pushed aside, the only thing that shines is the feeling within. Everything else is transitory. That is its nature.

BELIEVE IN THE ONE THING THAT ALSO BELIEVES IN YOU. TRUST the one thing that also trusts you. And if you are going to love, then love the one thing that also loves you. Sometimes it is hard to put the investment where it belongs. Sometimes it is hard to focus on the one thing that as human beings we need focus on. If all the technology in the world were not there, if the world were not how we see it today, what would it be like? All I can say is that the thirst would he there, and if I haven't satisfied my thirst, then what difference does it make? It is of primary importance to me that I have satisfied my thirst. That is the only thing that should be important to me.

I HAVE THE POWER TO FEEL. And over the years, I have learned to feel so much. But there are no feeling., like How much do I yearn to feel that, to understand that? Until I do, my thirst remains the same, and if the thirst remains the same, then nothing has been accomplished. This body has been a shell which has aged. Feet were given, but no travelling happened. Ears were given, but nothing worthy was heard. Eyes were given, but nothing really beautiful was seen. A mouth was given, but nothing right was ever said.

What if I begin to accept what has been given to me? I am not talking about all the things I have been given

11

in this world. They can be taken away like a chair that is removed before you get the chance to sit down. The only thing that you have really been given is this simple breath, this simple life, this simple feeling. This is what you need to be thankful for -- not the capability you have to climb Mt. Everest. We need to be thankful for this life.

When does that process begin to happen When we can understand with humility. IT TAKES HUMILITY TO UNDERSTAND LIFE. We, for the most part, are drunk in our pride. We are proud of how we look or how strong we are. We are proud of what we have accomplished. We get one degree after another; we become proud of our friends, our parents, our house, our job. Subtly, we get distracted.

There comes a time when none of these things are going to be of any use. Maybe you have lifted 200 pounds every single day of your life, but there will come a time when you won't be able to lift a toothpick. That is false pride. There will come a time when you will not be able to depend on your accomplishments. It is not that there might come a time. Might or maybe is not the issue. It does come. Time goes by too fast and there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing.

Time is too strong, and you are trying to beat it in virtually everything you do, but you cannot. It's got you. No one has ever been able to beat time. Yet, in you is the quest for immortality, because the immortal is within you. The door is within you. Open the door and live life in its glory.

LOOK FOR THE FEELING THAT IS INSIDE YOU. Be in peace with yourself, because on your field, the greatest battle is raging; and on your field, that most precious thing is being decimated. No war compares to the battle that rages within a human being. Lifetimes are destroyed in this battle. Moments are sacrificed in this battle. Total decimation can take place. This is the meanest battle there is, because even if you win,you lose. When you fight within, that is the biggest battle. It may be possible to stop the world from fighting, but it is much harder to stop the individual from fighting within. Be in peace and be in peace with yourself.

You can be in peace by being in joy. In joy, there is harmony. You have heard the word harmony. It means to be in sync with one's own self.

12




"You can be in peace by being in joy. In joy, there is harmony.
You have heard the word harmony.
It means to be in sync with one's own self"




THE REAL ISSUE




We try to deal with so many issues every day. Just look at a newspaper, turn on a television, or flip across the frequencies of a radio. Sometimes you wonder what the real issue is. There has to be one. Issues come and go, and with each new generation, there will be new issues that we cannot even imagine. BUT WITH THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE LIFE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN, WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE FOR ME?

Everything that is going on today has been going on for a very long time. Wars, problems, troubles. Whether it happens on a small scale or a giant scale, there is nothing new about it. I am not proposing any solutions to the world's problems. I don't have any. What I am proposing, many have said before me. For as long as people have debated their problems, there have been those who have said, "Look for your answers within you." Within you is the domain where you will find your peace. My peace is within me. Your peace is within you.

Will peace come when I have controlled every single element and gotten it to synchronize with me? No, that will not happen. ALL I CAN DO IS SYNCHRONIZE MYSELF WITH ME. That is within my reach. It is not within my reach to understand everything, but I can understand me.

I cannot conquer the world, but I can conquer me. I cannot discover the universe, but I can discover me. I cannot be in harmony with everyone, huh I can be in harmony with me. I could try to love everyone, but I do not think I would succeed. I can love the beauty inside me.

LET ME PROPEL MYSELF IN THE DIRECTION THAT I AM NATURALLY ATTRACTED TO. How does that work? Very simple. Nobody ever had to teach me to laugh or to be happy. Like everyone, I have always had an affinity for contentment. That is my equilibrium. When something happens and I move away from my equililibrium, then all I want to do is go back to it. My normal modes of existence are joy, satisfaction, and contentment -- not pain, sorrow, and confusion.

I must use every tool that I have to help myself be in that place. Of everything I can accomplish, the one thing that I need to do is be fulfilled. In me, there is place where I can be free of confusion, free of doubt. In me, there is a place where I can be sure.

To experience joy not brought to me by anything other than me, a joy that comes from witnessing the beauty within me. Not in unrealistic terms, in practical terms. If it were not for the gift of what I call Knowledge --

15

a practical way to go within and connect with the feeling inside -- all my words would be empty. KNOWLEDGE IS SIMPLY A WAY TO GO FROM OUTSIDE TO INSIDE. To take these senses that are perplexed by everything in the world and turn them inside. To feel the simplicity that exists within each heart.

Purity and sincerity reside in the heart of every single human being. Of all the things we could know, that is the one we need to discover. That is the one that can make a difference, that is real. That is what makes us, us.

To have a heart full of gratitude; to be able to say from the sincerest place, "Thank you for this existence because I feel that joy. I feel fulfilled." That is how it can be, and more than anything else, that is how it is meant to be. A rose blooms and puts out its fragrance whether anyone comes to smell it or not. It does its job passionately and obediently whether anyone judges it or not. Our life, too, needs to be like the rose that blooms to its fullness, not because others will come and judge, but for the sake of the heart being filled with gratitude. That is who we are.

16




"In me, there is a place where I can be free of confusion, free of doubt.
In me, there is a place where I can be sure."

17




WHY PLAY THE GAME?




An almighty question that so often rages in people's heads is, "What will other people think of me?" It is a question that I have heard many, many times in my life. ALL OF A SUDDEN, MY EXISTENCE IS RELATIVE TO THE APPROVAL OF OTHER PEOPLE.

Sometimes, we arc like little chess pieces. When the chess pieces are not on the chess board, they can move whichever way they want. They are free. But as soon as those chess pieces get on the board, everything changes. The pawns can only move one way; the king cannot be exposed to the queen of the opposite end. Now those chess pieces are chained; their freedom has been reduced.

When you arc not playing a game of cards, they can be in any order. You have neither won nor lost. But as soon as an opponent is opposite you, or you are playing solitaire, how they fall makes a big difference.

Historically, the world has said, "These rules matter, because without these rules, how can you have a game? You need the game, don't you?" Then someone comes and says, "Why?" You know, it's one of those things. You are playing cards with someone and you want to win. Of course, you want to win. But if the other person says, "I give up. You win," that's not right. You didn't. You only win if your opponent loses. Your winning has nothing to do with you. Your winning has everything to do with the other person. Then someone comes along, and asks,    "WHY ARE YOU PLAYING THIS GAME?    What is the purpose? One day, this game will not be the way it appears to be now. Things are, by design, moving, moving, moving. BY DESIGN, I HAVE A THIRST. I have one thirst for water and anoth-

"The heart says,
'I want to be fulfilled.'
And you can be."

19




"When every single breath
becomes important,
when every single moment
means something to you,
then there is
no sorrow or regret.
There is just a human being
that has been dusted off
and all that exists is clarity."

er for joy. By design, I hunger for food. By design, I want to feel comfortable, both in my body and in my heart. I want to grasp the blessing of my life. I need that; you need that. It is a necessity. The heart says, "I want to be fulfilled." And you can be.

Your circumstances may or may not change. You can find explanations for why your circumstances are not changing. They can range anywhere from what you did in your last lifetime, to being stupid, to your stars not being right. You seek explanations because it gives you comfort to know it's not you. But if you need explanations, you have a problem. You cannot stomach reality because you think reality is awful.

WHEN HUMAN BEINGS LOOK AT THEMSELVES--not from somebody else's eyes, but their own--and measure their existence by what they have received, there is no fear or anger. When every single breath becomes important, when every single moment means something to you, then there is no sorrow or regret. There is just a human being that has been dusted off, and all that exists is clarity.

20




p21 (459K)


FULFILLMENT




I AM TALKING ABOUT YOUR LIFE, ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY IN THIS GARDEN OF HAVING SPRING FOREVER.    I am not just talking about believing you are fulfilled, but knowing you are fulfilled. I am talking about being happy because you are happy -- having no doubt because you are saturated with clarity. Where there is consciousness, unconsciousness has no place.

This is how your life is meant to be. Why? Because you are a human being. You are alive. This is theE gift that was given to you by the very thing that put you on earth.

If life is to be a dance, then let it be a dance. If it is to be an understanding, then let it be an understanding. I cannot ask you to do something that you cannot do. I cannot ask myself to do something that I cannot do.

BUT TO ACCEPT THE JOY IN MY LIFE HAS TO BE MY PRIORITY.     That much I know. That much I understand. What will be, will be. Can I be afraid? Oh, yes. I can paint a frightful picture for myself. I already know that my physical performance level is not the same as it used to be. That aspect of life is changing because it must, but there is something that has not changed -- that still has the same stamina. It is that joy, that clarity. it feels the same to visit the place within. There, I have found my immortality, my reality.

THERE IS A FEELING INSIDE ME THAT IS PERFECT.    It is simple in its nature, and I can be in awe of that simplicity. Its reality is magnificent, for it is unchangeable, regardless of which door I come to it from. Whether I am feeling good or bad, when I am in that place, it is the same. It is real. Work on being fulfilled every day. I understand that sometimes things get a little difficult. But in that spirit, I welcome you to this possibility. This I can do. But you have to have the dedication. This is not for people who sit on the wall. If you don't understand that fulfillment is inside you, what are you doing;? If misery is your forte, go ahead. It's there.

I acknowledge you. I acknowledge your existence in the sincerest way. You EXIST, AND THERE IS NOTHING MORE WONDERFUL FOR YOU THAN THAT. It is ironic. Sometimes you have to understand death to understand life. Don't do it that way. Don't wallow in death. Death is not for living people. It is when the living part is over that death comes. Living people should be rejoicing in life, not scratching their heads over death. Live. Breathe. Make it your relentless pursuit every day, every minute, every hour that you can. Try to put

23




p24 (442K)


another drop of fulfillment in that cup. It is the little drops that fill the cup, and when your cup is filled, you will know. Of course, that is when the cup gets little bigger -- as soon as it gets full. So you can keep filling it.

Everywhere in the world, people turn towards that most magnificent thing. Turn. Accept. Don't be afraid.

With the deepest and most sincere heart say, "Thank you for this gift that comes within me." Remember, it begins with inhaling and it ends with exlkilitw,. One breath. There was the major one you took in when you were born. The other major one you are going to let out. If you can understand and make each one major, you've got it. You understand something.

"If life is to be a dance, then let it be a dance.
If it is to be an understanding, then let it be an understanding.
I cannot ask you to do something that you cannot do.
I cannot ask myself to do something that I cannot do.
But to accept the joy in my life has to be my priority.
That much I know. That much I understand."

25




FREEDOM




SOMETHING INSIDE EACH HUMAN BEING WANTS FREEDOM, LOOKS FOR FREEDOM.    Do you ever wonder why you want freedom, why the word strikes such a perfect chord? I love the word freedom. I see a bird flying in the sky. I see that it is surrounded by boundless space, and I envy it -- not for its flight, but for its freedom.

Most of us do not even know what freedom means. We know what it says in the dictionary, but what does it really mean to be free? What is it in us that wants to be free? Is freedom an idea? If you try to have freedom by conceptualizing what freedom means, you don't have it. You have to feel freedom in your heart, because it is your heart that wants to be free, and your heart does not conceptualize. It feels.

YOUR HEART WANTS YOU TO GO AHEAD AND YOUR IDEAS PULL YOU BACK.    Fear pulls you back. Anger pulls you back. All your trappings -- the coming and the going, the saga and the drama -- pull you back. The heart says,"No. Be free. Be free." What needs to happen in your world is not the trappings, but freedom.

YOU FIND FREEDOM INSIDE--NOWHERE ELSE.    In the heart of every human being is that one space which is free, which is filled with peace, and which is full of love. But sometimes we forget. We get caught in everything else and imprison ourselves. We take our own freedom away.

SLAVERY COMES IN MANY FORMS.    Slavery isn't just being in shackles. A human being can become a slave of his or her own doings, of his or her own unconsciousness. The master is the mind. Day and night, it can chew you up. No mercy exhibited. No breaks. Relentless. Misery unparalleled. The mind does not understand what it means to be okay. It has a concept, but it does not understand. Sometimes, it takes a tremendous amount of guts to shake it and set yourself free.

In freedom, there is a very beautiful understanding: there is a great hope, a great relief. You can accept the coming and the going, the passage and the verse, its beginning and its end. It is a verse without an end. As you read on, you understand. To be able to read all of it and to admire all of it is part of the freedom.

IT IS INHERENTLY IMPORTANT THAT WE WANT FREEDOM. Without that beautiful desire for freedom, life would be meaningless. Without the desire to be content, life would not be sweet.    APPRECIATE THE THIRST THAT MOVES YOU.    This thirst is not generated by books or

27




"You find freedom inside --
nowhere else.
In the heart of every
human being is that
one space which is free,
which is filled with peace,
and which is full of love."

definitions. It makes no difference whether you call it freedom or love or God or truth or realization. People have been too busy giving it names. They get caught in the web of words and it becomes a word game.

Believe me, the real truth evades human intervention because the real truth knows that if it ever got caught by human beings, it would not be truth any more. The real love is not subject to human definitions because if human beings begin to define the real love, it will not be real love anymore. These realities exist whether you know about them or not.

People are still looking for solutions, but the quest is to conquer your own self, not the world. If you can conquer you, you have conquered the universe. If you can find happiness, you have all the riches you need. If you can find joy within you, you have all the fulfillment you can ever have. but it must be yours.

FREEDOM IS BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO ACHIEVE -- to be excited just to be alive. What needs to be achieved has been achieved. Your freedom is not in trying to come up with a goal, but in understanding that all goals have been achieved because you are alive. If it is a miracle you are looking for, the miracle has happened.

28




IF THERE IS SOMEONE WILLING TO SHOW AND SOMEONE WILLING TO SEE, MAGIC HAPPENS.    This is where human beings are set free. This is where the wingless fly -- not the winged, the wingless. This is where the chains are broken, where the hopeless are given hope. This is where the sad begin to rejoice and where hate is turned into love. This is where the living are taught about life.

This is where the seeds arc planted and t lie gardens flourish. The dry, barren soil is transformed into lush, green forests. This is the realm of Knowledge. If you want, you can enter this world. The price? It is high. Have the heart of a child--no cheat or deceit--and you can enter. That is the price. Not money.

Knowledge is for living people. It is for people who want freedom. Not slavery. Freedom. How much of being a slave of our own ideas, of our own world, has become habit? And how much of the heart yearns to be free?

This is freedom from the cycle of birth and death -- the birth and death of every moment, the birth and death of all your pain, of all the ideas that entrap you. To break free -- that is what freedom is. No one can give it to you; it is within you.

29




THE VOICE OF THE HEART




WHY DO WE WANT TO BE HAPPY?    Is it something we learned, something that someone taught us? No. We want to be happy because that is what the heart desires. But we have broken happiness down into formulas, and we pursue the formulas more than we pursue the desire itself. When can we be reminded of what we really want? Who comes and says, "Be clear about what you really want"? Who takes the time to stop and say, "What do you really need"? Learn to identify that voice because you cannot hear the voice of the heart when all the other noises are going on. You have to become quiet.

WHEN YOU BECOME QUIET, THAT VOICE BEGINS TO CALL AND YOU CAN HEAR -- but not with your ears. When the mouth is moving, the heart is silent. When the mouth becomes silent, the heart begins to speak. When the ears are listening to all the other sounds, the heart is quiet. When all those sounds stop, the heart begins to say what it has to say and to hear what it has to hear.

When you are dancing for this world, running here and there, doing this and that -- then the heart is silent. But when you stop running oall over the place, the heart begins to dance the dance of joy. Nothing celebrates life, celebrates wisdom, celebrates truth like the heart. Nothing. People can live their whole life and never once recognize or even acknowledge the divinity that exists within.

Sometimes we want to debate and argue the meaning of happiness, of life. Life existed before

"Nothing celebrates life, celebrates wisdom, celebrates truth, like the heart.
Nothing."

31




you could have a debate. If there were no life, how could you debate? Does a thirsty person dying in the middle of the desert want to know why he is thirsty? Or would he like some water? The thirsty person needs water, not an explanation. We need the feeling, not the explanation.    OUR EXISTENCE HAS TO BECOME A PRIORITY.    Being prosperous cannot be just a nice thing to talk about; there has to be something that will make us prosper.

This is the opportunity that Knowledge presents and represents. In that beautiful place inside, Knowledge takes you, slowly, slowly, slowly. Everything begins to be quiet. Everything comes to a stop. Something else begins to live, and the heart begins to rejoice. Maybe the mind does not understand, but the heart is content. You wake up and the world is there, and inside, something is just still. Like a beautiful, beautiful play that has taken place. Like a beautiful song that has just been sung. Like a beautiful story that has just been read. Like a beautiful embrace that has just taken place. Like a beautiful caress that has just been felt. So simple. Knowledge is simple because it takes us to that place.

"In that beautiful place inside, Knowledge takes you, slowly, slowly, slowly.
Everything begins to be quiet. Everything comes to a stop.
Something else begins to live, and the heart begins to rejoice."

32




p33 (489K)


WE ARE NOT OUR PROBLEMS




KNOWLEDGE PRESENTS A BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE POSSIBILITY    to exit the arena of our concepts and our problems and find the one place where there is fulfillment. In that place, you are the one who decides what fulfillment is. You feel.

It is very easy to lose what it means to have the gift of Knowledge. It is all too easy to superimpose our concepts, our problems, and our ideas onto Knowledge. People sometimes see Knowledge as a vehicle that will take them out of their problems. But there is nothing in the arena of Knowledge that even remotely promises to solve your problems.

YOU THINK THAT IF YOU COULD GET RID OF YOUR PROBLEMS, YOU WOULD BE HAPPY.    The trouble with that idea is that as you take care of one problem, the next one is already waiting. It is insurmountable. Do you know how long human beings have had problems? Caesar had problems -- big problems -- and because he had problems, everybody had problems. Even people who did not know Caesar had problems. Genghis Khan? He created problems that people could not even comprehend. He had big problems -- the invasion of continents.

"To me, a human being
is the door to joy.
One thing a human being
can do is accept joy.
You will never hear of anyone
who is tired because
he or she is happy."

35




Torture and suffering in the name of both the good and the bad have been going on for an extremely long time. And all this time, people have been trying to solve their problems. The rich have a problem; the poor have a problem.Venice has a problem -- it is sinking. The woman who cannot have a child has a problem, and the woman who has a child has a problem. The man who is not married has a problem, and the man who is married has a problem. Problems are everywhere. Still, human beings think that if they get better at solving their problems, they will be happy. Such is not the case.

To ME, A HUMAN BEING 15 THE DOOR TO JOY.    One thing a human being can do is accept joy. You will never hear of anyone who is tired because he or she is happy. You can be too sad, too thin, too fat, too tall or too short, too smart or too dumb. But you can never be too happy because that is how you were made. You can accept immeasurable joy in your life. Knowledge presents that possibility.

We have so many issues to deal with that we get lost somehow. We get lost in the solutions to the problems that exist in the world. We no longer look at the world with innocence, with admiration. We look at its

"What is important is to be
to quench the thirst
of the heart.
The importance of that
is inherent in you.
It is as important as it is
for you to breathe,
to drink, or to sleep.
It is that important
to be fulfilled."

36




problems. We look at each other, not with admiration, but to find fault. Pretty soon, it becomes a habit.

That is not what this opportunity is. Obviously, if that is your outlook, there is no opportunity. If you have trained yourself to look at the bad, there is no good. If that is your perspective, where is the bliss? Where is the beauty? Where is the gratitude? These things exist. Joy exists.    JOY IS NOT THE PRODUCT OF THE ABSENCE OF SADNESS.    Most people see sadness as an entity, and they think that if you remove the sadness, joy will be there. In fact, it is quite the reverse. Joy is the entity. Without joy, there will only be sadness. People try to remove darkness, but light is the entity. All you have to do is bring light and the darkness will disappear. It is as simple as that.

THE QUESTION IS WHAT YOU WANK IN YOUR LIFE.    There is a choice. Take away consciousness and you have unconsciousness. Take away love and you have hate. Take away truth and you have a lie. What do you want?

We have one lifetime to be fulfilled completely. Why are we not accepting the joy of life? Why are we not embracing the beauty of existence? We are so busy fighting with those things in our lives we can never overcome. Never. It is a game that no one has ever won -- that cannot be won. It is not important to win.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS TO BE FULFILLED, TO QUENCH THE THIRST OF THE HEART.    The importance of that is inherent in you. It is as important as it is for you to breathe, to drink, or to sleep. It is that important to be fulfilled.

Everyone has problems. It is automatic. They come and they go. I have had some big ones, but I do not want my life to be about solving problems. Since the day I made the conscious decision that I don't want my life to be a struggle, it has been quite beautiful. Problems come and I can slam the door. I still have to deal with them. I have to work with them, but they do not ride on my shoulders. They affect me, but they do not affect me.

I WANT MY HEAVEN HERE, NOW - NOT AFTER I AM GONE.     I have a window of opportunity now in which I can feel. I can feel the good; I can feel the bad. I can be delighted and I can be saddened. Here, consciousness has some effect on me. Joy, I like. That is my nature. I never had to learn to like it. Joy is what I want, what you want.That is why we should have this experience. To feel good. To feel happy.

37




APPROACHING KNOWLEDGE




THERE IS A VERY SIMPLE AND A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE WITHIN YOU AND IT IS OF YOU.    The four techniques of Knowledge allow you to turn your focus inside. It may seem simple, but that is what Knowledge is all about.

What do these techniques mean? Without sincerity, they mean nothing. Without thirst, they mean nothing. Imagine that five feet ahead is a beautiful, clear river. What does that mean? Nothing. But if you are thirsty, it means everything. That is what I mean when I say sincerity. When you become sincere, time does not matter. Quantity does not matter. The only thing that matters is the feeling. That is what sincerity is. Sometimes we forget what life is. We forget to be humbled by life. We get overwhelmed, not humbled. Be receptive to this gift; be in gratitude. Are we? No. We want more and more. Of course, we never specify more of what.

When it comes to the gift of Knowledge, what is important is that it can touch you in that one place, where you have never been touched before.     KNOWLEDGE CAN FULFILL YOU IN A WAY YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN FULFILLED BEFORE.    That is what is important -- not wondering what it is. What really makes the difference is that it can bring joy to you.

What is important is that you can feel -- not think -- what this gift is all about. It has something to do with you as a human being, not as a person. There is a

"With all the harshness of the world, there is a great kindness.
Do we ever try to understand what that means?
The kindness has been expressed in your existence.
It is you; it is the gift that you have,
the ability to know, the ability to feel."

39




"With all the harshness of the world, there is a great kindness.
Do we ever try to understand what that means?
The kindness has been expressed in your existence.
It is you; it is the gift that you have,
the ability to know, the ability to feel."

distinction to be made here.    AS A HUMAN BEING, YOU ARE NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD.    You exist. As a human being, you are you. As person, you have a personality, but as a human being, you are simply a human being.

Knowledge tries to point to that--that you can have an experience of joy in your life as a human being. It is as impartial as the breath is to the actions that a person takes. When a thief is in the process of stealing, the breath does not judge what the thief is doing. There are all the different elements of things that have been created, and then there is something else. There is your existence. That is the realm where Knowledge exists.

MANY PEOPLE ASK IF KNOWLEDGE WILL HELP THEM ESCAPE THEIR TROUBLES.    Problems come from our unconsciousness. As long as we are unconscious, it does not matter where we go; we bring our problems with us. Knowledge is not for fleeing from problems. Knowledge is as simple as that most beautiful place inside you because that is where it is.

WITH ALL THE HARSHNESS OF THE WORLD, THERE IS A GREAT KINDNESS.    Do we ever try to understand what that means? The kindness has been expressed in your existence. It is you; it is the gift that you have, the ability to know, the ability to feel. In that, you have everything. That is where your wisdom is. But we take that simple message and translate it into something else. Kindness is not there for translation; it is there to he felt. What Knowledge brings is there to he felt.

APPROACH KNOWLEDGE JUST AS YOURSELF    without any excess baggage. Approach it as you are. who you are, without the duality of anything else. There is no duality in Knowledge. The experience that Knowledge puts you in touch with is an experience that is already within you. That is how you were created. The feeling, the beauty, is already within you. All Knowledge does is allow you to turn toward that beauty. When you turn within,you see what you see, you feel what you feel. Let your heart be the judge. It is as simple as that.

KNOWLEDGE IS NOT A MYSTERY -- KNOWLEDGE IS THE UNRAVELLING OF A MYSTERY.    What exists inside you has always been a mystery. Don't bring a strainer; bring a bowl that has the capacity to hold everything. Bring a bowl that can accommodate whatever is placed in it -- not only what you think should be placed in it. Then you will be ready for the gift of Knowledge.

41




















Design: Rob Love, Rebeca Mendez
Photography: Monika Lewis, Rob Love