Standard Operating Bollox
No Ordinary Box is a compilation of extracts of Prem Rawat's recent (2013) speeches edited by the indefatigable but aging Ole Grübaum. It is an ADI book published by Words of Peace Global. It is similar in concept to The Greatest Truth Of All with many quotes from the text highlighted with large fonts and bold print in an attempt at an edgy, urban look. Click here to see these selected highlights, hopefully that won't break copyright rules.
All publications of Rawat's organisations display a totally fanciful upbeat message and "No Ordinary Box" is no different in this regard. Rawat's speeches as highlighted in this book have little information but contain meaningless permutations of riffs on 'peace', 'life', 'feeling', 'joy', 'heart', 'breath','existence' and 'beauty' with many repetitions of 'real' and/or 'reality'. While Prem has stressed 'thirst' in many of his speeches since the year 2000 it is hardly present in this book. 'Peace', 'life', 'feeling', 'breath' and 'understanding' are the concepts he talks about most often in this book. Rawat uses the word 'knowledge' and 'self-knowledge' 11 times but it is never capitalised and used as he has throughout his career. The words 'meditate' and 'meditation' are not used in the book though, of course, they might have been in the speeches. In many instances his use of 'breath' is more abstract. "The breath is the miracle of all miracles."
In these sections of his speeches Rawat concentrates on the most basic aspects of life, stressing the things we rightly take for granted and speaks as if he can provide some deep experience of them. This is just ordinary bollox and completely banal and pointless as Rawat can provide no meaningful, unique and incredible connection to life though his teachings. He claims to have techniques and the power to allow anyone to go to a "place inside" this not ordinary box and connect to the diamond within, the source of life, the heart, peace, the truest of all joys. However these claims are specious and this is obvious once we know the methods he "teaches" to "go inside." There is no hint or mention of the fact that to attain the impossible heights of clarity, peace, understanding and joy which Rawat proclaims one has to become involved in a long process of indocrination followed by initiation and then go through a lifelong process of monotonous meditation of his four secret medition techniques while always listening to his speeches and donating money and time to his organisations and himself. Nor that he has become a millionaire living a life of vulgar luxury from the money donated by his committed followers for whom prostrating before him and kissing his feet is life's highest peak moment.
Prem Rawat has written no books but he has had some published by getting an editor to go through his speeches trying to make sense of them. Why? I think he explains himself better than I could:
If you cannot convince people of the garbage that you want to convince them of—all you have to do is print it in a book.
Despite this quote about books, Prem Rawat is no reader as he has often boasted and he has spoken of the difficulty he has in studying.. He has educated himself by watching television and his choice of programs is instructive.
Don't mistake me. I'm not putting down books. I have a lot of books. I love to read. But when I am hungry, I know when to close the book and go to the refrigerator. That's the difference most people don't know. They keep turning the pages faster and faster, and faster and faster, and faster, saying, "Why am I still hungry?"
People say, "Oh, well, in my last lifetime …" In America, they have TV shows about ghosts. And they have special cameras to capture the ghosts. So one day I decided, "Okay. I'll watch the show. I'd like to see a ghost." I'm watching, I'm watching, I'm watching, … In America, there is a television show. I watched it once, and I thought it was incredibly intriguing. It's called—you know that big monster lizard, Godzilla? Well, this show is called Bridezilla. And it portrays these brides who are getting married, and they are the brides from hell.
Rawat's speeches are a morass of negativity. The list of absurdities and falsehoods is long and here is a smattering thereof:
- I am not a debating person. Because there are only two possibilities: Do you know or don't you know? — Rawat cannot engage in debate because he is unable to provide any evidence for his claims
- I have to read a lot of resumés. And they always make me laugh. Because you cannot have that much lying on a piece of paper anywhere else. There are actually courses you can take to learn how to fill out your resumé so that it looks like you worked for God, directly, and you have infinite powers that you cannot even talk about. — The resumés Prem Rawat reads are all from his followers/students/devotees apart from those of people applying for a job as his pilot/co-pilot. Simply go to www.wopg.org/whatever-the-last-website-overhaul-calls-it to see the number of roles for volunteers advertised. Many premies can actually put on their resumés that they have worked for God as that is what Rawat claims to be.
- No-one knows that the source of peace is inside each human being — this is one of the most clichéd truisms that is repeated ad infinitum from Oprah to the Peace Inside You website.
- People ask, "Where should I search?" Here's a clue: in you is the only place you have never looked. — see above
- If you can't get along with yourself, you can't get along with anybody — many disturbed and unhappy people fit into society using conformity and politeness.
- There's no shortage of greed in this world. — Rawat has far more than his share of greed
- I've seen the pictures on different websites of all the celestial bodies out there, and it's amazing. They look incredible, outrageous, yet all they are is dirt. — Actually they're made of 98% hydrogen and helium, dirt is a very complex combination of many different substances
- My father used to ask, "What was Buddha's grandfather's religion?" Think about it. He couldn't have been a Buddhist. Buddha wasn't around yet. — He was a Hindu
- "Who's he?" "He's dead." "Dead? What's a 'dead'?" — Rawat creates a simplistic dialogue for Siddhartha Gautama (the young Buddha) on his first contact with suffering as if he didn't even know of the concepts of old age, poverty, money, being fortunate, death or life, etc.
- People say, "Is it that easy? No searching? No going to the top of the Himalayas? No surrendering of everything? No burying your head in the snow for eight years? None of that stuff?" Of course, if you want to do that, it's all possible. I'm sure somebody will be happy to accommodate you. It won't be me. I don't like cold weather. And I don't want to bury my head in the snow for eight years. — Of course no spiritual teacher is actually making these absurd demands
- Look at anyone's life. Some people think bungee jumping is exciting. To actually challenge death; climbing a vertical rock without any safety lines, just their fingertips and powder: "Take me on, Death!" … They find themselves not close to nature, but in it. As manure. As their bodies rot and become dirt again. — One of Rawat's pet peeves are people pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits. He pours scorn on nearly everybody but reserves some of his most sarcastic cattiness for extreme sports. Probably because he's such a coward and he's so unfit, unhealthy, obese and ugly and it's such a contrast. He just can't stand beautiful, healthy people enjoying danger.
- There is that famous painting of God holding out his finger toward the man. I was looking at it the other day, and I wondered if God's really saying, "Watch it. You're going to screw everything up!" … It's a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it's called the Creation of Adam.
- As Socrates said a long time ago, "Know thyself." — I have transcripts of a very small percentage of Prem Rawat's speeches but I have 17 texts in which he quotes Socrates saying "Know Thyself." Whatever Plato meant when using this in the Dialogues of Socrates we can be sure he did not mean that you can "know thyself" by poking your index finger and thumb onto your eyelids, pushing your thumbs into your ears, rolling your tongue backwards and thinking about your breathing. It's extremely unlikely that Rawat knows anything about Plato or Socrates apart from these two words. One former devotee reported that Rawat was told about it from his wife who had done a community college course in the 1980's.
The most astonishing part of these speeches is that all this negativity is being spouted at his own followers. The overwhelming majority of the people at his "events" (excepting India) are people already committed to him and his teachings often for over 40 years.