A Matter of Reality


There is a lot going on around the world. But I want to talk to each one of you about this life, about this time that we have. It’s not often that somebody points out the importance of life itself. We live in a world that sees it very differently.

I’ll give you an example. Today, I wanted to know about the latest hurricane. So I turned on the TV. They were talking about how many people might get hurt, how many millions of dollars in damages the last hurricane had caused, and how much damage this one could do. 

Then, all of a sudden, there was an advertisement saying, “Are you overweight? Would you like to lose five to ten pounds? Then this medicine is for you!” And I’m thinking, “Wait a minute. Half of the United States is in trouble, and we’re talking about being five to ten pounds overweight?” That’s the world we live in. What reality is and what it is not has become an incredibly fine line. So fine, in fact, that it is almost indistinguishable.

Prem Rawat

A long time ago, someone said, “As far as your eyes can see, you can consider it to be an illusion.” In our little world, we have made compartments for everything. So when we hear a deep statement like this, we don’t really want to act on it. If we did, the consequences would be amazing. You’d come out of your garage and realize, “My house is an illusion.” You’d look at your wife and say, “You’re an illusion, honey.” You’d look at your kids and your car in the same way. I mean, it would be almost paralyzing. You’d wonder, “Wait a minute—as far as the eye can see, it is all an illusion?”

So, we have compartments, and we say, “Well, this is one of those deep thoughts.” And then we move along. We go on our way because we don’t really want to change. If it means saying, “Oh, I love changes,” and not having to change, we say that, too. And people actually make these declarations, “I love changes.” As long as nobody causes them to change, it’s okay.

I ask people, “Do you have peace in your life?” “Yes.” “Really?” “Oh, yes, yes. I read scriptures, I go jogging every day, I do yoga. I have peace. Now, where is the ice cream?” And that’s it.

Why am I talking to you about illusion and reality? Does it matter that all this is an illusion? Does it matter that there is a reality? Yes, it does. Why? Because I see myself in relation to all the things that I am surrounded by. If I didn’t see any relationship between those things and me, then it wouldn’t be a problem. But when I see that relationship, I am caught.


The point is that all we consider to be real is not. We have our relatives or “relations” and all the people we love. There will be a time when all these relationships will come to an end. There will be a time when they can no longer reciprocate our love. So, why am I talking to you about this? My point is, if you’re going to have a relationship, have a relationship with something inside of you, too. If you’re going to have loved ones, find the love that is inside of you as well, because this is the one that transcends the limitations of this world.

I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. When you go to somebody’s house for dinner, what do you carry away with you? Well, you still have food in your stomach, but you also carry the memory of the enjoyment you had. Learn how to truly enjoy, because when you know how to enjoy, you take that with you in a heart that is full.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whatever situation you go through, you carry a joy with you. But if you have not understood and included your true self in this life of yours then, yes, you live in a world of illusion. Somehow, you think that this will all be here forever. But it won’t.

There is something real in you. There is something beautiful in you. If you want to be mesmerized by beauty, be mesmerized by the beauty that is within you. If you want to understand something, understand yourself. If you want to love, love this beautiful breath that comes into you. If you do this, you will be given a gift of peace, joy, love—not in thoughts, not in words, but in feeling. And that is no ordinary gift.

— Prem Rawat