A Simple Story
I am here to tell you a story that is simple. This story is not about animals or kings and queens. It is not about the fulfillment of somebody’s fantasy. This story is about you and me — as we exist, as we are.
It’s not a story about aspirations, because people’s aspirations depend so much on where they find themselves in this world. If somebody lost their child, they wouldn’t pray for money. They would pray for one thing and one thing only: “God, can you please have my child returned to me?” That’s it.
If somebody has been told by a doctor, “You have cancer, you’re dying,” what do they pray for? Do they pray for higher education? Do they pray for another child? No. They say, “God, either make this as painless as possible or take away my cancer.” And if somebody finds themselves poor? They pray for money.
Where we find ourselves in our lives dramatically changes our viewpoint on what our needs are, what the world is all about, what religion is all about, what God is all about — what everything is all about.
But there is a reality: the reality that you are alive. This is the most beautiful reality there is. Whether you are poor or you are rich — what do you really want? In this story, this story about you and me, we have a chance to fulfill our real want. If we want this story to be nice, to have a happy ending, it can be so. So the question becomes, “What is our want?”
Do you know what you want, what you have always wanted, what you will always want? Other people’s opinions and your own needs are two different things. If you have not looked at your real need, your want, all the opinions in the world are not going to take care of it. They are just opinions. What do you want?
Let me tell you about a possibility as one human being to another. I propose that what you want in your life does not need a name. You can call it peace, you can call it happiness, you can call it liberation, you can call it joy — not a problem. Why? Because these are just different names for the same thing. When the heart is content, there will be joy. When the heart is content, there will be peace.
What is the difference between darkness and light? In darkness, you cannot see. When you cannot see, you cannot avoid the obstacles. All of the stumbling blocks, all of the obstacles on the road do not disappear when the sun rises in the morning. But you can see them, and, because you can see, you can avoid them. Light doesn’t take away obstacles; light illuminates them.
What do I give? I give an umbrella. I do not take away the rain. Rain cannot be taken away — it will rain. But that’s not a problem if you have an umbrella. Without one, you will become wet, and you don’t want to get wet.
I give an umbrella. Do I take away people’s obstacles? No. I give them a lamp so that they can see, so that they can avoid what they want to avoid. That’s how it is. That’s what you need.
What does this being really want? This being has the most amazing aspiration it could ever have — to feel the infinite. This is the highest ambition: when a mortal wants to reach and touch and feel the immortal. That’s an incredible but beautiful ambition.