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PEACE, THEN PROSPERITY

By Prem Rawat

In times of trouble, we do not hesitate to lend a hand to someone when we feel contentment inside of us.  The issue, then, is not how the world should behave, but knowing the fundamental thing that, when it is there, automatically and naturally causes the people to be the way they truly are.  So let’s talk about your nature, my nature.

What is our nature?  Peace does not belong to any religion. Peace does not belong to any country or society.  The address for peace has been given again and again throughout history.  Peace resides within the heart of human beings, within you and me.

A long time ago, the bar was set for mankind that peace was important.  A formula was given:  peace, then prosperity.  We have forgotten about peace and remembered prosperity.  The formula is not going to work without peace.  We’ve gone to the moon, but we have been unsuccessful in establishing peace on this earth.  We have developed weapons of mass destruction.  Creating them has become an art form, with billions of dollars spent on research.  But when it comes to peace, we just wave our hands and say, “Peace. Peace. Peace.”  We need to try to understand what peace is and where it can be found,

Is peace when the neighbors stop fighting? Then build a house where there are no neighbors.  If the family is not fighting, is that peace?  Then surely all the bachelors must be in peace.  Is peace in a monastery? On top of a mountain?  At the bottom of the ocean? No. Peace is within every human being. That’s where you will find peace.

Human beings are like unlit lamps that need to be lit.  If you want world peace, it does not begin in the world; it begins with every individual.  It is people who need peace.  Not the crows, not the monkeys, not the giraffes.  We are the ones who hunger for peace.  We are the ones who need peace in our lives.

But peace remains elusive. Why can’t we get it by doing what we do in this world? If you try and start a car and it won’t start, how long are you going to keep trying? A day? Two days? Five days? The battery is dead. This car is not going to start.  The engine may not even be there, so are you going to keep sitting there trying to start it?

This is what people are doing—they-re working on formulas that haven’t worked for thousands of years.  We keep thinking, “This will fix it. No, this will fix it.” But none of these things are going to fix it.  The only thing that is going to fix it is the clue Socrates gave so long ago: Know thyself.  Look within you for the answers you want. Look within you for what you think is missing. If peace is missing from your life, look no further than yourself for that peace.  Do not be alienated from yourself. Ask who you are, what your nature is.

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