Having a long-term perspective on life expands our horizons.
An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Brisbane, Australia.
You see, there’s two ways to look at yourself: one is the short term and one is the long term. The wise look at themselves from the time they are born to a definite time. They don’t know what that time is, but that definite time that they have to die. They look at that whole sequence.
And so they’re not just living hand-to-foot, minute by minute. They’re actually saying, “All these things that I do—and I do that is right—and I live in the moment! And I also understand this big moment—that this life itself is a moment.
“I live in a moment—and this life is a moment. It’ll all go by too quickly.”
How many people sitting here have felt the pain because you really didn’t understand death? Somebody close to you died, and you felt the pain because you really didn’t understand death.
Now, I’m not saying death is great—no, it’s terrible. But it’s there. It’s as natural. It’s the other side of the coin of birth.
Everything has two sides, naturally, even if it is merely by absence. So, darkness is not any thing in itself. It’s just absence of light. It’s not a presence. It’s not an object. It’s—darkness is nothing … nothing! So you can’t manipulate it. You can’t throw it out; you can’t put it up; you can’t put it down; you can’t change it. Because it’s just an absence.
Light, on the other hand, is something. You can invite it and make the darkness go away. Wisdom is something. You can invite it and make the stupidity go away.
And this is what doing the right is all about—always inviting wisdom. Always inviting clarity. Always keeping—it’s almost like you have two eyes—keep one eye on the moment called “now” and keep the other on…on the whole thing. You’re born; you’re here, and one day you have to go.
And nothing changes. See, in understanding, when you understand something, it’s… understanding doesn’t change a fact. It changes you. Because there’s the difference. It was there before, but you didn’t understand it—and now, you understand it. It stays the same, and now you understand it. You accept it; you know what that is. now
It’s just—death is death; birth is birth, and in between is life. So, once you keep that—if you get that perspective—now, what do you have to do? Now, you have to do the right thing. And what is the right thing? Not miss a moment of today. That’s the right thing.
“Right thing” isn’t about, “Should I write my girlfriend a letter?” That’s not what “right thing” is about. “Should I call my girlfriend now? Should I have lunch now? Should I invite somebody for lunch now? Should I upgrade my car?” That’s not the right thing—because that’s going to change; it’s changeable!
Maybe someday you should write your girlfriend a letter—or boyfriend a letter.
The right thing becomes, “I cannot sacrifice today for anybody or anything. I cannot become unconscious today.”
– Prem Rawat