Know Where You Are
Before you can go anywhere on a map, you need to know where you are.
The most critical thing in life is to know where you are; then you can enjoy the journey.
An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Lisbon, Portugal.
You see, my friends, you will never, ever live in tomorrow—ever! Never. And if you don’t believe me, stay up all night; watch your clock. And tonight at twenty-three fifty-nine, fifty-nine, when tomorrow will be precisely one second away, one second later it will have moved. What you thought was tomorrow would have become today.
Do you know you have been living in a very long “today?” Do you know that? It’s just been today! Every day that you are alive in—is today, today, today, and today. And then one day, no more day. But it’s today.
So, here is the problem. Is there a problem in thinking about tomorrow? No, of course not. What’s the problem, then? Well, the problem is, tomorrow has become the source of your hope—not today. So the problem is, the hope is coming tomorrow—and you’re stuck in today!
So it’s like, you keep asking for more gold, and it keeps coming in your neighbor’s house. You see the problem? You want it in your house, and your neighbor keeps getting richer. You asked for a great looking wife, and he has one. And you asked for a faithful dog—yours isn’t, but his is!
Hope should be coming from today! Do you know how to bring hope from today? It shouldn’t be licensed to tomorrow. It should be today.
Hope brings you joy! But if your hope is tied to tomorrow, which is not coming, so neither is your joy. Yeah, I’m just being logical. It’s a problem. It’s a real problem.
And this moment that you live in…. And it’s the same thing. You only live in one little sliver of all this time that we talk about, and it’s called “now.” And you’re stuck in now. You can’t go back, and you can’t go forward. You’re stuck in now. And do you have any idea what “now” is?
So, here are the problems. So, you see the problem? You have no idea where you are. You have no idea who you are; you have no idea where you are; you have no idea why you’re here.
And you have a map. You have a map. And the problem with the map is, you have no idea where you are on the map.
So when Socrates says, “Know thyself,” he may as well say, “You’d better know where you are on that map.” Because as soon as you know where you are on the map, you can choose to go anywhere on that map. But if you don’t know where you are on that map, how will you go anywhere? And here is the belief problem.
So, should you just believe, “I’m here”? It’s problematic. Navigation-wise, it’s a big problem.
So, this is the business of “present position.” This is the business of knowing where you are on that map. Who are you?
And if you want to traverse this ocean of life, please, this is supposed to be an enjoyable journey…not you drowning in it! This is supposed to be existence, the epitome of joy, the epitome of parties, the epitome of all that is possible—life. Life.
– Prem Rawat