Know Yourself

For thousands of years people have talked about knowing yourself.
So, what is this thing about knowing your self?

An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Rome, Italy.

Know Yourself

By Prem Rawat

Duration: 8 minutes 48 seconds
File type: Audio mp3
File size: 21.1 MB

To be human, you need peace. To understand who you are, you need peace. Because you have to—you have no choice—you have to, you have to know yourself.

Now, what’s so incredible about knowing yourself? I mean, what is this thing about “knowing yourself”? (You’ve heard it before.) The reason why you need to know yourself is because everything that you are pursuing is taking you away from who you really are.

There is a pulse—think of it as a wire, a live wire, and it connects Socrates, connects Kabir, Khalil Gibran, and on, and on, and on; it’s a wire; it’s a live wire.

And when you do what you do, you don’t connect with that wire. But when you are looking to find the self, you now connect with the same exact wire as Socrates, because that’s what he said—“Know thyself.” What ran through his brain, now is running through your brain.

That’s what Kabir says. “If you don’t know who you are, you’ll be lost. You will assume, ‘This is who I am.’” Isn’t this how it begins for all of us? Who are you?

I had a—(I still do)—a business card made a long time ago. And when I was designing the business card, all it had was my name. That’s all. It said, “Prem Pal Singh Rawat.” Nothing more, nothing less.

It didn’t say my phone number. It didn’t say my address. And it was a funny and a weird business card—now I realize this. It was a really weird business card because all it said was the name. It did not say what business I was in!

And I remember giving my card to people who had given their cards to me; I’d give them my card. And they would all—now I know why they did this—look at the front, and then look at the back, like, “That’s it?”

Because it’s simply…we cannot relate to another person as just a human being. We relate to each other by what we do, what is our personality, what common interests we share.

All the pilots will be on one side; all the lawyers will come together on the other side. All the doctors will go to one group….because, who are you? “I’m a mother.” Really? That’s who you are?

Everybody is caught! And we simply accept these things because we started when we were very young. This is what was pounded in our heads, and it has been pounded in our heads ever since. And here we are, as old as we are, (or young as we are, or whatever you want to call yourself….) The fact remains, have you given it a thought of who you are?!

So, if I started from that end of the hall and worked myself to that last chair, it would not change the fact that ninety-nine percent of each one of the human beings, starting from that chair, ending up to that chair, all the way, zigzag—everybody is made of the same thing.

So, what is this “business card” business? What is this “father” business; what is this “mother” business? “Oh, you are a female; you are a male.” What is this business? You think oxygen comes in different flavors? “This is female oxygen; it’s only for the ladies.” No! It’s exactly the same oxygen, same hydrogen.

Don’t you see, the things that we don’t need to believe in are created by us!

I know this is a very sensitive subject—incredibly sensitive subject. But I also know that this is the only place we’ve got!

I know there are scientists looking for life out there. Give it a thought—they haven’t found it yet. And they’ve been looking very hard.

And do you think they are saying, when they find it, what it will be? It might be algae! (You want to get excited about algae?) “Algae! We found algae on Mars! This is, ‘algae on Mars’ party!”

Balance, balance. Balance. That’s all I’m talking about is balance. Should we look for life outside? Of course. First, take care of the one that’s here. Should we have exploration outside? Of course. First, let’s explore how to take care of ourselves. It’s very, very important.

In a storm, you lash down things you need first—like the compass. You don’t go, “Eh-heh, that’s okay. that little thing? If it falls overboard, no problem.” You need that. You need that.

And this is what I am saying: what you need is peace! Because without the understanding, the basic and the fundamental understanding of who you are, you cannot plot your life! You cannot even draw a scale if you’re doing good or bad. You don’t know! There’s no way to measure!

I’ve said this before; I’ll say it again. I know…I know navigation. When you fly, you’ve got to navigate. And what is the most fundamental thing in navigation? The most fundamental thing in navigation: knowing where you are.

Knowing! Powerful.

– Prem Rawat