The Pursuit of Power
Who truly has all the power?
This short story illustrates how the pursuit of power can lead us to an unforeseen outcome.
An excerpt from Prem Rawat’s address in Palermo, Italy.
There was a guy, and his job was to go every day to the mountain. And he would cut a piece of rock. He would take the rock, bring it back home, and he would make little things from that rock. He would make mortar and pestle, small statues—and he would sell them. And this is how he made his living.
So, one day he was very sad. And he was walking along the street, and he was just sad with his situation—because he saw no future and he did not like his lifestyle. So, he, heard noise coming from behind the wall; he heard some noise coming. So he stood on his tiptoes and looked.
And it was a beautiful house! And they were having a party. And there were servants. And there were guests! And there was music! And people were dancing! And he went, “Wow! The person who lives in this house, he must be really powerful. I … I want to be like him!
So he looked up and he prayed. “God, I want to be like him.” It just so happened that that day God was listening. And God said, “Okay!” And he snapped his finger. And the man had become rich!
And he said, “Now, this is more like it! I like this. I am powerful! I have servants! I have a house! I have rich friends! Ah, this is really good!” And he was enjoying it.
One day a procession went by and he heard all the noise, so he came out of the house and he looked. And it was the king and he was going. And all the rich men were lined up bowing to the king. And he said “Wow! This king is more powerful than me! God, I want to be like the king.” Also that day God just happened to be listening. Just like that, he was the king. Big army, lots of servants, everybody paying respects to the king.
One day, he came out to his balcony in the morning and he saw the sun rising. And as the sun rose, all the birds started to wake up. All the animals started to stir. It’ s like, “Wow! This sun is more powerful than me!”
So he looks up, prays, “I want to be like the sun.” Just like that—he’s the sun.
And one day he’s shining really bright; it’s really hot—and he sees there’ s something between him and the earth and he looked, and it was a cloud. And the wind was blowing and moving the cloud. “Wow! The wind is more powerful than me! I want to be the wind.” He becomes the wind. He blows! Nothing can stop him—he goes wherever he wants! He’s blowing, blowing, blowing, blowing, and blowing!
And all of a sudden one day he’s stopped! “What’s stopping the wind?” He looks—and it is a big mountain. “Ah! I want to be the mountain. More powerful.” He becomes the mountain.
Very happy. Most powerful. Mighty! Strong! And one day he notices that somebody is cutting the mountain! And he goes, “Who can be more powerful than this mountain? Cutting the mountain?” And he looks and way down there … is a stonecutter just like him, cutting away at the mountain.
In this moment he realized that all along he has been powerful—but he did not know it. Same thing for all of us.
– Prem Rawat