The Sugar Ant and the Salt Ant

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Each of us have a singular quest to better ourselves— to evolve, to move forward, to improve upon all that can be improved. But how to proceed? Focus inside or out? This article suggests you start with rediscovering your thirst to be happy and content.

Transcript of The Sugar Ant and the Salt Ant

  • The Sugar Ant and the Salt Antthe ancient wisdom series volume 6

    text by Prem Rawat illustrations by Joanna Chan

    TheSugar Ant

    And TheSalt Ant

  • by Prem Rawat

    the ancient wisdom series

    We tend to analyze everything. But when I feel thirsty, I dont want an analysis of water. I dont want descriptions of water. All I want to know is how to get water so I can quench my thirst. Thats the pointto quench the thirst.

    Whatever we dowhether it is exploring space, mapping the bottom of the ocean, flying a kite, bungee jumping, learning how to cook, designing new airplanes, inventing new technologieswe do because we think it will benefit us. And we have a bad habit of jumping into things without ever looking back and asking, Did this really benefit me? We just go on with new invention after new invention.

    I look at pictures of myself when I was a baby and wonder, Where did he go? Did he die? Its a weird question, because I know that baby was me and that I am alive. But I dont look anything like that baby. So, looking from there to here, I cant help but ask, Where did he go?

    THE Sugar Ant

    AND THE Salt Ant

  • thesugar ant

    and thesalt ant


    We think we are the sum of all the things we do, and yet that picture of me as a baby was just one snapshot in a lifemy lifewhich now I understand is never constant. A picture of me three years from now will look different. Ten years from now, it will look even more different, and twenty years from now, it will look very, very different. I am constantly changing. I may not perceive the change as it happens, but I am changing. So who am I? Who are you? We have a singular quest to better ourselves

    to evolve, to move forward, to improve upon all that can be improved. To make it better.

    My message is about the possibility of the ultimate betterment of a human beingnot of mankind, not of a country, not of a social belief, but of a human being. And it is not through religion or doctrine, not through ideas or concepts. Neither is it through hearsay or repetition or through the sheep effect. It is through each individual exploring and finding the beauty within themselves. And all that is asked of a person is to clean their plate.

  • the ancient wisdom series


    Once, two ants met. One ant lived on a hill that was made out of sugar. The other ant lived on a hill made out of salt.

    Where are you from? asked the salt ant.

    I live on the sugar hill.

    Sugar hill? What is sugar?

    Oh, its this wonderful, sweet-tasting stuff.

    And the salt ant said, Ive never heard of that. Im from the salt hill. I eat salt, and it makes me thirsty. But this sweet stuff sounds pretty good!

    So the ant from the sugar hill said, Why dont you come over one day, and you can taste it and see if you like it?

    So the salt ant decided, Yeah, a new taste. Thats a good idea.

    They agreed on a date. The day came, and soon the salt ant was getting ready to go. Hmm, he thought, Im going all the way to this sugar hill. What if I dont like it? What if it tastes terrible? Then Ill be hungry. I know what Im going to do. Im going to bring some salt with me, so Ill have it in case I dont like sugar. He put some salt in his mouth and took off.

    When the salt ant arrived, the sugar ant was glad to see him. Hey, how are you doing?

    Oh, Im good. I just cant wait to taste the sugar! It sounds great.

    Here. Taste it.

    The salt ant put the sugar in his mouth, chewed on it a little bit, and said, It tastes just like salt.


    Yeah! It tastes just like my salttheres

  • thesugar ant

    and thesalt ant


    no difference. I guess you call it sugar here, and we call it salt where I live. Its the same thing!!

    The sugar ant said, I dont think so. Open your mouth. Let me take a look.

    Sure enough, in the back of his mouth, there was some salt. So the sugar ant said, Let me have that, and he took it out. Now, taste the sugar.

    Wow! Unbelievable. Its so different, so amazing! I love this stuff!! Im moving!

    This would not have been the outcome had the salt remained in the salt ants mouth. Thats why I say, Clean the plate and taste the dish as it should be tastednot mixed with anything else. Taste it so you will know what its flavor is.

    I am talking about something that is not a blend. It is not about your accomplishments. It is about youyou being alive. I know one thing, and it is almost ridiculously simple: The coming and the going of the breath is the most amazing thing happening in your life.

    What? you might ask. It isnt my new job? My new wife? My new husband? My new girlfriend? My new dog? It isnt my

    new car, my new suit, my new house? No.

    You might think, But there are a lot of wonderful things in this world. Yes, I agree. Theres a lot of beautiful scenerybeautiful mountains, clouds, lakes, oceans, beaches, and palm trees. There are beautiful fruits, flowers, birds, animals. But you can only see, feel, touch, smell any of those because breath is coming in and out of you. Without the breath being present, someone could place as many flowers as they wanted under your nose, and they would get no response whatsoever.

  • the ancient wisdom series


    If you have a bad memory, the problem is you dont know what you forgot. In certain circumstances, this can be blissful, but its mostly the other way around. All that is truly good for you, you forget. All that is truly bad for you, you remember like it only happened two seconds ago.

    Do you know what is good for you? Before you answer this question, I want to remind you that when you were very young, you knew what was good for you. You didnt think of it that way. You just went about doing it. What was it? You wanted to be happy. You really didnt care about anything else. You just wanted to be happy. Thats all. It was a simple time.

    It didnt matter if you were born into a poor family or a rich family. You just wanted to be happy. Then slowly, slowly, a lot happened. Step by step your attention was diverted from happiness to becoming a slave of the world. You were being tempered so that the world would be able to withstand you and you would be able to withstand the world. Responsibilities, discipline, and all that. Do this, do this, do that, do that. But you were not being disciplined toward what was your innate feeling from the beginning before anybody got hold of your brain.

    I see this happening everywhere, and it irks me, but I cant do anything about it. A lot of people think things are not so bad. Im not here to judge, but in my opinion, if ever a report card was given out on this world, it would have an F on it.


    I was watching a TV show where they depicted all the things that happen when they film the show. One guy was trying to get friendly with an elephant, and the elephant just picked him up with his trunk and shook him. Now, Id like to see that guy pick up the elephant and shake him. There would be no contest. Porpoises can swim faster than we can. Sharks have evolved a perfect set of teeth. They dont ever have to see a dentist. If a tooth falls out, its not a problema new one will grow. And sharks dont even need teeththey can gum you to death.

    We needed to invent an airplane to f ly, but birds and insects didnt have to invent anything to f ly. And were so proud because we invented the GPS (Global Positioning System). Our sense of direction is pathetic. A pigeon that has a brain no bigger than our earlobe doesnt need a GPS. It has one built in. In the old days, people actually used pigeons to carry messages. Wherever they went, when the

  • thesugar ant

    and thesalt ant


    pigeons were released, they knew how to get back home.

    Communication? We have invented cell phones. The whales must look at us and say, I can talk halfway around the world, and its free. I dont need cell towers; the signal is always there.

    With so many of what we think of as our inventions, we are just barely reaching the minimal mark of the animal kingdom. And yet, most of those creatures feel free

    to do what they have to do. With all our inventions, we are so trapped that we have forgotten our basic fundamental desire to be content.


    In your life, you need peace. You need to be content. You need to be happy. You

    need to feel like the child that you once were, that you still are! No matter how many turns you have taken in your life or how many changes have happened, these

  • the ancient wisdom series

    fundamentals have not changed. If you need to discover something, discover your thirst to be happy and content.

    Discover the joy that resides in the heart of every human being. Be fulfilled. Not by questions but by answers. For some people, this sounds strange. What? No questions? Just answers? Arent questions and answers always paired? No. They are not. Thats why people never find the answers. They just keep finding more questions.

    Do you know how much interpretation goes on in the world? I watch the news, and they give me interpretations. They should just show me what happened and let me figure it out myself. But they say, This is what was said. Let me give you my interpretation. This is what was meant. And I say, Do I look deficient to you? Like I cant make up my own mind? Like I dont have a brain? Like I cant think?

    The whole point of what I talk about is for you to be able to drink the water

    yourselfnot for somebody else to drink the water and tell you how good it was. You are the one who is thirsty, and you need to drink the water yourself. No explanations, no interpretations.