Chapter 1: You Are Always on the Funeral Pyre
He says, “The only thing that I can give to you is an impetus, a thirst, a tremendous passion to become aware, to become conscious, to become alert; to live your life so consciously, so full of light and awareness, that your life is solved.” Not that you come to some ultimate explanation of existence - nobody has ever come. Buddha denies metaphysics completely. He says metaphysics is a futile search.
So the first thing: he denies God.
The second thing: he denies moksha, paradise, heaven. He says: Your heaven, your paradise, are nothing but your unfulfilled sexual desires, unfulfilled instincts, being projected into the other life, the life beyond, the life after death. And he seems to be absolutely true.
If you see the depiction, the description of heaven and paradise in Islam, in Christianity, in Judaism, you will understand it perfectly, what he is saying. Whatsoever remains unfulfilled here you go on projecting in the hereafter. But the desire seems to be the same!
Hindus say there are trees they call kalpavriksha - you sit under them and whatsoever you desire, without any lapse of time, it is fulfilled. You desire a beautiful woman, she is there - immediately, instantly. Just now in the West you have invented instant coffee and things like that. India discovered a wish-fulfilling tree - down the centuries it has believed in that. That is really instantly fulfilling - really instantly, without any time lapse. Here the idea arises, there it is fulfilled; not even a single second passes between the two. The idea is its fulfillment! You desire a beautiful woman, she is there. You desire delicious food, it is there. You desire a beautiful bed to rest on, it is there.
Now, this is simple psychological analysis - that man is unfulfilled in life. And he goes on, his whole life he goes on trying to fulfill it, still he finds it cannot be fulfilled so he has to project in the future. Not that in the future it can be fulfilled - desire as such is unfulfillable.
Buddha has said: The very nature of desire is that it remains unfulfilled. Whatsoever you do, regardless of what you do about it, it remains unfulfilled - that is the very intrinsic nature of desire. Desire as such remains unfulfilled. So you can sit under a wish-fulfilling tree - it doesn’t make any difference. You can feel many times it is being fulfilled, and again it arises. Ad infinitum it will go on arising again and again and again.
The Christian, the Muslim, the Jewish, the Hindu.all heavens and paradises are nothing but unfulfilled projected desires, repressed desires, frustrated desires. Of course, they console man very much: “If you have not been able to fulfill here - there. Sooner or later you will reach to God; the only thing you have to do is go on praying to him, go on bowing down before some image or some idea or some ideal, and keep him happy, keep God happy, and then you are going to reap a great crop of pleasures and gratifications. That will be his gift to you - for your prayers, for your appreciation, for continuous surrender, for again and again touching his feet, for your obedience - that is going to be the reward.”