Chapter 9: The Monkey in the Forest
But it used to happen that whenever somebody would come and would stay for two years in silence, he would never ask anything - because silence is the answer of all the answers. Silence is the answer for all the questions. There would be no need to ask Buddha because in silence he would see the glory, the splendor of Buddha, and it would start permeating his being like a flood, taking away all dust accumulated down the centuries.
The first sutra:
If you sleep,
desire grows in you
like a vine in the forest.
Desire cannot be dropped unless you wake up. Millions of people have tried to drop desiring without waking up. In fact, the very idea of dropping desire was another desire and nothing else. They heard from the buddhas, from the awakened ones, that there is great peace if you drop desire, there is great bliss if desires wither away; that you will attain to eternity, that you will not know any birth, any death anymore, that you will become part of the universal celebration that goes on and on - if you drop desire. Millions became greedy, thinking that by dropping desire they will attain all these joys. Now, this is a new desire taking root in you. The desire for God, the desire for truth, the desire for liberation, the desire for becoming desireless, is still a desire. You have misunderstood the whole point again. A new greed - religious greed - has taken possession of you.
Millions of people have lived in the monasteries - monks and nuns and all kinds of ascetics - torturing themselves in the hope, in the desire, that this is the way to destroy desires. When all desires are destroyed they are going to attain to heavenly pleasures. And those pleasures are real pleasures; they are not momentary like the pleasures on this earth, they are eternal. How can you drop desire by creating a new desire, a bigger desire, a far more dangerous desire?
As I see it, the religious people are more in the grip of desire than the nonreligious. The nonreligious is satisfied with small things - a good house, a beautiful wife, children, a little bank balance - small things. But religious people go on condemning these people that they are sinners. And they themselves are saints because they want a bank balance in the other world, and a bank balance which will be inexhaustible!
It is very difficult to drop desire; unless you wake up you cannot drop desire. Desire is a natural phenomenon when you are asleep. Desire is dreaming and nothing else. When you wake up dreams disappear, and when you wake up desires disappear.
Hence it has to be understood: the real point is not to fight with your desires but to fight with your sleep. That is cutting the very root; otherwise you remain the same. You will function out of your unconsciousness and you will go on doing the same; it does not matter what it is.
Three men were riding in a bus on a hot summer day in Israel. One of them was a rabbi, a Jew, another a Greek, and the other a Palestinian.