Chapter 7: Full Emptiness
You have ten thousand rupees - your desire for more says, “Have one thousand more. Eleven thousand will be okay.” When you have eleven thousand the desire-nature says, “Have twelve thousand.” And so on, so forth. You can have millions, it will not make a bit of difference. Ten thousand rupees or ten million rupees, it will not make a bit of difference, not even an iota - because the desiring-nature always goes on asking for more. You have ten million rupees, the desiring-nature says, “Have eleven million rupees.” It is the same mind. When you had ten thousand it was saying, “Have eleven thousand,” now you have ten million it says, “Have eleven million.” The proportion remains the same.
The desire nature, nafs, is like the horizon - it always looks as if it is just there, maybe ten miles away. If you rush you can reach it within two hours. But you will never reach it. After two hours, when you look, you will find that it has again receded back, and the distance is the same.
This goes on - that’s why all the religions have called this desire-nature the source of all kinds of mirages, illusions. It creates an illusion, an illusory line, there - the horizon. The horizon does not exist because the earth and the heaven never meet anywhere. And the earth is round. It just appears that somewhere the earth and sky are meeting - just yonder, there. And it seems so close that it seems worthwhile to try. It remains always so close and always so distant. Between you and the horizon the distance is constant. It is the same distance.
The desire for more cannot be satisfied. And because the desire for more cannot be satisfied, you cannot see that which is. You always hanker for that which is not, so your mind is somewhere else and you cannot see that which is very obvious and surrounds you. You see the horizon; you don’t see yourself. You see the distant; you don’t see the close-by. And God is your neighbor, God is really inside you, you are God. But that is very close and you don’t have any time or energy to look for the close. You will have time and energy only when your desire for the distant has disappeared.
Nafs is a neurotic state of mind. Just look inside yourself and you will always find nafs. Why does this nafs exist at all? What is the reason for its existence in the first place?
Man is afraid of his inner emptiness - so much so that the inner seems almost a kind of death. Look within and there is emptiness and nothing else - a silence, an eternal silence, never disturbed, not even a ripple arises there. Not even you are there - because you are noisy, you are the crowd. At the innermost core of your being there is pure emptiness, and that creates fear. One wants to fill it with something, one wants to stuff it with something, one wants to become something so that this emptiness can be dropped. That’s the reason why nafs exists. It is because of the fear of inner emptiness that you go on stuffing yourself.
You may have watched it. When you are feeling very empty, you start eating, when you are feeling very lonely you start eating, when you are missing your beloved or lover you start eating too much. You stuff yourself. You just want to have a feeling of fullness. But no food goes into your inner emptiness, it only stuffs your stomach. It is destructive to your body if you eat too much. And you remain empty.