Chapter 2: Desire for Life
A desire for life means the future. All desires are related to the future, no desire occurs in the present. This is a very strange thing: you cannot immerse yourself in any desire if you are in the present moment. Desire is always for the future, it is always in the tomorrow. For desire, time is needed; for its fulfillment time is needed, space is needed. Whenever you desire something, that very desiring is in the future.
If there is no future then the desire dies, and if there is no desire then the future comes to an end.
There are two possibilities: either the desire has to be dropped and then the person can be in the present, or, if the person moves into the present then too the desire is dropped - because there is no way to generate a desire here and now, in the present. What do you need right here and now? Think about it a little. What desire can you have in this moment? As soon as you desire you have moved into the future. There can be no connection between desire and the present. The moment you desire, you have left the present. You have removed yourself to tomorrow, to the coming day; your mind has run away.
So the meaning of “desire of life” is also that you are searching for life in the future. But life is here and now, life is you. You are standing in the middle of it, but your eyes are on tomorrow. That is why the present day cannot be seen, it is overlooked. That is why the sutra says to remove the “desire of life” - so that you can get to know life itself. Drop the desire for comfort; so that comfort may be yours.
Everyone is unhappy, comfortless - not because it is in the nature of life to be unhappy but because we do not know the art of being happy, being in comfort. We know the art of making ourselves unhappy, uncomfortable - to an unimaginable degree. We seek suffering. The man who desires for the future, and all desire is about the future, is bound to fall prey to unhappiness because the future never comes, it only appears to be coming. What actually comes is the present; what never comes is the future. No matter what you do, what you get is the present. And if your mind is in the habit of living in the future, then today you will live in the future, tomorrow too, and the day after. Whatever day comes, you will stay in the future. And how can you get what you want in the future? If the future never comes, when will your future wishes be fulfilled? The result will be unhappiness. That is why the fruit of desire is always unhappiness.
Life is not unhappiness, desire is unhappiness. The more desires there are, the more suffering there is. If you are very unhappy, don’t think it is because existence is angry with you. If you are very unhappy that only indicates that you are full of desires. And when those desires remain unfulfilled, then wounds of unhappiness grow in your heart.
If you are very unhappy, don’t try to drop unhappiness. Instead, drop desires - because unhappiness is only the fruit. It is desire that is the seed. The one who has sown the seed has shot his arrow. The arrow can be stopped only up to the point until it is released from the bow. After releasing it there is no way to stop the arrow.