Chapter 5: Desiring the Unattainable
Desire only that which is unattainable. What is unattainable? Look around - everything is attainable. You may not have attained it, but it is attainable. If you make an effort you can attain it. Potentially, it is attainable.
Alexander created a big empire. You may not have created one, but what Alexander can do, you can do. It is not impossible, it is not unattainable. You may not have gathered as many riches as a Rockefeller or someone else, but what Rockefeller can do, you can do. It is human, it is within your capacity. You may even be a failure, you may not be able to attain it, but it was attainable. Your failure is your own failure, but potentially you could have been a success, so it cannot be said that the thing was unattainable.
What then is unattainable? That which cannot be attained? If that is the meaning, then what is the point of desiring it? If it cannot be attained, then the desire is futile. Why desire that which is unattainable? What is meant by it?
The meaning is very deep, esoteric. The meaning is that your innermost self is unattainable because it is already attained. You cannot attain it because you are it. You cannot make it an achievement. It is not something that has to be attained. It is already there, you have never been away from it. You have never lost it; it is your very nature. It is you, your innermost being. You cannot achieve it, you can only discover it. You cannot attain it; you can only uncover it, you can only recognize it.
There is no possibility of inventing it, it is already there. It is not to be earned, it is already there. You just have to give your awareness to it. You have to focus your awareness on it and, suddenly, the unattainable is attained. Suddenly, that which was never lost is found.
When Buddha attained enlightenment someone asked him, “What have you attained?”
Buddha said, “Nothing, because whatsoever I have attained, now I know that it was always there. It was never lost, so I have simply discovered it. I have known some treasure which was, already, always within me.”
Desire only that which is unattainable.
It is unattainable, because it forever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame.
It is unattainable in another sense, also. You will never be able to say “I have attained it,” because who will say that I have attained it? That “I” which can claim, is no longer. That ego - the periphery - is no longer. In attaining, in discovering, it has to be lost. The ego has to be thrown away, cast away. You can reach only when you have become egoless. You cannot reach with the ego, because the ego itself is the barrier.