Chapter 7: Wander Alone
What sense in going on?
Stop a little. Consider for once: “Who am I?” Let this question awaken in you because it is with this question descending deeply within you, with the arrow of this question piercing your very soul, that the mystery of life lifts its veil.
But the people sitting in the temples, mosques, churches and shrines in the name of religion have also not stopped; they too just keep on moving - their running continues. You want to have money, they want to have heaven. You want to have position and power, they want to have God. But where there is desire, there is madness. And where there is desire, there is rivalry. Where there is desire there is competition, the whole marketplace. Where there is desire there is the fear of being defeated, the fear that others might get ahead of you. Where there is desire there is condemnation, there is opposition. Where there is desire there is struggle, there is tension. As soon as desire is gone, a unique relaxation descends into one’s life. As soon as desire goes, the days of autumn are gone and spring comes.
Who is religious? - not the one who has changed his desire, but rather the one who has understood desire. Desire makes you run, to run arbitrarily, to run uselessly, to run meaninglessly, to run for the sake of running. Then running just becomes a habit. Man just goes on running and the running continues until you fall into your grave. You never reach anywhere. After all this running you reach only your grave. Nothing comes into your hands. Perhaps you had brought something, but that too you let slip through your fingers. But this running has latched onto the mind so tightly that even if you awaken from the meaninglessness of it, you will begin a new version of running. You are so bound by these chains that even when you are tortured by the agony of them, you then cast new ones. It may be that you cast golden chains in place of the iron ones, and you may also stud your golden chains with diamonds and jewels, but chains are chains.
Certainly the worldly are bound, but the so-called spiritual people are also bound. A free person is one who has no desire. He doesn’t desire God and he doesn’t desire heaven. A person who has understood the meaninglessness of desire - that desire takes one astray and keeps one running after it - the person who has understood the feverishness of desire, who has understood the madness of desire, who has looked with open eyes at desire and has let it fall without taking up any new desire, that person who becomes this empty of desire attains to the divine. The divine is already attained, just the desire goes and the eyes open to it, just the desire vanishes and the divine immediately descends. It was just hiding, waiting for desire to get out of the way so that it could come face to face with you. It is not only that you are eager for his sight and touch, he too is eager for your sight and touch. But a wall of desires stand in between.