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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 1
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Chapter 4: Desire: The Link with Life

Last night you said that desires move between the dead past and
the imaginary future.
Please explain how and why this dead past proves so dynamic and powerful that it compels a person to flow into the process of endless desire.
How can one be free from this dynamic past, the unconscious and
the collective unconscious?

The past is not dynamic at all: it is totally dead. But still it has a weight - a dead weight. That dead weight works. It is not dynamic at all. Why the dead weight works has to be understood.

The past is so forceful because it is the known, the experienced, and mind always feels fearful of the unknown, the unexperienced. How can you desire the unknown? You cannot desire the unknown. Only the known can be desired, so desires are always repetitious. They repeat, they are circular. You always move in the same pattern, in the same circle. The mind becomes just a groove of repetitions, and the more you repeat a particular thing the more weighty it becomes, because the groove goes deep.

So the past is important not because it is dynamic; it forces you to do something and to desire not because it is forceful, powerful, alive, but only because it is a dead groove. The past has been repeated so many times, that to repeat it has become easy and automatic. The more you repeat a particular thing, the more easy and convenient it becomes. The basic convenience is this: that if you are repeating a thing, you need not be aware.

Awareness is the most inconvenient thing. If you are repeating a particular thing, then you need not be aware. You can be just deeply asleep and the thing can be repeated automatically, mechanically. So it is convenient to repeat the past because you need not be aware. You can go on sleeping and the mind will repeat itself.

That’s why those who say that desirelessness is the state of bliss, also say that desirelessness is synonymous with awareness. You cannot be desireless unless you are totally aware. Or, if you are aware, you will find that you are desireless, because desires can have a repetitive force upon the mind only when you are not aware. So the more asleep the mind is, the more repetitive and mechanical. The past has the grip only because it is a repetition and because it is the known. How can you desire the unknown?

For the unknown there can be no desire; the unknown is inconceivable. That’s why, even when we begin to desire God, we are not desiring the unknown. By “God” we must mean something which is known. So go deep: what do you mean by “God”? - particularly your God. What do you mean by it? You will find under the garb of “God” something known, something experienced.

It may be eternal pleasure. So the so-called religious persons go on saying, “Why are you wasting your life in desires which are momentary? Come to us. Here is the fulfillment. Here is the possibility to achieve permanent, eternal pleasure.” The language can be understood. You know the momentary pleasure, so you can desire permanent pleasure - but under the garb of “God” there is pleasure.

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