Chapter 11: Total Desire: The Path to Desirelessness
When we assume any attitude, we always reach the opposite. This is the deep dialectics of existence. The expected never comes; the longed-for is never achieved; the desire is never fulfilled. The more you desire it, the more you lose it. Whatever the dimension may be, it makes no difference; the law remains the same. If you ask too much of anything, by the very asking you lose it.
If someone asks for love he will not get love, because the very asking makes him unlovely, ugly; the very fact of asking becomes the barrier. No one can love you if you are asking for love. No one can love you. You can be loved only when there is no asking; the very fact of not asking makes you beautiful, makes you relaxed.
It is just like when you close your fist and you lose the air that was in the open fist. In an open fist all the air is there, but the moment you close your fist, in the very closing you are losing the air. You may think that when you have closed your fist you will have possessed the air, but the moment you try to possess it you lose it. With an open fist all the air is there and you are the master. With a closed fist you are the loser: you have lost everything; you have no air in your hand at all.
And the more closed the fist, the less is the possibility of air being there. But this is how the mind works, this is the absurdity of the mind; if you feel that the air is not there, you close your fist even more. Logic says, “Close it better; you have lost all the air. You have lost it because you did not close your fist so well. You have not really closed your fist as you should; somewhere you are at fault. You have closed your fist wrong; that is why air has escaped. So close it more, close it more,” and in the very closing you are losing. But this is how it happens.
If I love someone, I become possessive; I begin to close in. The more I close in, the more love is lost. The mind says, “Arrange to be even closer,” and it makes more arrangements, but somewhere there is a leakage. That is why love is being lost. The more I close in, the more I lose. Only with an open hand can love be possessed; only with an open hand, only with a nonclosing mind, can love become a flowering. And this happens with everything.
If you love life too much, you become closed; you become like a dead person even while you are alive. So a person who is filled with lust for life is a dead person; he is already dead, just a corpse. The more he feels to be just a corpse, the more he yearns to be alive - but he does not know the dialectics. The very longing is poisonous. A person who does not long for life at all - a person like Buddha, with no lust for life - lives ardently. He flowers into aliveness perfectly, totally.
The day Buddha died someone said to him, “Now you are dying. We will be missing you so much, for ages and ages, for lives and lives.”
Buddha said, “But I died a long time ago. For forty years I have not been aware that I am alive. The day I achieved knowing, enlightenment, I died.”