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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 8
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Chapter 5: Nothing but a Dream

If you are a seeker after money and power, then you will be dependent on money and power. The man who goes on accumulating money, if it is his pleasure to have more and more money, will become more and more miserable - because the more he has, the more he wants, and the more he has, the more he is afraid to lose it. A double-edged sword: the more he wants - the first edge of the sword. Hence he becomes more and more miserable.

The more you demand, desire, the more you feel yourself lacking something, the more hollow, empty, you appear to yourself. On the other hand - the other edge of the sword - the more you have, the more you are afraid it can be taken away; it can be stolen. The bank can go bankrupt, the political situation in the country can change, the country can become Communist. There are a thousand and one things upon which your money depends. Your money does not make you a master, it makes you a slave. Pleasure is peripheral; hence it is bound to depend on the outer circumstances. And it is only titillation.

If food is pleasure, what actually is being enjoyed? - just the taste. For a moment, when the food passes the taste buds on your tongue, you feel a sensation which you interpret as pleasure. It is your interpretation. Today it may look like pleasure and tomorrow it may not look like pleasure. If you go on eating the same food every day the buds on your tongue will become nonresponsive to it. Soon you will be fed up with it - that’s how people become fed up.

One day you are running after a man or a woman and the next day you are trying to find an excuse to get rid of the other. The same person, nothing has changed! What has happened meanwhile? You are bored with the other, because the whole pleasure was in knowing the new. Now the other is no longer new; you are acquainted with the territory of the other. You are acquainted with the body of the other, the curves of the body, the feel of the body. Now the mind is hankering for something new.

The mind is always hankering for something new. That’s how mind keeps you always tethered somewhere in the future. It keeps you hoping, but it never delivers the goods - it cannot. It can only create new hopes, new desires.

Just as leaves grow on the trees, desires and hopes grow in the mind. You wanted a new house and now you have it - and where is the pleasure? Just for a moment it was there, when you achieved your goal. Once you have achieved your goal, your mind is no longer interested in it; it has already started spinning new webs of desire. It has already started thinking of other, bigger houses. And this is so about everything.

Pleasure keeps you in a neurotic state, restless, always in turmoil. So many desires, and every desire unquenchable, clamoring for attention. You remain a victim of a crowd of insane desires - insane because they are unfulfillable - and they go on dragging you in different directions. You become a contradiction.

One desire takes you towards the left, another towards the right, and simultaneously you go on nourishing both desires. And then you feel a split, then you feel divided, then you feel torn apart, then you feel like you are falling into pieces. Nobody is responsible. It is the whole stupidity of desiring pleasure that creates this.

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