Religions exploited this simple truth. It is true, but rather than explaining it to you, they exploited it. They said, “This is momentary happiness. Don’t run after it; you are wasting your time. The real world is beyond death.” Why beyond death? Because death will destroy all your biology, physiology, chemistry; everything that is material, death will take away. Only the spiritual will be left behind and the spiritual knows the eternal. The material, the physical, knows only the momentary.
It appeared very logical; the first part is true, the second part is fictitious. Yes, it is true that moments of happiness in this life are very fleeting, but that does not mean that there is another life beyond death where these moments become eternal. There is no evidence for it. At least these moments are there, are experienced by everyone. Howsoever small and fleeting, they exist. Nobody can deny their existence. You can say they are made of the same stuff as dreams are made of – but still they are there. Even dreams have a reality of their own. They are there, and they affect you; and when something affects you it becomes real.
For example, you are hungry. The whole day you have not been able to eat anything; you are tired, you fall asleep. Now, the body is hungry and wants food. The mind creates a beautiful dream that you are a guest in a great feast. The mind is serving you because if the mind is not going to create the dream, your sleep will be disturbed – the hunger is there. Somehow you have to be convinced that you are eating, that you are not hungry. Your sleep remains undisturbed. The dream is doing something real. How can something unreal do something real? It is not possible – but a dream has its own existence. Yes, it is different from a rock, but so is a roseflower different from a rock. The dream is even more different; but it affects you, it affects your life, it affects your lifestyle – and those changes are real.
So, one thing to be remembered: in this life there are momentary pleasures, fleeting experiences of happiness, sudden explosions of joy – but you cannot catch hold of them.
You cannot keep them in your safe deposit. You cannot make them permanent. Just because you cannot make them permanent, religions have exploited you. It was a very cunning strategy. You want to make them permanent; your deepest desire is to remain happy for ever, not to know pain, sadness, anguish – ever. Just to be always in paradise – that is your desire.
The religions exploited this. They said, “There is such a place, but you cannot get anything without paying for it.” It looks perfectly mathematical, economical. The religions started teaching that you sacrifice this life if you want to attain the permanent world of paradise that is beyond death. And it is very cheap, because what you are sacrificing are just momentary, once in a while, fleeting experiences.
If you collect all the moments of happiness in seventy years of your life, perhaps you may not get even seven moments which you can be absolutely certain were of the nature of ecstasy.