The ego exists because we go on pedaling desire, because we go on striving to get something, because we go on jumping ahead of ourselves. That is the very phenomenon of the ego – the jump ahead of yourself, the jump in the future, the jump in the tomorrow. The jump in the non-existential creates the ego. Because it comes out of the non-existential it is like a mirage. It consists only of desire and nothing else. It consists only of thirst and nothing else.
The ego is not in the present, it is in the future. If you are in the future, then ego seems to be very substantial. If you are in the present the ego is a mirage, it starts disappearing.
The day I stopped seeking…and it is not right to say that I stopped seeking, better will be to say the day seeking stopped. Let me repeat it: the better way to say it is the day the seeking stopped. Because if I stop it then I am there again. Now stopping becomes my effort, now stopping becomes my desire, and desire goes on existing in a very subtle way.
You cannot stop desire; you can only understand it. In the very understanding is the stopping of it. Remember, nobody can stop desiring, and the reality happens only when desire stops.
So this is the dilemma. What to do? Desire is there and buddhas go on saying desire has to be stopped, and they go on saying in the next breath that you cannot stop desire. So what to do? You put people in a dilemma. They are in desire, certainly. You say it has to be stopped – okay. And then you say it cannot be stopped. Then what is to be done?
The desire has to be understood. You can understand it, you can just see the futility of it. A direct perception is needed, an immediate penetration is needed. Look into desire, just see what it is, and you will see the falsity of it, and you will see it is nonexistential. And desire drops and something drops simultaneously within you.
Desire and the ego exist in cooperation, they coordinate. The ego cannot exist without desire, the desire cannot exist without the ego. Desire is projected ego, ego is interjected desire. They are together, two aspects of one phenomenon.
The day desiring stopped, I felt very hopeless and helpless. No hope because no future. Nothing to hope because all hoping has proved futile, it leads nowhere. You go in rounds. It goes on dangling in front of you, it goes on creating new mirages, it goes on calling you, “Come on, run fast, you will reach.” But howsoever fast you run you never reach.
That’s why Buddha calls it a mirage. It is like the horizon that you see around the earth. It appears but it is not there. If you go it goes on running from you. The faster you run, the faster it moves away. The slower you go, the slower it moves away. But one thing is certain – the distance between you and the horizon remains absolutely the same. Not even a single inch can you reduce the distance between you and the horizon.