Fishes are born in water, man is born in Tao. If fishes, born in water, seek the deep shadow of pond and pool,
all their needs are satisfied.
If man, born in Tao, sinks into the deep shadow of nonaction to forget aggression and concern, he lacks nothing,
and his life is secure.
Needs can be fulfilled, but desires cannot be. Desire is a need gone mad. Needs are simple; they come from nature. Desires are very complex; they don’t come from nature, they are created by the mind. Needs are moment-to moment, they are created out of life itself. Desires are not moment-to-moment, they are always for the future. They are not created by life itself, they are projected by the mind. Desires are projections, they are not really needs. This is the first thing to be understood, and the deeper you understand it the better.
What is desire? It is movement of the mind into the future. Need belongs to this moment – if you are hungry it is a need, and has to be fulfilled. And it can be fulfilled; there’s no problem about it. If you are thirsty, you are thirsty here and now, you have to seek water. It should be fulfilled – it is a life need. But desires are not like that. You desire to be the president of a country. It is not a need, it is an ambition, it is an ego projection into the future. Or you desire heaven – that too is in the future; or you desire God – that too is in the future. Remember, needs are always here and now – they are existential. And desires are never here and now – they are nonexistential. They are just mental, in the mind. And they cannot be fulfilled because their very nature is to move into the future.
They are just like the horizon. It seems that just nearby somewhere the earth meets the sky: it is so apparent, you can walk there. But you could go on walking for ever and ever, and the distance will remain the same; always somewhere ahead the earth will be meeting the sky. But you will never reach that place, that point where the earth meets the sky. They never meet. This is just an appearance, what Hindus call maya: it appears, but it is not so. It appears if you are standing at a distance. The nearer you come the more you realize that it is not so. The horizon moves further ahead, and the distance between you and it always remains the same.
The distance between you and your desire always remains the same. How can you fulfill it? If you desire ten thousand rupees, you may get them some day, but by the time you get them, the desire will have gone ten thousand times ahead again. You have one thousand rupees; the desire will ask for ten thousand. Now you have ten thousand; the desire will ask for one hundred thousand. The distance remains the same. You may have one hundred thousand – it makes no difference. Ten times again, the desire will remain the same.
Needs are simple, they can be fulfilled. You feel hungry and you eat; you feel thirsty and you drink; you feel sleepy, you go to bed.