Uwais Al-Qarni was offered some money. He said: “I do not need it as I already have a coin.”
The other said: “How long will that last you? – it is nothing.”
Uwais answered: “Guarantee me that I shall live longer than this sum will suffice me and I will accept your gift.”
Life is always in the now. There is no other moment to it. Only one moment exists – this moment – all else is just a projection of the mind. Only today is, and only today remains. Tomorrow never comes, it cannot come because it doesn’t belong to reality. Only today comes, goes on coming, because today belongs to reality.
Tomorrow is your dream. And you need a dream because you are not rooted in reality. This has to be understood. Why are dreams needed? When reality is available, why do you dream?
A man fasts. The whole day the body suffers; the hunger is there. He suppresses the hunger because he is on some religious fast, a religious ritual. To satisfy the ego he makes the body hungry – so that the ego can feel that he is religious, something special, not an ordinary man, a saint, a sage, not an ordinary sinner.
To feed the ego you make the body hungry. You starve the body. Ego is a dream – the body is the reality. The whole day you have been fasting; in the night you cannot sleep because the body goes on asking for food. It is a need, it is a necessity. You feel restless, you turn from one side to another, you cannot go to sleep. Food is a need, but rest also is a need. So the mind creates a dream: You are an honored guest in a great feast given by the king; you are eating delicious food, you go on eating…. Of course the body doesn’t get nourishment, but there is a false notion that you have eaten well; now you can go to sleep. In the morning you will be hungry, more than ever, but at least the dream helped you to rest and relax. One need, the need for food, could not be fulfilled, but another need, the need for rest, could be fulfilled through the dream.
If you are tense you will need dreams, because they help you to relax. If you are not here, you will need a dream of being there, because you have to be somewhere. If you cannot be here then you will feel suspended in the sky, uprooted, unanchored, just hanging in the middle. That will give you a very restless, uncomfortable feeling. So…a dream: “I may not be here, but I am going to be there.” The dream helps you to rest and relax.
If you cannot be now, then you create a future. The future is needed. The future gives you a consoling sleep, it relaxes you. Millions of things are there which you cannot fulfill right now, and if there is no future you will be too much burdened by unfulfilled desires. A future is needed so you can at least say to yourself: “If things are not as they should be, there is tomorrow. Don’t get panicky, things will be better tomorrow.” You can hope, because there is time.
Hope needs space, desire needs space, ambition needs space to move.