Those who have passions are never able to perceive the way, for it is like stirring up clear water with hands. People may come there wishing to find a reflection of their faces which however they will never see. A mind troubled and vexed with the passions is impure, and on that account it never sees the way.
O monks, do away with passions. When the dirt of passion is removed the way will manifest itself.
Many things of tremendous import are said in this sutra. First Buddha says, Those who have passions are never able to perceive the way.
What is passion? Passion is a sort of fever, a sort of trembling of your being, a sort of inner wavering. Passions means you are not content as you are. You would like something else, you would like something more, you would like a different pattern of life, a different style. Then you think you will be happy and contented.
A mind full of passion is a mind full of discontent with the present. A mind with passion desires, hopes, but never lives; it postpones. It says tomorrow, always tomorrow. It is never here and now. A mind full of passion always goes on missing the present – and the present is the only reality there is. So a mind full of passion goes on missing reality. It cannot reflect that which is, it cannot reflect the truth, it cannot reflect the dhamma, the way. It cannot reflect the real that surrounds you, because you are never here.
Watch your mind. Whenever there is a desire, you have gone astray. You cannot be in the future, remember. You cannot be in the past, remember. That is impossible. That doesn’t happen in the way things are. That simply doesn’t happen. You cannot be in the past. Past is no more. How can you be in the past? But more or less you are always in the past. You are in the memory of the past. That is a way of not being, that is not a way of being. That is a way of not being. Or you are in the future which is impossible, because future is not yet. How can you live in a house which is not yet? But you live.
Man goes on doing miracles. These are the real miracles. He goes on living in the past which is no more, and he starts living in the future which is not yet. You love the woman you have not found yet, or you go on loving the woman who is dead.
The mind either clings with the past or with the future. This is a way of not being. This is how we miss existence. This is how by and by we become phantoms, shadows, ghosts. Watch yourself. As I see people, millions of people remain in a life of a ghost.
A woman was here just a few days ago, and she said she is very much afraid of ghosts. And I said, “This is something. Because sometimes ghosts come to me, and they say that they are very afraid of you. You are also a ghost. Why should you be afraid of ghosts?” I looked into her face. It was of the past, it had something of the future, but there was no real content of the present.