The first question:
I feel lost – there is no way back to my old life – the bridges are broken. And I don’t see a way in front of me.
There is none. The way is just an illusion of the mind. The mind goes on dreaming about the way to reach its goals, its desires. The way is a shadow of the desiring mind. First you desire something. Of course desire can only be in the future and the future is not there yet. How to bridge that which is not, with that which is? Then you create a way. It is imagination. It is illusion. But with the way, you become joined with that which is not, and then you start traveling. You are playing a game with yourself.
There is nowhere to go, so the way is not needed. You are already there. It is not something to be achieved; it has already been delivered to you. And deep down, religion is not a path but just a realization, a revelation – the realization that you are already there. Your hankering, your desire does not allow you to see the facticity of your being.
So good, old bridges are broken and there seems to be no path, no way ahead. That’s what I want to do to you. I want to take all the paths away. Pathless, not knowing where to go you will go in. If all your paths – all the possibilities to escape from yourself – are taken away, what will you do? You will be yourself.
Just think. Just meditate upon it a little; it is desire, it is competition with others that creates the whole thing, the whole illusion. You are always competing. Somebody else is ahead of you. You would like to put him back; you would like to overtake him. You run fast. You do everything that you can do – just/unjust, right/wrong. You forget everything; you simply want to undo him, to prove him a failure. This way you are not going to achieve your innermost reality. This way you will achieve a little more decoration of the ego. You have defeated one, you have defeated thousands, you have defeated millions – and you are moving and moving and moving. More and more ego will be accumulated. You will become more burdened. You will be more lost; you will be lost in a forest.
Competition is one of the most irreligious things in the world, but that’s what everybody is doing. Somebody has a big house; you immediately start desiring a bigger one. Somebody has a beautiful car; immediately you desire to have another, a bigger one. Somebody has a beautiful wife, or somebody has a beautiful face or a beautiful voice; immediately the desire arises.
The desire arises with the idea that you have to compete with others and that you have to prove something against others; that you have to struggle, that you have to achieve something. Not knowing what it is, but you go on moving in a dark valley thinking that somewhere there must be a goal.