But this whole society, this crowd, all these people stimulate desire in you. From your very childhood you are initiated into desire, you are taught ambition. The father wants the son to become something – to earn money, to achieve power, name, fame, to make the family name shine brilliantly – and he has given the child desire. When we send young children to school we are sending them to be initiated into desire. For twenty-five years, one-third of life, we teach people ambition – how you can be first, how you can leave others behind. No matter what price you have to pay, even if your very life has to be lost in this race, you still have to be ahead…. If you are going to die in the race, die in the front rather than in the back.
Consider Jesus’ statement: Blessed are those who are the last, for they will be the first in my kingdom of God; and those who are the first will be the last.
How can an ambitious man be connected with the kingdom of God? He has made his connection with hell. Then after living your whole life in the rat race, after drinking the dirty water of who knows how many streams, after being covered in the dust of who knows how many roads, when the sun of life starts to set and it feels as though you have nothing in your hands – that they are just as empty as ever, and you have run so much but reached nowhere – then repentance engulfs you. Now the mind thinks about how to attain to enlightenment, how to attain to godliness. And again the mind has deceived you. The same language of attaining…. Now you will have new ambitions. Now the form of this ambition is religious, now its flavor is religious, but its essence is the same as ever.
Whether you want money or religion, position or God, as long as there is wanting the winds go on blowing and the mind goes on rippling. Thoughts about money arise in the mind of someone who wants money, thoughts of religion arise in someone who wants religion – but thoughts continue. What difference does it make whether your thoughts are of money or of religion? Religious thought or irreligious thought; thoughts are thoughts. And where there is thought there is unrest.
This is why I am not teaching you religious thought. I am giving you initiation into no-thought, no-mind. Generally what goes on in mosques and temples is an attempt to fill people who are full of worldly thoughts with spiritual thoughts, just this…. But what difference does it make? You have called the disease religious – a fine, lovely label. But what difference does it make?
As long as you want to become anything, as long as you nurture any ambition to become something in the future, as long as you are restless about tomorrow, ambitious, expecting, you will remain without peace – the stream of thought flows on. And if the stream of thought flows on, you remain cut off from the ultimate reality.
What I am saying is that religious thought is just as big a barrier between you and the ultimate reality as worldly thoughts are. Thought is a barrier, no-thought is union.
Gorakh has said:
See the unseeable, and seeing, move into it,
Keep this unseen forever in your heart.
Raise the Ganges of the nether world up to the highest,
To the inner sky of the crown chakra.
There drink its purified water.