Osho on Desire to desirelessness

Osho : You must understand what desire means, and religions have confused you much about it. If you desire something of the world, they call it desire. If you desire something of the other world, they call it by a different name. This is absurd. Desire is desire! It makes no difference what the object of desire is. The object may be anything – of this world, material, or of another world, spiritual – but desiring remains the same.

Every desire is a bondage. Even if you desire God, it is a bondage; even if you desire liberation it is a bondage. And liberation cannot happen unless this desiring goes away totally. So remember, you cannot desire liberation, that is impossible; that is contradictory. You can become desireless, and then liberation happens. But that is not a result of your desire.

Rather, it is a consequence of no-desire. So try to understand what desire is. Desire means that right now you are not okay, you are not at ease. This very moment you are not at ease with yourself, and something else in the future, if fulfilled, will bring you peace. The fulfillment is always in the future; it is never here and now. This tension of the mind for the future is desire.

Desire means you are not in the present moment, and all that is there is only the present moment. You are somewhere in the future, and the future is not. It never has been, it will never be. All that is, is always the present – this moment. This projection of your fulfillment somewhere in the future is desire. So what that future fulfillment is, is irrelevant. It may be the kingdom of God, heaven, NIRVANA, it may be anything, but if it is in the future, it is desire. And you cannot desire in the present, remember; that is not possible. In the present you can only be, you cannot desire. How can you desire in the present?

Desire leads into the future, into fantasy, dreaming. That is why so much insistence by Buddha for no-desire – because only in no-desire do you move into reality. With desire you move into dreams. The future is a dream, and when you project into the future you are going to be frustrated. You are destroying reality right now for future dreams, and this habit of the mind will remain with you. It is being strengthened every day.

So when your future comes it will come in the form of the present, and your mind will again move to some other future. Even if you could reach God, you will not be satisfied. The way you are, it is impossible. Even in the presence of the divine, you will have moved away into the future. Your mind is always moving into the future.

This movement of the mind in the future is desire. Desire is not concerned with any object, with whether you desire sex or you desire meditation – it makes no difference. Desiring is the thing – that you desire. It means you are not here. It means you are not in the real moment, and the present moment is the only door into existence. The past and future are not doors, they are walls. So I cannot call any desire spiritual.

Desire as such is worldly. Desire is the world. There is no spiritual desire; there cannot be. That is a trick of the mind, a deception. You don’t want to leave desiring, so you change the objects. First you were desiring wealth, prestige, power. Now you say you don’t desire and that these are worldly things. You condemn them, and those who desire them are condemned in your eyes.

Now you desire God, the kingdom of God, NIRVANA, MOKSHA, the eternal, SATCHITANANDA, the brahman. Now you desire these, and you feel very good. You think you are transformed, but you have not done anything. You remain the same.

You are just playing tricks with yourself, and now you are in a greater mess because you think that this is not desiring. You remain the same. The mind remains the same; the functioning of the mind remains the same. You are not yet here. The objects of desire have changed, but the running, the dreaming, remains, and the dreaming is the desire – not the object.

So try to understand me. I say that every desire is worldly because desire is the world. So it is not a question of changing the desire, it is not a question of changing objects. It is a question of a mutation, of a revolution from desire to no-desire; from desire to no-desire, not from old desires to new desires, from worldly desire to otherworldly desires, from material desires to spiritual desires – no! From desire to no-desire is the revolution!

But how to move from desire to no-desire? You can move only if there is some desire. If some profit motive, some greed, some gain is there, only then can you move from desire to no-desire. But then you are not moving at all. I say that with no-desire you will attain eternal bliss. This is right – that with no-desire eternal bliss happens – but if I say to you that with no-desire you will gain eternal happiness, you will make it an object of the desire and then you will have missed the point completely.

It is not a result, it is a consequence of deep understanding. So try to understand that with desire there is misery, and don’t think that you know it already. You don’t know; otherwise how can you move into desire? You have not yet become aware that desire is misery, desire is hell.

Be aware When you desire something be aware. Then move with the desire in full alertness, and then you will reach hell. Every desire leads to misery, whether fulfilled or not. If fulfilled, it leads sooner; unfulfilled it takes time – but every desire leads to misery. Be alert of the whole process, and move with it. There is no hurry because nothing can be done in a hurry, and spiritual growth is not possible in a hurry.

Move slowly, patiently. Watch every desire and then watch how every desire becomes a door to hell. If you are watchful, sooner or later you will realize that desiring is hell. The moment that realization happens, there will be no desire. Suddenly desires will disappear, and you will be in a state of no-desire. I don’t say desirelessness, I simply say ”no-desire.”

You cannot practice it, remember; only desires can be practiced. How can you practice no-desire? You cannot practice it, you can only practice desires. But if you are alert, you will become aware that they lead to misery. And when each desire leads to misery, when this becomes a realization to you – not mere opinion and knowledge, but a realized fact – desiring disappears, it becomes impossible.

How can you lead yourself into misery? You are always ”leading yourself to happiness” – thinking that you are – and always moving into misery. This has been happening for lives and lives. You always think this or that is the door of heaven, and when you have entered you always realize that this is hell. And this has been without any exception; it is always the case.

Move with mindfulness in every desire, and allow every desire to lead you to misery. Then, suddenly, one day the maturity will happen to you, this ripeness will happen to you: you will realize that every desire is misery.

The moment you realize it, desiring disappears. There is no need to do anything now; desiring simply falls away, withers away, and you are in a state of no-desire. In that no-desire NIRVANA is, the perfect, the absolute bliss is. You may call it God, the kingdom of God or whatsoever you choose to call it, but remember well that it is not a result of your desiring. It is a consequence of non-desiring, and non-desiring cannot be practiced.

Those who ”practice” non-desiring, they are deluding themselves. There are many all over the world – BHIKKHUS, sannyasins – who are practicing non-desiring. You cannot practice non-desiring; no negative thing can be practiced. Underneath they are desiring, they are hankering after God, the peace that will happen, the bliss that is waiting for them somewhere in the future beyond death. They are desiring, and they call only their desiring ”spiritual desire.”

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