And the same is the case with all other desires. Men want more power, more fame, longer life, better health, but what are they desiring in these different things? The same, exactly the same: they want to be more. They don’t want to remain confined, they don’t want to be limited. It hurts to feel that you are definable, because if you are definable then you are just an object, a thing, a commodity. It hurts that you have limitations, because to have limitations means to be imprisoned.
But all these objects of desire, sooner or later, disappoint. Money becomes possible one day, and yet expansion has not happened; yes, you have a little more freedom of choice, but that does not satisfy. The desire was for the infinite, and money cannot purchase the infinite. Yes, you have more power, you are more well-known, but that doesn’t really matter in the long run. Millions of people have lived on this earth and were very famous, and now nobody even knows their names. Everything has disappeared into dust – dust into dust, not even traces are left. Where is Alexander the Great? What is he? Would you like to be a dead Alexander the Great or an alive beggar? Ask yourself, and your being will say it is better to be alive and be a beggar than to be dead and be Alexander.
If you watch carefully, money, power, prestige – nothing satisfies. On the contrary, they make you more discontented. Why? – because when you were poor there was a hope that one day the money was going to happen and all would be settled and settled forever, and then you would relax and enjoy. Now that has happened, and there seems to be no sign of any relaxation. In fact, you are more tense than before, you are more anxiety-ridden than before.
Money has brought a few blessings, but in the same measure it has brought many curses too. You can have a bigger house, but now you will have less peace. You can have a bigger bank balance, but you will also have a bigger madness, anxiety, neurosis, psychosis. Money has brought a few things which are good; in the wake of it many other things have arrived which are not good at all. And if you look at the whole thing, the whole effort has been a sheer wastage. And now you cannot even have the hope that the poor man can have.
The rich man becomes hopeless. He knows now the money will go on increasing and nothing is going to happen – only death, only death. He has tasted all kinds of things; now he only feels a tastelessness. A kind of death has already happened, because he cannot conceive how to fulfill that desire for expansion.
But desire in itself is not wrong. The desire for money, desire for power, desire for prestige, are wrong objects for desire – let it be very clear. By having wrong objects of desire, desire itself does not become wrong. You can have a sword and you can kill somebody – that does not make the sword something wrong. You can also save somebody with the same sword. Poison can kill and the poison can become medicine too. In the right hands, poison is nectar; in the wrong hands, nectar is poison.
This is the essential wisdom of all the buddhas of all the ages. What the priests say is one thing; what the buddhas have brought to the world is totally different, it is diametrically opposite.