As long as there is the desire to gain, to achieve, to become, at whatever level, there is inevitably anxiety, sorrow, fear. The ambition to be rich, to be this or that, drops away only when we see the rottenness, the corruptive nature of ambition itself. The moment we see that the desire for power in any form – for the power of a prime minister, of a judge, of a priest, of a guru – is fundamentally evil, we no longer have the desire to be powerful.
But we don’t see that ambition is corrupting, that the desire for power is evil; on the contrary, we say that we shall use power for good which is all nonsense. A wrong means can never be used towards a right end. If the means is evil, the end will also be evil. Good is not the opposite of evil; it comes into being only when that which is evil has utterly ceased. So, if we don’t understand the whole significance of desire, with its results, its by-products, merely to try to get rid of desire has no meaning.
Adapted from “This Matter of Culture /Think On These Things Chapter 3”.