Become the mystery
CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE MYSTERY OF WOMEN?
Devageet, it is one of the ancientmost questions. Man has always puzzled about women, and the real problem is neither man nor woman. Reduced to the factual, to the existential, the problem is between the head and the heart.
The head cannot understand the mystery of the heart. The head is logical, rational, mathematical, scientific; the heart knows nothing of reason, nothing of logic. The heart functions in a totally different way. Its functioning creates in the head the idea of the mystery. It is not a question about women; it is a question that arises because women function through the heart and man functions through the head. Have you ever heard any women asking, "What is the mystery of man?" They simply know it.
The problem arises out of logical reasoning. It is a very superficial phenomenon. It is good with objects, with dead things; it deals with them perfectly because a dead thing has no interiority, a dead thing has no inner being, it has no life. The scientist is perfectly right about objects, but the moment he comes to think about subjectivity -- the interiority -- he is baffled, because reason cannot function there.
The heart knows without any process of knowing, without any syllogism, without any argument. How do you know that the rose is beautiful? Is it a rational conclusion? If you bring reason in, you will not be able to prove that the rose is beautiful, because reason cannot fathom the phenomenon of beauty.
When you say the rose is beautiful, you are functioning from the heart. When you say the starry night overwhelms you, it is not a rational statement; if you are forced to prove it rationally, you will be at a loss. Then suddenly you will become aware that it was the heart that has spoken, and the head is absolutely incapable of figuring out how the heart functions.
But the heart is not in the same difficulty about the head, because the head is superficial and the heart is deep down within you. The lower cannot understand the higher. The higher simply understands the lower, there is no need of any reasoning. Your heart is both higher than your head and deeper than your head. The woman can be a poet, but cannot really be a mathematician. Mathematics is purely a game of the mind. Poetry is a totally different phenomenon.
I am reminded of Frau Einstein, Albert Einstein's wife. She was a poet, and Albert Einstein was perhaps the greatest scientific thinker of all the ages. Naturally Frau Einstein wanted her husband to know about her poetry. Einstein tried to avoid the subject as much as he could, but finally one night, the full moon in the sky, Frau Einstein could not resist the temptation. She had composed a beautiful poem about the full moon, and she recited the poem.
Albert Einstein looked at her with great surprise, almost shocked. She could not understand, "Why is he looking at me in this weird manner? At the most he can say that the poetry is not great... but he is looking at me as if I am insane!" After the recital of the poem she asked Albert Einstein, "What do you think?"
He said, "I had never thought that you are so crazy. You talk about the moon as beautiful, you talk about the moon reminding you of your beloved. It is sheer nonsense! The moon is too big, it cannot be substituted for your beloved. And the moon is not at all beautiful!
It is just as ordinary as the earth, even more ordinary because there is no greenery, no water, just barren land. And the light that you see reflected from the moon is not its own.
That light is borrowed from the sun, it is not coming from the moon. The sunlight falls on the moon and the rays are reflected back, and those reflected rays are coming to your eyes;the moon is not the source of them. I had always thought that you are well educated, but you don't know even the ABC of physics!"
Now was the chance for Frau Einstein to look at him as if he is insane, because for centuries poets have sung songs about the moon -- its beauty, its tremendous magnetic force, its cool light. It has a certain hypnotic spell on the heart... and it is now also proved by facts that it has a certain hypnotic spell.
More people -- in fact all except Mahavira -- have become enlightened on a full-moon night. Mahavira is the only exception; he became enlightened on a no-moon night.
Gautam Buddha was born on a full-moon night, became enlightened on a full-moon night, died on a full-moon night. He is a perfect example of the hypnotic spell of the moon. Many more people go mad on the full-moon night -- these are approved statistics - - and more people commit suicide on full-moon nights.
The full moon somehow drives man's mind into dimensions beyond reasoning. And it is not only man that is affected by the full moon; even the ocean is affected. But a physicist, a mathematician will not be able to understand it -- and Frau Einstein never again mentioned poetry to Albert Einstein in her whole life. Although she went on composing, she was not publishing them. It was decided on the first recital that that kind of dialogue is not possible between her and her husband -- but it is not any exceptional case.
No husband and no wife are in the situation of understanding each other.
Misunderstanding is the natural situation. The man says something, the woman immediately understands something else. The man cannot believe how she has come to this conclusion -- and to the woman that conclusion is absolutely clear, there is no doubt about it. And whatever she says, the man is at a loss to figure it out.
Psychologists have started calling couples intimate enemies. They are... because no one understands each other. But the reason is not the woman and the man. The reason is far deeper. It is the head and the heart.
So I would like to emphasize the point, Devageet, that the question from the very beginning has been formed in a wrong way. It is not the mystery of women, it is the mystery of the heart -- which the head is incapable of figuring out. The heart has no problem about the head;it is a lower, more superficial layer, and the heart understands it.
So when men say that women are mysteries, women simply smile amongst themselves:Look at these idiots! Have you ever heard any woman saying that women are mysteries? They know each other perfectly well. There is no mystery.
It will be better to understand in a different dimension too. Forget about man and woman; just think about your own head and your own heart. Do they have a communion? Are they capable of understanding each other? I have not met Albert Einstein, but I would have loved to meet him for the simple reason that I wanted to ask him how he fell in love with Frau Einstein. What physics, what mathematics, what science is behind the experience of falling in love?
But perhaps he never thought about it. Love is coming from the heart; it cannot come from the head. Even the greatest scientist once in a while goes astray from the head. One beautiful sunset and he is overwhelmed. He forgets that he is a scientist and he is not allowed to do such things, feminine things; he is a male mind. And every scientist falls in love with a woman without ever thinking what love is. It is a mystery... even your own heart is a mystery to you.
My own understanding is that Mahavira at first denied any women to be initiated into sannyas. The same was the case with Gautam Buddha;he denied women to be initiated into sannyas. And the same is the case with other religions; they have all put woman in a secondary place. And the reason, according to me, is that all our so-called religions are head-oriented... too much head. Their God is not their love, their God is their idea. It is a hypothesis. They have created a system -- rational, logical, flawless -- but it is their own mind which is creating the system. It is not a discovery. It is not unveiling the mystery of existence.
And why have all these religions been so afraid of women? There were other reasons, but the most fundamental reason is that all the founders of religions were male, and their theologies were from the head. To allow women among their fellow travelers was to create unnecessary trouble, because they speak different languages, they understand different languages. They are coming from different spaces. At the most, they can tolerate each other.
That is what is happening between every wife and every husband: they are just tolerating each other. There seems to be no possibility of a sane conversation. Any conversation between a wife and husband immediately leads to conflict, and the woman starts behaving, according to man, in such a crazy way... throwing things, breaking things. He cannot understand -- what argument is this? But the woman knows perfectly well that only this argument will decide the thing -- and it decides! The man simply agrees, "You are right, but just don't destroy more things!" In every argument with a woman, the woman is the winner, although she knows nothing about argumentation.
The day he initiated the first woman into sannyas, Gautam Buddha said, "My religion was going to last for five thousand years. Now it will last only five hundred years" -- not a great welcome to the poor woman!
Asked why he was saying so, he said, "It is impossible to include both women and men without them coming into conflict. The religion will destroy itself from within. If it had remained just confined to males there was a possibility for it to continue at least for five thousand years, because they can understand each other."
You have to be very alert about it.... I am the first man who makes no difference between initiating men and women, and my feeling is -- if I were to reply to Gautam Buddha, I would say, "If it was only males it would last for only five hundred years. Now it is men and women together it can last for eternity."
When heart and head are together, you are more complete and more whole. Heart is a part, head is a part, but together... if a communion is possible, your strength is not doubled, it is multiplied. How can the head and the heart come to a point of meeting?
And it is a multidimensional question:
It is between the woman and the man.
It is between the heart and the head.
It is between the East and the West.
One of the royal poets of England, Rudyard Kipling, has written two famous lines which have become better known than anything else that he wrote. Those lines are, "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." Nobody has argued against it... and he was the royal poet of the British Empire.
But I disagree absolutely, without any conditions and reservations, because wherever you are standing East and West are meeting. Bombay is West to Calcutta, Calcutta is East to Bombay;Tokyo is East to Calcutta, and Calcutta is West to Tokyo. Wherever you are, you cannot say you are in the East or in the West. They are relative terms;they are not fixed territories. Wherever you are, in every man, in every tree, in every bird, East and West are meeting.
Rudyard Kipling is simply talking nonsense! But he has a point in his ridiculous statement -- and the point is the same. The West is head-oriented and the East is heart- oriented. It is the same question in different directions: How can they meet? How can there be an intimate love between the head and the heart, not intimate enmity? -- it is a contradiction in terms.
They meet in meditation, because in meditation the head is empty and the heart is empty:
the head is empty of thoughts and the heart is empty of feelings. When there are two emptinesses you cannot keep them separate, because there is nothing between them to keep them separate. Two zeros become one zero... Two nothingnesses cannot exist separately; they are bound to become one because there is not even a fence between them.
But Rudyard Kipling, although he lived in India almost his whole life, has never heard about meditation. It is meditation in which the head and heart lose each other, melt into each other. It is meditation in which man and woman melt into each other.
In India we have an ancient, very ancient statue -- one of the most beautiful pieces of art - - a statue of Ardhanarishwar. The statue is half man and half woman. It is the statue of Shiva, the Hindu God, and half of the body is of the woman and the other half of the body is of the man. Up to the time of Carl Gustav Jung it was thought that it is only a mythology, metaphor, poetry -- but this cannot be true. The whole credit goes to Carl Gustav Jung for introducing to the world that this is not a metaphor, this is a reality.
Every man and every woman are both, because every child is born of a father and a mother. So something of the mother and something of the father is present in every child, whether the child is a girl or the child is a boy. The only difference can be that the man is a little more man, perhaps fifty-one percent man and forty-nine percent woman, and the woman is fifty-one percent woman and forty-nine percent man. But the difference is not much.
That's why it has become scientifically possible to change the sexes -- because the other sex is also present, just the percentage of hormones has to be changed. What was fifty- one percent has to be made forty-nine, or what was forty-nine has to be made fifty-one...
then the man becomes woman and the woman becomes man.
But even within you, you are not at ease. There is a conflict, continuous conflict between the head and the heart, between the man and the woman. This conflict can be dissolved only if the head drops its thinking and the heart drops its feeling and both are just pure empty spaces. In that emptiness there is a great meeting and a great understanding.
I don't see any woman as a mystery. I have looked hard, and perhaps there will not be another man in the whole world who has come in contact with so many men and so many women. But neither the man seems to be a mystery nor the woman seems to be a mystery, because within myself the head and heart have melted into each other, and that has given me a new perspective and has changed the whole vision around me.
Devageet, if you really want to understand the mystery of women you will have to understand the art of melting your head into your heart. That will not only help you to know the mystery of women, it will also help you to know the mystery of men. Not only that, it will help you to know the mystery of the whole existence.
A shy young girl was about to get married, so she went to see her very experienced friend for some advice.
"Doris," she began, "it may sound silly, but there are a few things I just have to ask you."
"That's okay," said Doris. "Just go ahead."
"Okay," said the shy girl, "is it all right to talk to your husband while making love?"
"Well," said Doris, "I must admit that I have never done that, but I suppose there is nothing wrong in it -- as long as there is a telephone within reach."
There is mystery but it is not confined only to women. The whole existence is mysterious. This beautiful rain... this music of the falling rain... the joy of the trees. Don't you think there is great mystery?
There was a hill station in the state where I was a professor for many years, and on that hill station was a resthouse far away deep in the hills, absolutely lonely. For miles there was nobody... even the servant who used to take care of the resthouse used to leave by the evening for his own home. I used to go to that resthouse whenever I could find time and sometimes it used to rain just like this... and I was alone in that resthouse and for miles there was nobody. Just the music of rain, just the dance of the trees... I have never forgotten the beauty of it. Whenever it rains I again remember it. It has left such a beautiful impact.
If you look, then each flower is a mystery. From where do those colors come? Every rainbow is a mystery, every moment of life is a mystery. Just to be here... is it not a mystery that you are nowhere else but here?
Once your eyes are clear and your head and heart are no more in conflict, everything starts becoming mysterious. Then you don't want to de-mystify it -- that is absolutely ugly and criminal! The mystery of existence has to be welcomed as it is. Dissecting it, demystifying it, is a violation, aggression, violence.
A man of meditation simply enjoys the flowers, the birds, the trees, the rain, the sun, the moon, the people. It is good that we are all engulfed in a mysterious whole. Life will be utterly boring if every mystery is decoded.
Science's whole effort is to demystify existence. Poetry and art are concerned in rejoicing, in welcoming the mystery of existence.And the mystic, the religious man, lives the mystery -- not from the outside as a poet, but from the very inside of it. He becomes himself mystery.
There is a beautiful story. Unfortunately it cannot be true. I would have loved it to have been true...! In the East there have been many lovers, very famous lovers -- Heer and Ranjha, Sheeri and Farhad -- and the most famous is the third couple, Laila and Majnu.
None of them could meet and live with each other. That is their great fortune; hence they remained loving each other for their whole life.
Majnu was a poor man. Laila was a very rich, super-rich girl, and the parents were not willing to give their only girl into the hands of Majnu, who was nobody at all, just a beggar. Just to avoid him, and to avoid any slander, the parents left the town for another city; they had businesses in many cities and houses in many cities.
The day they left, Majnu was standing outside the city by the side of a tree, hiding himself in the foliage of the tree, just to see for the last time his beloved Laila moving away. He saw Laila on her camel, and the whole caravan was moving away. He went on looking and looking as far as he could, and in a desert you can see very far, there are no obstructions.
Finally, beyond the horizon, they disappeared... but Majnu went on looking. This is where the story becomes a myth, but of tremendous significance. He never left that place.
He trusted his love, and he hoped that one day Laila will return from the same route.
There was no other route going out from the town.
After twelve years, Laila returned. The father was dead and now she was free at last. She never married anyone else; she had insisted that if she was going to marry anyone, she would marry Majnu. Her father had said, "If that is your decision, then my decision is that you will never marry." But when the father died, Laila came.
Now twelve years is a long time. In these twelve years Majnu had been standing by the side of the tree. The foliage had grown much; he had not eaten, he had not drunk water, and by and by he had become joined with the tree. Standing for twelve years was so long... slowly, slowly he became part of the tree.
Laila came and she enquired about Majnu in the town. The people said, "It is a very sad story. He had gone to say goodbye to you, but he never came back. Only once in a while in the deep silences of the night, from a certain tree, a sound comes calling your name:
'Laila, it is too long. When are you going to come back?' -- and people have become afraid of the tree because it seems the tree is haunted by ghosts or something. Nobody comes close to the tree."
Laila went to the tree. She heard the voice, she heard the joyful welcome, but she could not see where Majnu was hiding. She entered into the foliage of the tree. With great difficulty she could figure out that Majnu had become part of the tree.
It cannot be factual... but the mystic becomes part of the mystery of existence. And the story of Laila and Majnu is a Sufi story. Perhaps it is symbolic of the ultimate union with existence.
Not trying to demystify it, but becoming a part of the mystery yourself, that is the only true understanding. The mystery will remain amystery, but by becoming yourself a mystery, you will understand.
That is the only true understanding. All other understandings are only knowledge borrowed from others.
IS MISUNDERSTANDING NATURAL TO THE HUMAN MIND?
Milarepa, misunderstanding is certainly natural to the human mind. Mind is a misunderstanding, and through mind whatsoever you understand is misunderstanding.
Understanding arises only when mind is absent, because what is mind after all? -- just a collection of thoughts, none of which is your experience. Through that screen of collected thoughts, whatever you see you interpret. You never see what is there, you only see what your mind can interpret. And all interpretations are misunderstandings.
When there is no interpretation, you simply see the fact, the truth... that which is. Then the mind does not distort, does not color, does not give meanings to it. You don't have any mind; you are just an opening, a mirror reflecting reality as it is.
What are the differences in the world between people? What is the difference between a Christian and a Hindu, or a Buddhist and a Mohammedan? Nobody is born as a Buddhist or a Christian or a Hindu. The differences are only of the mind and you don't bring the mind with you when you are born. It is all nurtured.
Your mind is created by the society you are born in, and of course they create your mind for their own purposes. It is not for you but for the society, for the state, for the church.
Your mind is a slave. Whoever has created it has created it for its own purposes -- to exploit you.
Every nation fills your mind with nationality. Every religion fills your mind with the idea that even to die for your religion is the greatest virtue or to kill for your religion is not a sin. All these religions, all these nations, these political, social, religious ideologies, go on conflicting, fighting. Man has not done anything much on the earth except fighting or preparing for fighting. There are only two periods in history: one is preparation for war, and the other is war itself. Man has never known peace.
My history teacher in the high school was at a loss when I told him this, because he was talking about periods of peace when there was no war, and he was dividing history into war periods and peace periods. I said, "I cannot agree with you because what do you do in your peace time? -- you prepare for war. So I would like to divide history into two periods: preparation for war, and war itself."
He was a very nice gentleman, hence he was not angry. For a moment he was silent and then he said, "Perhaps you are right. My whole life I have been dividing history into these two periods... but you seem to be more clear, because if there is a peace period, from where does the war come in?"
The day we will have peace, then there will be no war. But up to now we have not known peace. What is the reason for all this conflict and war and violence and murders and massacres? The mind!
The world will know peace only when we have learnt how to go beyond mind. Then you are not a Christian and you are not an Indian, you are not a Chinese and you are not a communist. Then you are simply a human being. In that utter purity of humanness, the world will come to know exactly what peace is and what a celebration it brings with itself.
Mind as such is nothing but misunderstanding. If you really want to understand, get rid of the mind. But people do just the opposite: in trying to understand they go on strengthening their minds. They think a stronger mind -- more nourished, more reformed, more educated -- will be able to understand. I have seen the most educated people, but their Christianity remains there, their Hinduism remains there. Even the very highly educated culture remains superstitious... and their misunderstanding becomes even deeper. Now they have more refined arguments for their misunderstanding.
One great Christian missionary, Stanley Jones used to stay with me. He had fallen in love with me. He was an old man and a world famous missionary, very educated, very refined and sophisticated. But I asked him one day, "The only thing that puzzles me is that with so much information and so much sophistication, you are still a Christian, you have not yet become just human. Deep down you still think that Christianity is the only true religion, that all other religions are so-so... they may be faraway echoes of truth, but Christianity has the monopoly of truth.
"Even with your understanding you have not been able to see that Jesus Christ cannot be compared to Gautam Buddha. Jesus Christ remains a Jew, dies a Jew. He had no idea that his crucifixion would become the beginning of a new religion. He had never thought beyond the boundaries of Jewish thinking. Gautam Buddha was a rebel. He was born a Hindu, but he renounced Hinduism. By renouncing Hinduism, he renounced the whole mind that the Hindus had given to him. He became clear and pure, just a child again. That makes him a totally unique and different person than all other religious people."
Stanley Jones said to me, "Whenever you argue for anything, you argue well! But there are reasons which cannot be dispelled by argument."
I said, "What kind of reasons?"
He said, "I cannot refute you on this point, but in the deepest part of me I cannot put anybody above Jesus Christ."
I said, "This is what I call the mind. You don't have any argument, but still you have a conditioning so deep... with this conditioning you cannot look around the world with open eyes, unprejudiced, impartial.
"You go on arguing against other religions without any difficulty. You go on finding superstitions in Hindus, in Mohammedans, in Jainas, in Buddhists, but I have never heard you talk about the superstitions of Christians. Do you mean to say that they don't have any superstitions? Or is it simply that your mind cannot conceive of it because it has been created by Christians? In Christian colleges, in theological trainings, your mind has been completely filled with Christian ideas, and you think it is your mind. In fact you are being used."
But this is the situation. People think they need a greater mind to understand. I want you to see it clearly: you need no mind if you want to understand. You need only a meditative silent space.
AM I REALLY A GOOD THERAPIST?
Prasad, to be a good therapist is a very difficult job. A good therapist has to be immensely compassionate, because it is not his techniques of therapy that help people, it is his love. There is nothing compared to love as far as healing the wounds of a man's being are concerned. All other techniques can be helpful, supportive, but the basic is not a technique but a loving heart.
A therapist cannot be a professional. The moment a therapist becomes professional things start going wrong, because the profession of therapy means that the patient should never be cured. He should be given hope but he should never be cured, because once you cure him you have lost one customer. The physician or the therapist, their profession is very strange.
I have heard about an old doctor. His son came back from the medical college, fresh, and he told the father, "Now you have become old and I can take charge of all your patients.
You can rest. If I need any advice I will ask you."
The father said, "I was waiting for this. You are now well educated. You know more than I know, you know the latest researches in medicine, but if I can be of any help, I will be available."
After three days the father asked the son how things were going. He said, "Great, just great. The woman you have been treating for thirty years for arthritis I have cured within three days."
The father said, "My god! You are an idiot. That woman is so rich, she can afford to remain uncured for her whole life. And how do you think I was supporting you in the university? That woman has provided money for your education, and that woman was going to provide money for your younger brother. That woman was almost a goldmine."
The son was shocked. He said, "What are you saying?"
The father said, "You are young, you don't understand. This profession is a contradiction.
You have to cure, but in such a way that the cure takes as long as possible."
The poor get cured sooner, the richer get cured on a long term basis...!
And psychotherapy in particular is in an even more dangerous contradiction. There is not a single person in the whole world who is totally psychoanalyzed. In the first place, psychoanalysts are making great earnings; they are the most highly paid professionals in the world. They cannot afford to lose rich patients -- and they have only rich patients.
Poor countries don't suffer from any diseases which psychoanalysis can help. When people are hungry, what can psychoanalysis do? Psychoanalysis comes only when people are so rich they don't know what to do with their money. Then psychoanalysis comes in and shows them what to do with it -- be psychoanalyzed!
Prasad, a good therapist is one who avoids being a professional. It should be part of your love, not part of your business; only then can you be a good therapist. And as far as I know, you are one of the best therapists around here. I don't see in you things which lead therapists astray. One is a certain kind of gurudom. A therapist should not become a guru, because the moment you become a guru you start changing your patients into your disciples, you start exploiting their misery for your own aggrandizement, for your own ego. You start playing a role of being superior to you, higher than you.
I have not seen in your eyes that ugly ego which changes helping people into exploiting people. I have seen so many therapists who sooner or later fall into the trap. Because they know something more than the ordinary normal human being, they are in a position to exploit, they are in a position to create a following. That is not the work of the therapist.
The work of the therapist is to help the patient to drop his tensions, to drop his unnecessary problems, to drop his habit of creating problems. Most of the patients that come to you are hypochondriacs; they are not suffering from any real problem. Seventy percent of their problems are just imaginary.
I have seen people looking into medical periodicals, medical encyclopedias to find out what kind of disease they have -- they don't have any disease! But it seems, particularly in the most advanced countries, women are bragging... just as they used to brag in the past about their ornaments, about their mink coats, about their houses, about their luxuries, now they are bragging about psychoanalysis: "Who is your psychoanalyst?" -- some poor guy or some great psychoanalyst, only very few people can afford his services... And it becomes an addiction, particularly in societies where people don't have time to listen to anybody, where everybody is in a rush.
Bertrand Russell mentions in his autobiography, "The way psychoanalysis is growing, I can predict that in the next century, if man still remains on the earth, there will be psychoanalysts on every street in the world."Everybody will need once in a while to go to the psychoanalysts -- not because he has a disease, not that he has some mental problem, but just to talk.Nobody listens, nobody has time. You have to pay the psychoanalyst for listening.
In fact, if you are attentively listening to somebody a subtle help happens. He unburdens himself; things that he cannot say to other people he can say to you, because it is part of your work that you will keep it secret, that you will not start gossiping about it. So in privacy and secrecy he can open his heart, his wounds which he goes on hiding in the society. And by hiding the wounds, you can never cure them. By exposing them to light they are cured.
I have heard about a young psychotherapist who was working as an assistant to a famous old psychoanalyst. He used to get bored because people were coming with the same dreams, the same problems, the same worries... every day from morning till evening you have to listen and listen and listen, and it becomes heavy, so heavy that even in the night you cannot sleep. You have listened so much that until it gets settled you cannot sleep.
But he had never seen the old man ever feeling tired or bored.
So one day, getting out of the office, in the elevator, the young man asked the old psychoanalyst, "What is your secret? You must have been in psychoanalysis for almost sixty years -- sixty years of listening to all kinds of garbage and crap! I have just been here for three months, and I am tired and finished and I am thinking I have to change the profession. These people will drive me crazy!"
The old man laughed and he said, "Who listens? There is no need to listen. Just pretend."
That's why Sigmund Freud has devised a beautiful couch. The patient lies on the couch, and behind the couch -- the patient cannot see -- sits the psychoanalyst. Whether he is there or not does not matter. Once in a while he goes out and comes in, and the psychoanalysis continues. The man goes on talking about his dreams, about his worries, about his problems, uncoiling his mind, and he feels better. The psychoanalyst is not doing anything; he is simply giving his time and pretending to be attentive.
But this becomes an addiction. The patient has to come twice or thrice a week because so much goes on gathering in his head that he has to unburden it. But I will not call that old man a good therapist. He is simply exploiting the weaknesses and the frailties of human beings.
Prasad, be attentive, be respectful, be loving. That makes a good therapist. The patient is not different from you. You are in the same boat. You not only allow him to open his heart, you also open your heart to him to give him a feeling that he is not alone in his suffering, that perhaps everybody in the world is suffering and hiding it.
The good therapist will create a friendliness, a deep intimacy with the patient. He should not remain on a high pedestal, far above, as if he has no problems. The fact is therapists have more problems than anybody else. They have their own problems and they have other people's problems too; hence four times more therapists go insane than any other profession, and four times more therapists commit suicide than any other profession. It is not just accidental.
But if you can be friendly, if you can hold the hand of the patient, if you can tell him that these are your problems too and it is good to have a companion, to have a friend, "We can work it out together. It is not only that you will be helped, I will be helped also..."
Unless a therapist comes to this humbleness, he is not going to help. And I can see in your eyes the possibility of this humbleness.
In the middle of her psychiatric session, Mrs. Blossom suddenly exclaimed, "Doctor, I simply can't resist you! How about a little kiss?"
"Absolutely not!" the doctor replied indignantly. "That would be contrary to the ethics of my profession. Now continue what you were telling me."
"Well, as I was saying," the patient reluctantly resumed, "I am always having arguments with my husband about his father, and just yesterday... I am sorry, doctor, I just can't go on talking. I have this overwhelming impulse. Come on! What harm would there be if you gave me just one little kiss?"
"That's absolutely impossible!" the doctor snapped. "In fact, I should not even be lying here on this couch with you!"
Patients are being exploited sexually, financially, in every possible way. The patient has to be given as much respect and dignity as you can manage. You should be a humble helper, not a savior, then you can help people immensely. You can be a good therapist.
You have to be.
My therapists have to be in a different way than the therapists in the outside world. There they are business people. Here you are helping your fellow travelers, your brothers, your sisters. And by helping them, you are helping yourself because their problems and your problems are not different.
The village idiot was very famous. His name was Elmer. One day a village resident wanted to show a visiting friend just what an idiot Elmer was.
"Watch this," he said. "Hey, Elmer! I have got something for you." He then held out his hand, and on the outstretched palm were a nickel and a dime. "Go ahead, Elmer," he said, "take one."
So Elmer said, "Thank you, I will take the big one," and picked up the nickel.
The man winked at his friend and then said, "See what an idiot he is?"
But as Elmer shuffled off, the visitor felt sorry for him and ran after him.
"Listen, Elmer," he said earnestly, "don't you know that the small coin is worth twice as much as the big one?"
"Of course I do," said Elmer, "but the first time I pick up the dime, they will stop playing the game."
Even idiots are not so much idiots as you think; they have their own intelligence. Your patients are not just to be treated objectively. You have to bridge yourself with your patient. You have to become a friend before you can be a therapist -- and particularly the therapists who are working in the field of sannyas. Their function is not the same as the function of the psychotherapist in the outside world.
In the outside world, psychotherapy is nothing but a strategy of the society to keep people within their normal limits; the psychologist, psychoanalyst, therapist are all helping the society. Whenever somebody starts going beyond the normal standards, they pull him back down. It is not necessarily helpful... One can go below mind, and then it is good to pull him up. But if somebody is going beyond mind, then to pull him down is not a help.
It is just the opposite of help.
Here within my field therapy is used only as a cleaning process. It is just preparing the ground, taking out the wild weeds, the stones, so that I can manage to bring the roses of meditation into your life. Here therapy is only a preparation for meditation; its function is totally different from in the outside world. There you have to bring the person back into mind. Here you have to help the person to be courageous so that he can step beyond mind.
You are preparing people for me. The ultimate push is going to be through me. You have just to give them courage and encouragement. This can be done not by being special, not by being higher, not by being holier. You are not priests and you are not professionals.
You are just fellow travelers in this vast caravan, and you have to help people, prepare people because now there is a gap that never used to be in the past.
Buddha never needed any psychotherapy for his sannyasins; those people were innocent.
But in these twenty-five centuries, people have lost their innocence, they have become too knowledgeable. People have lost their contact with existence. They have become uprooted.
I am the first person who uses therapy but whose interest is not therapy but meditation, just as it was with Chuang Tzu or Gautam Buddha. They never used therapy because there was no need. People were simply ready, and you could bring the rosebushes without clearing the ground. The ground was already clear.
In these twenty-five centuries man has become so burdened with rubbish, so many wild weeds have grown in his being that I am using therapy just to clean the ground, take away the wild weeds, the roots, so the difference between the ancient man and the modern man is destroyed.
The modern man has to be made as innocent as the ancient man, as simple, as natural. He has lost all these great qualities. The therapist has to help him -- but his work is only a preparation. It is not the end. The end part is going to be the meditation.
As far as you are concerned, Prasad, you are doing perfectly well.
The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here