Osho Quotes on Madmen and Mystics

Osho Quotes on Madmen

  1. All madmen may not be mystics, but all mystics are mad. By ‘mad’ I mean they have gone beyond mind. The madman may have fallen below mind, and the mystic may have gone beyond mind, but one thing is similar — both are not in their minds. In a primitive society even the madman is respected, tremendously respected. If he decides to be mad, that’s okay. Society takes care for his food, for his shelter. Society loves him, loves his madness. Society has no fixed rule; then nobody commits suicide because freedom remains intact.
  2. Madmen and mystics have something similar. That similarity is because both are out of the mind. The madman has fallen below it, the mystic has gone beyond it. The mystic is also mad with a method; his madness has a method in it. The madman has simply fallen below. I am not saying become mad. I am saying become mystics. The mystic is as happy as the mad and as sane as the sane. The mystic is as reasonable, even more reasonable, than so-called rationalist people, and yet so happy, just like mad people. The mystic has the most beautiful synthesis. He is in a harmony. He has all that a reasonable man has. He has both. He is complete. He is whole.
  3. Only saints and madmen are joyous for no reason at all. That’s why there is a similarity between mad people and saints, a little similarity, an overlapping. Their boundaries overlap. Both are very different: the saint is aware, the madman is absolutely unaware. But one thing is certain: both are happy for no reason at all. The madman is happy because he is so unaware that he does not know how to be unhappy; he is so unconscious that he cannot create misery. To create misery you need a little consciousness. And the saint is happy because he is so fully aware; how can he create misery? When you are fully aware you create happiness for yourself, you become a source of your happiness.
  4. Many mystics have been known as madmen. They ARE in a sense. The world thinks they are mad, because they follow something utterly absurd in the eyes of the world. The world accumulates money, the world is in search of more and more power and prestige, and they are simply not concerned with these great things. The world wants to possess and have more and more. And there have been people who are not worried about having more and more. Certainly they look mad. They don’t have a thing to their name… remember Diogenes, not having a thing to his name, but still happier than Alexander the Great, utterly joyous. Even Alexander the Great had felt jealous. It is said that he said to Diogenes, “If next time I have to come into the world, I will ask God, ‘This time please make me Diogenes. I don’t want to become Alexander the Great again.”‘ Must have felt very jealous of Diogenes, the naked madman.
  5. A businessman is a businessman. His whole outlook about life is that of a businessman. Nothing is good, nothing is bad; nothing is beautiful, nothing is ugly. It is you who decide. In India we have a certain stage of consciousness called PARAMAHANSA. The state of paramahansa means the state of no division — when ugly and beautiful, clean and dirty, good and bad, both are alike. You can find a paramahansa eating, sitting by the side of the road — the gutter is overflowing, the dogs are running around him. Or even the dogs also eating from the same bowl! Very difficult — very difficult for the mind to understand. The mind will say “What type of man is this? How dirty!” But you don’t know the state of a paramahansa. Don’t condemn, don’t be in such haste. There is a state of consciousness where divisions disappear, when the mind is totally dropped. Then one simply lives in a oneness with existence. But, I am not telling you to BECOME paramahansas — remember. You cannot become a paramahansa; it descends on you. If you try to become a paramahansa, you will simply go mad. I am not saying to drop distinctions. I am saying become more and more aware so one day distinctions disappear. You can drop distinctions without becoming aware — then you will be a madman, not a paramahansa. And sometimes paramahansas and madmen look very alike.
  6. It has happened many times. Sometimes through accident people have come to know the divine and feel the divine. But then they go mad because they are not disciplined to receive such a great phenomenon. They are not ready. They are so small, and such a great ocean falls in them. This has happened. In the Sufi system they call such persons madmen of the God — masts, they call. Many people, sometimes without discipline — through some accident, through some Master, through the grace of some Master or just through the presence of some Master — get tuned. Their whole mechanism is not ready, but a part starts functioning. Then they are out of order. Then you will feel they are mad, because they will start saying things which look irrelevant. And they can also feel that they are irrelevant, but they cannot do anything. Something has begun in them; they cannot stop it. They feel a certain happiness. That’s why they are called masts, the happy ones. But they are not Buddhalike, they are not enlightened. And it is said that for masts, for these happy ones who have gone mad, a very great Master is needed because now they cannot do anything with themselves. They are just in confusion — happily in it, but they are a mess. They cannot do anything on their own. In old days, great Sufi Masters will move all around the earth. Whenever they will hear that somewhere a mast is, a madman is, they will go and they will just help that man to get tuned. In this century only Meher Baba has done that work — a great work of its own type, a rare work. Continuously, for many years, he was traveling all over India, and the places he was visiting were madhouses, because in madhouses many masts are living. But you cannot make any distinction, who is mad and who is mast; they both are mad. Who is really mad and who is mad just because of a divine accident — because of some tuning that has happened through some accident!
  7. Many masts are there. Meher Baba traveled and he will live in madhouses, and he will help and serve the masts, the mad ones. And many of them came out of their madness and started their journey toward enlightenment. In the West many people are in madhouses, mad asylums, many who don’t need any psychiatric help because psychiatrists can only make them again normal. They need the help of someone who is enlightened, not a psychiatrist, because they are not ill. Or, if they are ill, they are ill by a divine disease. Your health is nothing before that illness. That illness is better — worth losing all your “health”. Discipline is needed. In India this phenomenon has not been so great as it has been in Mohammedan countries. That’s why Sufis have special methods to help these mast people, the mad people of the God.
  8. Meher Baba is not part of history. Nobody has tried to see the great experiment that he did. He travelled all over the country to catch hold of all kinds of majzubs, madmen, because they are just very close to God. Only one thing is needed: somebody is needed who can shake them back to their sanity. Then they can become great Masters. Just a little sanity will be needed; then their madness will have a method in it. Right now they are only mad without any method; they cannot help. And to follow them may be dangerous, hazardous. To follow them, you will be only following yourself because they will never give you any clue. And whatsoever they will say, if you follow it, can lead you astray. It can throw you into deep pitfalls, because they are not in their consciousness; they have drowned themselves in God so much that they are drunk, they are drunkards. They have known God but they have no way to relate it to you. They cannot be Masters. Each Master becomes a majzub before he becomes a Master — he goes through great madness — but all majzubs are not Masters. If a majzub dies as a majzub, he will attain to God but without helping anybody at all.
  9. Many madmen in our mad asylums are suffering not from anything else but just from the primitive fears inside them which have erupted. The fears are there; the madmen are afraid, scared every moment of their lives. And we don’t yet know how to allow those primitive fears to evaporate. If madmen can be helped to meditate on darkness, madness will disappear. But only in Japan do they work a little towards this. With their madmen they behave absolutely differently. If someone goes mad, psychotic or neurotic, the Japanese method is to allow him to live in isolation for three weeks or for six weeks, as the case may need. They just allow him to live in isolation. No doctor, no psychoanalyst goes to him. Food is supplied, his needs are taken care of, and he is left alone. In the night there is no light;in darkness he is alone — suffering of course, passing through many phases. Every care is taken, but no companionship is given to him. He has to face his own madness immediately and directly. And within three to six weeks, the madness starts disappearing. Nothing has been done really; he has simply been left alone. This is the only measure that has been taken.
  10. You must have observed that neurotic people always force others to be attentive towards them. They will do anything if they can get the attention. In a Zen monastery they don’t give any attention, they remain indifferent. Nobody bothers and nobody thinks that he is mad, because if the whole group thinks that he is mad that thinking creates vibrations that help the madman to remain mad. For three weeks, four weeks, the mad man is allowed to be with himself. Needs are fulfilled but no attention is given, no special attention; indifference is maintained. Nobody thinks that he is mad. And within three or four weeks, the madman, remaining with himself, by and by gets better. The madness subsides. Even now they do the same in Zen monasteries. Western psychologists have become aware of the fact. Many have gone to Japan to study what is happening, and they have been simply wonder-struck. They work for years and nothing happens; and in a Zen monastery, without doing anything, the madman left to himself, and things start happening. Madmen need isolation. They need re6t, they need indifference, they need inattention, and the waves that were rising in their minds, the tensions, simply dissolve and disappear. After the fourth week the man is ready to leave the monastery. He thanks the people there, the abbot and others, and leaves. He is completely okay.
  11. Below your reason there is a vast continent of irrationality. The animals exist there, the vegetables exist there, rocks exist there — the whole past. That is the real meaning of the theory that you have been incarnated in many ways. There have been eighty-four thousand YONIS — YOU have lived eighty-four thousand lives on different planes. Some day you were like a rock — something of it is still carried in your unconscious. Some day you were a plant; something of it is still carried; the flower and the thorn, both. Some day you were like a dog and some day you were a tiger and some day you were a fox. And all that is carried — piled upon each other, they are there. Whenever you lose your rational, the irrational comes up and takes possession of you. Above it, again there is the superconscious. That too is irrational. There God is hidden. Below is the animal, above is God. If you fall below humanity you become animal, if you go above humanity you become divine. People are afraid of the irrational because they know only one kind of irrational — that which is below. And all great religions teach the irrational which is above. You have to go higher than yourself. You have to drop your logic. When you meditate, again that happens. When you are angry then too it happens, then too you are below reason. When you are meditating you are above reason — but you go beyond reason in both the ways. When a man is mad he is below reason. And when a man becomes a saint he is above reason. That’s why saints and madmen look a little alike — something similar. One thing at least: they both are not in their rational minds. Below reason is a vast continent of irreason. And above reason is the whole sky of divinity, the infinite sky of divinity.
  12. Children or madmen or sages laugh and weep together. That’s why sages look close to madmen and madmen look close to sages. A few things are similar. A madman can laugh and weep because he does not bother about logic. There is no need for him to think whether it is okay to laugh and weep together. He does not bother about categories, divisions, false boundaries and definitions.
  13. A madman sometimes can have glimpses which the rational man cannot have because the madman has stepped out of the mechanism of mind; of course on the wrong side, from the back door, but still he is out of the mind. Even from the back door he can have some glimpses which are not available to the people who never come out of the house. Certainly he is not so fortunate as to have come from the front door: that needs tremendous effort. Madness is a disease. It happens to you — you don’t have to make an effort to be mad. It is a sickness and it is curable. Enlightenment happens through tremendous awareness and arduous effort. Enlightenment is the supreme health.
  14. Neurotics have a tendency to become leaders. Adolf Hitler was a neurotic, and became one of the greatest leaders of human history. He was a madman, but madmen have a few qualities in them which no sane man can ever have: they compete, and they compete with their total energy, and they compete madly. Because they are so mad, they don’t think, they act. While the sane person thinks, the mad person acts. The sane person goes on thinking and the mad person has already reached and acted and done. The sane person thinks of consequences, the mad person thinks nothing — he simply rushes in.
  15. Germany was the country of the professors, scholars, great scholars, great professors, logicians, philosophers — Kant, Hegel, Schiller, Marx, Feuerbach — the country of the best minds, but a Hitler, just a madman, could befool them. Madmen can befool you very easily, because they are obsessed with their ideas, they go on repeating. They won’t listen to you, they are fanatic; they are not worried about what you will think, they will go on repeating, and through repetition it becomes a suggestion, a hypnosis. If somebody goes on repeating you are bound to believe it. Psychologists say that if you go on repeating others will believe, and by repeating constantly in the end you will also believe that it is true.
  16. These are the two situations: either you are worried or you are ecstatic, and both cannot exist together. If you are ecstatic, you are madly ecstatic. If you are worried, you are madly worried. There are two types of madmen a madness that comes out of worries and a madness that comes out of being, overflowing being. The choice is yours. Either you will be a worried madman, on the couch of some psychiatrist, or you can become a madman of God, like a St. Francis or Sosan. Then your whole life becomes a dance, an infinite ecstasy, a blessing that goes on and on, and increases, increases, goes on increasing… there is no end to it. It begins, it never ends.
  17. Look into the eyes of a cow, or into the eyes of a cat or a dog — all seems to be so quiet and silent. As if THIS moment is all! But look into the mind of man and you will find a maniac. And not one but a crowd, not one but the whole madhouse inside. So many madmen shouting, desiring, asking and asking. And the desires are contradictory. If you fulfill one, necessarily the other becomes impossible to fulfill. If you fulfill the other, then something else becomes the problem. You cannot satisfy man! There is no communication between his parts. One hand wants to do one thing, another hand may want to destroy it. A part of you is constantly hankering for the past that is lost; another part is striving to reach to the future. How can you be at ease? How can you be at home? Listen sometimes to what goes on inside your mind.
  18. In the East, madmen have never suffered like they are suffering in the West. In the East they were valued, a madman was something special. The society took care of him, he was respected, because he has certain elements of the sage, certain elements of the child. He is different from the so-called society, culture, civilization; he has fallen out of it. Of course, he has fallen down; a sage falls up, a madman falls down — that’s the difference — but both have fallen out. And they have similarities. Watch a madman, and then try to let your eyes become unfocused.
  19. This is a method, a tantra method: to look into space, into the sky, WITHOUT SEEING; to look with an empty eye. Looking, yet not looking for something: just an empty look. Sometimes you see in a madman’s eyes an empty look — and madmen and sages are alike in certain things. A madman looks at your face, but you can see he is not looking at you. He just looks through you as if you are a glass thing, transparent; you are just in the way, he is not looking at you. And you are transparent for him: he looks beyond you, through you. He looks without looking AT you; the “at” is not present, he simply looks.
  20. This imagination can function either as a hell or as heaven. You can use it to go completely insane. What has happened to madmen in the madhouses? They have used their imagination, and they have used it in such a way that they are engulfed by it. A madman may be sitting alone and he is talking to someone loudly. Not only he talks, he answers also. He questions, he answers, he speaks for the other also who is absent. You may think that he is mad, but he is talking to a real person. In his imagination the person is real, and he cannot judge what is imaginary and what is real.
  21. Man is imprisoned by the words. Man’s whole problem is language. Below language is the world of the animals and beyond language is the world of the gods. Between the two is the world of man, the world of language, words — philosophies, scriptures, theories, ideologies. To fall below language is to become inhuman; to go beyond language is to become superhuman. That’s why sometimes the mystic almost looks like a madman. And vice versa: the madman also sometimes looks like a mystic, but the difference is great. The madman has fallen below language. He is no more part of humanity — he has slipped back, he has regressed. And the mystic has gone beyond humanity. He is also no more part of humanity, that is the similarity: both are no more part of humanity. But one has gone below, another has gone beyond; that is a great difference. So all mystics have something in them like the madman, and all madmen have something in them like the mystic. Jesus used to look like a madman to people. There still are psychoanalysts that go on writing that Jesus was neurotic… because they don’t understand the difference between the below and the beyond.
  22. A madman can be in communication only with other madmen. A Buddha can commune only with other Buddhas; otherwise the gap is so big, unbridgeable. You can commune with bliss only when you are in a total silent state, when everything in you has become still, as if all has disappeared, as if there is nobody inside. When your temple is absolutely empty bliss comes dancing. It fills you and it fulfils you. Being here learn to be more and more silent, learn to be more and more still. Enjoy silence and stillness. Those are the basic preparations for the ultimate guest. When you are in a profound silence you are capable of becoming the host to god.
  23. Deva means divine, masti means intoxicated, drunk — drunk with the divine, intoxicated with god. Less than that won’t do; no half hearted effort is going to succeed. If one is mad for god, only then does god happen; it is only for madmen! People live in a lukewarm way, their whole life is lukewarm, so when they pray their prayer is also lukewarm; it reflects their whole style of life. When they love their love is lukewarm; and to live a lukewarm life is to drag a burden. One never comes to know the real mystery of it. The real mystery is encountered only when you have risked all, when you reach to the very end of your capacities, when you use your whole potential, when you come to the boundary of your being, to the optimum. On that boundary the meeting happens. The known starts dissolving into the unknown, the river meets the ocean. But that is possible only for those who are madly in love with god, madly in love with life!
  24. That’s why I say that sannyas is something only for those people who are really courageous — for madmen only —  because the price of admittance is nothing but your mind: the reason-dominated mind, the logic-dominated mind, the mathematically-dominated mind. When that is dropped prose is no more at the centre but poetry, purpose no more at the centre but play; money no more at the centre but meditation, power no more at the centre but simplicity, non-possessiveness, a sheer joy of life, almost a madness…. To become a sannyasin is to almost become mad as far as the world is concerned. So you are entering into madness. But that madness is the only sanity there is!
  25. Once in a while a conscious, wide-awake man is born, and those who are asleep cannot tolerate him. They lose their tempers and they kill him.  We crucified Jesus Christ because he was awake. People in deep sleep cannot bear the presence of such a man. He is a symbol of disrespect to those who are not awake. Such men disturb our sleep, and so we give a cup of poison to a Socrates. We behave toward conscious, awakened men as madmen would were they to find a sane man in their midst.