Today, 90 per cent of the people are in different states of mental sickness. The level of sickness is sometimes manageable, sometimes unmanageable. Let us say you have asthma. Sometimes your asthma is manageable, so you do not consider yourself sick. You take medicines and manage it. Later, you become really sick and either totally collapse or are hospitalised. Only then you consider yourself sick. That does not mean you were not sick on the other days. You were, but it was manageable.
When you consider mental states, almost everyone is sick, but the sickness is mostly manageable. Once in a while, it flares up for some time and then settles down. Psychologists and psychiatrists have only studied sick people.
Psychiatrists like Sigmund Freud never studied someone like the Buddha. He would have studied only people who were in different states of mental sickness. And the psychiatrist who is studying them is also sick and has not transcended his limitations. One day, three psychiatrists were travelling together on a train from Germany to France to attend an annual psychiatrists’ seminar. Sitting there, they began confi ding their secrets to each other. The first one said, “My greatest weakness is compulsive gambling. Every weekend, I take off from the clinic and let myself go full blast. Then I get sodden drunk and finish the night in the gutter.”
The second psychiatrist nodded his head in understanding and said, “Well, my greatest secret is that I am dependent on anti-depressants and take them all the time. I have to have double dosage before I sit in consultation with my patients.” The third one sat there smug. So the other two prodded her, “What about you?” The third psychiatrist said, “Well, I’m a diagnosed gossiper, and I can’t wait to get off this train!”
According to the problem you have - anxiety, fear, psychosis – psychiatrists put you into the corresponding category and have a treatment for that. What they really do is from unmanageable madness, they bring you down to manageable madness.
No one can make you sane. The process of spirituality is not about moving into manageable madness; it is about going so mad that you become sane. You cross the limits of madness, then you become perfectly sane. You are born with the madness- the karma itself is madness. Th e very bondages and limitations that you have created for yourself, are they not madness? If there is a mad man who thinks he is tied to a column - there is no rope or chain but he thinks he is tied - whatever you tell him, he will not listen. He will only go round and round the column. Isn’t this the way everybody is living, tied to some column? Being 'manageably' mad or unmanageably mad really makes no difference.
At least, if you become unmanageably mad, you can enjoy yourself in the asylum. You do not have to be ashamed of being mad anymore! You can just freak out the way you want to. A person growing on the spiritual path looks totally crazy because he is pushing himself to the point beyond madness, where it cannot touch him any more. If you get disturbed and then make yourself peaceful, that is not peace; it is just a lull, like the eye of the hurricane where everything is calm. Do not be fooled by this calm. The following gust will be worse.
Hurricanes always move like this: Because of the forward motion and the centrifugal and centripetal forces, the front end of the hurricane is less forceful than the rear end. So what you see fi rst is nothing compared to what is going to come. The same holds true about your mind.
Everything in existence is like that. Whatever blows with force will blow, take a little break and then blow again. The mind is also like that. It goes through a phase of disturbance, then comes back to peace. Don’t ever think it is peace. It is just a break in the madness. Peace is not something that you create, peace is not something that happens.
Peace is something that always is. What happens on the surface is disturbance. Th is is just like the ocean. On the surface of the ocean you will see waves, tremendous turbulence and turmoil. But if you go deep down, it is perfectly peaceful. Th e fundamental quality of existence is always peace.
(Sadhguru is a spiritual leader and founder of Isha Yoga)
(In arrangement with SMARTlife)