Chapter 29: The Crescendo of the Insanity of Centuries
You are asking, “Am I moving rightly or am I just a hopeless nutcase?” Everybody is a nutcase but nobody is hopeless. The world has unfortunately been growing for thousands of years in such a way that it has turned everybody into a nutcase. There are two kinds of nuts: normal and abnormal.
The normal nuts run the whole world. They are doctors, they are professors, they are engineers; deep down the madness is there, but within limits. Everybody is on the boundary line. Just a small incident, a small accident, and they can go beyond the boundary line: the wife dies, the business goes bankrupt - anything can happen and the boundary line can be crossed, they immediately become nutcases.
The psychologists of the whole world are only trying to do one thing: to make abnormal nuts normal, somehow to bring them back within the boundary line. It does not help the nutcases, but it helps the world to go on running in its common way.
But why has it happened that so many people in the world are either mad or just on the boundary line? There is not any qualitative difference, but only a quantitative difference, a difference of degrees. We have been brought up with mother’s milk, with all kinds of superstitions; they have gone deep into our unconscious.
I used to live in a city for a few months. Just in front of me there was a municipal water tap. And the man had the idea that while he was filling his pot with the water, if a woman passed by, that water had become dirty. He would immediately throw the water and he would start filling it again.
One day I was watching. “What is the matter?” I asked the man. He said, “According to my religion women are - even their shadow is dirty, and I cannot drink dirty water.”
I managed to find a woman and paid her so that I could tell her, “Tomorrow you go on walking and let us see how long his religion lasts.”
But that man was also a man of great courage, because the whole day.. The woman got tired, but I was paying her so she managed to continue. She went away for some time to eat; she sent her daughter to replace.. The evening came but the man continued to throw away the water because the woman had come.
Finally it was too much. He threw the pot and came directly to me, because he understood what was happening. And he said, “You will drive me crazy!”
I said, “You are crazy. Nobody can drive you crazy. The very idea you are carrying that even the shadow of the woman makes things dirty.You are born of a woman, so you are dirty. For nine months you have been within the womb of a woman, and you have not even thought for a single moment what kind of a stupid idea you are carrying. Nobody can drive you crazy. I am trying to drive you sane. So remember, from tomorrow this superstition is not going to happen again; otherwise.I get paid enough, and I am alone - I will keep a woman constantly on duty so that whenever you are on the tap she has just to walk there. Or she can just stand there, why walk?”