Chapter 4: Meditation: The Only Medicine
It is like this: you are sitting in a dark room and think there is a ghost. It is only your shirt hanging there but you are scared, and in fright your imagination adds hands and feet to it. He is standing there frightening you! Someone says to light a lamp, and you ask how will lighting a lamp make ghosts go away. But lighting a lamp does drive away the ghost because there isn’t one there. If there were, lighting a lamp wouldn’t drive it away. What has a lamp got to do with scaring away ghosts? If there were a ghost, a lamp would not drive him away. But he doesn’t exist, he is illusory - that’s why he goes away.
You suffer from thousands of diseases which are not there. This is why the ash from some sadhu will cure you; not because ash has driven out your illness. Are you mad? Has ash ever cured a disease? If so, the whole science of medicine would be useless. Ash cannot cure illness, it only gets rid of the idea that you were ill.
I have heard a story about a doctor - he himself told it to me. He was living near the Bastar tribal area and a tribal man came to him from deep within Bastar. The doctor was visiting a village, a tribal village. This man was sick, but the doctor had nothing to write with; there was no pen or paper in the village. He found a cloth and wrote the name of the medicine on it with a piece of rock, and told him, “Take it with milk for a whole month, and you will be fine.” The man came back after a month. He was completely okay - healthy, robust. The doctor asked, “Did the medicine work?”
He said, “It worked great. Now write on one more cloth for me.”
The doctor asked, “What do you mean?”
He said, “That piece of cloth is finished. I drank it all up! It was great medicine.”
He had come to him completely cured! Now it wouldn’t be right for the doctor to explain anything; that would be inappropriate. He told me, “Since he was cured I didn’t say anything: medicine is what makes you well. Why should I confuse him by telling him, ‘You idiot, I just wrote out the name of the medicine, but you never bought it!’ He drank the prescription, but it worked.” The disease must have been false, imaginary.
Psychologists say that ninety out of a hundred illnesses are imaginary. And as understanding increases it is possible that ninety-nine percent are imaginary. One day perhaps one hundred percent of diseases will be found to be imaginary.
This is why the world has so many medical systems that work. Use allopathic medicine and the patient gets well. Use ayurvedic or homeopathic or the Greek-Islamic systems, or naturopathy, and the patient is cured. Even a charm or a talisman will cure him.
It is surprising. If he were really sick then only one particular method would work to cure the disease, every method could not work. There is no disease. It is only what you believe in: someone believes in allopathy so it works.. And the doctor’s name is more important than the medicine.
Have you ever noticed that when you return from seeing a great doctor, your pockets empty from paying such huge fees, you are already half cured? If this same doctor wrote you free prescriptions it wouldn’t have any effect on you. The fees you have paid out do more than his medicine. Once you have the idea that he is a great doctor - the greatest - it is enough.