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Chapter 7: Arguing with the Ocean

One thing is certain, that buddhas are in a very small minority; so if it is a question of voting, they are going to be defeated - any crazy man, any madman, can defeat them. But fortunately, the idea has not yet come into people’s minds that enlightenment has to be decided by voting. If two persons stand as candidates for enlightenment, and whoever gets more votes becomes enlightened, then one thing is certain - the really enlightened ones will never be known to the world, because it is impossible to conceive that a Gautam Buddha is going to compete for enlightenment. The very idea of competition is irrelevant to the consciousness of a buddha.

So you have to remember - people will call you crazy; don’t be offended. If you are still offended, then something in you is still sane, something in you still belongs to the masses; you are not fully crazy.

Don’t be offended; rather, gratefully accept it, that you are blessed to be crazy. It is a very strange fact that only sane people can accept that they are crazy. No madman in the whole history of man has ever accepted that he is mad. You can go to any madhouse, and you will not find a single madman who thinks he is mad.

One of Kahlil Gibran’s friends became mad, and Gibran went to see him in the madhouse. The friend was sitting on a bench on the lawn. Kahlil Gibran was feeling very compassionate. The madman laughed; he said, “Don’t feel compassionate.” Kahlil Gibran could not understand why the man was so angry about his compassion.

The friend said, “I am feeling compassion for all those people who are outside the wall. The whole world is mad. Only a very few people who are not mad have been kept in the madhouse, just for security reasons. Who allowed you in? We are not mad, and we don’t need your compassion.”

I have visited many mad asylums, but I have never found a single man who would accept that he was mad; because to accept that you are mad means that you are sane enough even to see your own madness.

The question is asked by Vimal - and just nearby is sitting Narendra. His father had a strange disease: six months he used to be mad and six months he used to be sane - a great balance of enjoying both worlds. Whenever he was sane he was always sick, always grumpy. He would lose weight, and he would fall victim to all kinds of infection; all his resistance to disease would be lost. And in the six months when he was mad, he was the healthiest person you could find - no disease, no infection - and he was always happy.

The family was in trouble. Whenever he was happy the family was in trouble, because his happiness was a certain indication that he was mad. If he was not going to the doctors, if he was enjoying his health - he was mad.

While he was insane, he would get up early in the morning, four o’clock, and wake up the whole neighborhood saying, “What are you doing? Just go for a morning walk, go to the river, enjoy swimming. What are you doing here in bed?”

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