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Chapter 2: Where Did We Come From and How Did We Become?

You must remember that the first type, the tamas, never goes mad. That’s why in the East madness is not so prevalent. You don’t need so many psychoanalysts, you don’t need so many mad asylums, no. In the East people live like lumps of earth. How can you go mad? In tamas madness is not possible; you don’t do anything to go mad. In the West madness has become almost normal; now there is only a degree of difference between normal and abnormal people. People who are inside the asylum and people who are outside, they are all in the same world - just a difference of degree. And everybody is a boundary case: just a little push, and you are inside. Anything can go wrong - and there are a thousand and one things in your life. Anything can go wrong and you will be inside. The West is rajas - too much activity. Speed is the symbol: go on moving, go on doing. And there exists no society which is of sattva people; up to now it has not been possible.

India claims, the East claims, that they are sattva people. They are not; they are simply tamas. Rarely sometimes a buddha happens or a Krishna happens - that is not the point. They are exceptions; they simply prove the rule. East is tamas - very, very slow-moving, not moving at all.

I used to go to my village. After years I will go and everything is almost the same. I will meet the same porter on the station, because only one porter is there. He is getting old, but the same man. I will meet the same tangawala because only a few tangas are there; and one always claims me, that I am his passenger. And he is a stronger man, so nobody can fight; so he grabs me and forces me in his tanga. And then the same things are revealed, as if I am going in a memory, not in a real world. I will meet the same man on the road. Sometimes somebody has died and that’s. big news. Otherwise, the world moves in a circle: the same man who comes to give vegetables, the same man who comes to give the milk - everything. Almost static.

In the West nothing is static, and everything is news. You go back, everything has changed: your mother may have divorced: your father; your father may have escaped with some other woman; back home there is no home - the family doesn’t exist at all. I was reading some data about the American style of life. Almost every person changes his job in three years, his town also in three years. Everything is changing. And people are in a hurry. And people are running faster and faster and nobody worries, “Where are you going?”

And a sattva society does not exist. Only a few individuals sometimes happen to be so balanced that tamas and rajas are just in the same proportion. They have enough energy to move, and they have enough sense to rest. They make a rhythm of their life: in the day they move, they do things; in the night they rest.

In the East, in the day also they are resting. In the West, in the night also they are working in their heads, in dreams. All Western dreams have become nightmares. In the East you can come across tribes which don’t know what a dream is. Really, it happens. I have come across a few aboriginal tribes in India: If you talk about their dreams they say, “What do you mean?” Rarely it happens. and when it happens it is a great news in the town that somebody has had a dream. Because people are resting. In the West sleep has become impossible because dreams are so many and so violently speedy, everything trembling. Nothing seems to be in an equilibrium. In the East, everything dead.

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