Chapter 5: Sickmindedness
In the third layer people go mad. They are more honest than the people who belong to the first and second layer. A man who has gone mad has simply dropped formalities, has dropped the role playing, and has allowed the chaos to envelop him. He is better than your politicians, at least he is more sincere and truer to life.
I’m not saying: Go and become neurotics, go and become mad; but madness happens at the third layer. All great artists belong to the third layer, and all great artists are prone to become mad. A Van Gogh goes mad. Why? Artists, musicians, poets, painters - they belong to the third; they are sincere people, more sincere than your politicians, than your so-called monks, popes, so-called mahatmas - they all belong to the second layer, playing a role - of being a mahatma. The third layer is of more sincere, honest people, but - the danger is there; they are so sincere and honest that they fall into the chaos; they don’t cling to the world of rules, and then they are in the storm.
If one can remain alert in the third layer, aware, meditative - that chaos turns into a cosmos. It is chaos because you are not centered, not aware. If you are aware it becomes a cosmos, an order; and not the order of human rules - the order of Tao, the order of what Indians have called the dharma, dhamma, rit; the ultimate order, not manmade.
And, if you remain alert, the chaos is there but you are not in the chaos, you transcend it - awareness is a transcending phenomenon. You know all around is chaos, but deep within you there is no chaos. Suddenly you are above it, you are not lost in it.
Poets, painters, musicians, get lost in it because they don’t know how to be aware. But they are more honest people. In the madhouses of the world there are more honest people than in the capitals of the world. And if I am allowed my way I will turn capitals into madhouses. People who are in madhouses need help, they need masters, to take them beyond the third to the fourth. Sufis have a particular word for the third layer people, they call them mastas: mad, but mad in the love of God. They are mad! For all practical purposes they are mad. They need a master who can hold their hand and take them to the fourth. At the third layer a master is needed.
If you belong to the first layer, you don’t need a master. If you belong to the second layer, there is no question of, no search for a master. Only people of the third layer start searching, hunting, for a master, somebody who can give them help in their moments of chaos.
In the third layer the possibilities are two. You can become mad - that is the fear, that is why people cling to the second layer, they cling deeply, afraid, because if they lose hold they will be falling into chaos - you all know it, that if you don’t cling to the roles you will fall into chaos.
You play the game of the husband or the wife; if you drop playing the game you know you will go mad. You go on playing the game that society has enforced on you, afraid that if you drop out of it - where will you drop? Drop out of the society and you drop into chaos. Then all certainty is lost. Confusion.