Chapter 3: The Owl and the Phoenix
When you feel that you are inferior, when you compare yourself and you see that others are superior to you, what will you do? The ego feels hurt - you are inferior. You just cannot accept it, so you have to deceive yourself and others.
How do you deceive? There are two ways. One is to go mad. Then you can declare that you are an Alexander, a Hitler, a Nixon. Then you can declare easily because then you don’t bother what others say. Go to the madhouses all over the world and there you will find all the great people of history still present.
When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was alive, at least one dozen people in India believed that they were Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Once he came to a madhouse to inaugurate some new department. And the authorities of that madhouse had arranged for a few people to be released by him, because now they had become healthy and normal. The first person was brought to Nehru, and introduced, so Nehru introduced himself to the madman who had become more normal and said, “I am Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India.”
The madman laughed and said, “Don’t worry. Be here for three years and you will become as normal as I have become. Three years ago when I first came to this madhouse this is what I believed - I was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India. But they have cured me completely, so don’t worry.”
This has happened in many ways. Lloyd George was prime minister of England. In the war days, at six o’clock in the evening there used to be a blackout and nobody could move outside their houses. All traffic stopped, and everybody had to go in some shelter. No light, no electricity was allowed. Lloyd George was on his routine evening walk. He forgot.
Suddenly the siren. It was six o’clock and his house was far away and he had to walk at least a mile. So he knocked on the nearest door and said to the man who opened it, “Let me rest here for the night; otherwise the police will catch me. I am Lloyd George, the prime minister.”
The man suddenly grabbed him and said, “Come in. This is the right place for you. We have three Lloyd Georges already!” It was a madhouse.
Lloyd George tried to convince the man, but he said, “Don’t try, they all try to convince; you just come in, or I will beat you.”
So Lloyd George had to keep quiet for the whole night, or he would have been beaten. How could he convince them? There were already three Lloyd Georges and they had all tried to prove it.
One way is to go mad - then you suddenly declare that you are superior, the most superior. Another way is to go politician. Either go mad or go politician. Through politics you cannot suddenly declare - you have to prove that you really are the prime minister or you are the president. So it is a long way. Madness is the shortcut to fame, politics is the long way. But they reach the same goal.