Chapter 38: Enough Just to Be with Me
I have heard about one psychotherapist.. He was treating a patient who had this insane idea that thousands of flies, which nobody could see, were sitting all over his body - on his face, on his hands - and he was continuously brushing them off. Everybody said that there are no flies, but he said, “Should I believe my own eyes or your eyes? Should I believe my own hands which are feeling the flies, or your hands? I can see flies are not on you; they are simply attracted to me.”
Finally, it became impossible for him to do anything. His family brought him to the psychotherapist. The psychotherapist tried, explained, analyzed his dreams.
After two years they were sitting in the garden chitchatting - they had become friendly in the two years - and the man started brushing off flies. The psychotherapist stood up, and he said, “Not on me! I have tolerated it for two years, but there is a limit to everything.”
In these two years the madman with the flies has convinced the psychoanalyst that flies exist, they are - rather than the psychoanalyst convincing him that the flies are just his imagination. It is a dangerous game. That’s why so many psychotherapists go mad; to be with mad people is not an easy job.
In one madhouse, the old doctor had retired and the new doctor had come in, and all the mad people were very happy. They rejoiced and danced. The doctor said, “Why are you so happy?”
They said, “Because you are just like us! That man, although he stayed with us for ten years, remained a foreigner. But you really understand.” At that moment the doctor saw that he himself was dancing with them, rejoicing. Even the mad people recognized that he was also mad. They said, “This is the greatest thing that has happened in this madhouse. Now there is no problem - we are all one.”
This unity between the patient and the doctor.. The psychotherapist has to create some kind of bridge to communicate, but inside him is the same kind of mind which can go berserk any moment. And to convince a madman, a fanatic - and all madmen are fanatic, and all fanatics are mad - is very difficult.
One man, who thought he was dead, was brought to a psychoanalyst. That was too much. The whole society was puzzled as to how to convince him that he was not dead. His family, wife, children, parents, were all in deep sadness. But how to convince a man that he is not dead? The psychoanalyst thought of a method. He asked the madman, “Do you know that a dead man never bleeds?”
The madman said, “That’s true, I know. How can a dead man bleed? Blood disappears as life disappears.”
The psychoanalyst took him close to the mirror, pushed a needle into his hand, and blood came out. The psychotherapist asked him, “Now what do you say?”
He said, “This means the proverb is wrong - dead men do bleed! This is a proof; nobody ever experimented before. Are you convinced, or not?”
Naturally, psychotherapists become more and more filled with these mad people’s ideas; they become their nightmare, they follow them like a shadow. So it is understandable why they go mad more than any other profession.