Chapter 6: Madmen and Devotees
In the East it has happened that many mad people have been worshipped - those who were mad from the head. They were simply crazy but they were worshipped because we have worshipped the madman of the heart, and it is very difficult for the ordinary, common masses to make the distinction - they look almost alike.
Now in the West the opposite is happening: people who would have been saints in the past. Just think, if Jesus came, was born in America today, where would he be? Or Saint Francis of Assisi - where would he be? In some madhouse. Jews treated Jesus very well: they killed him but they never put him in a madhouse. That was more respectful.
But now, in the modern world, if he came back to somewhere in the West, he would be in a madhouse, or lying down on some Freudian couch or being given some electric shocks, drugged - because psychoanalysts say that he was neurotic, his personality was neurotic, he was mad. Of course the things that he said looked mad. He said, “I am the son of God.” What nonsense! Son of God? - megalomania! What is he talking about? He is not in his senses, he lives in a dream. He talks about the kingdom of God - all nonsense, fairy tales, good for children’s books but immature. He chose a better time to come.
Saint Francis of Assisi would certainly be in a madhouse: talking to trees, saying to the almond tree, “Sister, how are you?” If he were here he would have been caught: “What are you doing? Talking to an almond tree?” “Sister, sing to me of God,” he says to the almond tree. And not only that, he hears the song that the sister almond tree sings! Crazy! Needs treatment! He talks to the river and to the fish, and he claims that the fish respond to him. He talks to stones and rocks: is there any need for any more proof that he is mad?
He is mad, but wouldn’t you like to be mad like Saint Francis of Assissi? Just think: the capacity to hear the almond tree singing and the heart that can feel brothers and sisters in trees, the heart that can talk to the rock, the heart that sees God everywhere, all around, in every form - it must be a heart of utmost love. Utter love reveals that mystery to you.
But for the logical mind, of course, these things are nonsense. To me, or to anybody who has known how to look at life through the heart, these are the only meaningful things. Become mad, if you can, become mad from the heart.
Now the last thing about this question: if your head comes to a breakdown, don’t be worried. Use this opportunity of a destructured state. In that moment, don’t be worried that you are going mad; in that moment, slip into the heart.