Chapter 7: How Sweet It Is
The psychology of Pavlov is based on the study of dogs, and the psychology of Skinner is based on the study of rats. And both are perfectly true as far as the majority of humanity is concerned. Only once in a while they may not be right. If they try to apply their psychology on a buddha they may not be right, but as far as the ordinary humanity is concerned they are perfectly right. What has happened to man? He has lost all meaning and significance for the simple reason that he has become a very cowardly being. He lives in such cowardly ways, he is so afraid of anything new.
I know people who have been listening to me for years - ten years, twelve years, fifteen years - and they go on saying to me, “We want to become sannyasins, but we are still thinking.” And they go on finding excuses, sometimes one excuse, sometimes another excuse. They love me, but they are not courageous enough to declare it. They hide the fact. They are not courageous to move into this unknown dimension of sannyas. They love me so they listen to me, and they love me so sometimes they think that one day they are going to become sannyasins, but they go on finding excuses to postpone it.
It is because of this cowardliness that man has lost all meaning and significance. All joy, all bliss, all ecstasy, has disappeared. Man looks very sad. Even if he laughs, his laughter looks phony, mechanical, false - something cultivated, managed, not coming from the depths. It has no profundity, it does not sound like it is coming from the center. It is only a painted smile on the circumference.
Do you know how the word phony came into existence? It came because of the telephone. When the telephone was invented and people started listening to others thousands of miles away on the telephone, the voice sounded strange. It is bound to be so. It is mechanical; it has not that authenticity. And there was nobody behind it; it was coming out of nowhere. Hence the word phony. You smile, but you don’t seem to be behind it; you may not be there at all.
And now even a new thing has come into existence. At least in the old days you could imagine that on the other side there must be somebody. Now there may be just a tape recorder saying, “Hello. How are you?”
I have heard:
One psychologist became very tired with a patient, tired because he was saying the same things again and again. And he was so rich that there was no hope of getting rid of him! So the psychologist said, “You do one thing. I will leave my tape recorder and you go on talking to the tape recorder. And whenever I have time I will listen to it.”
The man said, “That’s perfectly right” - because psychologists sit behind a screen, particularly Freudian psychologists. The patient lies down on the couch and the psychologist sits behind a screen. It is a good device.so that the psychologist can go to sleep, can read a newspaper, or may even leave. And the patient goes on talking, believing that he is there. Only once in a while he has to say, “Hmm. Yes. Go on,” but this can be done by a tape recorder.
Next time, next session, and the psychologist said, “You did perfectly well last time. Now my tape recorder is here again. You go on talking to it. I am going to see a matinee show. When I am back I will listen.”