All the people in the insane asylum come out, take over the empty town, and have a wonderful time – because nobody is left there, only the insane people of the insane asylum. Even their guards have escaped, so they are free. They come into the town and everything is empty: shops are empty, offices are empty. So they take over the town; they take over the empty town, and have a wonderful time. They all put on different clothes and enjoy themselves thoroughly. Their madness simply disappears; they are no more mad. Whatsoever they always wanted to become and could not become, now they simply became, without any effort. Somebody became the general, and somebody became the duke, and somebody the madam, and somebody else the doctor, the bishop, or whosoever he wanted to become. Everything is free. They put on different clothes and enjoy themselves thoroughly. Everyone takes on some role in the town. : general, duke, lady, madam, bishop, etcetera. One guy becomes a barber, and he pays customers because he enjoys being a barber; and he gets more customers that way.
They are all living these roles, living in the moment and enjoying it completely, utterly.
A British soldier is sent to the town to disable the bomb. He gets frustrated because he cannot find where the bomb has been put. He starts ranting and raving and shouting, “We are all going to die!” So everyone, everyone: the general, the duke, the bishop – the mad people – everyone brings lounge chairs to watch him perform. They clap and they cheer. Of course, he gets even more mad.
The next day both the Germans and the British march back into the town and all the crazy people treat it as a parade. Then the soldiers see each other, shoot and kill each other. The duke, up in a balcony, looks down disdainfully at all the bodies and says, “Now they are overacting.” A young woman looks down sadly and says with puzzlement, “Funny people.” The bishop says, “These people have certainly gone mad.”
You think mad people are mad. Just look at yourself, at what you are doing. You think when a madman pretends that he is the prime minister or the president that he is mad? Then, what are your presidents and prime ministers doing? In fact, they may be more mad. The madman simply enjoys the fantasy, he does not bother to make it an actuality; but the premiers, the presidents and the generals have not remained satisfied with their fantasy, they have tried to actualize it. Of course, if any madman is an Alexander or a Genghis Khan, he never kills anybody; he simply is. He does not go to prove that he really is. He’s not dangerous, he’s innocent. But when these so-called sane people have the idea of being an Alexander, a Genghis Khan, a Tamerlane, then they don’t remain contented with the idea. They try to actualize it. Your Adolf Hitlers are more mad, your Mao Zedongs are more mad than any mad people in any mad asylum.
The problem is that the whole humanity exists as if under a certain hypnosis.
It is as if you have all been hypnotized and you don’t know how to get out of it. All our life-styles are insane, neurotic. They create more misery than they create happiness. They create more frustration than they create fulfillment. The whole way you live brings you more and more, closer and closer, nearer and nearer to hell. Heaven is just a desire; hell is almost a reality. You live in hell and you dream about heaven. In fact, heaven is a sort of tranquilizer: it gives you hope – but all hopes are going to be frustrated. The hope of heaven simply creates a hell of frustration. Remember this; only then will you be able to understand Patanjali’s last chapter, kaivalya pada.