The madman, if in the hands of enlightened people, can achieve enlightenment faster than your so-called sane people. In the East there has been a long-standing tradition…in this century one man revived it again – his name was Meher Baba. He went all over India seeking and searching for mad people. In all the madhouses, anywhere that he heard there was a madman, he would go. He traveled all over India his whole life, searching for mad people.
His disciples asked him, “Why are you wasting your time with mad people when sane people are available to work upon, and they want your time?”
Meher Baba said, “You don’t understand. To bring a sane person out of his sanity is very difficult. But to bring out a madman is very easy because in a way he is already out, but from the back door. He has tasted something of the outside; we have only to show him the right door and say, “Please don’t go out from the wrong door, go from the right door. Being out is perfectly right, but choose the right door.” And Meher Baba turned many mad people into enlightened people.
It is a strange world. Here, really great things are never rewarded. Nobody has bothered about Meher Baba. Mother Teresa will get a Nobel prize because she looks after poor orphan children, and nobody thought of giving a Nobel prize to Meher Baba who really did a miraculous job – and he was the on]y man, after centuries.
Sufis call the madman mast; mast means intoxicated. The madman and the enlightened man both have to pass through a certain stage, that is, getting out of reason, out of their mind. They have to cross the same boundary: by the wrong door or right door, they both cross the same boundary, and while they are crossing the boundary they both become masts – intoxicated.
But the enlightened person soon regains his balance because he has made the effort to get out of the mind; he is prepared to get out of the mind, he is ready to get out of the mind. The madman has got out of his mind unprepared. He was not ready. He has simply fallen out of his mind – it is an accident. Enlightenment is never an accident.
But both the madman and the enlightened man pass through a certain state called mast, the intoxicated, where they both behave similarly; hence, the necessity of a master has been absolutely accepted. When one gets into the state of mast, then only a master can take one out of that intoxicated state – because that intoxicated state itself is immensely beautiful.
You must have seen mad people very happy. You can’t find a madman unhappy. That does not happen at all; a madman and suffering, they don’t coexist. A madman is always enjoying. Perhaps he has nothing to enjoy, but he is enjoying. It does not matter whether he has something to enjoy or not, but he is always happy. To be unhappy you need reason, thinking, worrying. Now he is incapable of worrying and thinking. He cannot be bothered with tomorrow; he has no tomorrow and he has no memories of yesterday. The madman also exists herenow – that is the similarity. But he is not aware that he is herenow – that is the difference.