The director of a well-known mental hospital decided to resign his post after many years of service. This decision brought the local press out for an interview.
“Tell us, Doctor, what are your plans? Will you resume private practice?”
“Well, I have given it some thought,” replied the doctor. “I may go back into private practice, but on the other hand I may become a tea-kettle.”
Now, living with mad people for so long, with so many tea-kettles, he has also become impressed with the idea.
If you want to become anything in your life, that is obsession. It is not a question only of becoming a tea-kettle: if you want to become the president of a country or the prime minister, it is the same – other names for becoming tea-kettles! There are people who are obsessed with the idea that they will not rest unless they become the president. Then when they become the president they are at a loss; they don’t know what to do now because all that they know is how to become the president. They have devoted their whole life to a single purpose: how to become the president. Now they have become the president and they are certainly at a loss; they don’t know what to do.
There are people who want to become rich; they become rich. If you persist you can fulfill any kind of stupidity. Man has immense powers. Yes, you can become a tea-kettle if you persist; nobody can prevent you. But then? Then you are suddenly empty. Then suddenly you find yourself without any goal, lost.
All obsessive people will feel lost when their obsessions are fulfilled. If you become identified with an obsession, sooner or later you will feel lost. If it is fulfilled you will be the loser; if it is not fulfilled, certainly you are the loser.
The other way is to repress it, to throw it into the basement of your being, somewhere deep in the unconsciousness, so you don’t come across it. But it goes on growing there, and it goes on affecting you and your behavior; it goes on pulling your strings from the back. And the enemy is more powerful when it is hidden. You don’t see it, but still you have to follow its dictates – it becomes a dictator.
Both extremes have to be avoided. That’s what Buddha also would have suggested: be exactly in the middle, watchful, choicelessly watchful. Neither choose to be identified nor choose to be repressive. Just see. It is a fact of your psychic life, whatsoever it is. Don’t say good, bad, XYZ – whatsoever it is, it is. Watch it. And see the tremendous power of watchfulness: how it transforms wounds into flowers, how it releases entangled energy knots into great forces, positive forces, nourishing forces.
The fourth question: