The Eastern approach goes far deeper. It does not try to cut the foliage of a tree: it cuts the very roots. And to cut the very roots is to destroy the tree. If you go on pruning the leaves – that’s what psychological work means: pruning the leaves – you are not going to destroy the tree at all. On the contrary, the more you prune it, the thicker the foliage will become. You cut one branch and three branches will come – because the tree will take the challenge that you are going to destroy it. Each and everything tries to survive. And when there is danger, the tree will make every effort to survive. That’s what happens.
If you want to drop your anger, you become angrier than before. If you want to drop your sexuality, you become more and more sexual than before. That’s what has happened to millions of people. They want to get out of the prison of sex; they make all kinds of efforts. Their desire is good; they are sincere people, but misguided. They start fighting with sex, and sexuality retaliates with a vengeance. These people become more sexual than ordinary people, their whole mind becomes full of sex. They think of sex, they dream of sex, and they are continuously fighting. The more they fight, the more they give energy to the enemy – because the more and more they become focused on the enemy. They cannot be off-guard.
This has happened down the centuries. You can see the monks, your so-called mahatmas, your so-called saints – their minds are ugly. And the reason is not that they are not sincere people; the reason is that they have started from a wrong end.
“I think we should treat not the symptoms but the real problem.” This was the approach of the Southern planter just after the Civil War. This gentleman of the old school found his wife in the arms of her lover and, mad with rage, killed her with his revolver.
A jury of his Southern peers had brought in a verdict of justifiable homicide, and he was about to leave the courtroom a free man when the judge stopped him. “Just a point of personal curiosity, sir, if you are willing to clear it up.”
In reply, the gentleman bowed.
“Why did you shoot your wife instead of her lover?”
“Sir,” he replied, “I decided it was better to shoot a woman once than a different man each week.”
If you try to change your mind, you will have to shoot a different man each week. It is better to shoot the woman and be finished with it.
That’s why I say my concern is not your psychological growth but your spiritual growth. Spiritual growth means growth of awareness; it means nothing else. Becoming more and more alert. Becoming a light unto yourself. And when you are a light unto yourself, darkness starts disappearing of its own accord.
The man of awareness cannot be angry – that is impossible, because to be angry the basic requirement is to be unaware. Try it, and you will be very much surprised. Try to be angry and aware – you will not be able to manage; nobody has ever been able to manage it. It is impossible. It is not in the very nature of things.