So the first thing to remember is that a therapist is as blind and ignorant as you are – and perhaps that is a qualification, because he knows what blindness is, what ignorance is. He is as miserable as you are, he knows the taste of misery. The only difference between you and him is that he is also an expert of a certain art: therapy.
His knowledge about therapy may not have made him able to help himself, but his knowledge about therapy may be of some help to you. At least he has some expertise that you don’t have. At least he can analyze your problem. He may not be able to give a solution, but there are problems in life which need only analysis – they don’t need any other solution. Once you know why they are there, once you know their analytical basis, they disappear.
Do you think Sigmund Freud is psychologically different from you? But he has given the whole science of psychoanalysis which has helped many people, if not to become enlightened, at least to become aware that they are blind, that they are groping in darkness, that they need a master. This is not something small.
You are asking,” Is it all just to make some firecrackers explode in the dark tunnel, to have a party and excitement together, to make the journey a bit ‘piff-paff-puff’?”
Even if this much can be done by the therapist, it is a great service to have a beautiful party – in the Italian sense – in the dark tunnel, to explode a few firecrackers, and to make the journey a little joyous. You will not be going far, and you will not be going out of the tunnel because you cannot have the right direction – you may be going deeper into the tunnel. But the therapist at least puts you on the move. He greases your wheels.
Out of this movement, something is going to happen. He creates in you at least a longing. He may not be able to deliver the goods, but he creates a desire, a dream. And that is not a small thing, because there are millions of people who don’t have dreams, who are so utterly content with their miserable lives that they don’t think anything else is possible – this is all there is.
The therapist at least creates in you a new longing that there is something more; and you should be grateful to him. He may be searching himself – he is searching – and he has made you also infectious with the search.
You want real help and guidance, not just a longing, a desire. You want the flowers but you don’t want the seeds. The therapist at least can sow the seeds, can prepare the ground. I have been using therapists to move you from your stagnant, dormant state into a pilgrimage for the unknown. Once that desire is awake, then a master can be of help. The therapists can do the spade work.
It is true that the real help and guidance can come only from a master. But do you need real help? Do you need real guidance? Do you deserve it? Even if a great master knocks on your doors, are you going to welcome him? Are you prepared for that?