Mad people cannot think that they are mad; that is one of the basic characteristics of madness. If you are mad you cannot think that you are mad. If you can think you are mad there is a possibility…. If you can think and conceive that you are mad you are still a little sane. The madness has not occurred in its totality. So this is the paradox: those who are really sane, they know that they are mad, and those who are completely mad, they cannot think that they are mad.
You never think that you are mad: that is part of madness. You are not centered; you cannot be sane. Your sanity is just superficial, arranged. Just on the surface you appear to be sane. That’s why, continuously, you have to deceive the world around you. You have to hide much, you have to prevent much. You don’t allow everything to come out. You are suppressive: you may be thinking something but you will say something else. You are pretending, and because of this pretension you can have the minimum superficial sanity around you; inside you are boiling.
Sometimes there are eruptions. In anger you erupt and the madness that you have been hiding comes out. It breaks all your adjustments. So psychologists say anger is a temporary madness. You will again regain balance, you will again hide your reality, you will again polish your surface – you will again become sane. And you will say that, “It was wrong. I did it in spite of myself. I never meant it, so forgive me.” But you meant it! That was more real! This asking for forgiveness is just a pretension. Again you are maintaining your surface, your mask.
A sane man has no mask. His face is original: whatsoever he is, he is. A madman has to continuously change his faces. Every moment he has to use a different mask for a different situation, for different relationships. Just watch yourself changing your faces: when you come to your wife you have a different face, when you go to your beloved, your mistress, you have a totally different face. When you talk to your servant you have a different mask and when you talk to your master, a totally different face. It may be that your servant is standing on your right and your boss is standing on your left – then you have two faces simultaneously. On the left you have one face, on the right you have a different face. Because to the servant you cannot show the same face; you need not – you are the boss there, so one side of the face will be “the boss.” You cannot show that “boss face” to your boss, you are a servant there; your other side will show a servile attitude.
This is continuously going on. You are not watching, that’s why you are not aware. If you watch you will become aware that you are mad. You don’t have any face – or, the original face has been lost. To regain the original face is what meditation means.
So Zen masters say, “Go and find out your original face, the face you had before you were born, the face you will have when you have died.” Between birth and death you have false faces. You continuously go on deceiving – and not only others: when you stand before a mirror you deceive yourself, you never see your real face in the mirror. You don’t have that much courage to face yourself. That face in the mirror is also false. You create it, you enjoy it; it is a painted mask.