Mind is a movement between extremes; it is a travel, a continuous movement between two. In the middle mind simply disappears, because movement disappears. When there is no movement, you are a being for the first time, you are in a state of being. Every-thing stops – time, space – everything has disappeared. It doesn’t mean that you stop functioning, it simply means that now your headquarters have changed: they are in the middle. Now you will function from the middle. You will go to the left, you will go to the right. You can go to the left without any fear, you can go to the right without any fear. You can go to the right and to the left, retaining yourself in the middle. That’s why I call it the greatest art, to be in the middle.
If you are a miser, it is very easy to simply get fed up with your miserliness. And then you move to the other extreme – you throw everything. You renounce everything and you become an ascetic. If you are a playboy, it is very easy to become a monk and move to a Catholic monastery, or to become a Jaina, or to come to India and go to some ashram. If you are a playboy it is very easy, because you have touched one extreme. Now you are frustrated with that, finished. You think it is finished but it is now following you to the other extreme, it is pushing you to the other extreme. One bank is finished, but that bank is throwing you to the other bank.
Both banks are the same; neither is the river. You have to be in the middle so that you can flow with the river. This bank or that, what is the difference? You were stuck on this bank, now this bank is throwing you to the other bank and you will be stuck there. And what is the difference? The other bank is “other” only because you are here; when you are there, this bank will become the other. And that’s what happens to many people: they leave the world in search of the other world; then they are stuck with the other bank. This world looks at the other world and then the desire for it arises.
If you could open the heads of the monks, the ascetics, you would be surprised. If you could make a window in their heads and look into it, the whole world, this world, goes on and on. A man who has escaped from women will think continuously of women and nothing else.
Mulla Nasruddin was telling me one day about his new girlfriend, and he was bragging so much. He said, “She is the most beautiful woman in the world, a regular mirage.”
I asked him, “You may be right, she may be the most beautiful woman in the world, but you are using a wrong word. Why a regular mirage? A mirage means you can see it, but you cannot touch it.”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “Exactly. That’s my girl. You can see her but you cannot touch her – a regular mirage.”
Look at your monks: they live in a regular mirage. Girls are there: they can see but they cannot touch, that is the only difference. Your girls you can touch also. They cannot touch, they live in their dreams. If you escape from something, that something will become a dream in you, it will haunt you. Never try to escape from anything. Fear cannot help. Escape is simply foolish. Situations help, escapes never. Just try to find the middle in every situation. And what is the middle? How can it be maintained?