I am reminded of a very beautiful Sufi story. A Sufi mystic who was very much loved by people yet very much feared too…. That was a strange combination: they loved him for his unique beauty, compassion – everything in that man had a grace – but they feared him also, because he was unpredictable. He might do anything unexpectedly, things which are not supposed to be done by a mystic saint. He was a little crazy.
As far as I am concerned it is impossible to be a saint and not be crazy. I am saying it is impossible to be a saint and sane in the eyes of the world. If the world thinks you are sane, that is simply a proof that you are still part of this world. You still follow the same arithmetic, the same logic, the same reason – that’s why people think you sane. But a saint has fallen out of the mob. He is no longer part of any society, any culture, any religion.
He is spontaneous; that is his danger. For example, a Christian saint is supposed, when you slap him on one cheek, to give you the other cheek. Anybody doing that is certainly not a saint. He is simply following a rule. He is a follower, a blind follower – but he is a Christian saint.
When you slap a real saint then it is absolutely unpredictable what is going to happen. He may slap you twice. He may slap you on both the cheeks together. Or he may simply have a good laugh and go on his way without turning the other cheek. He is not following any creed, any dogma, any principle. He is acting in the moment, so whatever happens spontaneously is his way.
About spontaneity you cannot be predictable.
And this is the most fearful thing in the world. People want you to be predictable. That’s why you are so much afraid of strangers. You don’t know them, they may do something that you don’t want to be done.
This Sufi mystic was loved; he was lovable, he deserved it . But he was feared also because he was well known for his strange behavior.
He was staying in a disciple’s house, and knowing his craziness they made arrangements for him to sleep in the basement – because in the night he may start doing something, may create a nuisance for the neighbors, for them. The basement was good: even if he started doing something nobody would even come to know of it, it was an underground basement. And they locked it so he could not come out in the night. But in the middle of the night they suddenly heard great laughter coming from the roof! They rushed up and saw the mystic lying on the roof laughing. They said, “How did you manage to get up here?”
He said, “I simply started falling upwards. I don’t know how…that’s why I am laughing, because you poor guys had made so many arrangements, you had even put on a big lock. And it was perfectly okay – but then I started falling upwards! I am laughing at this whole thing.”
This may be just a story but it has something significant to say to you; a saint can fall upwards.