A placebo literally means “that which pleases”; it is a medical term. Sometimes there are people who come to the physicians who have no problems, no real problems, just imaginary problems. They are given placebos – just sugar pills – they have no medicinal quality in them, but the patient believes that he has been given a great medicine. His illness is imaginary; he needs an imaginary medicine. A real medicine will create some trouble. Taking those imaginary medicines he is helped, he feels good.
Sometimes it happens: the moment the doctor comes to see you, half your disease is already gone. He has not given you any medicine, but he just comes smiling, holds your hand, and now you know that you are in the hands of an authority. That’s enough to feel relief. And his smile, and his authoritative manner, and all the gadgets that he brings – the cardiogram, the stethoscope, the thermometer – and a few things he does on your body. And then he smiles and says, “Don’t be worried. This will be gone within two days.” Half of it is already gone!
Hence a doctor has to take big fees. If he takes no fee from you, you will not be helped. The bigger the fee, the greater the doctor. When you come to the highest authority, certainly you know you are going to be helped, it is going to happen. This man is a magician – whomsoever he touches he cures. This very belief is medicinal, and then any medicine will do. Much depends on the physician and his demeanor.
These group psychotherapists – and there are now many kinds all around the world – they are a kind of placebo. You feel good knowing that somebody knows; he may know, he may not know. My own observation is that they are much more in a mess than you are, but they have found a way. The psychoanalysis may not help you but it helps them.
I have heard:
A young woman entered into the office of a psychoanalyst. The psychoanalyst immediately said, “Undress!”
The woman said, “But I have no physical problem; it is a question of my mind.”
The psychoanalyst said, “Did you hear me or not? Undress. If you don’t want to undress, get out. Then I won’t take the case at all.” Now what do you do when some authority says “Undress”? You undress.
Reluctantly the woman did it. And the psychoanalyst jumped on the woman, made love to her, and when they were off the couch he said to her, “Now this takes care of my problem – what is your problem?”
Blind people are being led by other blind people. I am not a psychoanalyst. I am not here to treat your minds and cure them. I am here to bring you out of your minds – healthy, unhealthy, neurotic, non-neurotic, it doesn’t matter. I don’t take any note of your mind, what kind of mind you have. Any kind of mind – you have to be taken out of it. So I don’t go into the details, I simply start hammering. Once you are out of your mind, once you have an awareness that you are a witness of your mind, the mind disappears with all its diseases.