The emphasis is – my emphasis is – that you must remain aware that your outer effort should not become a substitute for the inner transformation. One thing. Take every help that can be taken. It is good to have right food, but it is nonsense and madness to become obsessed with food. It is good to have right behavior, but it is neurotic to become obsessed with it. You should not become mad about anything.
In India there are many sects of sannyasins who are obsessed with food. The whole day they are thinking only of food: what to eat and what not to eat; who should prepare the food and who should not prepare the food. Once I was traveling with a sannyasin. He would take only milk, and only cow’s milk, and only from those cows which were white; otherwise he would go without food. This man is mad.
Remember this: that the inner is important, significant. The outer is helpful, it is good, but you must not become focused with it. It must not become so important that the inner is forgotten. The inner must remain the inner and the central, and the outer, if possible, should be changed just as a help.
Don’t ignore it completely. There is no need to ignore it, because really the outer is also part of the inner. It is not something opposite to it, it is not something contrary to it, it is not something imposed upon you – it is you. But the inner is the central, and the outer is the periphery. So give as much importance as a periphery needs, as a circumference needs, as a boundary needs – but the boundary is not the house. So take care of it, but don’t become mad after it.
Our mind is always trying to find escapes. If you can become involved with food, with sex, with clothes, with the body, your mind will be at ease, because now you are not going towards the inner. Now there is no need to change the mind. Now there is no need to destroy the mind, to go beyond the mind. With the change of food, the same mind can exist. You may eat this or that – the same mind can exist. Only when you move inwards…the more inner you reach, the more this mind which you have has to cease. The inward path is the path towards no-mind.
The mind becomes afraid. It will try to find some escape – something to do with the outer. Then the mind can exist as it is. Whatsoever you do makes no difference. It is irrelevant what you do – this mind can exist, and this mind can find ways for how to remain the same. And sometimes, when you struggle with the natural outlet, your mind will find some perverted outlets which are more dangerous. Rather than being a help, they will become hindrances.
I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin fell down his stairs. His leg was fractured, so it was put in a plaster cast, and he was told that for three months he was not to go up and down the stairs. After three months he came to the doctor and the plaster was removed. Mulla asked, “Now can I go up and down the stairs?”
The doctor said, “Now you can go. You are absolutely okay.”
Mulla said, “Now I am so happy, doctor. You cannot believe how happy I am. It was so awkward to go up and down the drain-pipe the whole day. For three months, every day going up and down the drain-pipe – it was so awkward, and the whole neighborhood was laughing at me. But you had told me not to go up and down the stairs, so I had to find a way.”