But if you watch people who are not psychologically sick, you will be surprised to know that they also have symptoms. For example, nobody thinks that smoking is part of a psychological sickness; because the whole world is smoking, nobody will think of it. The psychoanalyst himself, is smoking. But smoking a cigarette simply shows that the man has remained unsatisfied with his mother’s breast. A cigarette is the substitute; it is just like the nipple of the mother. He holds it in his mouth and just as the warm milk from the mother’s breast flows in his mouth, warm smoke from the cigarette flows into his mouth. It is harmful, he knows; there is no doubt about its harm. It is going to kill him two years earlier – perhaps it will create tuberculosis for him, perhaps cancer of the lungs.
But it is strange…it helps him to relax. Knowing all this, whenever he feels nervous, tense, some strain, he immediately starts looking for a cigarette. The moment the cigarette is there in his mouth, he feels calm, quiet, collected, not nervous.
What has happened? This is just a repetition of an experience. Whenever the child was hungry, was tense, afraid of death, hunger – where is the mother? If she never comes back, then what? A great strain is on the poor child. And then the mother comes and he finds the breast and the warm milk, and he is fast asleep on his mother’s chest – relaxed, no worry, no tension, no problem. This is the situation that the cigarette creates again and again.
Now, this is average sickness so nobody thinks that you are mad if you are smoking. It is accepted sickness. But if you look at the psychology of it, then it needs to be treated. It is dangerous and it shows that the man has missed something in his childhood. Perhaps the mother was not willing to give her breast as many times as the child wanted. Perhaps the breast was not given up to the age the child needed it; the mother was afraid about her breasts, her beauty. She has created a sick mind.
You will be surprised that many people I have simply cured of smoking by telling them, “This is the situation, so don’t be worried. Go into the bathroom, put one of your fingers in your mouth. Imagine it is your mother’s breast, and enjoy it as much as you want.”
The man will laugh, he will say, “What are you saying!”
I will say, “You just try. There is no need for anybody to know, there is no need even for me to be informed. But just give it a try. Lying down in your bed, just suck your own thumb. Children do. when they don’t find the mother’s breast, they suck their own thumb. They have already found a substitute. And you are stupid that you cannot find a simple substitute which the child finds.”
Hesitantly, embarrassed, but they tried. And one day they had to accept that… Of course they were very much embarrassed taking their own thumb in their mouth. They were afraid if somebody sees it, what will they think – he is a professor of psychology and what is he doing? “If my wife sees me…so under my blanket, covered completely, I was enjoying my own thumb. And I really enjoyed it. I cannot explain to you how pleasant it was.”
Then he keeps on sucking his thumb?