You live in a society, you have to adjust to the society. Psychotherapy is in the service of the society you live in. When you start going out of the society, you start becoming a little rebellious: the society pounces on you and declares you ill. This is an ancient trick, one of the most dangerous tricks that the society has played on you. Whenever you are not falling in line with the society, the society starts condemning you. In the past it used to call you “sinners,” and then it prepared hells for you. Now, that language is out of date: it calls you “sick,” “mentally sick,” “a mental case.” That is a new condemnation.
In Soviet Russia, whenever somebody differs from communism, has his own ideas about life, existence, society, he is immediately declared a psychopath, a mental case. Once he is declared a mental case, now society is able to manipulate him. You can give him electric shocks, insulin shocks, drugs, you can force him to live in a mental asylum. And all that he has done is: he has done a little bit of thinking. His sin is that he was not obedient to the established order of the society; he was disobedient. Unless the society forces him back, gives him a mind-wash, forces him to fall in line, he will be kept in a hospital and will be treated as an ill man. This is very humiliating, degrading, dehumanizing, but that’s what has been done all over the world, more or less: whenever a person is different from you, wants to live a different life, wants to be free from the bondage you have created in the name of the society, you declare him mad.
Jesus was declared neurotic, Mansoor was declared mad, Socrates was declared dangerous to the youth of the society: “Kill them now!” Now the society can kill them without any prick of conscience. In fact, the society is doing the right thing: first condemn somebody, put a label on him. If you kill somebody without putting a label on him, you will feel guilty; to avoid guilt declare him mad and then it is so easy to kill, so easy to destroy. Now we have the technology too, to destroy the mind, to give the mind a complete brainwash, and to force the man to say yes to the established order, whatsoever it is: communist, capitalist, fascist.
Therapy, the so-called therapy, is in the service of the established society. It is in the service of death, of the past. Prayer serves nobody. Prayer is freedom. Prayer is a way to commune with the whole, and to commune with the whole is to be holy.
You say, “While in therapy myself, I spent much time praying. Over the years I felt better. I never knew whether it was the therapy or the prayer.”
It was certainly prayer.
“As a therapist I want to urge others to pray but feel embarrassed.”
I can understand. Prayer has become a dirty word. To talk about prayer is embarrassing, to talk about God is embarrassing: people think that you are a little bit eccentric, crazy or something. But don’t be afraid. Drop this embarrassment, gather courage. Talk about prayer – not only talk about prayer, fall into prayer when the patient is with you. Let the patient feel the climate of prayer.
Once Jesus’ disciples asked him, “What is prayer?” He simply knelt down, started praying, with tears coming from his eyes. His eyes raised towards heaven, and he started talking to his Father – which is just a symbol. He started calling, “Abba.” He created the climate: that is the only way to show what prayer is. There is no other way.