Perhaps the case may be similar in the West; there may be a few paramahansas who are living in mad asylums, because you don’t have any other category. Once a man starts behaving in a bizarre, berserk manner, he is mad. So on both sides there is confusion. But I think, still, the Eastern confusion is better. There is no harm in worshipping a madman; you are not doing any harm. But to put a paramahansa into a madhouse and force him through medicines and injections and treatment to come back into the mind is real harm.
Western psychology has still no category for the second one, which it needs. But that category will arise only when it accepts supermind. Before Sigmund Freud it had not even accepted the unconscious mind – only the conscious mind. For thousands of years in the West there was no idea of the unconscious mind.
With Sigmund Freud, the unconscious mind became established. With Jung, the collective unconscious mind became established. Now somebody is needed to establish the cosmic unconscious mind. A tremendous field is available for any genius to establish it. Because in the Eastern psychology all these three are accepted, have been accepted for thousands of years.
This is below the conscious mind. Above the conscious mind are also three: the superconscious, the collective superconscious, and the cosmic superconscious. On those, no work has been even started. The second category of madmen that I am talking about is somewhere in these three categories; certainly in the superconscious but perhaps if it grows deeper, it may become collective superconscious.
And in a man like Ramakrishna it is cosmic superconscious.
When he was dying he had a cancer of the throat, and it became impossible for him to eat anything or drink anything. His followers were telling him again and again, “You just close your eyes and tell the existence – it will listen to you.” He would close his eyes, but would forget all about it. After a while, when he would open his eyes…the disciples were waiting; they would say, “What happened?”
He said, “Nothing, because when I close my eyes everything becomes silent. What are you expecting to happen?”
They said, “We had asked you to ask existence….” Finally they forced his wife, Sharda: “Perhaps only you can persuade him.”
Unwillingly, reluctantly, she asked him. With tears in her eyes she said, “I don’t want to tell you to do anything because that is interfering, and my whole life I have never said a single word to interfere. You are far above; my hands cannot reach. But because these people are so deeply in anguish, I have agreed to say to you, just once: Close your eyes and ask existence, ‘What are you doing to me? Remove this cancer from my throat.’”
He said, “Because you have never asked anything – every wife is asking everything, any day, every day; for your whole life you have never asked anything – and this is maybe my last day, or last days, I will fulfill it.”
He closed his eyes, opened his eyes and said, “Sharda, I asked. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Ramakrishna, can’t you drink with other people’s throats? Can’t you eat with other people’s throats? Do you necessarily need your own? Are you still attached to your own body?’