But most of the diseases of the mind – and seventy percent of diseases are of the mind – can be easily cured. The most basic thing is to accept, don’t deny, because your denial is against the pride of the man. The more you deny, the more he is going to insist: it is a simple logic. You are denying his understanding, you are denying his feeling; you are denying his humanity, his dignity. You are saying, “You don’t know anything” – about his own body!
The first step is to accept: “You are right. Those who have denied you were wrong,” and immediately half of the ground is covered. Now there is a sympathetic relationship with the person. Those who suffer with any mental sickness need sympathy, need approval, not denial. They don’t want you to reduce them into a mad, insane person. Just give them sympathy, give them understanding – be loving.
Let them come close to you and then find a simple way. Don’t go roundabout with Freudian scriptures. They are almost holy scriptures and now the literature on psychoanalysis goes on increasing, goes on becoming bigger and bigger. And you start trying all those ideas on the poor man and he has nothing much.
My own understanding is that every man needs love, and every man also needs to love. Every man needs friendship, friendliness, sympathy – and every man wants to give it, too.
I am reminded…it happened when George Bernard Shaw was almost eighty years old. His doctor was ninety years old – his personal physician – and both were great friends.
Once, in the middle of the night Bernard Shaw felt a sudden pain in the heart and he became afraid: perhaps it is a heart attack. He phoned the doctor and said immediately to come “because I may not see the sunrise again.”
The doctor said, “Hold on. I am coming. Don’t be worried.” The doctor came. He had to come up three flights of stairs – a ninety-year-old man carrying his own bag, perspiring.
He came and put his bag on the floor and sat on the chair and closed his eyes. Bernard Shaw asked, “What is the matter?” And the doctor put his hand on his heart and Bernard Shaw said, “My God, you have got a heart attack!” And he could see…a ninety-year-old man, three flights of steps, in the middle of the night, and he is perspiring.
And Bernard Shaw got up, started waving a fan, washing his face with cold water, gave him some brandy to drink because the night was cold, and tried in every way…. Covered him with blankets and completely forgot about his own heart attack, for which the doctor was called.
After half an hour the doctor was feeling better and he said, “Now I am okay. This was a great heart attack. This has happened for the third time and I was thinking this is the last, but you helped me immensely. Now give me my fees.”
Bernard Shaw said, “Your fees? – and I have been running and bringing things and serving you. You should give me fees!”