There are many such people who are frightened of the path of devotion. But if you tell them about witnessing that does not appeal to them either, because the path of witnessing is arduous – a path of austere disciplines, of effort. It is dry. The harsh conditions there make people nervous. But where there is a stream of love, one becomes afraid of madness.
The path of devotion is the path of the madman. There can be no calculations in madness. If you want to move in a calculated way, witnessing is the path for you. It is mathematical, it is pure mathematics. It has no place for madness. Madness never arises there. It is a very scientific process. So whichever one interests you.…But sooner or later, you will have to decide.
My experience is that if you tell people about devotion they prefer to think of witnessing, because they are frightened of devotion. If you mention witnessing, they prefer to think of devotion, because witnessing seems to be a very harsh path. They begin to be afraid of this harshness. “No…we don’t feel capable of following such a strict path.”
As you move into witnessing, all the joys will begin to disappear from your life. If you experiment with witnessing, you will see your wife, but you will be unable to see that she is yours. The sense of “I” starts dissolving, you remain a mere witness. If someone abuses you, you will hear him abusing you, but you will not feel insulted. How can a witness be insulted? If someone puts a garland of flowers around your neck, you will feel it happening, and that is okay, but you will not feel honored by it.
This creates a difficulty. In this way your whole lifestyle will be changed. At present, at least you have a little joy when someone puts a garland of flowers around your neck. In fact, so far you have never received a garland of flowers – you are still waiting! And before this can happen you have begun to become a witness – so there is a little difficulty. Right now, you know how to retaliate against someone who abuses you – witnessing will destroy all that. The very meaning of witnessing is that you live in the world, but you will be completely untouched by it. Nothing touches a witness. You are like a lotus in the water. But one doesn’t gather even that much courage.
There is nothing in devotion that should cause you any worry. But there is something else about devotion: if you look at your wife with the eyes of devotion, you will see the divine in her. If you look at your husband with the eyes of devotion, you will see the divine in him. You will see the divine in your son. All this seems like madness. The divine in your wife – it doesn’t seem right! To some women it may even seem right to see the divine in their husbands, because they have been told to do so for thousands of years – but to see the divine in one’s wife? So the god who is a husband will feel some difficulty. But with devotion, one day you will find yourself placing your head at your wife’s feet.