mad psychiatrist

“The essence of the worst in the human spirit is not found in the crazy sons-of-bitches. Ugliness is found in the faces of the crowd.”

-Dr. Hannibal Lecter, “Hannibal”


“Soon enough, I fear Jack Crawford will come knocking. I would encourage you–as a friend–not to walk through the door he holds open. It’s dark on the other side, and madness is waiting.”

-Dr. Hannibal Lecter, “Hannibal”   

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Nicole Beharie stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

Madness is of two kinds, and modern psychiatry is aware of only one kind; and because it is not aware of the other kind, its understanding about madness is very lopsided, erroneous, faulty, and harmful too.

The first kind of madness that psychiatrists are aware of is falling below the rational mind.
When you cannot cope with realities, when they are too much, when they become unbearable, madness is a way of escaping into your own subjective world, so that you can forget the realities that are there. You create your own subjective world, you start living in a kind of imaginary world, you start dreaming even with open eyes, so that you can avoid the realities that have become too much and are unbearable.
This is an escape; one falls below the rational mind. This is going back to the animal mind. This is falling into the unconscious.
There are other people who manage the same thing in other ways.
The alcoholic manages it through alcohol. He drinks too much; he becomes completely unconscious. He forgets the whole world and all its problems and anxieties—the wife, the children, the market, the people. He moves into his unconscious through the help of alcohol. This is a temporary kind of madness which will be gone after a few hours.
And whenever there are difficult times in the world, drugs become very important. After the Second World War, drugs became of immense importance all over the world, particularly in the countries which had seen the Second World War, in the countries which became aware that we are sitting on a volcano that can erupt at any moment. We have seen Hiroshima and Nagasaki being burned within seconds—one hundred thousand people burned within five seconds. Now the reality is too much to bear. Hence the new generation, the younger generation, became interested in drugs. Drugs and their impact all around the world, and their influence on the new generation, are rooted in the experience of the Second World War. It is the Second World War that has created hippies, that has created drug-people; because life is so dangerous and death can happen any moment… how to avoid it, how to forget all about it?
In times of stress and strain, people start taking drugs. And this has always been so. It is a way of creating a temporary madness. And by madness I mean falling below the rational mind—because it is only the rational mind which can be aware of problems. It knows no solutions; it knows only problems. So if the problems are manageable and you can co-exist with the problems, you remain sane. When you see it is too much, you go insane.

Insanity is a built-in process of avoiding problems, realities, anxieties, stress situations.
People avoid in many ways. Somebody will become an alcoholic, somebody will take LSD, somebody marijuana. And there are other people who are not so courageous—they will fall ill. They will have cancers, tuberculosis, paralysis; so they can say to the world, ‘What can I do? I am paralyzed. If I cannot face realities, it is not my responsibility. Now I am paralyzed.’ ‘If my business is going to the dogs, what can I do? I have cancer.’ These are ways that people protect their egos—poor ways, pitiable ways, but still they are ways to protect your ego. Rather than dropping the ego, people go on protecting it.
Wherever life becomes too much of a tension, all these things will happen. People will have strange illnesses, incurable illnesses—incurable because there is a great support from the inside of the person for the illness, and without his cooperation with the medicine and with the doctor there is no possibility of curing him. Nobody can cure you against you: remember it as a fundamental truth.
If there is a deep investment in your cancer, if you want it to be there because that protects you, that gives you a feeling that it is because of the cancer that you are not able to fight in the marketplace, that you are not able to compete, that it is because of the cancer—if it gives you a satisfaction—if this investment is there—nobody can cure you, because you will go on creating it. It is a psychological disease; it is rooted in your psychology.
And everybody knows it. Students start feeling ill when the examination comes close. Some students go mad when the examination is just there. And after the examination they are okay again. Each time there is an examination they fall ill—fever, pneumonia, hepatitis, this and that. If you watch you will be surprised—why at the times of examinations do so many students become ill? And suddenly after the examinations everything is okay. That is a trick, a strategy. They can say to their parents, ‘What can I do? I was ill; that’s why I could not pass,’ or, ‘I was ill; that’s why I have come third class. Otherwise the gold medal was certainly mine.’ It is a strategy.
If your illness is a strategy, then there is no way to cure it. If your alcoholism is a strategy, then there is no way to cure it, because you want it to be there. You are a creator, you are creating it on your own—maybe not consciously. And so is madness; that is the last resort.
When everything fails, even cancer fails, alcohol fails, marijuana fails, paralysis fails, when everything fails, then the last resort is to go mad. That’s why madness happens more in the Western countries than in the Eastern, because life is still not so stressful. People are poor, but life is not so stressful. People are so poor, they cannot afford so much stress. People are so poor, they cannot afford psychiatry, psychoanalysis. Madness is a luxury. Only rich countries can afford it.

This is one kind of madness that psychologists are aware of: falling below the rational mind, moving into the unconscious, dropping the small conscious that you had. It was not very much in the first place; only one-tenth part of your mind is conscious.
You are just like an iceberg—one-tenth above the surface, nine-tenths below the surface. Nine-tenths of your mind is unconscious. Madness means dropping that one-tenth that was conscious so the whole iceberg goes underneath the surface.
But there is another kind of madness—that too has to be called madness because of a certain similarity—that is going beyond the rational mind. One is falling below the rational mind; the other is falling above the rational mind, falling upwards. In both cases the rational mind is lost: in one you become unconscious, in the other you become superconscious. In both cases the ordinary mind is lost.

In one you become totally unconscious, a certain integrity arises in you. And you can watch: in mad people there is a certain integrity, a certain consistency—they are one. You can rely on a madman. He is not two, he is utterly one. He is very consistent because he has only one mind, that is the unconscious. The duality has disappeared. And you will find a certain innocence also in a madman. He is like a child. He is not cunning, he cannot be. In fact, he had to become mad because he could not be cunning. He could not cope in a cunning world. You will find a certain simplicity, purity, in a madman. If you have watched mad people you will fall in love with them. They have a kind of togetherness. They are not divided, they are not split; they are one. Of course, they are one against reality, they are one in their dream world, they are one in their illusions, but they are one.

I have heard about a man who worked for many years in a drama company and his role was always Abraham Lincoln. After many years working as Abraham Lincoln, talking as Abraham Lincoln, wearing the clothes of Abraham Lincoln, slowly, slowly the man went mad. He started thinking that he WAS Abraham Lincoln.
At first his family and friends thought that he was joking, kidding, but slowly, slowly it became clear to them that he was not joking. He had fallen into that trap. He believed it; because not only in the drama—outside the drama he would wear the same clothes. He would have the same walking stick; he would walk the way Abraham Lincoln used to walk. He would stutter the way Abraham Lincoln used to stutter. He remained Abraham Lincoln twenty-four hours a day. Friends persuaded him, tried to convince him that, ‘What are you doing?’ But he was so convinced, he said, ‘What are you saying? I am Abraham Lincoln!’ Finally, seeing there was no way, they took him to a psychiatrist. He tried all that he knew, but the man was utterly convinced.

Mad people are very together. You cannot create doubt in them—doubt is part of the rational mind. Whatsoever they believe, they believe fanatically, so all mad people are fanatics and all fanatics are mad people. Remember that. A fanatic is one who believes, ‘Only I am right, and everybody else is wrong.’ The fanatic is one who believes, ‘Whosoever believes in what I say is right, and whosoever thinks that I am wrong is wrong.’
There is no possibility of any communication with a fanatic; you cannot communicate. He thinks only in two ways: either you are a friend or an enemy. Whosoever believes the way you believe is the friend, and whosoever does not believe the way you believe is the enemy. That’s why I call Morarji Desai a fanatic. He thinks the whole country has to believe the way he believes—that I have to believe in his ideology, only then can I be allowed to exist in this country. The fanatic can never be a democrat; the fanatic is always a fascist. The fanatic is mad.

So all efforts failed. And the man was so convinced about his being Abraham Lincoln that slowly, slowly, day in, day out as the psychiatrist was trying, even the psychiatrist started being doubtful—maybe he is. He also looked like Abraham Lincoln. For years he had been acting, and when you act something for years, you become it. The lie repeated again and again becomes a truth.
When the psychiatrist also started becoming suspicious, that ‘Who knows? You may be right. We all may be wrong; that is also a possibility,’ he tried one thing. There is now a machine in America; it is called a lie detector. It is used in the courts. He brought a lie detector; it detects whether people are lying or not. It is a simple device. The person is not aware that he is standing or sitting on the lie detector; it is hidden underneath. It is something like a cardiogram, it goes on making a graph of his heartbeats. When he is speaking the truth there is a harmony in the graph, and whenever he speaks a lie the harmony is broken. So first a few questions have to be asked about which he cannot lie, about which there is no possibility of lying, so we know the graph is going harmoniously.
The man was asked, ‘Look at the clock. What does the clock say?’ And he said, ‘Fifteen to ten.’ A letter was given to him and he was told, ‘Read this letter,’ and he read the letter. Now the graph was there going on harmoniously. And a few more questions to be absolutely certain—‘How many people are present in the room?’ He said ‘Seven.’ ‘What color is the curtain?’ He said ‘Green.’ Things like that, about which he could not lie, there was no possibility. And then he was asked, ‘Are you Abraham Lincoln?’
He was getting tired. Every day for years people had been persuading him that he was not. So just to get rid of the whole thing, he said, ‘No, I am not,’ but the lie detector said that he was lying! The conviction had gone so deep that he was only lying just to convince people, to get rid of these foolish people. He said, ‘No, I am not,’ but he knew he was.

Madness has a consistency, a togetherness. There is no doubt in it; it is utter belief. And the same is the case with the other madness. A man goes above reason, beyond reason, becomes utterly conscious, superconscious.
In the first madness, the one part that was conscious becomes dissolved into the nine parts that were unconscious. In this other madness, the nine parts that were not conscious start moving upwards and all come to the light, above the surface. The whole mind becomes conscious. That is the meaning of the word ‘Buddha,’ becoming absolutely conscious. Now this man will also look mad, because he will be consistent, utterly consistent. He will be together, more together than any madman can ever be. He will be absolutely integrated. He will be an individual, literally an individual—it means indivisible. He will not have any split at all.
So both look alike: the madman believes, and the Buddha trusts. And trust and belief look alike. The madman is one, utterly unconscious; the Buddha is also one, utterly conscious. And oneness looks alike. The madman has dropped reason, reasoning, mind; Buddha has also dropped reasoning, rationality, mind. That is similar; and yet they are poles apart. One has fallen below humanity, and the other has risen above humanity.

Modern psychology will remain incomplete unless it starts studying Buddhas. It will remain incomplete, its vision will remain incomplete, partial; and a partial vision is very dangerous. A partial truth is very dangerous, more dangerous than a lie, because it gives you the feeling that you are right.
Modern psychology has to take a quantum leap. It has to become the psychology of the Buddhas. It will have to go deep into Sufism, into Hasidism, into Zen, into Tantra, into Yoga, into Tao. Only then will it really be psychology. The word ‘psychology’ means the science of the soul. It is not yet psychology; it is not yet the science of the soul.

These are the two possibilities: you can go below yourself, you can go above yourself.
Become mad like Buddha, Bahaudin, Mohammed, Christ. Become mad like me. And that madness has immense beauty, because all that is beautiful is born out of that madness, and all that is poetic flows out of that madness. The greatest experiences of life, the greatest ecstasies of life, are born out of that madness. Initiating you into sannyas, I am really initiating you into that kind of madness. This place belongs to mad people.

—  Osho