There was a crazy man who thought that he had a living fly in his body. He would suddenly stop working and hold his stomach saying that the fly was moving inside the tummy, or he would hold his head listening to the sound of the fly buzzing in his ears… His wife got worried and took him to all renowned doctors and hakims of the town and that of nearby cities.
No doctor was ready to believe the possibility of a living fly that could get into a human body and survive. Not just survive but fly from stomach to head to chest and in the whole of his body. There were no such tunnels in the human body which would allow such movements of a fly within it. But this man was unwilling to agree with the doctors based on his experience with the fly. He said, “I could sense and feel the fly creeping, moving, buzzing and flying in my body from one place to the other. Why are you guys unable to diagnose it?” Doctors rejected the argument and insisted that the experience was not real and it was his own imagination, but this guy was adamant. His wife was tired knocking the doors of doctors’ clinics, when someone suggested to take him to Osho.
Osho thought this matter was quite absurd and no such similar incident was ever brought up to him ever before. However, he decided to try and help the guy.
Osho asked the guy where the fly was right now. And the man said it was in his head. Osho held his head for a while and said, “Yeah, I too can feel it and hear its buzzing sound.” The guy was overjoyed and touched Osho’s feet saying that Osho was the only sensible one, turned to his wife and scolded her, “Listen to him now. I kept on telling you not to waste time and money on those doctors and hakims who did not believe me. Now listen to what Osho is saying.” His wife was worried that she got into a bigger trouble as her husband was now firmly believing that there was a fly in his body. How to resolve this issue? But Osho consoled her not to worry and allow him to work on her husband.
By then, Osho became friends with this man. Osho instructed him to lie down as he wanted to observe the movement of the fly in his body. He made the man close his eyes and placed a towel over them. The man was very pleased as for the first time someone acknowledged him, believed in him and cooperated with him. His mind was at peace. Osho ran into the room to catch a living fly. With a lot of difficulty Osho caught one and placed it in a bottle.
Osho then sat near this guy and kept on asking about the location of the fly in his body. When the guy said that the fly was in his throat, Osho told him to open his mouth and blow the air out with a thrust. He did that and Osho yelled with delight. He removed the towel from the man’s eyes and showed him the bottle with a living fly inside. The man beamed with joy and said, “Give me the bottle, give me. I will show it to all those stupid doctors who did not believe me.”
But with this act, the fly which the man thought was inside him, disappeared. Osho cautioned his wife never to tell her husband about this trick because the day she would tell him about this, the fly will enter his mind and body again. As she knew that there was no fly, and no fly was ever removed from his body. It was just his illusion.
Mental illness is one which gets conceptualized inside and it spreads outside and hence it is ‘Out-going” and physical illness is “in-going”. If we treat mental illness through physical treatments, than the mental illness will find others ways of manifestation.
Many a times, we think we too have such flies inside us and keep worrying about it, get stuck with it and stop every other thing that we are supposed to be doing or, should I say, capable of doing.
When I think of the above funny story, I could see many flies alive in myself. Each day I try identifying and naming them. I could recognize and name a few, and they were – fear of failure, lack of confidence, self-doubt, complex (superiority and inferiority), ego, lust, prejudice, jealousy, guilt, overconfidence, anger, awkwardness, cynicism, envy, escapism, excessive-ness, expectations, exploitation, fame, power, greed, taboos, racism, … …I’m still counting.
How and when will I be at peace with myself, lying down with my eyes closed and mouth open for these flies to get out of me?
Someone said so beautifully – What is the meaning of “Paagal” (crazy)? And the answer is “Jisne ‘Gal’ ko ‘paa’ liya, wo Paagal.”
‘Gal’ in Punjabi language is ‘Secret’ or ‘essence’ and ‘Paa’ means ‘to get’ – now read it again –
Paagal means ‘Jisne gal ko paa liya woh Paagal.’ (person who has learnt the essence / secret of life is Paagal)
A synonym of “Paagal” in English is MAD ~ M A D means – Making A Difference.
When will I be called Paagal??
पागल हो जाने का भी गजब फायदा है साहेब,
लोग पत्थर तो उठाते है मगर उँगली नही।
Paagal ho jaane ka bhi gajhab fayada hai sahib,
log patthar to utha te hain, magar ungali nahin.
Meaning: People may throw stones at a mad guy, but will never point fingers at him (to blame).