Mind is just in the middle. You are nothing but a mess. If you can go beyond it, intelligence grows in you; if you go below it, any intelligence that you had disappears.
But in either case, either in breakthrough or in breakdown, you are out of the mind. That’s why there is a certain similarity between the enlightened person and the madman. The madman has gone through a breakdown but he is out of the mind. The enlightened person has gone beyond the mind; it is a breakthrough. He is also out of the mind but because he has gone beyond mind, he attains to ultimate sanity, to great intelligence, to a clarity, mind cannot even conceive of.
But the similarity is that both are out of the mind and the mind can interpret both either as enlightened or as insane. Hence a strange thing has been happening in the East and in the West. There are many enlightened people in the West inside insane asylums because Western psychology does not believe in any breakthrough. For anyone who goes out of the mind, only one interpretation is available: that he has gone mad.
In the East there are many madmen who are worshipped as enlightened because the East interprets going out of the mind always as a breakthrough. I have come across a few madmen who were not enlightened but they were worshipped like God. In a place near Jabalpur there was one man who was half paralyzed and utterly mad, but thousands of people used to gather around him. He had nothing to say and there was no light in his eyes and there was no joy in his being.
I used to go and simply sit there and watch the man and what people were doing. He was living almost by drinking only tea. It was difficult for him to drink tea because half his body was paralyzed, so only half of his mouth was able to move; the other half was not able to move. So even while drinking tea, his saliva was dripping into the tea. It was an ugly scene. And the followers would take away the cup of the tea when he had just taken a few sips out of it and they would distribute it to people as prasad, as a gift from God.
I watched this whole nonsense…and the man was not able to even utter a single word. Anywhere else in the world he would have been in a mad asylum, but in India even the breakdown is misunderstood as a breakthrough. And in the West even the breakthrough is understood as a breakdown.
A tremendous synthesis is needed between Western psychology and Eastern understanding of the mind. These are totally and diametrically opposite dimensions. Breakdown brings you back to the stage of the animals, and breakthrough brings you to your ultimate flowering, your buddhahood. And their happening is so different, so qualitatively different, that they can be easily distinguished. Breakthrough happens only to a meditator. Breakdown happens to anybody whose mind becomes too tense, unbearably tense, so that he loses all control of the mind mechanism, and falls down.