Osho on Fear

[Sannyasin says: I got angry and hit the wall. When I found energy did move, it really amazed me. I mean, how can all energy be stopped by fear?]

Osho – Fear can stop energy because basically fear is nothing but a shrinking. When you are happy you expand, when you are unafraid you expand. When you are afraid you shrink, you hide in your shell, because if you go out there may be some danger. You shrink in every way – in love, in relationships, in meditation, in every way. You are afraid to go out. You become a turtle and you shrink inside.

Because of that shrinking, fear stops all movement of energy, and if you remain in fear continuously, as many people live, constantly in fear, by and by the elasticity of energy is lost. Then you become a stagnant pool. You are no more flowing, no more a river. Then one feels more and more dead, more and more dead every day.

Life is in contact. Life is in flow… Life is in movement. To be stagnant is to commit suicide. It is just as if you bring your hand near a flame. The moment you feel it is hot, your hand shrinks back. But this is good… this is a natural protection.

One should use fear when needed. When the house is on fire you have to escape. You don’t try being unafraid there or you will be a fool. Fear has a natural use. One should remain capable of shrinking also because there are moments when one needs to stop the flow. But those moments should not become one’s habitual pattern. One should not start living in that way continuously. One should be able to go out, to come in, to go out, to come in. This is the flexibility: expansion, shrinking, expansion, shrinking. It is just like breathing. You breathe out, the chest falls down, the lungs shrink. You breathe in, the lungs expand.

People who are very much afraid don’t breathe deeply, because even that expansion gives fear. They start breathing very shallowly. Their chest will shrink; they will have a sunken chest. So that’s right. Try to find out ways to make your energy move. Even sometimes anger is good. At least it makes your energy move. If you have to choose between fear and anger, choose anger. At least it will make you more dynamic, more alive. At least you will have some sort of contact with somebody. You may have a good fight with somebody but at least it is some sort of contact. You will not be frozen, you will have some warmth.

So always remember that… but don’t go to the other extreme. Expansion is good but you should not become addicted to it. It should not become again a sort of incapacity so that you cannot shrink. The real thing to remember is flexibility: the capacity to move from one end to another, from one extreme to another. A man is young in proportion to his flexibility. Watch a small child. He’s so soft, tender and flexible. As you grow old everything becomes tight, hard, inflexible. That is the old age. Remember, a man can remain absolutely young to the very moment of death if he remains flexible. That will give you a depth of life, a qualitative life.

Source – Osho Book “Beloved of My Heart”

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