Osho on Watching Fear

[A sannyasin who is going to the West says: I’m really scared of leaving. Osho asks: What is the fear? He replies: I don’t know.]

Osho That’s a good kind of fear if you don’t know what exactly it is. That simply means that you are on the verge of something unknown. When the fear has some object it is an ordinary fear. One is afraid of death – it is very ordinary fear, instinctive; nothing great about it, nothing special about it. When one is afraid of old age or disease, illness, these are ordinary fears… common, garden variety.

The special fear is when you cannot find an object to it, when it is there for no reason at all; that makes one really scared. If you can find a reason the mind is satisfied. If you can answer why, the mind has some explanation to cling to. All explanations help things to be explained away; they don’t do anything else, but once you have a rational explanation, you feel satisfied. That’s why people go to the psychoanalyst to find explanations. Even a stupid explanation is better than nothing; one can cling.

You have a stupid dream – ninety percent of one’s dreams are stupid, rubbish – but if you go to the psychoanalyst he will give a beautiful interpretation. He never says that any dream is rubbish. He finds out something, invents, and gives you a very coherent picture, and suddenly you feel very good. Nothing has happened, but something was there hankering in the mind, ’Why?’; now the why is answered.

The answer may be as stupid as the dream itself; in fact, it is, because you cannot intelligently answer a question which is not intelligent. A stupid question creates a stupid answer. Ninety percent of your dreams are rubbish – and I am being very conservative when I say ninety percent; in fact, to be really true, ninety-nine, because your mind when you are awake is stupid.

How can it be intelligent when you are asleep? It is bound to be more unintelligent, more foggy, more clouded, more confused. But the psychoanalyst will give you a beautiful explanation that satisfies you, so now you know why you dreamt this way – maybe something in your childhood, the relationship with your mother…. That psychoanalyst goes on digging up old graves.

And this has been observed again and again, that if you consult a Freudian, slowly slowly you will start dreaming Freudian dreams, and if you consult a Jungian you will start dreaming Jungian dreams. There is a mutual satisfaction: first the psychoanalyst gives you satisfaction – giving you a beautiful explanation to make you feel that you have done something really great, that you have created a work of art…. Your dream is not ordinary – it has many mysteries, and each symbol indicates great things, complicated patterns of thought, being, conditioning, past….

And when the psychoanalyst gives you so much satisfaction, it looks impolite not to dream the dreams that he would like! So slowly slowly the person starts dreaming the dreams the psychoanalyst is waiting for. And the mind is very very adjustable; it adjusts to all kinds of things. Slowly slowly a mutual satisfaction arises between the psychoanalyst and the analysed, they both feel good and great. The patient brings the dreams that he can interpret beautifully and he gives beautiful interpretations.

It is very ego-satisfying, but nothing happens out of it… no change, no transformation ever. But the mind has a hankering for the why; it always asks ’Why?’ Existential psychoanalysis will not ask the question ’Why?’ There is no need to dig up old graves; let the buried remain buried. It is unnecessary…. It is better to see the thing as it is without asking why. This is a tremendously potential approach.

You have fear – don’t ask why; just look into the fear, go into it, watch. Don’t be in a hurry to analyse, to explain, to interpret, because if you bring in your interpretations, your explanations, the purity of the fear will be lost; you will start molding it into certain patterns, to fit into certain theories. You will start giving it shape and form and labels. You will start distorting it – it will no more be the natural, wild phenomenon that it was. You will start training it, conditioning it, and sooner or later it has to agree with you – it is your fear.

It is your shadow; it is bound to agree with you. But you have destroyed a beautiful experience that may have led you into new spaces. Let this fear which has no object become the object itself. Don’t ask why – why you are afraid. This is a wrong question. Ask ’What is this fear?’ Ask what it is not to find an explanation but to go deep in it: What is this fear? ’What’ is the right question.

And don’t be prejudiced from the very beginning that ’fear is wrong’, ’it should not be’. If you have that attitude you will not be able to enter into its innermost core. With no judgment enter into it and experience it in its totality, and you will be surprised – it is just the beginning of a new space in you. And everything new makes the mind scared: the newer it is, the more fear. If it is absolutely new then one is really scared to death.

Something unknown is hovering around you, and it is going to hover around every sannyasin. This is the fear every sannyasin has to pass through. And I am not here to give you explanations but to push you into it. I am not a psychoanalyst – I am an existentialist. My effort is to make you capable of experiencing as many things as possible – love, fear, anger, greed, violence, compassion, meditation, beauty, and so on, so forth.

The more you experience these things, the richer you become. Everything has to be experienced. When you have experienced all possible experiences, you mature, you transcend. By knowing all, one goes beyond. That beyond is tao or god or nirvana. So make this fear your meditation. And the mind will ask again and again ’Why? What are you afraid about?’ Don’t listen to this question; that question is dangerous.

That leads you into more and more verbal explanations; it is a camouflage, a distraction from the fear. Just go into fear itself, with great love for this experience. If trembling arises, tremble; if you feel shaken, then shake. There is no need to hide it. Don’t condemn yourself, that you are a coward; these are the tricks the mind plays. And the society which has made you very much of an expert in these things, immediately condemns something: ’You are a coward. Why are you trembling?’, and immediately you start repressing that trembling. That repressed trembling will create a great disturbance in your being.

Let it happen: tremble joyously, enjoy the vibe of it, go into it totally, cooperate with it. Become trembling… be it, and a great realisation will arrive. Trembling will disappear and you will be left with such peace, such great silence as one feels after a storm, and only after a storm. And this is a great storm that is coming to you!

Don’t hide, don’t fight, don’t escape into explanations. Go into it! Go into the storm. And be afraid – there is nothing wrong in it. Fear is as human as love, as anger. Be human and welcome humanity in yourself. The old religions have been very condemnatory towards humanity. I am utterly in love with humanity, with all that is human. Because of the old
religions’ antagonism against humanity they created men of steel. They used to call them saints. They were not real men, they were bogus, because they would not feel human fear, they would not feel human love, they would not feel human anger.

And it was not that they had gone beyond, because how can you go beyond unless you have gone deeper and deeper into them? Yes, one goes beyond, a moment comes when one goes beyond, but the way beyond is through. The way is through; there is no other way and no short-cut. So use this fear as a great experience. Go into it lovingly, meditatively, watching, witnessing… without having any prejudice for or against. Go choicelessly into it without any like and dislike.

Like and dislike are the disease of the mind. That’s what Sosan says – and he is one of the persons who knows: Like and dislike are the disease of the mind. Drop the disease, simply go into it, and great will be your experience and the realisation out of it.

Source: from Osho Book “The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao”

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