There seems to be a constant manipulation by politicians and the news media to create fear. For example, I only just discovered that in the US I am ten times more likely to die from choking on my food than from any form of terrorism. What is behind all this?
“Everybody you have come in contact with has been imposing fear on you, because fear is the antithesis of freedom. The more fear you have in you, the less is the possibility of freedom. The more fear is there, the less is the possibility of rebellion.
The society, the church, the state, all want everybody to be in a state of constant fear: fear of the known, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of hell, fear of missing heaven, fear of not making your name in the world, fear of just being a nobody.
“Everybody around you from the very birth is creating fear. No child is born with fear. Every child is born with freedom, doubt, rebellion, individuality, innocence – all great qualities. But he is helpless, dependent.
“But when you are grown up, you can see – you can try to peel the onion layer by layer – how fears have been created in you, how gullible you have been, how people have exploited your innocence. The priest had no knowledge of God, yet he deceived you and pretended that he knows God. He had no idea of heaven and hell, yet he forced you to be afraid of hell, to be ambitious for heaven. He created greed, he created fear. He himself was a victim of other people. Now you can look back: your father was not aware what he was teaching, what he was telling to you.”
People have also called this “The Age of Anger,” and when I look at the way people seem to express themselves these days, it often feels like it. Love seems far away. Is there a connection between this incitement to fear and the eruption of so much anger?
“Life should be surrounded by love, not by fear. It is fear that creates anger. It is fear that ultimately creates violence. Have you seen that fear is only a feminine form of anger and anger is a masculine form of fear.
Fear is a passive form of anger and anger is an active form of fear. So you can change fear into anger very easily, and anger into fear – very easily.
“Sometimes people come to me and they say, ‘We are feeling very afraid.’
“I tell them, ‘Go and beat the pillow and be angry with the pillow.’
“They say, ‘What will that do?’
“I say, ‘You just try!’ And it becomes a revelation even to them. If they can beat the pillow in real, hot anger, immediately fear disappears, because the same energy turns and becomes active. It was inactive, then it was fear. Fear is the root cause of hate, anger, violence.”
Religion seems to be a significant part of the same problem, and certainly not part of the solution. Sometimes I don’t know where to turn.
“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move – not out of fear, because all so-called religions are based on fear. Their God is nothing but fear, and their heaven and hell are nothing but projections of fear and greed. Rumi’s statement is very revolutionary: ‘Do not move because of fear.’ All the religions say to people, ‘Fear God!’….
“You all have been living out of fear. Your relationships are out of fear. Fear is so overwhelming – like a dark cloud covering your life – that you say things which you don’t want to say, but fear makes you say them. You do things which you do not want to do, but fear makes you do them. A little intelligence is enough to see.”
Is there a way to turn this situation around? Could I even use this fear to help me go beyond the mind and become more mature?
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 realization 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 realization out of it.”
Osho, The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao, Talk #1