What Is the Fear of Knowing Oneself?
“The fear is that perhaps one is a bad person. The fear is that we may discover that we are a bad person after having cultivated an image of being a good person.
“We appear to be a good person – we are saintly, we are innocent, we are authentic, we are truthful. Our fear is that we may realize that inside we are inauthentic and false. We are afraid of finding out that we are irreligious, complicated, cunning, hypocritical, unsaintly. The fear is that the image of ourselves – what we think ourselves to be – may turn out to be false.
“A person who is afraid in this way can never encounter the mind. It is very easy to go into the forests, it is easy to go into darkness, it is easy to sit fearlessly in front of wild animals, but it is very difficult to stand fearlessly in front of the wild man that is hidden within you. It is very arduous. It is not at all arduous to stand for years in the sun, any fool can do that. It is not difficult to stand on your head, any idiot can be taught such circus games. And it is not very difficult to lie down on thorns – the skin adjusts to the thorns very soon.
If there is one thing that is really arduous, it is the courage to have an immediate knowing of however one is within, whether bad or mad, however one is. So the first thing is to drop fear and to get ready to see oneself courageously.
“One who does not have this courage is in trouble. We are interested in attaining the soul, we are interested in knowing existence, but we do not have the courage to have a direct and simple encounter with ourselves. The soul and existence are very far away. The first reality is our mind, our brain. The first reality is the thought center with which we are most closely related. One has to see it, know it, recognize it, first. The first thing is the effort to know one’s own mind in aloneness, without fear.
“For at least half an hour every day, give your mind a chance to express itself as it is. Close yourself in a room, like an emperor, and give total freedom to your mind. Tell it, ‘Whatever you want to think, to contemplate, let it happen.’ Drop all the censoring of yourself that has prevented things from surfacing – drop all that. Give your mind the freedom to allow whatever arises to arise; to allow whatever appears to appear. Don’t stop or suppress anything. You are ready to know what is inside.”
To continue reading and see all available formats of this talk:
Osho, The Inner Journey, A Practical Guidebook for the Seeker