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Chapter 6: Anxiety or Anguish?

What is anguish? Is it just another name for anxiety?

Anguish has something of anxiety in it, but it is not just anxiety. It is much more, much more profound.

Anxiety means you are concerned with a particular subject, in a state of indecisiveness. You cannot figure out whether to do a thing or not to do it. What will be the right way to do it? What to choose? - there are so many ways. You are always standing on a crossroad. All the roads seem to be similar; certainly leading somewhere, but whether they lead to the goal that you have been aspiring to..

Anxiety is that condition of to do or not to do, to choose this or to choose that. But the object of the anxiety is clear: that you are indecisive about ways, indecisive about two persons, indecisive about two jobs. Anguish has no particular object.

Anguish is felt by very rare people. Anxiety is felt by everybody, it is a common experience. Anguish is felt only by the genius, by the highest peak of intelligence. It has no particular object; there is nothing for you to choose between, no “this or that.” There is no question of choice. Then what is the problem with anguish?

You will have to understand a certain phenomenon. There are things in the world - animals, birds, man.anxiety happens to all.to the trees, to the animals, to the birds, to man. As far as anxiety is concerned it is universal.

But anguish is felt only by a very few rare men. They are the very cream, the highest peak of consciousness.

I will try to explain it to you. It is a little difficult to understand but not impossible. A rock is born, a tree is born, a lion is born, an eagle is born, but they differ from man. The difference is: Their being precedes their existence.

For example, a rock is there; it is alive, it grows. The Himalayas are still growing - one foot every year. Somebody should say to it, “Now it is meaningless, you are already the highest. Don’t take so much trouble.” It must be a troublesome thing: thousands of miles, thousands of peaks, the work must be enormous. Even to grow one foot every year is no small thing for the Himalayas. “And now there is no need. Howsoever big you become, you will remain only the highest mountain in the world. You have surpassed all the mountains, you have left them far behind.”

But the Himalayas go on growing, it is a living being. Mountains don’t understand. Man does not understand, what to say about mountains!

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