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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 2

Chapter 2: Drink to the Full and Dance

Fear is natural, guilt is a creation of the priests. Guilt is man-made. Fear is in-built, and it is very essential. Without fear you will not be able to survive at all. Fear is normal. It is because of fear that you will not put your hand in the fire. It is because of fear that you will walk to the right or to the left, whatsoever is the law of the country. It is because of fear that you will avoid poison. It is because of fear that when the truck driver sounds his horn, you run out of the way.

If the child has no fear there is no possibility that he will ever survive. His fear is a life-protective measure. But because of this natural tendency to protect oneself.and nothing is wrong in it - you have the right to protect yourself. You have such a precious life to protect, and fear simply helps you. Fear is intelligence. Only idiots don’t have fear, imbeciles don’t have fear; hence you have to protect the idiots, otherwise they will burn themselves or they will jump out of a building, or they will go into the sea without knowing how to swim or they can eat a snake.or anything they can do!

Fear is intelligence - so when you see a snake crossing the path, you jump out of the way. It is not cowardly, it is simply intelligent. But there are two possibilities..

Fear can become abnormal, it can become pathological. Then you are afraid of things of which there is no need to be afraid - although you can find arguments even for your abnormal fear. For example, somebody is afraid of going inside a house. Logically you cannot prove that he is wrong. He says, “What is the guarantee that the house will not fall?” Now, houses are known to fall so this house can also fall. People have been crushed by houses falling. Nobody can give an absolute guarantee that this house is not going to fall - an earthquake can happen.anything is possible! Another man is afraid - he cannot travel because there are train accidents. Somebody else is afraid - he cannot go into a car, there are car accidents. And somebody else is afraid of an airplane..

If you become afraid in this way, this is not intelligent. Then you should be afraid of your bed too, because almost ninety-seven percent of people die in their beds - so that is the most dangerous place to be in. Logically you should remain as far away from the bed as possible, never go close to it. But then you will make your life impossible.

Fear can become abnormal, then it is pathology. And because of this possibility, priests have used it, politicians have used it. All kinds of oppressors have used it. They make it pathological, and then it becomes very simple to exploit you. The priest makes you afraid of hell. Just look in the scriptures - with what joy they depict all the tortures, with really great relish. Scriptures describe in detail, in great detail, each and every torture.

Adolf Hitler must have been reading these scriptures; he must have found great ideas from these scriptures describing hell. He himself was not such a creative genius as to invent the concentration camps and all kinds of tortures. He must have found them in religious scriptures - they are already there, priests have already done the work. He only practiced what priests have been preaching. He was really a religious man!