Fear is one of the most important problems. Each human being has to go through it and has to come to a certain understanding about it. The ego gives you the fear that one day you may have to die. You go on deceiving yourself that death happens only to others, and in a way you are right: some neighbor dies, some acquaintance dies, some friend dies, your wife dies, your mother dies – it always happens to somebody else, never to you. You can hide behind this fact: maybe you are an exception, you are not going to die. The ego is trying to protect you.
But each time somebody dies, something in you becomes shaky. Each death is a small death to you. Never send somebody to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. Each death is your death. Even when a dry leaf falls from the tree, it is your death. Hence we go on protecting ourselves.
Somebody is dying and we talk about the immortality of the soul, and the leaf is falling from the tree and we say “Nothing to be worried about. Soon the spring will come and the tree will have another foliage. This is only a change, only the garments are being changed.”
People believe in the immortality of the soul not because they know but because they are afraid. The more cowardly a person is, the more is the possibility that he will believe in the immortality of the soul – not that he is religious, he is simply cowardly. The belief in the immortality of the soul has nothing to do with religion. The religious person knows that “I am not,” and then whatsoever is left is immortal – but it has nothing to do with “me.” This “me” is not immortal, this “I” is not immortal. This “I” is very temporary; it is manufactured by us.
Fear is the shadow of “I,” and because the “I” is always alert somewhere deep down that “I will have to disappear in death….” The basic fear is of death; all other fears only reflect the basic one. And the beauty is that death is as nonexistential as ego, and between these two nonexistentials – the ego and death – the bridge is fear.
Fear is very impotent, it has no power. You say, “If it is nonsubstantial, then how does it manage to have such a power over me?” You want to believe in it – that’s its power. You are not ready to take a plunge into your inner depth and to face your inner emptiness – that is its power. Otherwise it is impotent, utterly impotent. Nothing is ever born out of fear. Love gives birth, love is creative; fear is impotent.
Mr and Mrs Smith were brought before the bar of justice.
“I would like to divorce this character,” said the wife.
“I would like to get rid of this battle ax,” screamed the husband.
Judge: “How many children do you have?”
Wife: “Three children.”
Judge: “Why don’t you stay married one more year and have another child, then you will have four. You can each take two and you will both be satisfied.”
Husband: “Yeah, but supposing we have twins?”
Wife: “Ha! Look at my little twin-maker. If I depended on him, I wouldn’t have these three either!”