The second question:
Why do I feel fear when somebody comes close to me?
Everybody feels fear, more or less. That’s why people don’t allow others to come very close; that’s why people avoid love. Sometimes in the very name of love they go on avoiding love. People keep each other at a distance – they allow the other only so far. Then the fear arises.
What is the fear? The fear is that the other may be able to see your emptiness if he comes too close. It has nothing to do with the other. You have never been able to accept your inner emptiness – that’s the fear. You have made a very, very decorated surface: you have a beautiful face and you have a good smile and you talk well and you are very articulate and you sing well and you have a beautiful body and a beautiful persona. But those are on the surface. Behind them is simple emptiness.
You are afraid that if somebody comes too close he will be able to see beyond the mask, beyond your smile, he will be able to see beyond your words, and that frightens you. And you know that there is nothing else. You are just a surface – that is the fear – you don’t have any depth.
It is not that you cannot have the depth; you can have it, but you have not taken the first step. The first step is to accept this inner emptiness with joy and to go into it. Don’t avoid your inner emptiness. If you avoid your inner emptiness you will avoid people coming closer to you. If you rejoice in your emptiness you will be completely open and you will invite people to come close to you and to have a look into your innermost shrine. Because accepted, the emptiness has a certain quality; rejected, it has a different quality. The difference is in your mind. If you reject it, it looks like death; if you accept it, the same thing becomes the very source of life.
Only through meditation will you be able to allow others to come close to you. Only through meditation, when you have started feeling your inner emptiness as joy, as celebration, as song, when your inner emptiness no longer freaks you out, when your inner emptiness no longer frightens you, when your inner emptiness is a solace, a shelter, a refuge, a rest – and whenever you are tired you simply drown into your inner emptiness, you disappear there – when you have started loving your inner emptiness and the joy that arises out of it, thousands of lotuses flower in that emptiness. They float in the lake of emptiness.