Since I became a sannyasin, I have begun to fear you a little. Before that, this fear was not there, although I have been frightened throughout my entire life. I know too that the freedom and love I have found in being close to you were not available to me even with my parents.
If I do not find freedom from fear in the refuge of your overflowing love, then where will I ever find it? How can I be free from fear?
Many points will have to be understood. Freedom from fear has no relation whatsoever to any other person. The master cannot free the disciple from fear, because the fear is within you and the master is outside. What a master can do, at the most, is to create in you the illusion of freedom from fear – but then he is not a real master. He may give you the feeling that the fear has disappeared but it can only be an idea, a belief. Courage, bravery, can be created externally, but not fearlessness.
Fearlessness means that there are no causes for fear within, and courage means that the causes for fear are present within, but from the outside you have made yourself strong, pulled yourself together somehow. There is not much difference between a courageous man and a coward. The coward is unable to hide his fear, while the man of courage is able to do so; this is all the difference there is between the two. The one whom we call courageous is also afraid inside, just as a coward is; and if the coward tries a few techniques he too can become courageous.
So your guru may make you courageous, but fearlessness can be attained only from within. Fearlessness cannot be imposed from the outside – it is not like face paint or Brylcream; it is not a cosmetic, it is not makeup, it is an inner experience.
What I mean by inner experience is that fearlessness cannot be born in you until it is the realization of your inner being. The fear is there because we think that we are the body – not only think, we are certain that we are the body. And the body is going to fall, the body is going to die: the destruction of the body is quite certain. When our destruction is a certainty, when death is inevitable, how can there be fearlessness? The fact of withering away makes us tremble. Death may look far away, yet it is very near. What does it matter whether it comes after seven days or seventy years? Death is standing there by your side all along. Nothing is as close to you as death. This realization of inevitable death makes one tremble.
So the master may make you forget this fact, he may make you understand that the soul is immortal, that you will never die, that no one ever dies. Even if you understand this doctrine, if you accept it and agree with it, still you may become only courageous, not fearless…because the doctrine has been given to you by someone else, it is not your own experience. Someone has told you. No matter how much you trust in it, your trust cannot be total. Total trust can only happen when it is your own experience. So until you realize and experience that the soul is immortal, fearlessness will not happen. Near the pseudo-master courageousness will be born, but near the true master fear will be created in its real sense for the first time.