Osho Quotes on Fear
Do Not Move Because of Fear
“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move – not out of fear, because all so-called religions are based on fear. Their God is nothing but fear, and their heaven and hell are nothing but projections of fear and greed. Rumi’s statement is very revolutionary: ‘Do not move because of fear.’ All the religions say to people, ‘Fear God!’…
“You all have been living out of fear. Your relationships are out of fear. Fear is so overwhelming – like a dark cloud covering your life – that you say things which you don’t want to say, but fear makes you say them. You do things which you do not want to do, but fear makes you do them. A little intelligence is enough to see.”
Osho, Om Shantih Shantih Shantih: The Soundless Sound, Peace Peace Peace, Talk #11
Fear Is the Antithesis of Freedom
“Everybody you have come in contact with has been imposing fear on you, because fear is the antithesis of freedom. The more fear you have in you, the less is the possibility of freedom. The more fear is there, the less is the possibility of rebellion.
“The society, the church, the state, all want everybody to be in a state of constant fear: fear of the known, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of hell, fear of missing heaven, fear of not making your name in the world, fear of just being a nobody. Everybody around you from the very birth is creating fear. No child is born with fear. Every child is born with freedom, doubt, rebellion, individuality, innocence – all great qualities. But he is helpless, dependent.
“But when you are grown up, you can see – you can try to peel the onion layer by layer – how fears have been created in you, how gullible you have been, how people have exploited your innocence. The priest had no knowledge of God, yet he deceived you and pretended that he knows God. He had no idea of heaven and hell, yet he forced you to be afraid of hell, to be ambitious for heaven. He created greed, he created fear. He himself was a victim of other people. Now you can look back: your father was not aware what he was teaching, what he was telling to you.”
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #23
Whenever You See Some Fear, Do Just the Opposite
“Don’t follow your fear instinct, because that is going to make you a coward. It degrades your humanity. It is a humiliation imposed by yourself. Whenever you see some fear, go against it! A simple criterion: whenever you see there is fear, go against it and you will be always moving, growing, expanding, coming closer to the moment when ego simply drops – because its whole functioning is through fear. And the absence of the ego is enlightenment; it is not something plus.
“Just a simple principle: remember, anything that makes you afraid, fearful, is a clear indication of what you have to do. You have to do just the opposite. You are not to become a follower of fear, you have to fight your fear. The moment you decide to fight your fear, you are on the way towards enlightenment.”
Osho, From the False to the Truth, Talk #26
Fear Is a Passive Form of Anger
“Life should be surrounded by love, not by fear. It is fear that creates anger. It is fear that ultimately creates violence. Have you watched? Fear is only a feminine form of anger and anger is a masculine form of fear. Fear is a passive form of anger and anger is an active form of fear. So you can change fear into anger very easily, and anger into fear – very easily.
“I say, ‘You just try!’ And it becomes a revelation even to them. If they can beat the pillow in real, hot anger, immediately fear disappears, because the same energy turns and becomes active. It was inactive, then it was fear. Fear is the root cause of hate, anger, violence.”
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4, Talk #7
Fear Is Intelligence But It Can Become Abnormal
“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…
"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.”
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 2, Talk #2
When the Fear Is There, You Are Fear
“Don’t say, ‘I am feeling fear.’ That is a wrong way of saying it. Don’t say, ‘I am afraid.’ That also is a wrong way of saying it. Simply say, ‘I am fear. In this moment I am fear.’ Don’t create any division.
“When you say, ‘I am feeling fear’ you are keeping yourself separate from the feeling. You are there somewhere far away, and the feeling is around you. This is the basic disunity. Say, ‘I am fear.’ And watch – that’s actually the case! When the fear is there, you are fear.”
Osho, Unio Mystica, Vol. 1, Talk #8
“I know fear is natural! But don’t get caught by it. Leave it aside. Move in spite of it. Always remember: the difference between a courageous man and a coward is not that the courageous man has no fear and the coward has fear – no. That is not the difference. Both have fear! in the same proportion. Then where is the difference? The difference is that the courageous man goes in spite of the fear, and the coward stops because of the fear. Both have fears!
“If you can find a courageous man who has no fear, then how will you call him courageous? He will be a machine, not a man. Only machines don’t have fear. But you don’t call machines courageous. How can you call a machine courageous? Courage simply means that something is happening in spite of the fear. The fear is there, the trembling is there, but it is not stopping you, you are not being blocked by it. You use it as a stepping-stone. Shaking, trembling, but still you go into the unknown.
“Both possibilities exist in every human being! Fear and courage. All will depend on which you choose between the two. Never choose fear. It cripples. It paralyzes. It destroys you without giving you a chance of resurrection. Courage will also destroy you, but that destruction is very creative – it will give you rebirth.
“Fear and courage, both destroy – but fear simply destroys. The seed simply goes rotten. When you sow the seed of courage in the soil, then too it dies – but it doesn’t go rotten. It dies…it dies into a new phenomenon. A sprout comes up.
“Courage will kill you as much as fear, but fear will simply kill you without giving you a new life. Courage will give you a new life. Choose courage – always choose courage.”
Osho, Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Talk #4
Fear Is a By-Product of Desire
“What is fear? First: fear is always around some desire. You want to become a famous man, the most famous man in the world – then there is fear. What if you cannot make it? – fear comes. Now fear comes as a by-product of desire: you want to become the richest man in the world. What if you don’t succeed? You start trembling; fear comes. You possess a woman: you are afraid that tomorrow you may not be able to possess, she may go to somebody else. She is still alive, she can go. Only dead women won’t go; she is still alive. You can possess only a corpse – then there is no fear, the corpse will be there. You can possess furniture, then there is no fear.
“But when you try to possess a human being fear comes. Who knows, yesterday she was not yours, today she is yours…Who knows – tomorrow she will be somebody else’s. Fear arises. Fear is arising out of the desire to possess, it is a by-product; because you want to possess, hence fear. If you don’t want to possess, then there is no fear. If you don’t have a desire that you would like to be this and that in the future, then there is no fear. If you don’t want to go to heaven then there is no fear, then the priest cannot make you afraid. If you don’t want to go anywhere then nobody can make you afraid.
“If you start living in the moment, fear disappears. Fear comes through desire. So basically, desire creates fear.”
Osho, The Heart Sutra, Talk #4
The Idea of Ego Creates the Fear of Death
“You are afraid to die? Buddha says: You cannot die, because in the first place, you are not. How can you die? Look into your being, go deep into it. See, who is there to die? – and you will not find any ego there. Then there is no possibility of death. Only the idea of ego creates the fear of death. When there is no ego there is no death. You are utter silence, deathlessness, eternity – not as you, but as an open sky, uncontaminated by any idea of 'I', of self – unbounded, undefined. Then there is no fear.
“Fear comes because there are other things. You will have to look into those things, and looking into them will start changing things. So please don’t ask how it can be mastered or killed. It is not to be mastered, it is not to be killed. It cannot be mastered and it cannot be killed; it can only be understood. Let understanding be your only law.”
Osho, The Heart Sutra, Talk #4
Allow the Fear
“Fear has a beauty of its own, a delicacy and a sensitivity of its own. In fact it is a very subtle aliveness. The word is negative, but the feeling itself is very positive. Only alive processes can be afraid; a dead thing has no fear. Fear is part of being alive, part of being delicate, part of being fragile.
“So allow the fear. Tremble with it, let it shake your foundations – and enjoy it as a deep experience of stirring. Don’t take any attitude about fear. In fact, don’t call it fear; the moment you have called it fear you have taken an attitude. You have already condemned it; you have already said that it is wrong, that it should not be there. You are already on guard, already escaping, running away. In a very subtle way you have broken yourself away from it. So don’t call it fear. This is one of the most essential things – to stop calling things names. Just watch the feeling of it, the way it is.
"Allow it, and don’t give it a label – remain ignorant. Ignorance is a tremendously meditative state. Insist on being ignorant, and don’t allow the mind to manipulate. Don’t allow the mind to use language and words, labels and categories, because it has a whole process. One thing is associated with another, and it goes on and on and on.
“Just simply look – don’t call it fear. Become afraid and tremble – that is beautiful. Hide in a corner, go under a blanket and tremble. Do what an animal will do if he is afraid. What will a small child do if he is afraid? He will cry. Or a primitive man – what will he do? He will kneel down and pray to a god out of fear.”
Osho, Above All, Don’t Wobble, Talk #4
Fear Is One of the Doors from Where One Enters Into One’s Being
“If you allow fear to take possession of you, your hair will stand on end. Then for the first time you will know what a beautiful phenomenon fear is. In that turmoil, in that cyclone, you will come to know that there is still a point somewhere within you which is absolutely untouched. And if fear cannot touch it, then death cannot touch it. There is darkness and fear all around, with just a small center absolutely transcendental to it. Not that you try to be transcendental – you simply allow the fear to totally take possession – but suddenly you become aware of the contrast.
“So if fear or anger or sadness, or anything whatsoever happens, allow it. Close the doors and be in it, relax in it. Just behave like a small child who has not been trained to label things, who simply lives feelings and has no thoughts about them.
“Fear is one of the doors from where one enters into one’s being. It is one of the most repressed things. The whole of humanity, all the world over, can be divided into two types: one is sex-repressive, the other is death-repressive. Either a society suppresses death or it suppresses sex. Whenever a society expresses sex, becomes unafraid of it, untabooed, uninhibited about it, it immediately starts to suppress death – immediately, because death is the polar opposite. So if you allow sex, death has to be repressed. If you repress sex then there is no fear of death, you can allow it.”
Osho, Above All, Don’t Wobble, Talk #4
Fear Always Means the Fear of the Unknown
“You will have to drop fear. And if it is a question of choosing between the inner feeling and the fear, choose the inner feeling. Don’t choose the fear. So many people have chosen their religion out of fear, so they live in a limbo. They are neither religious nor worldly. They live in indecision.
“Fear is not going to help. Fear always means the fear of the unknown. Fear always means the fear of death. Fear always means the fear of being lost, but if you really want to be alive, you have to accept the possibility of being lost. You have to accept the insecurity of the unknown, the discomfort and the inconvenience of the unfamiliar, the strange.
"That is the price one has to pay for the blessing that follows it, and nothing can be achieved without paying for it. You have to pay for it: otherwise you will remain fear-paralyzed. Your whole life will be lost.”
Osho, Yoga: The Science of Living, Talk #4
Fear Is Just an Absence of Love
My life seems to be governed by fear. Can you help me?
“I will help, that’s why I am here! Everybody’s life, more or less, is governed by fear, because there are only two ways to live life. Either it can be governed by love, or it can be governed by fear. Ordinarily, unless you have learned to love, it is governed by fear.
“Without love, fear is bound to be there. It is just an absence of love. It has nothing positive in it; it is just absence of love. But if you can love, fear disappears. In the moment of love there is not even death. There is only one thing in life that conquers death and that is love. All fear is concerned with death – and only love can conquer death.
“So one thing I would like to say to you is, don’t pay too much attention to fear because it becomes an autohypnosis. If you go on repeating that you live by fear, your life is governed by fear, you are dominated by fear – and fear, fear, fear – then you are helping it. Take note of it: that your life is governed by fear – finished! It simply shows that love has not yet become so powerful that fear disappears. Fear is just a symptom, it is not a disease. There is no cure for it; there is no need. So it is just a symptom, and it is very useful because it shows you that you should not waste your life any longer. It simply says to you to love more.
“So I will not talk about fear. I will help you to love more – and fear disappears as a consequence. If you start working directly on fear you strengthen it, because your whole attention will be focused on it. It is as if somebody is trying to destroy darkness, and becomes focused, obsessed, with how to destroy darkness. You cannot destroy darkness because it is not there in the first place. Note the fact that darkness is there – and then start working on how to bring in light.”
Osho, Osho, Hammer on the Rock, Talk #19
Become Simply Aware
“You come to a point where you know that you are afraid, and you come to understand, ‘Because of this fear, love cannot happen to me. So, okay, what can I do?’ The fear is there, so only one thing will happen – I will not pretend love. Or, I will say to my beloved or my lover that it is because of fear that I am clinging to you. Deep down I am afraid. I will become frank about it; I will not deceive anyone, nor myself. I will not pretend that this is love. I will say this is simply fear. Because of fear, I cling to you. Because of fear, I go to the temple, or to the church, and pray. Because of fear, I remember God. But then I know that this is not prayer, this is not love, this is only fear. I am fear, so whatsoever I do, it is there. I will accept this truth.’
“A miracle happens when you accept a truth. The very acceptance changes you. When you know that there is fear in your being and you cannot do anything about it, what can you do? All that you can do is pretend, and pretensions can go to the very extreme, to the other extreme…
“You can create the opposite, but this is not going to change anything. You can pretend that you are not afraid – that makes no change again. The only transformation that can happen is that you become simply aware that ‘I am fear’. My whole being is trembling, and whatsoever I do is because of the fear.’ You have become true to yourself.”
Osho, The Book of Secrets, Talk #60
Try To Understand What Fear Is
“The question is not of getting rid of anything; the question is only of understanding. Understand fear, what it is, and don’t try to get rid of it, because the moment you start trying to get rid of anything, you are not ready to understand it – because the mind which thinks to get rid of is already closed. It is not open to understand, it is not sympathetic. It cannot contemplate quietly; it has already decided. Now the fear has become the evil, the sin, so get rid of it. Don’t try to get rid of anything.
“Try to understand what fear is. And if you have fear, then accept it. It is there. Don’t try to hide it. Don’t try to create the opposite. If you have fear, then you have fear. Accept it as part of your being. If you can accept it, it has disappeared already. Through acceptance, fear disappears; through denial, fear increases.”
Osho, The Book of Secrets, Talk #60