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Question - Confrontation of Oneself in Aloneness is very fearful, very painful. What to do?
Osho - It is fearful and it is painful, and one has to suffer it. Nothing should be done to avoid it, nothing should be done to divert the mind, nothing should be done to escape form it. One has to suffer it and go through it. This suffering, this pain, is just a good sign that you are near a new birth, because every birth is preceded by pain. It cannot be avoided, and it should not be avoided because it is part of your growth. This pain and this suffering is known traditionally as TAPASHCHARYA, austerity. This is the meaning of TAPAS – arduous austerity, effort.

But why is this pain there? This should be understood because understanding will help you to go through it, and if you go through it knowingly, you will come out of it more easily, and sooner.

Why is there pain when you are alone? The first thing is that your ego gets ill. Your ego can exist only with others. It has grown in relationship, it cannot exist alone. So if the situation is one in which it can exist no more, it feels suffocated, it feels just on the verge of death. This is the deepest suffering. You feel just as if you are dying, but it is not you who is dying but only the ego which you have taken to be yourself, with which you have become identified. It cannot exist because it has been given to you by others. It is a contribution.

When you leave others you cannot carry it with you. Think of it in this way: when you are in society, people think you are a very good person. This goodness cannot exist when you are lonely and alone because this is what people thought about you. Now those people are there no more. Your image cannot be helped. It has become foundationless. By and by it will disappear and you will feel very bad because you were such a good person and now you are no more. And not only good people will suffer, if you are a bad person that too was given by others to you. That too is a way of getting attention. When many people consider you bad they give you attention. They cannot be indifferent to you, they have to be aware of you. You are somebody, a bad man, dangerous. When you move into loneliness, you become nobody. That bad image will disappear and you were feeding on it, your ego was feeding on it. So bad men and good men are not basically different – both are gaining their egos. Their mediums differ, but their goals are the same.

The bad depends on others, the good also. They exist in society. The saint and the sinner, they exist in society. Alone you are neither a saint nor a sinner. So in aloneness all that you know about yourself will fall; by and by it will disappear. You can prolong your ego for a certain period – and that too you will have to do through imagination – but you cannot prolong it for long. Without society you are uprooted; the soil is not there from where to get food. This is the basic pain. You are no longer sure who you are: you are just a dispersing personality, a dissolving personality. But this is good, because unless this false you disappears, the real cannot emerge. Unless you are completely washed and become again clean, the real cannot emerge.

This false you is occupying the throne. It must be dethroned. By living in solitariness all that is false can go. And all that is given by society is false – really, all that is given is false, all that is born with you is real. All that is you by yourself, not contributed by someone else, is real, authentic. But the false must go. And the false is a great investment: you have invested so much in it, you have been looking after it so much. All your hopes hang on it. So when it starts dissolving you will feel fearful, afraid, trembling. What are you doing to yourself? You are destroying your whole life, the whole structure.

There will be fear. But you have to go through this fear, only then will you become fearless. I don’t say you will become brave, no. I say you will become fearless. Bravery is just part of fear. Howsoever brave you are, the fear is hidden behind. I say fearless. You will not be brave, there is no need to be brave when there is no fear. Bravery and fear both become irrelevant. They are both aspects of the same coin. So your brave men are nothing but you standing on your head – just in SHIRSHASAN. Your bravery is hidden within you and your fear is on the surface; their fear is hidden within and their bravery is on the surface. So when you are alone you are very brave, when you think about something you are very brave, but when a real situation comes you are fearful. It is said about soldiers, the greatest of them, that before going to the front they are as afraid as anyone.

The inside is trembling, but they will go. They will push this trembling aside into the unconscious; and the more the inner trembling is there, the more they will create a facade that they are brave around them. They will create an armor. You look at that armor – it looks brave, but deep down they are filled with fear. One becomes fearless only when one has gone through the deepest fear of all – that is the dissolving of the ego, the dissolving of the image, the dissolving of the personality.

This is death because you don’t know if a new life is going to emerge out of it – during the process you will know only death. Only when you are dead as you are, as the false entity, only then will you know that the death was just a door to immortality. But that will be the end. During the process you are simply dying. Everything that you cherished so much is being taken away from you – your personality, your ideas, all that you thought was beautiful.

All is leaving you. You are being denuded. All the roles and robes are being taken away. In the process fear will be there, but this fear is basic, necessary, inevitable – one has to pass through it. You should understand it, but don’t try to avoid it, don’t try to escape from it because every escape will bring you back again, you will move back into the personality.

Those who go into deep silence and solitude, they always ask me, ”There will be fear, so what to do?” I tell them not to do anything, just to live the fear. If trembling comes, tremble, why prevent it? If an inner fear is there, and you are shaking with it, so shake with it. Don’t do anything. Allow it to happen. It will go by itself. If you avoid it – and you can avoid it. You can start chanting Ram, Ram, Ram; you can cling to a mantra so that your mind is diverted. You will be pacified and the fear will not be there – you have pushed it into the unconscious. It was coming out – which was good, you were going to be free from it – it was leaving you and when it leaves you, you will tremble. That is natural because from every cell of the body, of the mind, some energy which has always been there pushed down, is leaving. There will be a shaking, a trembling; it will be just like an earthquake. The whole soul will be disturbed by it but let it be. Don’t do anything. That is my advice. Don’t even chant the name of Ram. Don’t try to do anything with it because all that you can do will again be suppression. Just by allowing it to be, by letting it be, it will leave you – and when it has left, you will be altogether a different man.

The cyclone has gone and you will now be centered, centered as you never were before. And once you know the art of letting things be, you will know one of the master keys which opens all the inner doors. Then whatsoever the case is, let it be, don’t avoid it.

If just for three months you can be in total solitude, in total silence, not fighting with anything, allowing everything to be, whatsoever it is, within three months the old will be gone and the new will be there. But the secret is allowing it to be, howsoever fearful, painful, howsoever apparently dangerous, deathlike. Many moments will come when you will feel as if you will go mad if you don’t do something and involuntarily you will start to do something. You may know that nothing can be done, but you will not be in control and you will start to do something.

It is just as if you are moving through a dark street in the night, midnight, and you feel fear because there is no one around and the night is dark and the street is unknown – so you start whistling. What can whistling do? You know it can do nothing. Then you start singing a song. You know nothing can be done by singing a song, the darkness cannot be dispelled, you will remain alone, but still, it diverts the mind. If you start whistling, just by whistling you gain confidence and you forget the darkness. Your mind moves into whistling and you start feeling good.

Nothing has happened. The street is the same, the darkness is the same, the danger, if there is any, is there, but now you feel more protected. All is the same, but now you are doing something. You can start chanting a name, a mantra, Ram, Ram, that will be a sort of whistling. It will give you strength. But that strength is dangerous, that strength will again become a problem, because that strength is going to be your old ego. You are reviving it again.

Remain a witness, and allow whatsoever happens to happen. Fear has to be faced to go beyond it. Anguish has to be faced to transcend it. And the more authentic the encounter, the more face to face, the more looking at things as they are, the sooner the happening will be there.

It takes time only because your authenticity is not intense. So you may take three days, three months, or three lives – it depends on the intensity. Really, three minutes can also do – three seconds can also do. But then you will have to pass through a tremendous hell, with such an intensity that you may not be able to bear it, to tolerate it. If one can face whatsoever is hidden in oneself, it passes, and when it has gone, you are different. Because all that has left you was part of you before, and now it is no longer a part.

So don’t ask what to do. There is no need to do anything. Non-doing, witnessing, effortlessly facing whatsoever is, not even making a slight effort, just allowing it to be... remain passive and let it pass. It always passes. When you do something, that is the undoing because then you interfere.

And who will interfere? Who is afraid? The same which is the disease will interfere. The same ego which has to be left behind, will interfere.

I told you that the ego is part of the society. You left the society but you don’t want to leave the part that society has given to you. It is rooted in society; it cannot live without society. So either you have to leave it or you have to create a new society in which it can live.

So you can create an alternative society. That is one of the greatest tricks of the mind. It has always been so. You can create a different society. You can create an ashram. Twenty people who think they want to live in solitude can create a monastery – then the monastery has become an alternative society. So they move from society but they create another society, so basically nothing changes. They remain the same. Rather on the contrary, they may become more egoistic because now they are the chosen few, the elect. They have left the world but they have created another world, and the same pattern of relationship moves again. Then there is the chief, then there are the disciples, then there is a master, and all hierarchy and everything comes in, in miniature form. And then there are good disciples, there are bad disciples, there are successful ones and the unsuccessful ones... so it is the same. In a small group the whole society is there.

That will not do. Now this is happening in the West. A great number of young people are leaving society because they feel that society is rotten, decadent, dying, and they feel it is so decadent that it cannot be changed. This is a very new thing. Young people always think that the society is rotten, but they think it can be changed, transformed, so a revolution is needed. Only in the last stage of a society or civilization does this happen – people start thinking that nothing can be done, that revolution is nonsense, that society is so dead that no one can revive it, that you cannot change it. So you just drop out of it.

You cannot do anything, the house is on fire – so you simply escape from it. This is what is happening in the West: hippies, beatniks, yippies, others, all dropping out of society. But they are creating another society, an alternative society. Hippies themselves have become an alternative society.

In ordinary society if you have long hair, others will look at you as if you have gone astray. Something is wrong. In the hippie society if you have short hair, you are wrong! Something is wrong with you. What is the difference?

In ordinary society if you live in a dirty way you are wrong – you are unmannerly, uncultivated, uneducated, unacceptable. But in a hippie society if you live very cleanly then something is wrong with you. Then you are still clinging to the old mind which said that cleanliness is next to God, God has died a long time ago, now the second thing, cleanliness, has also died. It cannot exist without God.

The same condemnation and the same appreciation is there. You can create an alternative society with just the opposite rules but it makes no difference – your ego can be fed again. It has been transplanted. A new soil has been formed.

To be solitary means not to create an alternative society. Just move out of society, and then whatsoever society has given you will leave you. It can exist only in a milieu, in the social milieu, it cannot exist out of it. You will have to drop it It will be painful because you are so adjusted to it, everything is so arranged. It has become such a comfort to be adjusted, where everything is convenient. When you change and move alone, you are leaving all comforts, all conveniences, all that society can give – and when society gives something to you, it also takes something from you: your liberty, your soul.

So it is an exchange – and when you are trying to get to your soul in its purity you have to stop the bargaining. It will be painful, but if you can pass through it, the highest bliss is just near. Society is not as painful as loneliness; society is tranquillizing; society is convenient, comfortable. But it gives you a sort of sleep. If you move out of it inconvenience is bound to be there. All types of inconveniences will be there. Those inconveniences have to be suffered with the understanding that they are part of solitude, part of regaining yourself.

This is TAPAS, this is austerity, and you will come out of it new, with a new glory and dignity, a new purity and innocence.

Source - Osho Book "Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2"

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