Question: Vagesh is asking from Seattle – “Is the goal to eliminate fear completely, or to be not affected by fear as one witnesses it within? I ask because as long as one has expectations from others, one needs to fulfill their desires, which can inhibit freedom and create fear.
Acharya Prashant: Fear is not an external object. Fear is your relationship with that object. When you say, or ask, “Is fear about remaining unaffected by fear?” Then you are talking about that relationship between you and that object. If you can remain unaffected, then the relationship is broken. So, there is no fear.
Are you getting it?
If there is a monster, in this room, and you are not conscious of it, and thereby you have no relationship with it. Would there still be fear? If there is a monster in this room and you know of it but have forgotten it, would there still be fear? So, fear is an active relationship with something. The moment you say that you can remain unaffected by that thing, the relationship is already broken; so, there is no fear. It is not ‘things’ that disturb you, but your perception of what those things can do to you. Are you getting it?
Does a tiger in a cage, terrify you? When you go to a zoo, does a tiger in a cage terrify you? Now the cage is suddenly lifted, gone, what happens to you? Now, the same tiger can do something to you! So, was it the tiger which was scary? Had the tiger been scary then you should have been even afraid when it was in the cage. You were not afraid then. So, it’s not about the tiger. It’s about what the tiger can do to you. Is the fear about the other? Or, is it about your own sense of perceived vulnerability?
The more vulnerable you take yourself to be, the more anything would be able to terrify you. And if you are not vulnerable, then why talk of this and that? Take care of your vulnerability, and ask yourself, how is it that I have come to consider myself so dependent; so much at the mercy of this situation and the others.
What is it in me that the other can really take away? What if the other does the worst that he can, still what is it that he will be able to reduce from me? Surely, there is something that he can take away. But what is the value of that, which he can take away? You must see, to what extent are you really dependent on the other? Your fear is a product of your assessment that the other supports you, the other creates you, and therefore the other can one day, reduce you, or destroy you. Is that assessment justified? Find that out!
See, whether you are just a collection of things, of dependencies, that can be stolen, or blocked any moment. And, even if you come to the conclusion that you are indeed just an assortment of various items that you obtain from here and there, then tell me, what is the worth of such a life?
If your life is indeed bits and pieces, randomly collected from him and her, why don’t you simply give up on such life? Or, ask yourself, “To whom are these bits and pieces coming?” And if he was there even before the bits and pieces, what makes you think that he won’t be there after the bits and pieces? Or, did the bits and pieces really create you, build you up? By the way, that is what you really think.
You think that 2% of you comes from here, 4% of you comes from there – in the psychological sense. Even in the material sense – air comes from the atmosphere, water comes from water purifier, electricity comes from the grid, kidney comes from the donor, food comes from the megastore. Even in the physical sense, you feel that you are just some kind of an eclectic assortment. Are you? Is that what you are?
I am not trying to impress upon you any answer. But, if you indeed are just a random collection, then let this collection go to hell. How are you enjoying or benefitting from just being in this position?
Look at the urge in your heart. Who gave it to you? And if they didn’t, how can they take it away? See, whether you are understanding what I am saying right now! Who enabled you to understand? And, if nobody did, who will take away your understanding?
When you have no tensions, no worries, no roles, you still are. And not only are you there, you are actually blissfully there. With nothing, you are blissfully there. Only with nothing you are blissfully there. And if you can be blissful with nothing, who will take away this ‘NOTHING’ from you? That is the powerlessness of others. They can take away from you, only as long as there is some ‘thing’ to be taken away. If there is one thing that can’t be taken away from you, that is – NOTHING.
Who can rob you of your nothingness? And if nobody can, then why are you so anxious? Chill.
You have nothing to lose, and that ‘Nothing’ cannot be lost.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Is it possible to eliminate fear completely?
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