Falling Apart

Beloved Osho,
Again I feel this fear inside me: the fear of connecting with you really deeply; the fear of falling apart, and then not being able to function anymore in this world; the fear of being helpless and absolutely vulnerable.
What to do?

iren, fear arises in many situations. Deep down it is always there, but not active. It is inactive, so that you don’t become aware of it. But fear is the very foundation of unconscious life. All your actions arise out of it. You want money, you want power, you want prestige. What are all your ambitions, except to cover up your deep hidden fear? Perhaps money may be a security, perhaps power may make you more protected, secure, safe. Your respectability, in society, your religion, God... all these are by-products of fear.

Why do you believe in God? You have not seen him, you don’t have any evidence that any such thing exists anywhere. But you know that without God you will not be able to repress your fear. Your fear needs God. It is a fear-oriented hypothesis.

Your fear needs a father figure to protect you in dangerous situations, to help you when you need the help, to become a light in your darkness, to support you when you feel you are falling into an abysmal abyss. God is your concentrated fear.

And there are lesser gods. Money is a lesser god – more visible, hence more people cling to money. But they don’t want to take any chances, so they go on donating to the church, just to keep a bank balance in God’s bank. And they go on clinging to the money, because in life it seems money gives a certain security. At least tomorrow is certain. You will have food, you will have the house, you will have your wife, you will have your husband, you will have your children.

Our whole life seems to be circling around the centre of fear. It is present 24 hours, but we become aware of it only in certain situations: either you start feeling the presence of death, perhaps you have seen somebody dying, perhaps you have seen somebody very old on the road and it has reminded you about the next step... That fellow is going to step in a grave soon, but how far are you? You are also in the same queue. Maybe a little longer distance, but sooner or later – and the queue is becoming shorter every moment. You are coming to the window.

Anything may trigger the idea of death in you – just a dry leaf falling from the tree is enough to remind you of death. Just a few days before it was so green and so young, so beautiful. It used to dance in the morning sun. What has happened?

A dying leaf falling from the tree was the cause of Lao Tzu’s enlightenment. Because seeing the dry leaf falling, he accepted his death so totally that there was no question of any fear. If this is how life functions, then there is no question of fear. Have you ever thought about it – that death is the only certainty in life?

Love can also make you aware of fear, because love is also a kind of death. Your ego has to die, only then is love possible. It is a very partial death, but still something close to death. hence people talk about love, but are very afraid of love. They talk about love because they feel very lonely. That loneliness creates fear.

Man is really in great trouble. The old proverb is right which says, “Life is not just a bed of roses.” It is not. Such great dilemmas! Loneliness creates fear. Out of that fear you want to be in love, to be intimate with someone so that your loneliness disappears. But as you come closer to somebody... Again, another fear – that you may be lost.

So man is split. Half of him wants to love, half of him pulls back – don’t go any further, you are too close, there is danger. Your fear is, Niren, that if you come in deeper communion with me, you will fall apart. Naturally, no one wants to fall apart. And a great fear arises.

But there is a strong magnetic pull also, because deep down you know that whatever can fall apart is not you. And whatever can fall apart is going to fall apart sooner or later. How long can you hold it? It is not your authentic reality. It is just all false personality, which needs continuous holding. Not even for a moment can you leave it alone, otherwise it will fall apart.

You are saying, Niren, you are afraid that you will fall apart. And I guarantee: you will fall apart! So what is the fear? Do it once – once and for all! Then there will be no fear. Fall apart and let us see what falls apart. Not your legs, not your hands nor your eyes... Nothing that is really yours is going to fall apart, only your false notions about you. Your personality, your ego, your knowledgeability, these are the things which are going to fall apart. But they are not worth holding.

Once they are gone you will have a far more beautiful space available to you. Don’t cling to the things which don’t have any authentic reality. And the authentic reality need not be supported by you. It is there, it is not going to fall apart. Only the false can disappear, only your shadow – not you.

But why should you be afraid if your shadow disappears? Your shadow is not you. Your shadow has nothing to do with you. It has no reality, it has no existence, it has no meaning in your life. But you have become identified too much with your shadows. I have read Aesop’s Fables more deeply than the greatest holy scriptures of the world, because Aesop’s Fables have more significance and more meaning and tremendous psychological truths, which your holy scriptures are completely missing.

One of the parables in Aesop is: a fox gets up early in the morning as the sun is rising. She comes out of the cave looking for some breakfast. But then as she comes out, she looks at her shadow. In the early morning sun the shadow is very long. She says, “My God! I am this big! Even a camel will not be enough for breakfast.” She starts searching for a camel – it will be even better if she can get an elephant.

But time passes and she does not come across any elephant, any camel, and it is getting hot, and in fact the time for breakfast has passed. It is time for lunch and she is feeling really hungry. The sun has come just above her head. She looks another time at her shadow. It has shrunken completely, it is just under her. She says, “My God, I have never thought that hunger can do that much. I have shrunken. I used to be so long – just in the morning – so huge and just missing one breakfast... Now even if I can get a rat, that will do – even for lunch.”

Just a small parable written for children, but if even an old man can understand it... It has a tremendous psychological truth. We are all living identified with our shadows and the fear that the shadow may disappear. It is better not to come too close to someone who can make your shadow disappear, who can make you aware of what is false in you and what is not false; because the moment you become aware about the false, it falls apart.

But my suggestion to you, Niren, is: rather than trembling your whole life about the false, being afraid about its death, it is better once and for all to get it finished.

Why are you so afraid that you cannot function anymore in the world if you come closer to me? All these people are closer to me and they are all functioning perfectly well, better than anybody else. And then you ask me, “What to do?” First thing, just fall apart. Come closer, become good for nothing, and just see how existence takes care of you. A little trust.

excerpted from Sat Chit Anand

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