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Question: Acharya Ji, you have said in one of the Satsangs that one has to go to the deepest fear, to find the key. I go to that deepest fear, visit there. How do I get the key? Do I get the key? Do I not get the key? I don’t know.
How to know?
Acharya Prashant Ji: One is never afraid of anything except this opportunity going waste.
If you will look at fear, with fear, then you will never know ‘fear’.
You will have to fearlessly penetrate fear.
So, for example when you say that you are afraid of something, you will have to ask, “What am I really afraid of?” Penetrate it.
Questioner 1: There are pains. I can feel it physically. If I visit there and touch them, they go away.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Don’t just touch them, penetrate them.
Questioner 1: There are so many.
Acharya Prashant Ji: There are not so many, there is just one. There is just one, that is showing up in so many ways.
Fear tells you that something wrong is going to happen. Ask fear, “What is it that you are going to threaten me with? What is it that you see as being lost?”
Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, I don’t care much about what the fear says. I just want to go in and get it done, whatever it takes.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Get done what?
Questioner 1: Get the sukh (happiness).
Acharya Prashant Ji: That’s what the fear is saying, “You will not get the sukh.”
Questioner 1: But I don’t allow fear to not let me enter that zone.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Then fear is irrelevant, then you would not have needed to talk about fear. Had you been the master of your fears, you wouldn’t have needed to talk about them.
Questioner 1: It’s there, but…..
Acharya Prashant Ji: It’s there for a purpose. It wants to tell you something. You must listen to all that it says.
Questioner 1: Does the fear has a message?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Obviously.
There is nothing in life that does not have a message.
The more loudly something occurs to you, the more importantly something is related to you, the more significant is the message it has to deliver to you.
Questioner 1: But I have always known, that whatever fear says is wrong.
Acharya Prashant Ji: But what does it say? What fear says is wrong, right? So how to discover what is wrong?
Questioner 1: By listening to whatever fear says.
Acharya Prashant Ji: By listening to the fear. So that’s why you must listen to fear. May be, fear is to tell you that a lot of things about you are wrong.
Questioner 1: Yes.
Acharya Prashant Ji:
Fear is never reasonless, or purposeless, or message-less.
It tells you of your insecurities.
It tells you where you are not real.
It tells you of your vulnerabilities.
If you do not listen to fear, you will keep assuming that you are all solid and strong. It’s only fear that would drive a little humility into you. Otherwise, you can license yourself to keep feeling like a superman.
It’s only when the superman starts shivering, that you know that the superman is not so ‘super’ after all.
Questioner 1: There are so many fears, should we counter them one-by-one?
Acharya Prashant Ji: If you go deeply even in one of them, you will see that all of them are being engendered from the same source probably.
Questioner 1: I don’t have the intellect to go into that.
Acharya Prashant Ji: Go into just one of them. You don’t need intellect, you just need an honest face-to-face conversation.
Isn’t fear almost like a voice within – trembling, yet threatening?
Questioner 1: Yes.
Acharya Prashant Ji: So have a conversation. The voice says something, you reply to it. Probe it. “What are you threatening me about? And why the hell are you so nervous?” Ultimately the fear will say, “Such and such bad things are about to happen.” And then you must ask, “Who told you that these are bad things? How do you know that these things or events, even if they happen, will have a catastrophic impact on me?”
You don’t have to fight fear.
You just have to talk to it.
Fear says, “You will lose that.” You say, “Fine. First of all, the probability of me losing that is not great. And even if I lose that, would it really be so cataclysmic as you present it to be? Can’t I survive that loss? And if I can survive that loss, why do you behold me to it?”
Questioner 1: So this questioning is not coming out of ego?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Let it come out of genuine curiosity. You want to know, further the fear baby is shouting so much. If you don’t talk to it, it will fall ill.
Question 2: I have spoken with that fear many a times. I get to that point that the fear is trying to tell me, “You are going to change, or not exist anymore.” That is what I am right now, the attraction what I have, the attachment I have, all is going to cease.
What should I do next?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Am I today what I was ten years back? A lot has changed. In fact, the more has changed than has remained the same. And has all this change been necessarily for the worse? So if all these major changes in the last ten years were not all reprehensible, then why must I assume that further changes in my life would be necessarily matters of regret?
And if change were really so very abhor-able, and dreadful then all of us should have remained just as we were – physically, psychologically, economically – at the age of five.
Who over here would want to return to his or her psychological condition at the age of five? Have you not almost entirely changed? Are you not glad that you have almost entirely changed?
You are glad that you are no more what you were at five. Then why do you secure what you are at thirty-five? Please. Let you be a totally different person at forty-five. How is that going to be a thing of dread? How?
But yes, the five year old girl would have wept just like this, had she been told that her favorite doll is being taken away. Now do you bother for that doll? These are dolls, a doll for each age. You anyway throw away the doll on your own. Don’t you? But when somebody tells you, “A doll is just a doll, why are you so attached?” then you become all emotional and traumatised – “O! Something grievously bad is going to happen. They will take away my doll.”
Okay, nobody is going to take away your doll. Next day what do you do? You will throw away the doll on your own. And then you don’t remember how you were in tears the previous night, holding the doll to your chest, and saying, “My doll! My doll!” If the doll is so dear, never throw it away. Take it to the crematorium, and then beyond.
When Yamaraj (the Hindu god of Death) comes, then tell him that you would be tripling – Yamaraj, you and the doll in between.
He is wearing a natural helmet, you would be challaned (penalised).
Okay, let’s not change anything in your life for the rest of your life. Deal? That’s what you want? Daily you tell your kids, “Grow up,” don’t you? Daily you tell your boss, “I need a raise.” On the other hand, you are so very terrified of change. So go and board the flight, and block it from taking-off.
Don’t you see the contradiction in which we live?
On one hand we are deeply longing for change, on the other hand how much do we resist change. What if your wish is fulfilled? What if change is permanently blocked? What would you do then? Tell me.
The food will really never cook, no change will really happen. You would not be able to get up and leave from here, no change is possible. Don’t you see that we are beings of change? We require change.
And fear tells you, “Oh! There is going to be change.” So ask fear, “So? Even you were not always there. You too came to me as a matter of change, and now you are warning me so much against change.” When the five-year old was weeping, then you were laughing at her. How would you look at yourself, when you are fifty-five? Then you will again laugh at yourself.
The problem is – the little bit of laughter that we get, is always in retrospect. We are never able to laugh in the present. Looking back, we may manage to laugh, “O, I was so stupid.” Wouldn’t it be great if you could say that in the moment, not in hindsight?
And the fact is, whenever you look at yourself in hindsight, you always find that you have been stupid.
And then you can laugh at yourself. “Ah! Yes, yes. I was stupid. I was just fifteen years old, so I had the license to be stupid.” When you are fifty-five and you look at yourself as you are thirty-five, so you say, “No, no. I was still young. I was thirty-five, so I was stupid.” And then you can laugh at yourself with abandon, “O! I was just thirty-five.”
But at thirty-five, you cannot laugh at the one who is still thirty-five. You leave that to happen twenty years later. And who will laugh at the one who is fifty-five? There would be nobody left.
Don’t worry. None of you is going to live that long. It’s a very polluted earth. Seventy-five is a very far cry.
So, why not laugh at yourself right now?
This kind of conversation, fear cannot stand. Fear would say, “It’s extreme stupidity, I am leaving. I am boycotting this conversation.” So in indignity and humiliation, fear leaves you all red-faced. Stamping it’s feet, it goes away.
“Stupid woman, I don’t want to talk to her. All she does is laugh. All the time she is laughing at herself. I am trying to drill a bit of seriousness in her, but what does she do? She keeps laughing.”
So fear leaves. Too bad for fear, it leaves. Good for you, it leaves.
What is it that won’t leave?
What are you afraid of?
And you know, if there is something that won’t leave you, it would become a huge burden on you.
So do keep praying that everything does leave you in due time.
Question 3: How to have the lightness of that laughter that you just talked about? And also how to balance it out with the seriousness of little things that are happening in nature, on planet earth, right now?
Acharya Prashant Ji:
You don’t have to be serious about the Earth, you have to be serious about yourself. It’s a massive delusion that you and the Earth are separate. Not only are you not separate in the physical sense, you are also not separate in the psychological sense. Man, if he colonises another planet, will no more be ‘Man’ as we know him. It would be some other specie altogether.
When you are serious about the real thing, it is then that you get levity, lightness about the serious stuff.
No kind of seriousness is important, except that which is unavoidable.
A suffering one cannot say that he is not serious about his suffering, because he is. Had he not been serious about his suffering, he wouldn’t have been suffering. So there is suffering, and we have to be serious about it.
What is ‘seriousness’ then?
‘Seriousness’ is – attention.
Attend to it.
For you it exists, so don’t try to pretend that it is not.
This is ‘seriousness’.
Attend to it, go close to it.
Don’t escape the fact of it’s existence.
And when you attend to something honestly, then you don’t let your energy be scattered.
And that is when you become casual about so many other things.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Penetrate fear, a surprise is waiting for you || Acharya Prashant (2019)
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