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Exploration Into Insight

Exploration Into Insight 'The Central Root of Fear'

P: You have said, Krishnaji, that intelligence is the greatest security in the facing of fear. The problem is: In a crisis, when fear from the unconscious floods you, where is the place for intelligence? Intelligence demands negation of that which comes in the way. It demands listening, seeing and observation. But when the whole being is flooded by uncontrollable fear, fear which has a cause, but the cause of which is not immediately discernable, in that state where is the place for intelligence? How does one deal with the primeval, archetypal fears which lie at the very base of the human psyche? One of these fears is the destruction of the self, the fear of not being.

K: What is it we are exploring together?

P: How does one deal with fear? You have still not answered that. You have talked of intelligence being the greatest security. It is so; but when fear floods you, where is intelligence?

K: You are saying that at the moment of a great wave of fear, intelligence is not. And how can one deal with that wave of fear at that moment? Is that the question?

S: One sees fear like the branches of a tree. But we deal with these fears one by one and there is no freedom from fear. Is there a quality that sees fear without the branches?

K: K said, `Do we see the leaves, the branches, or do we go to the very root of fear?'

S: Can we go to the root of each single branch of fear?

K: Let us find out.

P: You may come to see the whole, through one fear. K: I understand. You are saying there are conscious and unconscious fears and the unconscious fears become extraordinarily strong at moments and at those moments intelligence is not in operation. How can one deal with those waves of uncontrollable fear. Is that it?

P: These fears seem to take on a material form. It is a physical thing which overpowers you.

K: It upsets you neurologically, biologically. Let us explore. Fear exists, consciously or at depths, when there is a sense of loneliness, when there is a feeling of complete abandonment by others, a sense of complete isolation, the sense of not being, a feeling of utter helplessness. And at those moments, when deep fear arises, obviously intelligence is not and there is ungovernable, uninvited fear.

P: One may feel that one has faced the fears which are known but unconsciously one is swamped.

K: That is what we are saying. Discuss it. One can deal with physical, conscious fears. The outskirts of intelligence can deal with them.

P: You can even allow those fears to flower.

K: And then in that very flowering there is intelligence. Now how do you deal with the other? Why does the unconscious - we will use that word `unconscious' for the time being - hold these fears? Or does the unconscious invite these fears? Does it hold them, do they exist in the traditional depths of the unconscious; or is it a thing that the unconscious gathers from the environment? Now, why does the unconscious hold fears at all? Are they all an inherent part of the unconscious, of the racial, traditional history of man? Are they in the inherited genes? How do you deal with the problem?

P: Can we discuss the second one, which is the gathering of fear from the environment?

K: First of all, let us deal with the first one. Why does the unconscious hold them at all? Why do we consider the deeper layers of consciousness as the storehouse, as the residue of fear? Are they imposed by the culture in which we live, by the conscious mind which, not being able to deal with fear, has pushed it down and therefore it remains at the level of the unconscious? Or is it that the mind with all its content has not resolved its problems and is frightened of not being able to resolve them? I want to find out what is the significance of the unconscious. When you said these waves of fear come, I say they are always there, but, in a crisis, you become aware of them.

S: They exist in consciousness. Why do you say they are in the unconscious?

K: First of all consciousness is made up of its content. Without its content there is no consciousness. One of its contents is this basic fear and the conscious mind never tackles it; it is there, but it never says, `I must deal with it'. In moments of crisis that part of consciousness is awakened and is frightened. But fear is always there.

P: I don't think it is so simple. Is fear not a part of man's cultural inheritance?

K: Fear is always there. Is it part of the cultural inheritance? Or is it possible that one is born in a country, in a culture that does not admit fear?

P: There is no such culture.

K: Of course there is no such culture. And so I am asking myself, is fear part of culture or is it inherent in man? Fear is a sense of not being, as it exists in the animal, as it exists in every living thing; the fear of being destroyed.

P: The self-preservative instinct which takes the form of fear.

K: Is it that the whole structure of the cells is frightened of not being? That exists in every living thing. Even the little ant is afraid of not being. We see fear is there, part of human existence, and one becomes tremendously aware of it in a crisis. How does one deal with it at that moment when the surge of fear comes about? Why do we wait for the crisis? I am just asking. P: You can't avoid it.

K: Just a minute. We say it is always there, it is part of our human structure. The biological, psychological, the whole structure of the being is frightened. Fear is there, it is part of the tiniest living thing, the minutest cell. Why do we wait for a crisis to come and bring it out? That is a most irrational acceptance of it. I say, why should I have a crisis to deal with fear?

P: Otherwise it is non-existent; I can face some fears intelligently. One faces fear of death. It is possible to face it with intelligence. Is it possible to face other fears intelligently?

K: You say you can face these fears intelligently. I question whether you face them intelligently. I question whether you can have intelligence before you have resolved fear. Intelligence comes only when fear is not. Intelligence is light and you cannot deal with darkness when light is not. Light exists only when darkness is not. I am questioning whether you can deal with fear intelligently when fear exists. I say you cannot. You may rationalize it, you may see the nature of it, avoid it or go beyond it, but that is not intelligence.

P: I would say intelligence lies in an awareness of fear arising, in leaving it alone, in not shaping it, in not turning away from it, and so to the dissolution of fear. But you say that where intelligence is, fear does not arise.

N: Will fear not arise?

K: But we don't allow fear to arise.

N: I think fear arises. We don't allow it to flower.

K: You see, I am questioning altogether the whole response to a crisis. Fear is there; why do you need a crisis to awaken it? You say a crisis takes place and you wake up. A word, a gesture, a look, a movement, a thought, those are challenges that you say bring it out. I am asking: Why do we wait for the crisis? We are investigating. Do you know what that word `investigate' means? - `to trace out'. Therefore, we are tracing out, we are not saying this, that or the other. We are following it, and I am asking: Why do I wait for a crisis? A gesture, a thought, a word, a look, a whisper; any of these are challenges.

N: I don't look for the crisis. The only thing I am aware of is, it arises and I am paralysed.

K: You get paralysed, why? Therefore for you, challenge is necessary. Why don't you contact fear before the challenge? You say crisis awakens fear. Crisis includes thought, gesture, word, whisper, a look, a letter. Is it a challenge which awakens fear? I say to myself, why should one not awaken to it without a challenge? If fear is there, it must be awake; or is it dormant? And if it is dormant, why is it dormant? Is the conscious mind frightened that fear may awaken? Has it put it to sleep and refused to look at it?

Let us go slowly, we are tracing a rocket. Has the conscious mind been frightened of looking at fear and therefore it keeps fear quiet? Or fear is there, awake, and the conscious mind won't let it flower? Do you admit that fear is part of human life, of existence?

P: Sir, fear has no independent existence apart from the outer experience, without the stimuli of outer experience.

K: Wait, I question it, I don't accept it. You are saying without the outer stimuli, it is not. If it is true to you, it must be so for me, because I am a human being.

P: I include in that both the outer and the inner stimuli.

K: I don't divide the outer and the inner. It is all one movement.

P: Fear has no existence apart from the stimuli.

K: You are moving away, Pupul.

P: You are asking: Why don't you look at it, why don't you face it?

K: I say to myself: `Must I wait for a crisis for this fear to awaken?' That's all my question. If it is there, who has put it to sleep? Is it because the conscious mind cannot resolve it? The conscious mind is concerned with resolving it, and not being able to do so, it puts it to sleep, squashes it. And the conscious mind is shaken when a crisis takes place and fear arises. So I am saying to myself, why should the conscious mind suppress fear?

S: Sir, the instrument of the conscious mind is analysis, the capacity of recognition. With these instruments it is inadequate to deal with fear.

K: It can't deal with it. But what is required is real simplicity, not analysis. The conscious mind cannot deal with fear, therefore it says I want to avoid it, I can't look at it. Look what you are doing. You are waiting for a crisis to awaken it, and the conscious mind is all the time avoiding crisis. It is avoiding, reasoning, rationalizing. We are masters at this game. Therefore I say to myself, if fear is there, it is awake. You cannot put to sleep a thing that is part of our inheritance. The conscious mind only thinks that it has put fear to sleep. The conscious mind is shaken when a crisis takes place. Therefore deal with it differently. That's all my point. Is this true? The basic fear is of non-existence, a sense of complete fear of uncertainty, of not being, of dying. Why does the mind not bring that fear out and move with it? Why should it wait for a crisis? Are you lazy and therefore you haven't got the energy to go to the root of it? Is what I am saying irrational?

P: It is not irrational. I am trying to see if it is valid.

K: We say that every living thing is frightened of not being, not surviving. Fear is part of our blood cells. Our whole being is frightened of not being, frightened of dying, frightened of being killed. So fear of not being is part of our whole psychological, as well as biological structure, and I am asking myself why is a crisis necessary, why should challenge become important? I object to challenge. I want to be ahead of challenge, not behind challenge.

P: One cannot participate in what you are saying.

K: Why can't you? I am going to show it to you. I know I am going to die, but I have intellectualized, rationalized death. Therefore when I say my mind is far ahead of death, it is not. It is only far ahead of thought - which is not being far ahead. P: Let us take the actuality of it. One faces death and one feels one is a step ahead and one moves on and suddenly realizes that one is not ahead of it.

K: I understand that. It is all the result of a challenge, whether it took place yesterday or a year ago.

P: So the question is: With what instrument, with what energy, from what dimension does one see; and what does one see?

K: I want to be clear. Fear is part of our structure, our inheritance. Biologically, psychologically, the brain cells are frightened of not being. And thought says I am not going to look at this thing. And so when the challenge takes place, thought cannot end it.

P: What do you mean when you say, `Thought says I don't want to look at it'?

N: It wants to look at it also.

K: Thought cannot look at the ending of itself. It can only rationalize about it. I am asking you why does the mind wait for a challenge? Is it necessary? If you say it is necessary, then you are waiting for it.

P: I say I don't know. I only know that challenge arises and fear arises.

K: No, challenge awakens fear. Let us stick to that, and I say to you, why do you wait for a challenge for this to awaken?

P: Your question is a paradox. Would you say that you don't wait for the challenge but evoke the challenge?

K: No, I am opposed to challenge altogether. You are missing my point. My mind will not accept challenge at any time. Challenge is not necessary to awaken. To say I am asleep and that challenge is necessary to awaken me, is a wrong statement.

P: No, sir, that's not what I am saying.

K: So it is awake. Now what sleeps? Is it the conscious mind? Or is the unconscious mind asleep and are there some parts of the mind that are awake? P: When I am awake, I am awake.

N: Do you invite fear?

K: If you are awake, no challenge is necessary. So you reject challenge. If as we said it is part of our life that we should die, then one is awake all the time.

P: Not all the time. You are not conscious of fear. But it is there all the time under the carpet. But you don't look at it.

K: I say it is under the carpet, lift it and look. It is there. That's all my point. It is there and awake. So it does not need a challenge to make it awake. I am frightened all the time of not being, of dying, of not achieving. That is the basic fear of our life, of our blood and it is there, always watching, guarding, protecting itself. But it is very much awake. It is never a moment asleep. Therefore, challenge is not necessary. What you do about it and how you deal with it comes later.

P: That is the fact.

A: Seeing all this, don't you accept the factor of non-attention?

K: I said it is awake, I am not talking of attention.

A: Fear is active, operating.

K: It is like a snake in the room, it is always there. I may look elsewhere, but it is there. The conscious mind is concerned how to deal with it, and as it can't deal with it, it moves away. The conscious mind then receives a challenge and tries to face it. Can you face a living thing? That does not need a challenge. But because the conscious mind has blinded itself against fear, the challenge is needed. Right, Pupul?

N: When you think of it, it is just a thought; still that shadow is in the mind.

K: Trace it, don't jump to conclusions. You have jumped to conclusions. My mind refuses challenge. The conscious mind will not allow challenge to awaken it. It is awake. But you admit challenge. I don't admit challenge. It is not within my experience. The next question is, when the conscious mind is awake to fear, it cannot invite something that is there. Go step by step. Don't conclude at any second. So, the conscious mind knows it is there, fully awake. Then what are we going to do next?

P: There lies inadequacy.

N: I am awake.

K: You are missing the whole point. It is the conscious mind that is frightened of this. When it is awake, it is not frightened. In itself, it is not frightened. The ant is not frightened. If it is squashed, it is squashed. It is the conscious mind that says I am frightened of this, of not being. But when I meet with an accident, an aeroplane crashes, there is no fear. At the moment of death I say, `Yes, I know now what it means to die'. But the conscious mind with all its thoughts says, `My god, I am going to die, I will not die, I must not die, I will protect myself; that is the thing that is frightened. Have you never watched an ant? It is never frightened: if somebody kills it, it dies. Now you see something.

N: Sir, have you ever seen an ant? If you put a piece of paper in front of the ant, it dodges it.

K: It wants to survive, but it is not thinking about surviving. So we will come back to it. Thought creates fear: it is only thought that says, `I will die, I am lonely. I have not fulfilled.' See this: that is timeless eternity, that is real eternity. See how extraordinary it is. Why should I be frightened if fear is part of my being? It is only when thought says that life must be different, that there is fear. Can the mind be completely motionless? Can the mind be completely stable? Then that thing comes. When that thing is awake, what then is the central root of fear?

P: Has it ever happened to you, sir?

K: Several times, many times, when the mind is completely stable, without any recoil, neither accepting not denying, nor rationalizing nor escaping, there is no movement of any kind. We have got at the root of it, have we not?

Exploration Into Insight

Exploration Into Insight 'The Central Root of Fear'

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