Lessons in Conquering Fear Part II: The Tao of Courage

Don’t call it uncertainty—call it wonder.

Don’t call it insecurity—call it freedom.



In my previous post on conquering fear, I discussed how to prevail in immediate, trying situations.  This post addresses our big, life-shaping fears and how to prevent them from limiting our full potential and no one can better help with this than the Indian mystic and rebel, Osho.  For those of you unfamiliar with Osho, the Sunday Times of London named him one of the ‘1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century,’ and novelist Tom Robbins called him ‘the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.’  He has a few things to say.

Osho teaches that life is an unpredictably mystery.  Nothing is certain.  Security is the opposite of freedom—that’s why they call the place we lock up law-breakers a high “security” prison.  When we trade our true selves, our passions and our dreams for the illusion of security, we confine ourselves in prisons of our own making.

Freedom causes fear.  But to remain in uncertainty despite the fear is courage.  Just living is not always living.  Osho asks us to look at our lives—can we call it a blessing?  Would we live the same life over and over again?

He teaches us to commit as many mistakes as possible, remembering only to not make the same mistake twice.  If we do this, we will grow.  We must become true participants in everything we do—we can’t just go through the motions.  Don’t just dance; be the dance!  Don’t try and understand life; live it!  Don’t try to understand love; move into love.  Life is not a problem, he says.  It is a mystery to be lived, loved, and experienced.

Trust the unknown.  Move into the unknown.  Life can only be lived dangerously, he knows.  There is no other way.  Everybody is capable of being miserable, but to be blissful takes great courage.  Vary rarely is a person ready to be happy.  People have so much invested in their misery.  Many of us are only happy when unhappy.

We only becomes fully realized when we accept total responsibility for whomever we are.  This is the greatest courage.  So many of us fear the opinion of others.  But the moment we become unafraid of the crowd we are no longer sheep, he says, we become lions.  A great roar will arise in our hearts, the roar of freedom! 

It is important to never think in terms of being free from; always think in terms of being free for.  The difference is vast.  Don’t settle for a life of ordinary respectability.  One can miss one’s whole life for ordinary, mundane things.

            Let us all let go of our delusional problems and insecurities.  Only then can we attune ourselves to the infinite wonder.  Only then can we live abundantly.  It’s our responsibility, and no one else’s.  Live free, bohemians.