Osho Thoughts on Fear and Guilt



Fear is natural; guilt is a creation of the priests. Guilt is man-made. Fear is in-built, and it is very essential. Without fear you will not be able to survive at all. Fear is normal. It is because of fear that you will not put your hand in the fire. If the child has no fear there is no possibility that he will ever survive. His fear is a life-protective measure.

Fear is intelligence – so when you see a snake crossing the path, you jump out of the way. It is not cowardly, it is simply intelligent. But there are two possibilities. Fear can become abnormal, it can become pathological.

Fear can become abnormal, then it is pathology. And because of this possibility, priests have used it, politicians have used it. All kinds of oppressors have used it. They make it pathological, and then it becomes very simple to exploit you. The priest makes you afraid of hell. Just look in the scriptures -- with what joy they depict all the tortures, with really great relish.

The priests became aware very early that the fear instinct in man can be exploited. He can be made so much afraid that he will fall at the feet of the priests and will tell them, "Save us! Only you can save us." And out of fear people have been following the priests, and all kinds of stupidities, superstitions.

It is fear that creates guilt – but not fear itself. Fear creates guilt via the priests and politicians. The priests and the politicians create in you pathology, a trembling. And, naturally, man is so delicate and so fragile, he becomes afraid.

Man can be forced to do anything – just to save himself. And because the pathology that the priests have created in you is unnatural, your nature rebels against it, and once in a while you do something which goes against it – you do something natural – then guilt arises.

Guilt means you have an unnatural idea in your mind about how life should be, what should be done, and then one day you find yourself following nature and you do the natural thing. You go against the ideology. Because you go against the ideology, guilt arises, you are ashamed. You feel yourself very inferior, unworthy.