I FEEL SICK WITH COWARDICE…Accept it. It is natural…
I FEEL SICK WITH COWARDICE.
There must be a desire not to be a coward — that desire creates the problem. If you are a coward, you are a coward. Accept it. What can you do about it? Whatsoever you do will create more problems, more complexities.
And who is not a coward? When life is constantly in danger of death, how is it possible not to be a coward? k is impossible! When any moment you can die, and life can be taken away from you, how is it possible, in face of such danger, to be brave?. You can pretend, you can manage to show that you are brave — but deep down you are going to remain a coward. It is natural. Just look at the tininess of human beings: so tiny, and existence is so vast. We are not even like drops fighting against such an ocean. How is it possible not to be a coward?
Try to understand it. Accept it. It is natural. Don’t create a goal against it because that goal is coming out of your cowardice. That goal is not going to help you. At the most you can become very tense and pretend that you are not a coward. You can move to the opposite extreme just to prove to the world and to yourself that you are not a coward. That’s what your generals and your great leaders are doing — just trying to prove to the world that they are not cowards. And because of their efforts, the whole world has suffered tremendously. Please, don’t try any foolish thing like that.
Just accept. It is helplessness. One has to accept it. Once you accept it, and you start understanding it, you will see that by and by it disappears. It is not that you become brave — but one day you simply find that through acceptance it disappears.
There is no fight; it disappears. There is no resistance; you accept it and it disappears. It is not that you become brave, you simply become more understanding. Bravery is not a goal, but you have been taught from your very childhood, ‘Be brave!’ so you go on trying to be brave. That creates much anxiety and tension. You are trembling everywhere inside — and on the outside you are like a stone statue. Divided.
This has created much misery in you. The goals that have been taught to you from your childhood are foolish, are simply not based on reality. It is as if you say to a small leaf on a tree, ‘When strong winds come,. don’t shake, don’t waver, don’t tremble — that is cowardice.’ But what can a small leaf do? When the strong wind comes, it shakes; the whole tree shakes. But trees are not so foolish. They won’t listen to you — they go on doing their thing.
Human beings will stick — even if you feel that you are weak. The more you feel that you are weak, the more you will be afraid to leave. People will say you are a coward, so you must fight…. and you will be beaten badly and unnecessarily hurt. There is no point. It is a simple calculation — and the stronger one doesn’t go and show the other dogs that he has won. No, the thing is simply dropped. He also knows that he is stronger, so what is the point? He doesn’t go on advertising that he has won. No, the fight is dropped, he forgets all about it.
But in the human situation the whole thing has taken a very wrong shape, because you have been taught wrong goals. Each child should be taught to be true to life. If there is fear, then be afraid. Why hide it? Why pretend that you are not afraid? If you want to cry, cry. Why be afraid of tears? But we have been taught not to cry, particularly men. With small children the mother will say, ‘Don’t be a sissy. Don’t start crying. That is only for girls.’ And the boy becomes hard.
Look, men cannot cry. They have missed one of the most beautiful things in life. Nature has not made any difference between man and woman; man has as many tear-glands as woman, so the thing is proved — there is no difference. Tears are needed. They are cleansing. But how to cry? What will people say? They will say, ‘You, and crying? Your wife has died and you are crying? Be a man. Be brave. Bear it. Don’t cry.’
But you understand? If you don’t cry, by and by your smile will be corrupted, because everything is joined together. If you cannot cry, you cannot laugh; if you don’t allow your tears to flow naturally, you will not be able to allow your smiles to flow naturally. Everything will become unnatural, everything will become strained, everything will become a forced thing, you will move almost in a diseased way and you will never be at ease with yourself. That is what has happened, and now you are miserable.
Life consists of flowing. If you are a coward, be a coward. Be honestly a coward. And I tell you there is nobody else who is not a coward. And it is good that people are not that way; otherwise, even while they are so helpless, they would feel so egoistic. If they were not cowards they would be almost dead stones — they would not be alive — just egos, frozen. Don’t be bothered. Accept it. If it is there, it is there — a fact of life. Try to understand it And don’t listen to others; you are still being manipulated by others.
In others’ eyes, you are a coward. Don’t trust the opinion of others too much. if you feel yourself to be a coward, close your eyes, meditate on it. Ninety-nine per cent is others’ opinion — the wife, brandishing her umbrella, ‘Come out, you coward!’ Ninety-nine per cent is others’ opinion — drop it; one per cent is reality — accept it; and don’t create any antagonistic goal. Accept it and then you will see that cowardice is no longer cowardice. Rejected, it becomes cowardice — the very word ‘cowardice’ is a condemnation — accepted, it becomes humbleness, helplessness. That’s how it is. We have to be humble, we are not the whole. We are the parts of a tremendously vast whole — very tiny parts, atomic parts, small leaves on a big tree.
It is good to tremble sometimes. Nothing wrong in it. It helps you to shake off the dust. You become again fresh.
My whole point is: accept life as it is and don’t try to change it into something else. Don’t try to change your violence into non-violence; don’t try to change your cowardice into bravery; don’t try to change your sex into celibacy; don’t create the opposite. Rather, try to understand the fact of violence and by and by you will become non-violent. Understand the fact of cowardice and cowardice will disappear. Understand the fact of sex and you will find a new quality arising in it which goes beyond it. But always move through the fact, never against it.