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Remain easy, remain free, and you won’t need any confidence || (2016)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner (Q): What is meant by saying that confidence is fear? And secondly, does it practically help me to know this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Both are related. You see if you really come to understand it, then the question of the application of your understanding becomes redundant. Because whatever you do is anyway an application of the mind. It’s like asking that "If I lose disease, if I regain health, what would be the practical application of that health?"

No particular application. Because, whatever you do, you do either in your state of disease or your state of health. If you are healthy, then whatever you do will be a healthy act. Whatever you do. Hence, no particular application. It’s like asking the doctor that "If my eyes get better, what is it that I will be able to see more clearly?" Well, nothing in particular. Nothing in particular! Because whatever you look at, you anyways look at it through your eyes. And so, if your eyes get better, whatever you look at, you will be able to see with more clarity. So, if you understand, then whatever you do, whether it is about tying a shoelace, or cleaning a fan, or driving a car, or chumming with a kid, or playing in a field, working in an office, mingling with friends, love, life, livelihood, everything would be in the light of what you are. It always is, is it not?

So, no particular application is there.

If somebody asks, "What will I do with this understanding?" The answer is, "Whatever you do." "What will I do with this understanding?"

"Whatever you do."

Whatever you do will now have a different flavor, a different aroma. You walk, you would be walking in awareness. You would not be stumbling over. You eat, the food would now be tastier. You would just not be gulping in. Gorging food, as if you are throwing it into some wide cave. Loving your love would have a certain liveliness about it. Not as if you are completing a physical formality.

Everything would then have something beyond your normal patterns. That is about the application.

Confidence is fear. Is that not simple enough to see? I would like to ask, anybody here who is feeling confident right now? If I ask to describe your state right now, let’s keep this question apart, if I just ask you to describe your state right now, which words would you use? Give me one word.

Q: Peaceful. Relaxed. Easy, normal.

AP: Easy, normal. That’s very aptly put. Easy. Normal. Relaxed. Would anybody say, 'confident'? As I speak to you, and if my posture or my appearance, or even my essence is to be captured in a word. Which word would you use? Would you say that the speaker is confident?

Q: I am relating your words with my life.

AP: So, you could say, related. You could say, friendly. But would you say, confident? But had this been an examination hall or had this been a crowd of candidates waiting outside an interview room, then you could have aptly said that some of you are confident and others are fearful.

Confidence is there only as a companion of fear. And confidence takes no time in turning into fear because it essentially is fear. To be here, you do not need confidence, nor do I. But I would need confidence if I am scared of you. If I think that some of you are carnivorous, or coming from some cannibal tribe. I might probably need then confidence. I would also need then a shot gun.

(Laughter)

Similarly, if you think that the speaker is prone to suddenly springing upon the audience. Leaping like some rubber toy and catching people by their throat. Then you would indeed need confidence. At least to sit where Ananya (addressing to a questioner sitting nearby) is sitting. It would be a great risk to sit right in front, so close. Then you would require confidence and then your face would really show that confidence, you would be tough. You would be alert and rigid. Would you be loving? Would you be friendly? Would you be soft? Yes? Would there be a certain warmth, a certain liquid glow on your face? There would be the hardness of the armor. You would be feeling vulnerable and hence you would need to defend yourself and that is what we commonly call as confidence.

The fellow is wearing an armour. Are you getting this?

Normal, easy. I am glad those words were used. Remain easy, free flowing. Like that little sparrow. Like the mountain river.

Confidence is tension, so is fear. You want to be tense? Confidence means that there is something that you have to be confident ‘against’. I repeat, confidence means that there is something that you have to be confident ‘against’. Which means there is conflict, there is strife, there is violence, there is fear. Otherwise, what is the use of confidence?

When you meet a loved one, when you embrace him. Do you do that with confidence? Yes? Quite a perverted love that would be. Are you hugging or performing? Then you surely must be also asking him to rate your performance.

(Laughter)

That happens, by the way!

(Laughter)

"So, how was it, Sweety?"

(Roar of laughter)

What else is this? An attempt to be rated. And an attempt to be rated is nothing but being berated.

Remain easy. Remain free. Easy and free, who needs confidence?

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