An internationally renowned and controversial spiritual leader writes on the physical and spiritual components of fear, but the book suffers from a particularly narrow definition of the term.
"Life arises only in risk, in danger," writes Osho (1931–1990) toward the end of this short book. Given that legitimate risk and danger trigger a physiological response honed throughout the existence of the human race, it seems to follow that fear can be, at times, a healthy and life-preserving response. Osho disagrees; he spends much of the book positioning himself in opposition to other thought around the nature of fear and how it is addressed. There is value in his admonitions, insofar as it is possible to fall into a pattern of fear that lacks a rational basis for support. Where the book falls short is in the dogmatic stance to which Osho repeatedly returns. He suggests that he, his followers and his Osho-certified therapists are enlightened, while psychology, human struggle and the notion that "fear" can have positive connotations are rejected as the absurd posturings of children in a sandbox. Instructions to be present-centered and to experiment with meditation are useful, but when Osho suggests that something like a broken leg is not a problem—that the problem lies in the imagination—it does little to inspire confidence that his theories will be particularly applicable to the struggles of everyday life. He repeats this blameful approach throughout the text.
Given the author’s prolific output, there is bound to be some overlap in material, but it’s disheartening to find such repetition within one work.