The Survival Fear

Healing & Meditation

Sagarpriya explains the effects of your “second side” (male or female) assuming independence from the first.

I actually want to draw a little map. It seems much easier just to draw a few lines and mark the turning points, rather than to say the same thing in a whole lot of words.

My map starts when I was about 23 years old, in Big Sur, California. I worked in the bathhouse at the Esalen Institute, giving massage. This bathhouse was perched on a cliff just above the Pacific Ocean, open on one side, so that you could sit in the hot tub or rest on the adjacent massage tables and feel in a sympathetic contact with the waves below. In the early mornings, a fog from the ocean would mingle with the steam from the hotsprings, creating a very mystical atmosphere.

I’m below
my head.”

It must have been wintertime, not long after dawn, because no one else was there besides one young man I’d never seen before. He was sitting cross-legged on one of the tables, almost invisible because of the mist. After a long time he opened his eyes and started moving, and I went to ask him if he could teach me to meditate (which was what I presumed he was doing). Well, his instructions were simple: the back has to be straight, the eyes have to be closed, and then you just sit.

I tried it at the next opportunity; nothing happened. The third time I tried it, I was also at the baths, but in a small enclosed room, and I remember noticing, “Hey, I’m below my head.” Of course, I had never noticed before that I was in my head, until suddenly I was not. My head was “up there” and I was centered in the body underneath as a kind of presence.

So this was turning point A:
Meeting the center

Of course it was just the first meeting, just a “hello.” But it had consequences, as far as my work was concerned. One was that I started teaching people centering. And the second was that this meditative space caused me to see things when I was massaging: I became a psychic.

I didn’t realize that I had already reached point B on the map:
An enjoyable job that happens effortlessly

I was lucky in the sense that I never suffered from working. I never experienced any anxiety about survival, and I would never have imagined that the subject might interest me one day. As far as work was concerned, things were easy.

And so it went on—also after sannyas. Osho supported me in this profession of teacher and therapist. He even protected me from some of the harsher experiences of Pune One. I was either in the grouproom or in the writer’s lab, and I never had to cook the food or clean the toilets.

I made a circle graph
of how I was spending my day
and when I looked at it,
with only my right eye, I said:
“I want to do something else.”

Just because I found myself at point B quickly didn’t mean any sort of graduation. A very long time passed—years and years—before reaching the next point on the map. There were some signs when it was about to happen. In one group exercise, I experimented with making a circle graph of how I was already spending my day—which proportion of time went into various activities.

I drew a sector of six hours for work (very approximate, of course, because in my profession the days can be so dramatically different). When I looked at this graph with only my right eye, while the left one was covered, I said aloud to my group-partner, “I want to work the same six hours a day, but doing something else.” This was my male part expressing for the first time that perhaps therapy was not his thing.

Illustration to Survival Fear by Sagarpriya

Another sign that something new was on the horizon: I was simply walking around at home when I heard the sentence in my mind, “But I have to take the final decision because I earn the money.” Strange sentence to say to myself. I thought, there must be two parts of me and one is arguing. And I could feel that the arguing part was suddenly “down,” collapsed, because the reasoning seemed to make sense. (See my previous article: Inner Male, Inner Female Experiments)

Anyway, there was a gradual approach to point C:
An opposition to the first job

It took some time to acknowledge the part that was creating opposition. Not only time, but also a period of suffering when the newly emerging part repeated old mistakes, like possessiveness and competition.

It occurred to me
that only one part
of me had grown.”

I stood watching in amazement: “Haven’t I passed through all that already?” And slowly it occurred to me that only one part of me had grown (the feminine) and the other part (masculine) now had to do the same steps again, just as if it were a different person!

I moved from rural France to the big city, Milan. By then I had fully welcomed my male side into my life. I consciously made a shift: I decided to trust my male side completely as the maker of all decisions, and to see if at the end of one year the money situation had deteriorated. My doubts about survival were starting to show: if my activities changed under the male side’s direction, perhaps the money would not be enough, especially in an expensive place like Milan.

As it turned out, the main line of my activities did not change. However, the male side decreed that he would no longer contribute his energy to individual sessions. Where before I had been able to give four in a day, now it was reduced to two—so he raised the price. My male side increased his involvement in the association he had created, Conscious Living, taking a bigger responsibility for the financial overview and also for parties which included socializing and music. He enjoyed to joke and laugh with people, but in normal situations—“real life”—rather than the special conditions of a group room. Lo and behold, after one year, the bank account was exactly the same. And so I began to trust that, if one didn’t think about it too much, survival happened.

Almost always
one of our two sides
is preferred—
and that one
becomes dominant.”

I’m telling my personal story to give an example of something I see all the time with clients who come to me for readings or for experiential work regarding their male and female aspects. Almost always one of our two sides is preferred—and that one becomes dominant. It receives all the attention, it gets to experiment with its own interests, and it grows strong and beautiful. The other side does not dare to oppose (although it may do so passively). It usually becomes a kind of help-mate or supporter, at best; or a servant, at worst. But always it is oriented toward the first, the brighter star, and is out of connection with its own natural propensities. In short, it has almost forgotten how to find out what it really wants to be doing.

It is this second part that will carry survival fear. It is afraid to stop helping the first part. And of course it will have to stop helping, it will have to announce the termination of an automatic support that the other part has taken for granted, if it wants to put its energy into something new. But a great guilt has to be overcome. Because the second part feels, “I am pulling out of the way we have learned to survive—in this sense I am a bad-guy, I am at fault. And I don’t know if I’m able to make money in some other way as a replacement.” The second side is weak. The second side is inexperienced. The second side is confused. The second side has no clear idea of what will come as a creativity if the chance is there.

We might take
the survival fear
as a positive sign
of healthy opposition.”

This is our situation. But with a little recognition of where we are on the map, we might take the survival fear as a positive sign of healthy opposition. As Osho would say, it takes two banks for the river to flow. Sooner or later, one has to construct the second bank. When the time is right, fear is not an inhibition. Fear comes first, and then after a few moments, courage follows.

Related articles
Inner Male, Inner Female Experiments by Sagarpriya
A Woman in Love, A Man on a Motorbike by Subhuti

Illustration by Punya


SagarpriyaSagarpriya was co-creator of the Rajneesh Counselor Training when it first began in Osho’s Pune commune in 1978. Since that time she has been leading therapist trainings in Counseling, Psychic Massage, and Star Sapphire Energywork. Her male side is not so well-known as the female, who is the teacher. He came into his flow around 1992, first in France as a farmer, then in Italy as the President and co-founder of Conscious Living, an association that offers Osho’s meditations and courses about presence in small, daily activities. The male side is co-organizer and creator of the infrastructure behind Sagarpriya’s trainings.

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