Excerpt About Annihilation
The Experience of NonexistenceThis is a black, empty space encountered at a very subtle level of identity, the sense of identity which stems from the experience of existence. Here we are not dealing with boundaries of any image; we are dealing with the identity itself, the actual feeling of existence. Identity itself, both ego-identity and essential identity (identification with Being) is annihilated here in this space. As this space arises, the individual encounters fears of death, of disappearing, of annihilation, of nonexistence. This space is actually the experience of nonexistence, of complete extinction of self, of cessation. The cessation can be so deep that even awareness and consciousness cease for a time. The person here is not only afraid of the death of the body, but is also afraid that his mind will cease to exist. And this cessation of mind is exactly the experience of this space. This space, although it arouses the greatest terror, is experienced as the greatest peace.