The Courage to Be Nothing
Who are you? Are you a human? Are you someone with particular parents, appearance, education, and occupation?
What is your greatest fear? Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid to disappoint other people and to be rejected by them? Are you afraid to be alone?
The two questions, “Who are you?” and “What is your greatest fear?” are related. The ultimate fear is to lose our self-identity. This fear, while often denied and suppressed, influences our lives in less than pleasant ways. This fear causes greed, anger, hate, and other unpleasant emotions. If this fear can be overcome, then individuals can become joyful and the earth can be transformed.
If we identify with the particular circumstances of our life (our job, our looks, our position, etc.), then we might be afraid of losing ourselves when these circumstances change or disappear. Physical death is the ultimate interruption in the continuity of our self-identity, and is therefore often feared.
All individual consciousnesses are united and all are capable of experiencing oneness. However, the One consciousness of the universe chooses to experience the temporary illusion of separation in order that the reunion will be all the more intense. In order to understand oneness more thoroughly, consciousness “disintegrates” and “reintegrates.” The features of disintegration are the feeling of loneliness and the experience of ignorance. The features of integration are joy and “cosmic consciousness.” However, even with the experience of disintegration, consciousness is never completely fragmented, and there are always threads of connection and feelings of hope and expectations of reunion.
The process of reintegration can be difficult. Individual consciousnesses are sometimes unwilling to give up their individual identities that they have grown accustomed to. However, the reintegrating force is unstoppable. The only choice we have is how easy or difficult we want the process to be. Each choice has its benefits, and one choice is not superior to the others. The more deeply we resist the process of reunification, the more painful the process will be. However, this choice has the benefit of revealing a greater contrast between fragmentation and unity. Another choice is to completely and willingly give up our self-identity. With this choice, we become nothing (no particular thing) and thus become everything.