The question has been asked:
How is it possible to overcome the fears associated with losing one’s sense of self (feeling like you are going to die or go insane) when on the threshold of enlightenment?
What a wonderful question. Thank you.
Only after experiencing enlightenment does understanding follow.
What I tell you here is from my experience…..
It is absolutely true that when you are on the verge of enlightenment the voice of the ego/individual personality says, “If you do this you will die. If you do this you will lose yourself and go insane. If you do this you will lose everything”.
At that juncture most people turn away and will not surrender and dissolve into nothingness. The fear is too great and the ego gives them some new belief or intellectual understanding of the enlightenment they have been seeking. I call this the enlightened ego. But the enlightened ego is not the True Self and it is not enlightenment.
But your question is about how to overcome this fear.
Intellectual understanding will not do it. Study will not do it. Fighting the fear will not do it. Embracing the fear will only make the fear stronger. Rationalization will not overcome the fear either. There is only one way to overcome the fear….
You must be willing to die or to go insane to experience enlightenment/awakening. There can be absolutely nothing more important to you. Nothing.
You must be willing to relinquish all desires, control, hope, happiness, beliefs, understandings and knowledge. When you reach the state that nothing is more important that experiencing the True Self, enlightenment, then you will overcome the fear of death and insanity.
I can tell you from experience that you will not go insane. Nor will you or can you die. It is impossible.
To experience enlightenment you must dissolve into the Infinite Sea of Consciousness until there is nothing left of you. At the moment you are ready to do this it will feel as if you are going to die. You must be willing to die to dissolve, to surrender.
No matter how many books or writings you read. No matter how much you think you understand about spirituality or enlightenment. No matter how much you meditate. No matter how many times I tell you that the treat of death or insanity are a lie, the real fear of death and losing control or sanity will still present itself. It does so to everyone. I can tell you that the True Self that you are will not die. I can tell you that hundreds of others have done this before you and that they did not really die or go crazy. But when it is your turn the threat of death will feel very real. Only if you surrender and dissolve into nothingness will you be truly free and experience enlightenment.
The ego/individual personality will do anything to hold on to the illusion of control. It will tell you anything it thinks will dissuade you from surrendering or fool you into thinking that you have now experienced enlightenment or awakening. But the ego is not who you are. It is a tool that is you use to function in physical reality. Right this very moment as you read these words you are already the Infinite, Immortal Sea of Consciousness. Nothing can touch this or change it. This is the True Self – It always has been and always will be. But there is only one way to experience this for yourself.
I have written a great deal about enlightenment here at my blog. Feel free to read more here. I have also posted some meditations for facilitating surrender and enlightenment/awakening. Work with them if you wish.
Enlightenment is not for the faint of heart. But it is your birthright and the True Self that you are and always will be.