Sometimes at the West LA weekly Satsang, someone will express a deep sense of “fear of annihilation.” Meaning, when they hear the nondual teaching that the sense of being a separate, independent, autonomous self they have identified with their whole life doesn’t actually exist, and thus is not who/what they intrinsically are, it seems to trigger in them feelings of intense fear and existential angst.
However, what is being missed is this: What KNOWS that you are having this experience of fear regarding the concept “you” don’t exist? In other words, if I think “I am nothing,” what knows this??
This is where self-inquiry comes in. If I am not 100% clear on my true changeless nature, then by default I assume I can change.
So what appears to be happening (I say appears because it’s not really happening, just like a dream at night is not actually happening for real, but seems to be when we are experiencing it) is that I am identifying with the fear/dread that’s arising, and not NOTICING what is AWARE of this feeling of fear/dread. See the difference? The former is an object, the latter the Subject. And neither can be the other. One changes, the other does not.
“Something” (it has no qualities or attributes, which is why I put the word in quotes) is ever-present and aware of whatever is presently being perceived (which does have qualities and attributes). And you are already THAT (It doesn’t matter what we call it.) You cannot get what you already are. Period. All you can do is realize it until there are no more doubts… or not, in which case the seeking continues… (and that’s fine too, as it doesn’t change what you already are!).