I mentioned in another episode that the fear of death often stems from the fear of non-existence, from the fear of nothingness. I also told you that there’s no reason to be afraid of this, but until you don’t know it, you’ll fear it nonetheless. So in this episode, I’d like to explain and explore this unknown nothingness with you.
This is the same thing the Buddha spoke about, and the same thing you can experience in meditation. He also called it emptiness, he always referred to it in negative terms. Certainly, the ordinary mind becomes afraid, the ego wants to survive at all costs. It’s no surprise that many people turned away from this idea, and many fear it equally as death.
Well, I have some bad news and some good news for you. It’s not only that nothingness is waiting for you when you die, you are already non-existent right now as you are. The moment of death will only show you this fact, it won’t be something that really kills you, as you don’t really exist either.
What you think yourself to be is just a mirage, it only exists in your head and nowhere else. You don’t really know yourself, you just believe in yourself. You believe that you are this body, that you were born and you will die. You believe in your life story, in your thoughts, in your senses, and in a thousand other things.
You are a nobody just like me, the only difference is that I know it. I often say that I’m a nobody, and at other times that only I exist. Now this might sound contradictory at first, but it’s not. In fact, the two mean the very same thing, but our language was not written by mystics, so what I’m expressing can be quite confusing.
What I really mean is that although I exist, I don’t exist as a separate person, or even as a separate thing. I’m not separate or different from anybody or anything. And the same is true for you: you exist, but you are not different, you are the same. That’s why I can say, and everybody can say: Only I exist.
In this whole universe, nothing is different from anything else. Although everything seems to be different from everything else, this is only a perception. The Buddha saw through this illusion and called it emptiness. But what it really means is sameness, oneness, non-difference, non-duality.
Let me give you a thought experiment to help you grasp what I want to express here. Imagine that there is a factory where you, as a separate human entity, are mass produced. You are standing in the middle of a crowd with thousands upon thousands of replicas of yourself, the mass stretches out as far as you can see. Everywhere you look, you can only see yourself.
It’s not only that they look, they also act, think and feel exactly like you. And you can’t even tell who was created first: you or them. For the person next to you, you are the replica, and he’s having the same thoughts. Besides, as far as you can tell, this crowd of people including you, is the only thing that exists in the world. You don’t have any memories, you don’t know anything else.
As you imagine this whole thing, you can then say, that you are a nobody, just a small part of the homogenous crowd, but not different from it in any form, not special in any way. But you’re not a nobody for the reason that you don’t exist. Your existence is in fact so total that only you exist, and you are not separate from the rest of existence.
So, the good news is that nothingness doesn’t mean total annihilation. From one point it’s nothing, from another, it’s everything. Thus emptiness and fullness is the same thing, only expressed from different perspectives. Even then, you may still be afraid of nothingness if you identify yourself with your ego.
For your ego, sameness, unity and the end of separation mean the same thing: death. The funny thing is that your ego is afraid of non-existence, when it’s non-existent already anyway. It’s afraid of the truth, because it’s a self-perpetuating lie. Once it collapses into itself, a black hole of nothingness is born. This nothingness is your center, this is the real you.
If you want to know more about death from a spiritual but down to earth perspective, you should read my book: The Power of Death. Click on the link below, and get it now! I’m deadly serious.