Dear Francis, Recently after a fierce internal conflict a question entered my mind suddenly which was ´´How can I check right now if I am my body or mind or whatever?´´ I haven’t found any way to check what or who I am. Therefore I concluded that what I am is not an object. And at that very second I felt an absolute dread. I thought I would go insane or something like that. It was anything but bliss experienced in watching your thoughts or a beautiful landscape. That nothingness that I glimpsed for a second is not that sweet blissfull eternity I was dreaming of. I was so scared that I immediately reconvinced myself that I am this body and personality. It felt more safe. But the only thing I want is the Truth, so my question is ´´How can I overcome that absolute fear?´´ And is enlightenment always so brutal and full of fear?
What a beautiful question!
That which veils the sweet blissful eternity that we are is our identification with objects, in other words with concepts, bodily sensations and sense perceptions. During the experience you are describing, you reached the clear rational conclusion that that which you are is not an object. At that very moment, you stood free from identification with any concepts, free from all beliefs. However only half of the veil was removed, and the remaining half, mostly feelings with which we identify, the core of which is raw existential fear, fear of absolute disappearance, rushed to the rescue as your identification with bodily sensations was being threatened by your investigation. The investigation into the nature of Self proceeds along two main lines of inquiry:
What am I at the level of thoughts?
What am I at the feeling level?
The first kind of questioning is made of rational thoughts which correspond to the deconstruction of the belief systems associated with ignorance.The second kind is comprised of sensations in the body (sometimes associated with sense perceptions and irrational images in the mind) which correspond to the dissolution of feeling systems the purpose of which was to simulate the presence of a separate entity. You went back to it and it felt more safe, but there is no real safety there, as a body, as a separate person. Only the Truth can give you the peace you are longing for.
This leads to your last questions:
By welcoming this nothingness with determination and courage, preferably with the help of an instructor abiding in the fearlessness of Infinite Presence.
What you described is not enlightenment, but the roaring of the lions who keep the gate on your way to it. They are there just to test your love for the Truth. If you show courage and burning desire for the Absolute, they will open the gate for you with a sweet smile and all heaven will break loose.