Enlightenment equals ego death;For millennia this equation has held true:from Shankara's rantings against the ego as a "strong and deadly serpent" to Prophet Muhammad's declaration of a "holy war against the nafs [ego]" to the Zen masters' fierce determination to use any means necessary to break the ego's grip on their students.While the term "ego," meaning "I" in Latin, is obviously a relatively recent addition to the English lexicon, just about every major enlightenment teaching in the world has long held that the highest goal of spiritual and indeed human life lies in the renunciation, rejection and, ultimately, the death of the need to hold on to a separate, self-centered existence.
My interest in Sufism was prompted by a childhood and adulthood surrounded by malignant narcissists who only thought about themselves whether it was my father who abandoned me so he could drink and get married three/four times whether it was millionaire relatives in States who defrauded me in joint ventures and tried to marry me off to rich businessmen as I was chattel or my step-siblings who took my inheritance -----I have been a witness to humanity's ugliset face and the more I thought about evil, the more I traced its roots to selfhood and EGO.
Human beings commit acts of evil and exploitation when they put their and their children's wellbeing ahead of others as Allah has asked us to in every scripture. Sin originates from selfhood while spirituality originates from the negation of selfhood.
For the Sufi the fact that His greatest name means “the Nothing” has great significance, because Truth, or God, is experienced as the NothingnessThus, the name Allâh contains the essence of all Sufi teaching: to become nothing, to become annihilated in Him, so that all that remains is His Infinite Emptiness. This is the path of love, it is the cup of wine which is drunk by His lovers.
That selfishness is the Gollum of our soul, so occupied with the “my precious” that it will literally jump into hellfire after it. That Gollum, and the ring, has to vanish before we can have the Return of the King — living a human life full and beautiful as is our destiny.
In the words of Rûmî:
Sufi Scholar lee Vaughn described Fana as "This is one of the cornerstones of the Sufi path, and is encapsulated in the saying attributed to the prophet Mohammad, "To die before you die." You see, most people wait until they physically die to go back home to God. But the Sufi, driven by the soul's homesickness, wants to experience going back to God consciously, in this life. And for this you have to go beyond your ego. This is what it means to die before you die"
Fana is about the annihilation of the ego. One great Sufi said, "Between You and me there lingers an 'It is I.' Oh God, through Thy mercy lift this 'It is I' from between us both."
Fana means cessation of existence– the total destruction of the individual ego in becoming one with Allah; khud’a means deceit or trick, as the description of the material world.
The Qalaba( heart) is sandwiched between the nafs( EGO) and the Rooh(SOUL) The entire objective of annihilation is to destroy the nafs to that Heart can recognize the soul and stop committng sins for the nafs.
Sudi's say soul has the spark of the divine as in Quran, its mentioned" all souls come from God".
What has to "die" is this "I" which separates us from God. This is the painful part of the path, because it requires that we surrender our ego and learn to give yourself totally to love.
Fana is a long, slow process—it takes time for the ego to surrender, to step aside, to become annihilated.A parallel concept can also be found in Hinduism's identification of Atman (human soul) with Brahman (the impersonal Absolute), the realization of which is the ultimate goal or release from existence and rebirth.
Just as the ultimate goal of the Hindu was unity with the world soul and of the Christian mystic union with God; the ultimate goal of this movement became Fanaa, the dissolution of the ego, and Wusul the meeting and unification of the human soul with Allah in this life.
The nature of fanaa consists of the elimination of evil deeds and lowly attributes of the flesh. In other words, fanaa is abstention from sin and the expulsion from the heart of all love other than the Divine Love; expulsion of greed, lust, desire, vanity, show, etc.
Rumi talks about this “dying” to our selfishness followed by a resurrection here and now to a life of love and compassion:
Die now! die now!
In this Love, die;
when you have died in this Love,
you will all receive new life.
Die now, die now,
and do not fear this death,
for you will come forth from this earth
and seize the heavens.
Die now, die now,
and break away from this carnal soul,
for this carnal soul is as a chain
and you are as prisoners.
Take an axe to dig through the prison;
when you have broken the prison
you will all be kings and princes.
Die now, die now before the beauteous King;
when you have died before the King,
you will all be kings and renowned.
There are two deaths, and the second death (the end of life physical death) is guaranteed for all. But there is a first death: the dying of the ego. The dying of the selfishness. The dying of the “me, me, me,” “mine, mine, mine,” “my people over every other people,” “my truth over your truth,” “my religion over your religion” and “my nation over your nation.” That selfishness has to vanish.
In the state of fanaa the reality of the true and only relationship asserts itself in the mind. One realizes and feeds that the only real relationship is with Allah Ta'ala fanaa means to destroy your self. if you destroy your self in the love of Allah then that fanaa will convert into entire life means abdi zindgi. and for that one you have to destroy your will and yourself on the will of Allah.
I have abandoned travel,
I have come to dwell with the Friend,
I have become secure from death
because that long life has come.
All of us will die.
May we all live like this: a life of compassion and love.
Many seek the meaning of life.
Perhaps we first have to seek the meaning of death.
May we live like this.
May we “die” like this.
May we be born again into a life of love like this.
“And I am closer to man than his jugular vein” QURAN;
May we all push back against the tyranny of egoic thinking; Greed, Lust, Exploitation of the Other and start living not as " I" but as " We" The future of humanity depends on it otherwise we would just descend into a wolfpack tearing each other apart!