I and Thou signify duality, and duality is an illusion, for Unity alone is Truth (al-Haqq, God).
When the ego is gone, then God is his own mirror in me.
(From William Stoddart "The Mystical Doctrines and Methods of Islam" in The Masterpiece of Sufism vol. 1 of 3, Adam Publishers & Distributors, Delhi, 1998.)
On Friday, Febuary 8th, 2008, during an afternoon walk in the park, began yet another powerful mystical experience and chapter of my life. As usual, I walked and performed a silent variation of the Islamic Sufi dhikr, or remembrance of God, whereby I mentally place upon my heart, the Arabic words: La ilaha il'Allah, (No! There is no god but God, or There is no reality except Absolute Reality, or No truth but Truth). However, I stopped in the frustration of yet again catching myself engrossed in negative, critical, angry thoughts about others that I found offensive. But, this time I had finally had enough, and I was determined to do something about it!
After considering what I might do, I asked myself the question: "Would it help, if while repeatedly affirming that God is all there is, I simultaneously remind myself, somewhere in the back of my head, that it must follow, that even 'I' do not exist?
I immediately began to apply this as I continued walking. As I performed the dhikr, I pointed to the back of my head and simultaneously affirmed that I did not exist. Within a few moments, I was catapulted into an experience of sheer ecstasy that I can only characterize as the "flight of the one to the One." Within this state of absolute consciousness, there was no me, no ego, but only a single, or rather non-dual, all encompassing awareness, filled with a crystal clear, overwhelming intense stream of pure Bliss. For the next several days, I was in and out of another world. My response was both amazement and extreme gratitude. I now knew that 'Of myself alone, I am nothing;' that my ego, or everything that I think I am, is in Reality only an empty phantom. I clearly saw that the absolute Truth about me, the only Truth, is that, I am a reflection of God! All else concerning my thoughts, attitudes, personality and behavior, is illusory appearances that in actuality contain no real Substance (on the level of Spirit).
For several weeks, I joked with others that "I do not exist." Of course, they simply thought that I was nuts! Only later was I struck by the strange fact that I had frequently repeated this dhikr for a number of years, and never realized its deeper, paradoxical meaning: If there is only God, then Who am "I" ?