How can I overcome a fear of enlightenment?
Here is a very easy example that should help:
Each night, we willingly let go of our awareness, our very existence, and go into the unknown. This is no different from death - if you stop to ponder it - it is the end of our conscious existence.
Of course, we know from experience that we wake up the next morning, so we don’t stress or worry about it.
Do we fear sleep? No. We welcome it.
Now, during the night we may have dreams. Some are good, some are not good, and many make no sense and leave no feeling at all.
When we wake up they are gone.
Just as sleep is like death - without the fear, enlightenment is to life.
What does this mean?
It means at night the body forces us to surrender and take a rest from our constant self-identity and thought activity. In life, meditation also prepares us to take a rest from constant self-identity and thought activity. What is the result of that? Tremendous relief and permanent rest from the incessant thought activities - while we are awake!
I can assure you - there is nothing to fear at all. You will still be 100% YOU. The same YOU that you know and are comfortable with. The difference will be, all fears and self-doubt will be gone and you will be at rest with the complete and marvelously simple YOU. Nothing to prove. No one to impress.
The other thing is - you don’t lose any drive for doing your work or raising a family or going to school. It is the opposite of that - these are embraced with a new found concern, a will to do your best and a lifelong growing wisdom that will serve you and others.
Some people tend to keep espousing these old tales about the “dark night of the soul” and the mind rebelling with demons and who-knows-what-else. Forget this nonsense. That may be so, for one in a million, but it is not the definitive “path to enlightenment” by any means.
Don’t look for some instantaneous moment of awakening. That may or may not ever come.