What's up with that?
When you take away all definitions of who you are you are left with a very scary thing: nothing. But this isn't the nothing that I've been afraid of all my life. This is a nothingness that is that which encompasses all of something. Without this nothing there would truly be nothing. This is the backdrop against which all things manifest. Once you recognize that place as the eternal truth you are left with some very hard questions.
What do I do now that my acting career is pretty meaningless?
What happens now that a smokey babe won't fix me?
What is the point of it all?
These are not so easy questions. And this is not an easy place to be really. I have spent my whole life establishing an ego that is built by the bricks of these things. What the heck am I going to find when I remove the foundation?
Well, I'm really not so sure at the moment. They say that it is "the end of suffering". That's what the Buddha says it is. But he doesn't tell you what it is, only what it's not, the end of suffering. That means I have to find out for myself. That means that all notions of mentation are hindrances and that the solution lies in understanding who I am. The egoic mind is relentless in presenting a steady stream of notes to prevent us from being in that total stillness, that silence that is Now. It is absolutely terrified of losing control. It refuses to accept what is, is chronically looking for one thing or another to flit to in hopes that it won't be "swallowed up" by the present moment. It is hopelessly identified with itself and preserving it's own particular brand of survival.
the truth is much more beautiful, I suspect. But there is a very persistant automated pain-body that is automatically activated if I get to close to this letting go. I am now dealing primarily with that insidious fail-safe system. Now that I am on the road to surrender, the swirling demons of my past and hideous dragons of my future are besetting me on my road to home. They are very convincing and as I have remarked, "I just hope they don't take my body before the miracle happens".
They are insubstantial phantoms that are sent away by your presence. The suffering is the final pangs of the ego letting go. Hang on.