‘My thoughts upon that Nature dwelt
till thoughts there were no more.
There is nothing else other than You.
Approaching and approaching,
I become worn down to an atom,
then worn away till I was one with Him.
Hail Shiva, dwelling in holy Perunturai!
There is nothing that You are,
Yet without You, nothing is!
Who indeed can know You?’
Tiruperunturai, Circa 8th Century
I cite this extract from Māṇikkavāchakar’s rightly celebrated poem in Classical Tamil, just to convince you that this track of being ‘Brought to Nothing’ is both universal and very old [the above preceded St. John by about 800 years]. You can locate parallel verses in any serious Tradition and I’ll cite quite a few in later Posts.