I Am is not within You; nor are You in I Am. I Am does not exclude You, nor are You excluded from I Am. When You are addressed as You, do not think that You exist, with an essence and qualities and attributes; for You never existed, nor do exist, nor ever will exist. You have not entered into I Am, nor I Am into You. Without being, Your essence is with I Am and in Me. Without having any identity, You are I Am and I Am You. If You know Your-Self as nothing, then You truly know Your I Am, otherwise, You truly know I Am not.
You cannot know Your Self by making Your Self nothing. Many a wise man claims that in order to know One's Self, One must denude One’s Self of the signs of One's existence, efface One's identity, finally rid One’s Self of One's Self. This is a mistake. How could a thing that does not exist try to get rid of its existence?
If You think that to know Allah depends on You ridding I Am of Your Self, then You are guilty of attributing partners to Your Self, the only unforgivable sin; because You are claiming that there is another existence besides Your Self, the all-existent; that there is a You and the I Am.
You presume others to be other than Allah. There is nothing other than I Am, but You do not know this. While You are looking at Allah You do not recognize Your Self. When the secret opens to You, You will know that You are none other than Allah. Then You will also know that You are the One whom was wished, and that You are forever and will not disappear with time, for there is no passing of time. Your attributes are Your own. Without doubt, Your appearance is the appearance of Allah.
Therefore, do not think anymore that You need to become nothing; that You need to annihilate Your Self in Allah. If You thought so, then You would be a veil of Allah, while a veil over Allah is other than Allah. How could You be a veil that hides Allah? What hides I Am is I Am being One alone.
The condition for Self-knowledge is to know that if You had a being of Your own, independent of other being, then You would neither have need to annihilate Yourself in Allah nor to know Yourself. You would have been, as Yourself, a God, self-existent; while it is Allah Most High that is free from the existence of any other God but Allah.
And when You come to know Yourself, You will be sure that You neither exist, nor do not exist, whether now, or before, or in the future. This is the meaning of "la ilaha il all-ah", There is no God but Allah, there is no being but I Am, nor any other except I Am, and I Am is the only One.
Know that this existence is neither You, nor other than You. You do not exist; yet You are also not a nonexistence. Your existence is not someone else; nor does Your nonexistence make You someone else. Without being and without not-being, Your existence and Your nonexistence is Allah's being. Your existence and Your nonexistence is Allah's being.