I've been struggling with some recurring thoughts around the concept of Parinibbana.
I thought I had a basic understanding of what it is, and I never thought I would fall into the trap of thinking of it as nihilism or non-existence. But recently some of my previous doubts have resurfaced. I can't help but see traces of non-existence in the idea.
If karma keeps us in manifest form along the 32 planes of existence, and if parinibbana is the removing of all conditions for future manifestation in those realms, then how is that not non-existence?
Where do we go/what are we once parinibbana is realized? I know I know - these are irrelevant questions according to the suttas. But my mind keeps asking them.
Thinking of Nibbana this way scares me, and my former fear of death returns. I don't like to think about what it's like to not exist, to not be able to sense and feel and be.
So I'm guessing this is my deeply rooted "craving for becoming." I know that as a beginner I can't hope to overcome this fetter anytime soon, but because I am a practicing Buddhist and I do read suttas and meditate, I have some knowledge of the teachings. So I can't help but think about this stuff, and that's when fear and dread sets in real heavy.
What can a beginner like me do to combat this?
Any assistance is greatly appreciated.